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Thread: Bone Spurs Lower Back

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation Bone Spurs Lower Back

    I am new here, stumbled upon the website looking for my original doctor. Ok, well I found out the he is retired and living in FL, so I guess I have to find a new one. Harrington rods installed in 1976 (age 18) by Dr. Hugo Keim, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, NY. Curve was 60 some degrees. Still have rods in place, now 29 years later I am having major problems with sciatica. My doc says its caused by bone spurs on my L5 vertebrae, impinging on nerve. Says the only way to cure it (maybe?) is to have surgery and file the bone spurs down. Does not sound like fun to me. I am currently looking to a second opinion doctor. Difficult to find someone who knows scoliosis surgery patients, 29 years later. Let alone finding someone to accept your insurance. I am in pain constantly and have tried almost everything. Running out of options. Chiropractor, physical therapy, epidurals, exercise didn't help. The only thing I did not try is acupuncture. Living on pain killers and alcohol (don't know if the alcohol helps, but sometimes I don't want to take the drugs). Anyone else have bone spurs that were filed off? Did it help? Feel any better? of the same? Please help.
    DJP
    New Jersey
    Harrington Rod Surgery 1976
    Dr. Keim NYC
    Fused from ? to L5

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I'm sorry for your pain, acupunture can help with some types of pain. especially nerves.

    May I ask what are bone spurs? I'm not quite sure what they are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi...

    I don't know anyone in New Jersey, but there are surgeons in New York who have a lot of experience treating patients with prior scoliosis fusions. Check out Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Barron Lonner, and Michael Neuwirth.

    Regards,
    Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4
    Sweetness.
    Bone spurs are bumps that grow on the bone due to pressure, wear & tear, rubbing, or just old age. They are the same as bunions on your feet, or heel spurs on your feet. I just happen to have them on one of my 2 vertebrae that are not fused. Lucky me. Have an appt. with a neurologist next week for a second opinion before surgery. Not looking forward to another surgery, but I need to be able to walk. I may still try acupuncture, waiting to see how my Mom makes out with it first.
    Thanks for the response.
    DJP
    New Jersey
    Harrington Rod Surgery 1976
    Dr. Keim NYC
    Fused from ? to L5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13

    Unhappy Bone spurs lower back

    Hi, I am new to this site. I had my operation in 1966 and had Harrington Rods to correct my scoliosis. My curvature was originally over 85 degrees and after the operation it is now around 20 I think.
    I too suffer with unbearable pain and have bone spurs growing out of the discs down my lower back, only one or two though. I havent got sciatica but pain either side of the lower discs around L3 to L5. I was fused from T4 to L3.
    I have noticed recently that I am getting pain around the T7 - 9 area it sort of grabs me and when it does I scream, dont mean to, it just comes automatically. It is getting to be as unbearable as the lower back but in a different pain type of way.
    I havent a clue what is causing it as Xrays and MRIs dont show up any part of the spine where the rods are as they distort the prints. Just wondering is anyone else is having any trouble such as this, I dont think I have flat back.
    Appreciate any thoughts on this,

    Warm regards
    Rainie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    35
    Hi rainie,
    Has your surgeon made any effort to check your fusion for pseudarthrosis or a fracture in the fusion? You mustn't give up trying to get answers for this.if necessary get a second opinion from a surgeon who is experienced with adult revision surgery.
    Sins
    Co founder Scoliosis Support Association Ireland.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13
    Thankyou sins for your help I havent heard of pseudoarthrosis, how can that be diagnosed?? I have had Xrays and the rods look OK but never thought of a fracture in the fusion as that may just be the explanation for the terrible pain I have been in for the past 8 years. I live in Tasmania which is an island off the coast of Australia and honestly they really dont have much of an idea what to do with me as I had the operation so many years ago with the old Harrington rods.
    I am not going to give up dont worry and these sites really help heaps.'

    Kind regards.
    Rainie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Rainie...

    There's no absolute way to diagnose a pseudarthrosis. A tomogram is as close as you can get:

    http://www.drdillin.com/education/ba...t_tomogram.htm

    Regards,
    Linda

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13
    Thanks Linda. That was really nice of you to answer so quickly. I honestly really did not realise that there are just so many people suffering with problems after having the Harrington rods put in, its just unreal. I just feel so very sorry for everyone like this.

    Thanks heaps
    Rainie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    35
    Hi rainie,
    sometimes a radioactive isotope can be injected just before a CT scan, the theory being that the isotopes become concentrated in areas of weakness in the bone.Talk to smiler who had this done in the UK.Apparently this showed up her pseudarthrosis quite clearly.
    What part of australia are you based in? there's a scoliosis association in australia who may be able to help you to locate a surgeon more experienced in adult cases,and there's a lady I know who runs an on line support group in australia.If I can find any further information for you just ask.
    Sins
    Co founder Scoliosis Support Association Ireland.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13
    Sins, you are the best I live in Tasmania but that is just off Australia a little island but only an hour away from the mainland.
    That is absolutely fantastic, that you know a lady here is so so good, what a coincidence that I happened to log on here a few days ago. Please yes, yes tell me how to get in touch with the on line support group over here, it would help me no end you have really no idea. thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.

    I will ask Smiler about the radioactive isotope Xray thingy, she is really lovely isnt she.

    Well Sins honey you have made my day, thankyou again,

    Kind regards
    Lorraine.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    35
    Hi rainie,
    start by checking out The Australian scoliosis association, maybe drop them an e mail and see if they can recommend an adult scoliosis surgeon.
    www.scoliosis.org.au
    I'll pm you with some details of surgeons in melbourne.I know two adult patients who go there.Once I get some more information about them I'll pass it on.I'll get back to you tomorrow.
    Sins
    Co founder Scoliosis Support Association Ireland.

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