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Thread: Pregnancy and Childbirth with Scoliosis Correction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Columbia SC
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    5

    Exclamation Pregnancy and Childbirth with Scoliosis Correction

    I am 23 and still in school, not married, but going to be in the next year..I had scoliosis surgery in 1995 when I was 12..I had never had hesitations about having children until recently when I heard women with the surgical correction CANT have epidurals!! I know some people opt to have natural childbirth, but if I had the choice, I would choose the drugs..Does anyone know what the risks are by having a child with the rods in her back? I had a clotting problem right before my surgery and had to have a blood transfusion so I'm worried I'm going to bleed to death also ..I am currently enrolled in a human sexuality class and we have been talking about childbirth for the past week and all the bad things that can go wrong..THis may be the reason for my pessemistic outlook..apologies..thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    6,797
    Hi...

    Whether or not you can have an epidural depends on which levels are fused, and the skill of the anesthesiologist. If you're in a university hospital, I think you have a much better chance than at a private hospital.

    You may want to do a search (see Search icon above) on PREGNANCY. There have been quite a few discussions on the topic.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    the uk, between london and the south coast
    Posts
    142
    epidurals may or may not take on any person, regardless of instrumentations and fusions - on some people they just don't work. if it doesn't work, there's always pethidine or similar
    diagnosed aged 14 (2001)
    braced from july 2001 to february 2003 to hold curves
    fused T11-L3 on july 16th 2005 (aged 18)
    Discharged by surgeon july 11th 2007 (aged 20 and almost 2 years post-op)
    scoliosis support forum

  4. #4
    Mary Lou Guest
    You can have an almost pain free delivery without an epidural. I gave birth to two kids and never had an epidural. Mention your fears/worries to your OB/GYN, preferably before you get pregnant, that way he can discuss all of your options.

    By the way, I recently asked by OB/GYN if my daughter would be able to have an epidural in the future and he said she should be able to do so, but to mention it to her doctor. She is fused from T3-L2.

    Mary Lou

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Valley Forge,PA
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    10

    epidural

    Quote Originally Posted by Shllbug
    I am 23 and still in school, not married, but going to be in the next year..I had scoliosis surgery in 1995 when I was 12..I had never had hesitations about having children until recently when I heard women with the surgical correction CANT have epidurals!! I know some people opt to have natural childbirth, but if I had the choice, I would choose the drugs..Does anyone know what the risks are by having a child with the rods in her back? I had a clotting problem right before my surgery and had to have a blood transfusion so I'm worried I'm going to bleed to death also ..I am currently enrolled in a human sexuality class and we have been talking about childbirth for the past week and all the bad things that can go wrong..THis may be the reason for my pessemistic outlook..apologies..thanks for reading!

    Check with your doctor,I have a Harrington Rod also from age 12, I am now 45....yuck!! I had an epidural....if they know where your rod is ahead of time, they can accomodate you. I was sooooooo glad I jad planned ahead...the pain for me was too much to handle and I did it...everyones pregnancy is different, but go armed with all possibilites so you do not feel helpless if you must go the epidural route....we all survived child birth ..for some it is a breeze for others, like myself, it was hard and very painful!!My motto has always been , why suffer if you don;t have too!!!Mary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    East Yorkshire England
    Posts
    5
    Childbirth 1st time round can be a bit scarey but it is true that you do forget pain.....just as well, everyone would be remembering their broken leg, cracked head etc lol.
    I had my op in 1975 at 18. Craig came in 1980, and Richard 1982 both with beautiful spines ...my second question was 'has he got ginger hair!'
    I didn't have an epidural, did have lots of gas an air though.
    Mention your worries to your Ob. and enjoy your pregnancy when the time comes. I had no back pain back then and loved been pregnant.
    AVOID the ironing - that's what gave me back pain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Metro-Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    138
    Hi there - I have had a clotting problem too - and because of that, and my scolioisis, was referred to a high-risk ob/gyn for preconception counseling. There I was told that I will be on blood thinners while pregnant, since there is a higher risk of miscarriage and/or clotting again if you have had previous clotting issues. Also, because of the use of blood thinners while pregnant, I was told that I would most likely have my child through c-section. (At the very least I will be induced so they can time it with the clotting medicine issues.) As for if I was going vaginally for child birth, I was told to have my xrays available, and plan it out with the anesthesiologist beforehand, so they can determine how/if they can do an epi.

    My best advice to you is to see a specialist in this area BEFORE getting pregnant, especially if you have had clotting issues. They is a big risk factor with pregnancy, aside from the back issues. But, there is A LOT they can do for you to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy child!

    On a side note -there are lots of GOOD things about having a c-section these days, like a lot less problems later in life, like bladder issues, urinary incontinance, etc. And recovery time is not supposed to be as much of an issue these days, so it is an option that you might want to consider, as you can have a lot more increased control with a C-sec.
    Meg is Spinewhine
    31 years old with thoracic curve
    Wore Boston brace as teenager, but curve continued to progress.
    Surgery on 12/13/2005 with correction from over 55 degrees to under 25 degrees. (Ya baby!)

    The nitty gritty at:
    http://spinewhine.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    22

    rods and epidurals

    I was also 12 when I had my 1st spinal fusion surgery. Mine was in 1985. When I had my first child the doctors said "No, you cannot have an epidural because you have no epidural space." But when I had my second child I the subject was brought up by my ob and she talked to the anestisiologist (probably didn't spell that right) and after looking at my old x-rays he thought that he could do it. I was very nervous because they make you sign this paper telling you that the procedure can paralize you. But it all went well, I felt nothing and had no problems afterwards. So what I would suggest is if the first doc says "no can't do it" talk to another and another till you find one who will. By the way I am fused from T-3 to L-3 so it's most of my back.
    Good luck, hope it goes as well for you.

    Georgian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia!
    Posts
    10
    Hi Shllbug,

    I understand your concern.

    I also have a blood clotting disorder, but mine is the opposite - I dont clot. Known as Von Willie Brands. I had (I think this is what it is called) factor 8 or maybe 12 I cant remember before my spinal surgery, but they still had problems controlling the bleeding.

    I have also heard that it is difficult to get the needle into the spine.

    I have been told that due to all these wonderful reasons I will be having a c-section. More scars for me! I think also the fact that my pelvis is still very un-aligned (dont think that's a word) doesnt help either. It points in a strange direction basically.

    My only advice is to speak to your doctor, cause their the only ones that are going to be able to give a definite answer. Just be prepared - dont leave it to the delivery room to let them know.

    Best wishes for the future!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2

    Childbirth with Scoliosis

    I had a surgery for my scoliosis in 1978 when I was 12 (with harrington rod). My first child was born in 1996. I had a consult with the anethesiologist prior to my due date to talk about my options. We decided to try the epidural. I don't want to scare you, but it didn't work because of the scar tissue. They were not able to thread the epidural in far enough. I went through a horribly long labor (30+ hours) on pitocin with no epidural. I ended up with a c-section under general. When I became pregnant with my second child, I scheduled a c-section and had him with a spinal block which worked great. My suggestion to you would be to have a discussion with your OB prior and decide upon a length of time you'd like to labor. If it goes past that, I would insist upon the c-section. Good luck. Whatever you decide, it's well worth the pain.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Louisville, Mississippi
    Posts
    3

    Normal Pregnancy

    I had surgery at age 12 w/a Harrington rod and had a normal pregnancy. I of course had to have natural childbirth because my gynecologist said due to the fusion I could not have an epidural. I recently had a visit with the doctor who originally did the surgery for some neck pain I've been suffering with for several months. He asked me if I had any children and I told him only one. He asked why and I replied that I could not have an epidural due to the fusion. He replied that a very talented anesthesiologist could have given me an epidural. Of course my child is now 14 years old and I donít plan to have any more children. So I guess because I didnít get expert advice at the time of my pregnancy I went the natural way. It was hard, but when that child gets here you forget about the pain you went through. But if you really want to check out if you can have an epidural, I wouldnít rely on my ob/gyn to fully make the decision that you canít.

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