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Thread: Surgical Revision with Rods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Question Surgical Revision with Rods

    I am a 59 year old woman who has had scoliosis as a young child. My first surgery was at age 13. I was fused from T5-L3. I was corrected from 36 to 14 degrees.

    My current curvature is now 70 degrees and increasing approximately 2 degrees a year.

    I am not in very much pain at this time. I have been told my life will become unlivable in the future without revision surgery due to this curvature progression.

    I am scheduled for revision surgery to have rods installed along side my previous fusion and extending into my sacrum which has shown degeneration.

    My Dr. at OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University), said he is going to use a anterior/posterior approach for this surgery scheduling surgeries two days apart. Has anyone else had their surgery at OHSU in Portland, Or?

    I am extremely concerned about such a major surgery at my age, but without it I am really afraid my life will be a lot worse as my curvature reaches a dangerous level.

    Has any previous scoliosis patients with cases similar to mine have had this type of revision surgery at my age (59) and what was your outcome?

    What can I expect after surgery?

    Last edited by Linnton; 11-09-2005 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    revision surgery

    I was in the same position as you 3 1/2 years ago. I had a revision and got my life back. The recovery is long but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    You can check my posts to get an idea of my case- severe. Just make sure you have someone experienced in adult revisions. Also, talking to your surgeon's patients, who have a similar history, is very helpful. That its what I did.

    I would be happy to coach you by e-mail. You can find it under my profile.

    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Surgical Revision with Rods

    Thanks for the quick email response. I will definetly check out your post and keep in touch.

    Thanks Linnton

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Question Linnton

    I was in a simular situation as you. I never knew I had scoliosis until I was in my early 20's. I knew I was getting worse but ignored it until it started affecting my everyday life. I had severe pain in my hip. About 3 years ago I went to my family Dr. with the hip pain and that led up to my surgery.
    I am 48 years old now.
    I had my first scoliosis surgery last September. I had anterior and posterior approaches. On the first day of surgery I was opened up in 3 small insicions in my front side. The Dr. took out 3 discs and I had to lay flat for 2 days before my 2nd surgery. That was suppose to give my spine time to get the flexion he needed for the 2nd surgery. 2 days later he opened up my back. He put in 2 rods 11inches long and 17 screws. I was in the hospital a total of 8 days. The healing process was hard but every week I felt better.
    I had to wear a brace for 6 months. After my brace came off I noticed I had a bump on my back at the bottom of my rods.
    I went back to the Dr. for my yearly checkup and he said a screw had came loose and pushed a rod out. That was painful because I could not put my back against anything because it poked me. He put me through a bone scan and lots more x-rays and said I was fused enough he could take the rods and screws out. He assured me I would be fine, he said I should not get my curvature back. Sept of this year I had my hardware taken out. I was in the hosp. 1 day. I healed pretty fast from that. I went back to the Dr. to have my staples removed and he said my curvature was back and as bad as when he started. (I had a 56 degree curvature) He said he would have to the hardware back in. So Oct 14th of this year I went back in and had hardware put back in. Just a posterior approach. I had 62 staples this time. He put longer rods in and more screws. I getting along pretty good. I still have pain but it is getting better. I am back in a brace again for a while. This last time I was in the hosp. 3 days.
    I don't know what to tell you except to do what you feel you have to do.
    I would do it all over again if it was absolutely necessary. It is no walk in the park but a persons got to do what they feel is best for them. Please keep me posted and if you need someone to talk to e-mail me. Good luck in what ever you decide, and I will be praying for you.

    my e-mail is: mattielouwheat @yahoo .com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Rochester, New York

    1 month post revision surgery

    Hi - I had revision surgery on October 18 at Rochester Strong memorial Hospital with Dr. Rubery. Was not a picnic but doctor stated that he accomplished everything he wanted to do. I had original harrington rod placed in 1964 when i was 12. Over the years I herniated disk below rod, had that fused to sacrum, but rod and bone mass never allowed that fusion to correctly heal and i was in more and more pain. Dr. removed old harrington rod, inserted two rods, 2 cages and 10 screws and refused L4 to sacrum with my bone chips, which he got from original surgery.

    was a 10.5 hr. surgery due to the fact that I lost 12 units of blood, and a nerve in my spinal column was wrapped around the pin that had been used to hold the harrington rod in place. I was 3 days in intensive care, on breathing tube and completely sedated just in case to prevent any spinal fluid leakage. Apparently doctor had to untangle the nerve from the pin and had to be extremely careful not to accidently tear the dura.

    I'm doing OK now - can't sit for long, do lots of walking around the house with a walker, will be out of work approx. 14 weeks. Had 76 staples. X-rays since surgery show everything holding, nothing has moved, not even a touch!
    I'm not in horrible pain, but I do have a pain patch and pills and muscle relaxers I can take at night. I do small exercises at home.

    I'm hoping that all the feeling in my left leg and left foot and toes will return.

    I'm praying and hoping that going through all this will be worth it.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    I hope you the best of luck. These surgeries are no picnic. Do you have to wear a brace? I do for 3 months. First durgery 1 year ago I had to wear a brace for 6 months. GOOD LUCK.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Question Herniated disc under rod, pelvic rotation, need surg. No insurance..wonder about SS


    I just joined today. A week ago, I started having a sharp, "grabbing" pain in my lower right rib cage and a bone "shearing" pain in my upper and lower left hip. Sore tailbone and one herniated disc below Harrington Rod.

    Went to Chiropractor ASAP---X ray showed right pelvic side up and left side down--some twisting taking place, I think right side is leaning back and left is twisting forward.

    Looking for good a surgeon (in Indianapolis, Indiana) and some kind of assistance. I do not have insurance. Could filing for Social Security help? My Chiropractor says I should apply.
    Age 37. Had S-Curve treated with Harrington Rod Fusion at top of spine, lower spine fusion with hip bone chip filler at age 13. Wore plaster body cast for 8 months during 8th grade. Was treated by Dr. G. Rapp at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Currently have pain from pelvic rotation and a herniated disc. Thinking about surgery and SS.

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