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Thread: Disc Degeneration And Scolosis - Connected?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinseeker View Post
    That's quite unfortunate to hear? What if the discs that are worn out are not located within the area of the curvature but in the straighter parts of the spine?

    And can discs be replaced right below the fusion, or will those have to be fused as well if they get worn out and damaged?

    This offers little hope for us scoliotics since it may be all too easy now to jump to spinal fusion as we have no choice but to in the event of a disk deterioration, since the curve does increase the wear and tear of the spinal segments a lot faster. Hopefully this new breakthrough in surgical options may shed some hope for all of us pre-op someday.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263496.php
    I agree with your analysis. Dr. Hey seems to think earlier shorter fusions are better in the long run than later longer ones but I have to wonder if there is a lot of evidence for that. I don't get the same vibe from the testimonials for other people for other surgeons. Dr. Hey may be in the minority on this but he does post a fair number of collapse cases which he may feel strongly could have been avoided had the curve been treated.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    My DIL always had problems with her lungs like constant bronchitis. She would have been in trouble had she not had this done when she did. The whole bracing thing upsets her because she was totally compliant and ended up with surgery, anyway. We talked about it and she is of the opinion that maybe the brace held the curve enough so that she didn't progress as fast making the surgery a little easier. At first when I asked her would she still do the brace knowing what she knows now and she said, "yes". Now when I ask her she says, "NO!" I think if the brace did help somewhat it would have been for the purpose just mentioned. If she hadn't been braced and the same were true, she just would have had her surgery a year or two sooner. That's something that I don't think would have mattered to her. The brace emotionally scarred her for life. She has PTSD episodes from it, sometimes quite severe.
    That's really interesting how she changed her mind. It sounds like she has been through the mill with scoliosis. So far, I would say it was only a blip in my daughters' lives. I hope it stays that way.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #48
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    I think she was trying to justify wearing the brace. Now that she's learned a little more, she sees that it just delayed surgery at best. It wasn't worth the emotional cost. It gave her terrible social anxiety.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    I think she was trying to justify wearing the brace. Now that she's learned a little more, she sees that it just delayed surgery at best. It wasn't worth the emotional cost. It gave her terrible social anxiety.
    Wow. I can believe it. My night-time braced daughter stated, after she had fusion, that she would not have worn a 23 hour a day brace. That says a lot to me.

    The other one who was diagnosed in Sept and fused in March and back in school full time before 4 weeks post-op was the lucky one. She started and stopped dealing with scoliosis in about a seven or eight month period. She said she never thinks about scoliosis. Both girls look and feel normal. They don't realize other people have a bit more ROM bending side-to-side. They have no loss of ROM from front-to-back which I imagine would be most noticeable if they had lost some of that. They don't remember what it was like before their diagnosis so it's all normal to them going forward now.

    If there is a down side, we haven't seen it yet and I don't expect to given the surgeon's comments. It looks and feels like a total win so far. But we will see.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #50
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    The reason your girls probably don't "remember" more ROM before their surgeries is likely due to the fact that they didn't have it. My ROM is WAY diminished from my scoliosis and I'm not fused. The bends in the spine take away MUCH of the lateral motion. I hope they continue to do well. I'm thinking there may be a rod removal revision sometime down the road for my DIL. But that may be years away. Who knows?
    Be happy!
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  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    The reason your girls probably don't "remember" more ROM before their surgeries is likely due to the fact that they didn't have it. My ROM is WAY diminished from my scoliosis and I'm not fused. The bends in the spine take away MUCH of the lateral motion. I hope they continue to do well. I'm thinking there may be a rod removal revision sometime down the road for my DIL. But that may be years away. Who knows?
    Well that is something I never considered! I just assumed it was the fusion. But maybe you are right.

    As a general matter, if that is true for many T fusions, it could be these kids actually do perceive no difference at all before and after surgery. And if stable for life then they didn't lose anything that they hadn't already lost. The only thing they lost was the scoliosis. Blows my mind.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 01-27-2014 at 07:58 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Well that is something I never considered! I just assumed it was the fusion. But maybe you are right.

    As a general matter, if that is true for many T fusions, it could be these kids actually do perceive no difference at all before and after surgery. And if stable for life then they didn't lose anything that they hadn't already lost. The only thing they lost was the scoliosis. Blows my mind.
    Of course I'm right! LOL
    I live with the scoliosis part. There are a lot of "normal" things I can't do. I can't touch my chin to my chest and I can't bend sideways very far through the rib cage. I also can't hunch my back like a cat. So for me, as things progress, it does feel like I'm fused. I got really hurt trying to do a summersault when my grandson was a toddler. I was trying to teach him how and I REALLY couldn't bend that way. I ended up wrenching my neck so badly that I had to go to the doctor!
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Of course I'm right! LOL
    I live with the scoliosis part. There are a lot of "normal" things I can't do. I can't touch my chin to my chest and I can't bend sideways very far through the rib cage. I also can't hunch my back like a cat. So for me, as things progress, it does feel like I'm fused. I got really hurt trying to do a summersault when my grandson was a toddler. I was trying to teach him how and I REALLY couldn't bend that way. I ended up wrenching my neck so badly that I had to go to the doctor!
    This is why it is so valuable having patients talking with parents. I really never considered any of this. All I ever could assume was that any loss in ROM must be due to the fusion.

    This is very valuable information you have given me. Thanks so much.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #54
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    Has anyone had the feeling of a pinched nerve, whether ? I know I haven't mentioned this much but I do get it. It feels like someone pinched me in my back and then a burning sensation follows. Fortunately, I only get it very rarely and often times only when sitting for long periods of time. The intensity of the pain varies but always dissapears in an instant, sometimes it is slight, sometimes it is enough to startle me and stop me from working. The pinched feeling ONLY happens in my lumbar area right where my thoracic curve ends at L1(I presume) and meets with my lumbar curve. Sometimes it is closer to the middle of my spine, but often it occurs more nearer to my left external oblique at my back where the concave rib cage rests.

    Could this be a prelude to degenerative discs even though often the pinched nerve feeling occurs far from the spinal area? I have researched the causes of pinched nerves, and they all are mostly associated with the discs. Thankfully though treatment options are mostly just exercise therapy and if worst comes to worst, surgery to clean out the surrounding bony area around the discs or widening the spinal canal, no disc replacement surgery needed, therefore no fusion is neccessary
    Last edited by Jinseeker; 01-28-2014 at 06:08 AM.
    31 yr old male with non-progressive Idiopathic scoliosis

    15-37 degrees- upper thoracic ( w/ left shoulder trap higher, head tilted more to the right)
    45-52 degrees- mid thoracic (to the right, w/ rib hump)
    25-30 degrees- lumbosacral curve (to the left w/ lumbar hump, right pelvis is higher than left)

    currently doing schroth exercises and counter postural techniques("side shifting")
    using rib and lumbar support belts. still contemplative about surgery.

    >>My X-ray<<

  10. #55
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    Ti Ed had I believe years of disc problems before he was fused so he would probably know if this is consistent with disc issues. But this part,

    "Fortunately, I only get it very rarely and often times only when sitting for long periods of time. The intensity of the pain varies but always disappears in an instant, sometimes it is slight, sometimes it is enough to startle me and stop me from working."

    sounds exactly like what happened to me with my herniated disc in the early 1990s I would be at a meeting and at some point move and I went from zero to ten to zero in like a second. Like a knife in and out. And only when I had been sitting for a while. I screamed out at times and had to explain what happened.

    The diagnosis was herniated disc and they gave me PT but told me rest would help also. After a few months, the episode was over.

    I herniated another disc (probably the same one) in 2012 while riding and this time got instant sciatica down my butt. I was debilitated to a point where I was not sure how I was going to get off my horse. Episodes of this pain have caused me to be nauseous. Knowing what it was and that it wasn't going away after 1.5 years of daily pain, I eventually just rested it for three months (meaning stopped riding my horse) and drove up the world-wide price of Motrin for inflammation. I am now back to zero pain. I can't produce the pain now no matter what I do. The disc injury healed. I expect to re-injure it episodically the rest of my life.

    I bet PT will work for you. Good luck.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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