View Poll Results: How was your scoliosis first detected?

Voters
261. You may not vote on this poll
  • School screening.

    49 18.77%
  • Pediatrician or family doctor.

    70 26.82%
  • Family or friends.

    69 26.44%
  • Self.

    21 8.05%
  • Chiropractor.

    12 4.60%
  • x ray/exam for accident or other reasons

    21 8.05%
  • Other

    19 7.28%
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Thread: How was your scoliosis first detected?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    30
    I noticed that my daughter's shoulders were uneven while watching her ride horses. I then researched scoliosis and saw she had significant asymetry with the Adams Bend test. I took her right in to see an orthopedic spine specialist and he xrayed and diagnosed a double curve both in the 30's. She was 11 1/2 years old and had her previous physical 1 1/2 year before and was "cleared" in the exam for scoliosis at that time.
    Kim
    Kim

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    255
    If I remember correctly, my scoliosis was noticed by my ballet teacher when I was age 11. Although my shoulders were (and still are) even, I think that some shoulder blade protrusion was visible even to the non-professional eye because I remember my mom checking me out after the ballet teacher had said something to her, and when I bent over we could both see something wasn't right. (My curve was about 32 degrees at diagnosis.)
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    east coast
    Posts
    302
    Mine was first noticed during the school screening at twelve, I never found out what I had, I just knew my spine wasn't stright. For reasons I can't figure out my pcp didn't refer me to an ortho, or.. follow me up yearly.

    Soon after my dx, a family friend of ours refered us to her 'great' chiropractor *snort*. That's when I found out I supposly had a 25 degree curve (I have a triple curve now..so I'm guessing the other two are compensatory curves). I was treated by him for a year, had an x-ray taken then, but he never showed it to us. He claimed it was 24 degrees. Now that I think about it, I probably had progressed and he was hiding it.

    blah blah..four years later..at sixteen, I realize..hey, maybe there's a reason why my back is curved. So I started looking stuff up and found out that what I had was scoliosis, that there were treatments for it, and it was alredy too late for me to have non-surgical treatment. I was sixteen then, I spent my weekends at the library reading medical journal archives. I also self-diagonosed myself with a genetic disorder -- My case is compeletly textbook, I cannot believe my doctor didn't notice..or, even think, hmm, maybe I should send her to a specialist. He obviously remembered that I had scoliosis..b/c during my college physical, the last time I saw him, he tapped rather hard on my back and asked if it hurt. I wanted to punch him. Still don't understand why he didn't do anything.

    I frequenly think what would have happened if either my pcp or the chiro had refered me to an ortho... While bracing might not have stopped my curve, I never had the option. So these early experiences w/ the medical community has made me an advocate for my own health and a very very picky patient It's probably not so good for me to be so picky, but it's my body.... I wrote off the best specialist for my genetic disorder in NYC. I didn't get the raves about him, I thought he was horrible. Thankfully..there are many other doctors I can goto..

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    1

    How was my scoliosis first detected?

    I had fallen down my steps and my dr. at that kind had me have an xray on my back but he lied to me and told me something else and this was in 1987. Seven years later my new dr. asked to see that xray and he told me that I have scoliosis. Well I had read the report on my xray and it said that my scoliosis was going to become worse. I was very unhappy for the first dr. not telling me the truth and leaving it to another dr. to finally tell me. When I was in school they didn't check for scoloisos but they checked my kids to see if they had it, my daughter has it. I was beginning to wonder if any dr. was ever going to tell me about having scoliosis. I don't think that it matters at what age you are told about having scoliosis, I looked at my back as being ugly. Now I have stenosis and I think that it's do to having scoliosis. What kind of dr. do I need to see to get some help for it. Regular drs. don't even want to talk about it. Thanks Louise

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    51
    I was at an allergy specialist who was giving me shots in the back to fine out what I'm allergic to. He must have noticed it looking at my back as I was laying face down because he told me to stand up and bend forward without bending my knees.

    While standing in this position he ran his hands on both sides of my spine and then recommended I get x rays done. I did that and that's when I found out officially.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    I detected my daughter's scoliosis myself, as her mother.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    672
    I found about my scoliosis when I was about 12. My mom was hemming a pair of pants and 1 leg kept measuring shorter than the other. A trip to the doctor confirmed scoliosis. I discovered my son's scoliosis when he was 10, I was hemming a pair of pants and 1 leg kept measuring shorter than the other......had him bend over and noticed rib hump and unevenness in hips just like me

    FlowerPower
    Last edited by flowerpower; 06-30-2005 at 12:30 AM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2
    i actuali first noticed somethin 'odd' about myself. i remember noticing that one side of my hips was more rounded than the other...and i had more of a feminine curve on one side instead of a full 'hourglass' shape.but i passed it off as merely being 'illshaped'. however,in christmas season 2004 i was doing some shopping and my mom noticed that when i walked i leaned to one side. then...not too long after (or was it before??...i think it was before actuali) a friend of mine who already had scoliosis and had to do surgery for it ran up to me in class sayin ' let me feel ur back...because the other day i was looking at it and i see that ur leaned'...honestly,i kinda thought that she was just saying that because she had it and was being a bit too concerned...but it turns out she was right. anyyway,my mom coudlnt afford to take me to an orthopedic surgeoon during the christmas season...u kno how tight money is at that point...so we ended up going in march.i did the xrays and it turned out i actually had scoliosis...he just diagnosed it because id expected it all along..well...thats my story.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1
    My son had come out of the shower and had only a towel wrapped around him, and I noticed what I thought was a humpback, I was kind of shocked, but those darn baggy clothes the kids wear, he was 14 at the time. I called his father and told him, we are divorced, and he said "oh its nothing". My son was leaving the next day to spend 2 weeks with his father in Kentucky, I asked my ex to just take a look.
    My ex-husband had his neighbor, who is a doctor look at him, and he said, that isn't right. So they took him to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, where he was given an exam. The director of the Pediatric Orthopaedic, Dr. Alvin Crawford, had been asked to look over my son's x-rays, by the attending physician. Dr. Crawford then spoke to my ex-husband and told him that our son had a significant kyphosis and he would personally like to take on his case. My son had a 90+ or 98 degrees kyphosis. Dr. Crawford had wanted to do try and straighten his spine by using body casts to try and force it straight and then using a Milwaukee brace. First, I have I have nothing against Dr. Crawford, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about him, I did have one problem with him though, geography. I live in Southern California, there was no way on this earth that my son was going to go through anything without me being there. His father and wife tried to convince him to stay there and go through this, he barely knows her and doesn't see his father that often, let alone she has two young kids she can't even control. After a much heated debate - my son was sent home.
    I did alot of research on line the usual checking of doctors licenses, if they had any malpractice suits against them then, I did a google. When I read all these praises I kept finding on a particular doctor, I thought, uhmm, must be good, then the clincher, there was an article about a physician whose daughter needed ortho surgery, they took her to see this doctor and were so impressed by his work, they paid to have their thanks put up on a billboard, this guy was a doctor himself and was so impressed by another. I thought this guy has got to be good.
    I found what I believe to be the best ortho surgeon ever. Dr. James Shook at Loma Linda University. When we went to see him, not only did my son and I both fall in love with him, we left there feeling much better. He didn't think after all that painful trying to straighten his spine out with casts and braces, that my son would be much straighter. He explained all our options and gave us his opinions, but he let us make the choice and we opted for surgery. Its been a year and and a half since his surgery, (which is not an easy experience for anybody), but he is 6 foot 3, still growing, and as straight as a titanium rod (my little joke).
    Even as much of a hardship it was on my son he does not regret his decision, and he still idolizes Dr. Shook, who is always happy to see us and he takes his time when you're there to answer any and all of your questions. He also gave us his home number when we left the hospital, in case I needed anything, which I am embarrassed to admit, I did use it on some pretty stupid things, well I did not know they were stupid at the time.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Smile

    Hi! I'm new here so here's my tale. My mother discovered mine at a young age. Her brother-in-law's sister had it and somehow that got mum looking at me. I think she probably had a chat with her sister's mother-in-law. I remember at about age 8 she was always telling me to touch my toes and running her hands down my back. I thought she was nuts to tell the truth. Anyway I ended up going to Sick Kids in Toronto and got a brace which I wore faithfully for a few years but it didn't really do much good. Maybe slowed me down a tad. So when I was 13 I had surgery and its all been fine since. I'm 32 now, 33 in November.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Scottsdale Arizona
    Posts
    6
    Oh boy, I missed so many signs. I think the first one was when my daughter was 10. She got a very choppy haircut from a friend whose reply to my complaint was, "Well her shoulders are so uneven" .. nothing registered then.
    I never took my kids for yearly well checks because they were ... well! .. which meant that it was never routinely screened for.
    Then, for the 6th grade health screenings at school, either my daughter was never checked or else she wasn't checked properly or maybe she wasn't at school that day, but the school screening didn't catch it.
    Then another time, when she was at the pediatrician for some other reason (strep throat or something), as an aside, at the end of the appointment, I asked her doctor about what we called her 'curly rib' .. the bottom rib on the left side curved out, almost like a 'flip' hairstyle if you can picture that. Anyway, the doctor dismissed it out of hand, said that everyone is shaped differently and we later found out that kind of rib condition is a direct result of the rotation of the spine. How quick and simple would it have been for the doctor to have her lean over and do a quick check????? We NEVER have gone back to that doctor ... the protruding rib on a young teen girl should have been a red flag to anyone who knows what they're doing.
    What finally popped the lightbulb on in my brain was when my daughter was at dance class and wearing a spaghetti-strap tank top (she was 12) and her right shoulder blade was so much more prominent than her left ... bingo ... I thought oh my god, she has scoliosis .. what a long strange trip it's been since then. So I guess my reply to this poll is me; I was the one who first detected it.
    She was braced, but was often lax about her time spent wearing it. I also believe her first brace was not effective and by the time a 2nd one was molded, she was pretty much through growing anyway, and curve had progressed from 37 degrees thoracic to 45.
    She just had surgery 3 weeks ago, with Dr. White in Phoenix and is taking it day by day. She is 17 now and is having a hard time dealing with being housebound during recovery and is missing her old teenage life very much. I hate to see my sweet child in pain and discomfort, she's been so brave. I love it when I can get a smile or laugh out of her, they are kind of rare right now. I keep telling her that it WILL get better and she WILL be fine, but it's hard for her to be 'patient' .. thanks all for reading my rant. I think all the kind people here are so helpful and encouraging.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329
    Kathleen,
    I just want to share with you my mothers guilt many years ago when I was detected with scoliosis so perhaps you won't beat yourself up about not detecting it when there were the "signs". In 1968, when I was 12, I complained constantly that my back hurt. At that time scoliosis wasn't even a word, they called it "curvature of the spine" and school screenings were not done, etc. My parents would say, "oh it's growing pains". I would wake up in the middle of the night with pain. This went on for a while, when my mother said she would take to me to the family doctor. To this day, I still can hear the doctor's voice........ one look at my back and he said "oh boy" and then proceeded to show my mother all the unevenness in my back, my leg shorter than the other, my twisted ribs, etc. I will never forget her facial expression in the office. The guilt she felt must have been awful. Unfortuately, I was sent to the most obnoxious doctor who did nothing but send me every six months for x-rays and gave me exercises to do. Needless to say, I suffered all my life with pain on a daily basis and my self esteem was horrific. I never blamed my mother - yes did I feel sorry for myself? Obsolutely! Did I wish my sisters had it instead of me - you bet I did. Thankfully in 1981 at the age of 26 I had the surgery, nine months in a body cast, etc. but was the happiest person in the world. I was 100% pain free, got married the following year, had my amazing daughter in 1986 and prayed daily that she wouldn't have it. Well, she does but I addressed it every time she would go to her doctor. It was in her chart since birth and I would have her bend so I could check her back when she took baths (sometimes too much as I was paranoid she would have it) She actually goes for her yearly check up today with my husband. Her curve is very mild, thank you Lord!, and now she goes every year instead of every four months. I'm still anxious today until I hear from the doctor she is stable. She will be 19 in November So my point after rambling on is PLEASE DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP! My mother passed away before my daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis. I wish I had the chance to talk with her about how she dealt with it. I'm sure the guilt she had was tremendous. You did the absolute right thing by not returning to that doctor. If you feel something isn't right with any doctor, find another one. Unfortunately, my mother didn't, we both hated the doctor I had but years ago you did what they said. Today, you have to be your own doctor so to speak. I ask questions, call, etc. if I feel I didn't understand something or need further explanations. They are human and can make mistakes. Your daughter will be fine. It take a while to recover but she is so young and her spirit will return. Just keep by her side and get that smile out of her that makes you so happy. She will be smiling more and more each day and for the rest of her life as a result of your TLC. Hang in there, you will all get this with great results. Regards, LYNN
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 "Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1" - Dr. Boachie - and feeling GREAT! (at 56 years old)

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Scottsdale Arizona
    Posts
    6
    Dear Lynn, (Jacque's Mom),
    It's been a while since we posted those threads, but I wanted to say thank you. You sound like me! I too was 26 in 1981 and wished bad things on my 3 sisters when I was young. I will probably always beat myself up about not noticing the 'signs' but I jokingly tell my husband, it was his gene pool that sullied mine, as his aunt has severe scoliosis (another missed sign!!).
    I guess the best we can do is share information and talk to others about it. I know my sweet girl does not blame me or anyone for her condition, she just wants to get back in the swing of things!
    She is 6 weeks post op as of yesterday (Friday August 26) and she's back at school (senior in high school, only half days thank goodness) and wearing a new wardrobe until she gains back the 15 pounds she lost.
    Thanks for the encouragement, it is sincerely appreciated.
    Kathleen

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6

    At age 32

    One of my daughter's friends was diagnosed, and it got me thinking, so I had my husband examine my spine--lo and behold, s-curve! Went to an ortho for x-rays which confirmed a 12 degree scoliosis. My mother was told, when I was quite young, that one of my hips was higher than the other, but nothing further was done. I subsequently had four daughters in 6 years (all by c-section, which raises another question--how many scoli patients need c-sections?) That was pre-diagnosis, and with my second, the anesthesiologist tried ten times, but could not give me a spinal block. I haven't been seen for my scoli since I was 32, but I probably have more curvature due to hauling around babies for so many years--I do know that I have more pain. At around age 50, I was diagnosed with C-spine lordosis, I don't know to what degree, but my x-ray looked like the neck you pull out of the turkey for Thanksgiving! I received some PT at that time, which helped some, but insurance limits visits, so what do you do? That's my story.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    56
    I had lower back pain which gradually got worse, I was then taken to the doctors a year later and had an x-ray.
    Adolescent Idiopathic Thoracic Lumbar Scoliosis

    Back Pain started in October 2001
    Diagnosed - June 2003

    Thoracic and Lumbar curves- 37 degrees
    Started Hospital examination - June 2003
    Discharged from hospital - November 2006

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