Hello everyone...I'm new to this forum and am so relieved to find such a wonderful resource for support and encouragement.

I'm 20 years old and in school studying nursing at the University of Alabama. I first found out about my scoliosis during an unrelated doctor appointment when I was 16 and was referred to a local orthopedic surgeon/scoliosis specialist. At that time my lumbar curve was 39 degrees and my bones were done growing; the doctor told me to come back in a year to check the progression. Well, I didn't go back until today, three and 1/2 years later...due to a mixture of fear that it was progressing (as if not going to the doctor would make the problem wouldn't exist) and not having significant, chronic back pain. I had occassional lower back pain in my right side but my chiropractor usually resolved this. One of my hips is prominent (my waist is straight on my left and curved on my right) as well as my back muscle on the left side.

My curve has progressed to 46 degrees, about two degrees per year, and my doctor expects it to continue to progress unless I have surgery. I plan on having the surgery in the next 6-12 months but am going to Dr. J. Kenneth Burkus at the Hughston Clinic in Columbus, GA next Friday, July 21 to get his opinion and get some questions answered about recovery time/getting back to school/all of my worries related to having the surgery. Has anyone heard of him or this clinic? I've heard fantastic things about the clinic, but have never heard anything about specific doctors there. Then again, I'm the only person I know who has scoliosis and is planning on having surgery!

Have many people here had the anterior spinal fusion? When I went for my first appointment when I was 16, when my doctor first mentioned the possibility of surgery should the curve progress, this is the one he said I would have. Is it possible to have posterior fusion instead for lower back curves? Is one surgery more difficult/dangerous/difficult to recover from than the other? My curve is from the very lower thoracic to L4. I've got a ton of questions for my doctor but I was hoping I could get some info here first to ease my mind and to keep me from driving my family and friends crazy with more questions and worries they aren't sure how to address. Thanks!