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Thread: rods different lengths

  1. #1
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    rods different lengths

    My daughter had surgery to correct a 48 degree curve 4 years ago at 14 years old. The very first xray her doctor said one rod was about an inch too long but did not suggest anything further. Since then she has had pain off and on depending on her activity. She used to ride horses and play softball but cannot do this anymore. I feel her quality of life should be much better at her young age. The doctor says we can cut the rod but he's not sure this is the problem. Has anyone ever had this problem. Should I try to convince her to have this surgery since she is afraid after the first one. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Hi...

    I've heard that clipping the rod to the appropriate length is relatively easy surgery. If that's what is causing your daughter's pain and loss of function, then it seems to me that it would be beneficial.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
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    rods different length

    Dear Linda:
    Thanks for getting back to me. I do believe that you are right about clipping the rod not being a bad surgery, but, my daughter and I were I guess a little naive from the beginning. Actually, this website frightens me just reading how many surgeries and problems people have. Her doctor led us to believe that she would be able to do anything and have no problems after her surgery.
    Now I know that so many things can go wrong. In fact, her back hump has gotten a little worse since she first came home and her right breast is also noticably smaller than her left which really bothers her. I think I will encourage her to have the rod clipped (why is it too long in the first place?)
    We have gone to a different doctor for the 2nd surgery because I now don't trust her 1st one, but honestly, I don't rust any of them now. Do you know you has the best reputation in Manhattan?
    Thanks for listening and for your help. Grace

  4. #4
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    Hi Grace...

    You need to be careful about what you read on this forum. I think the majority of people who seek out scoliosis internet forums are those who are in need of treatment. The people who had good outcomes from scoliosis surgery don't feel the need to participate. :-)

    As to why the rod was too long in the first place, you should talk to a surgeon. I THINK that it's fairly difficult to estimate just how long rods should be. I would guess that most surgeons who find that they've left a rod too long would remove the rod, clip it shorter, and put it back. But, that requires time that may not be available for one reason or the other.

    There are lots of great scoliosis surgeons in NY. The one whose name I hear most often is Dr. Oheneba Boachie. I know Dr. Boachie-Adjei to be a very caring man, and he has a great reputation. Others whose names I've heard quite a bit are Thomas Errico, Jean-Pierre Farcy, and Michael Neuwirth (who wrote The Scoliosis Sourcebook).

    Good luck to you and your daughter!

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
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    surgery

    I agree with Linda; most people on forums are looking for answers or have problems and need to vent.

    I personally participate to give hope that a successful result is probable, in good hands, and that the terrible deformity I had can be helped.

    I am 61 and had a revision 18 months ago. I have a new lease on life!

    Karen

    PS: Stick with the winners!

  6. #6
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    New Surgery

    Dear Linda: Cara went to the doctor yesterday after a week of increasing intense pain, and the Cat Scan shows a possible break in the tailbone from either the rod or a lose pin. (she saw an associate of her doctor who is on vacation until friday.) Tomorrow he will decide what to do and surgery sould be next week. She's on a very strong pain medicine which doesn't help much. Her doctor is Paul Kuflik in New York. Did you ever hear of this happening?

  7. #7
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    Hi...

    Nope, that's a new one for me. If you think the problem was caused by the original surgery, you might want to consider getting a second opinion before your daughter has more surgery. Just to be sure that the surgeon is doing the right thing this time.

    You can find a list of spinal deformity specialists here:

    http://www.srs.org/directory/

    Regards,
    Linda

  8. #8
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    rods different length

    Hi Linda, thanks for taking the time to write back. Cara went to the surgeon today. He's not sure until they operate but he thinks at the bottom of one rod something is lose or the fusion didnt take and something might have happened to her bone. So on May 4th he will operate and maybe replace some hardware. Its all very upsetting to my husband and I since the doctor cannot really know what has to be done until that day. They tried to inject anesthesia today just to relieve pain but that didnt work either. I don't know how she'll get through the next 2-1/2 weeks! Did you ever hear of Dr. Paul Kuflik at the Spine Institute at Beth Israel in Manhattan? I only pray that this will be her last surgery but somehow I am not feeling confident. Grace

  9. #9
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    Hi Grace...

    I can only imagine how upsetting it is to hear that your child needs more surgery.

    I know Dr. Kuflik's name from seeing it in the Scoliosis Research Society directory, but have never meet him nor known any of his patients. If you're really concerned, I would urge you to get a second opinion. There are lots of excellent scoliosis surgeons in Manhattan.

    Whatever you decide, I hope that the second surgery resolves the pain permanently.

    Regards,
    Linda

  10. #10
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    Dear Linda: Cara had her surgery on May 4th and he cut the rod and reinforced (but did not have to do over) the bottom section fused. The Dr. seemed very optomistic about those two things causing her pain and not a big deal to fix. But now 10 days later her incision seems to be infected and opened about an inch on the bottom. Shes on antibiotic and I put peroxide on it 2 times a day. Every other day the Dr. looks at it. He THINKS its superficial but if not she has to go into the operating room again!!! Needless to say she is very upset since we thought it would be behind her by now. Did you ever hear of this happening before? and what could cause it? Thanks for listening! Grace

  11. #11
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    Hi Grace...

    Post-op infections are one of the most common complications after spine surgery. It can be introduced during surgery, or come afterward from contamination. I hope that your daughter doesn't have to go back for more surgery.

    Regards,
    Linda

  12. #12
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    Dear Linda: Do you know if the infections are due to the revision surgery or just an infection in the incision? In other words if surgery is needed do they have to do the revision over? Thank, Grace

  13. #13
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    Hi Grace...

    Infections can be caused by the surgery, by contamination after the surgery, or even by introduction of an infectious agent into the body many years after the surgery. If the infection really takes hold beneath the implants, it's occasionally necessary to remove the implants. Mostly, if surgery is required at all, it's just to re-open the incision to get the wound cleaned up.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Regards,
    Linda

  14. #14
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    Dear Linda, Thanks for talking to me. Her surgeon took a blood test and said that there is no infection in the body. He sent us to a plastic surgeon now to see if he can heal the incision. Needless to say my daughter is very upset. Do you know of any websites reagding incisions that wou't heal? I don't know what to do! Grace

  15. #15
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    Hi Grace...

    I'm glad there's no infection. I don't know much about wounds not healing, you might try an internet search on "wound won't heal."

    Years ago, I had a problem with a wound that wouldn't heal on my belly. The plastic surgeon felt it was because there was insufficient blood supply to the area. He prescribed a cream that I applied every day, and a procedure where I applied a new gauze square every day. It took some time, but eventually healed completely.

    As far as complications, your daughter's is really very minor. However, I can understand how she might be sort of obscessed about it. I'm sure it will be over soon.

    Regards,
    Linda

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