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Thread: Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Hi, i am a 22 year old female. i've seen 3 orthopedic surgeons to confirm that my lateral curvatures are about 16 & 19 degrees (YAY! never had back surgery!) but I'm sad (and frustrated) about my back hump b/c of the rotation of my rib cage. it's really not noticeable but I get so terrified when people hug me, or when any of my friends/family members/boyfriend touch my back. All the specialists say my scoliosis isn't getting worse but to me, I always thought scoliosis included not just the lateral curvatures but also the ventral and dorsal curvatures (i.e rib & back humps) and it frustrates me like no other that all 3 (in various locations) tell me my scoliosis is fine, it's only 18*--but MY BACK HUMP BOTHERS ME! My rib hump doesn't really bother me but it is my back hump. i don't know if it's b/c I've gotten to be more self conscientious or if my back got worse but now I refuse to wear a tanktop w/ a bra in public unless I have a jacket on, or my hair covers the straps b/c who knows when out of the blue someone sees why the left strap is diagonally downward pointing towards the right and the right strap is a bit shorter (b/c of the volume taken up by the hump). I've always felt sexier when i was able to reveal the spaghetti straps on the tanktops and this sucks ass (the only soln i found was to wear strapless bras w/ tanktops). But yeah, nobody notices--in fact, I usually like to model (for fun, nothing professional) and ppl are all jealous of my body (I'm really skinny) but i get so scared when ppl touch me or see me from the side b/c then i feel like they've discovered the deformed monster in me

    so my question is this--would thoracoplasty help me? I've read that ribs will grow back to the way they are naturally, but I've also read that if one does not have back surgery, then when the ribs grow back, they will go back to the way it naturally was (curved). Guys I'm so depressed about this (and I'm in the prime time of my life!!!).

    Everything on my right side is so tight. Last night was sad too--I was in front of the bathroom mirror and i tilted my head back and i noticed that one side of my neck was slightly longer than the other and it was a bit crooked to the right. Now, nobody notices this as long as I do not tilt my head back while standing up--hell, I didn't even notice this until 22 (almost 23) yrs into my life. are there any exercises to undo some of this???

    Finally, for someone like me with very minor lateral curves, would back surgery help me gain any height?? I'm really short (not even 5 feet) and the orthoped said I lost 2 inches due to my scoliosis (is this true with a 16* 19 degree curvature???) i know back surgery can undo curves but 1) usually ppl who get such surgeries end up w/ curvatures still greater than mine right now (so minor benefit for me??) 2) their spine becomes fused so they lose space between the vertebra (so loss in height) but I guess b/c their curvatures were so big that the height gain they got from the curve corrections were bigger than the loss in height from fusion. Is this correct?

    I'm so depressed and stressed out. I've been getting so many tension headaches lately as a result of my self-image

    sure lateral curves do not change much after growth stops but i don;t think this applies to back humps, right???

    again, you can't really tell but god, my left side is so beautiful w/ all the natural womanly sexy curves and the right side is just plain, very little (if any) womanly sexy curves left

    please offer me some suggestions on what my options are.

    PS--I'm going to see a specialist in January (he used to be the president of the National Scoliosis Reserach Foundation) to get my back hump measured--has anyone done this? is it worth it?
    Last edited by alex2006; 10-26-2006 at 05:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    With your small curves, you would gain almost no height if you had a scoliosis fusion. And, your hump should not continue to increase in size unless your thoracic curve also increases.

    A thoracoplasty would almost certainly reduce your rib hump significantly. However, you may have a problem finding someone willing to do it. And, if you're in the U.S., I'm thinking that most insurance companies would consider it cosmetic surgery.

    Sorry you're having a time dealing with this. Perhaps you should consider some of the non-surgical therapies that can help you hold your back straighter. For example, check out "Yoga for Scoliosis," Schroth, ASCO, Feldenkrais, etc. I believe that if you're really dedicated, and are willing to exercise every day, you can hold your back in such a way that you have little or no rib hump.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    At 22, you are still very young and impressionable. (I'm not patronizing you.) At the risk of sounding heartless, GET OVER IT. As long as there is not an issue of your health, leave it alone. It's not worth the risk of major surgery. What you see will always seem much worse to you than it will to others, and in some cases others won't even notice. If in 30 or 40 years from now, you look back on this, you'll wonder why it was such a big deal then. I'm sure that you know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover", well it's true. If people are turned off by something about the "package" you are in, then they're not getting to know you. You are not your body, but what's in your head and heart. What I would do is continue to monitor the curve for a while longer just to make sure it isn't progressing over time. This should be casual, say once every year or two. When you hit menopause, you are at risk for osteoporosis, and because you already have a curve, there is the possibility of it increasing then but it is slight. It is NOT worth having surgery for now. Assuming once again that there are no medical issues, surgical correction at this stage would only be considered cosmetic. Lindaracine is correct about this, and in fact that is probably the attitude of most reputable orthopods. In fact I would be suspicious of any surgeon who would be willing to do it, because of the potential risks of complications with surgery.

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