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Thread: 2 different MD opinions, long term effects?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Border of MN/WI

    2 different MD opinions, long term effects?


    I am very thankful for finding this website and this forum. I was dx with scoliosis in 1994, put in a brace for the next two years but my curve continued to increase and therefore had surgery in 1996. My Harrington rods are very long, basically the span of my back up to the base of my neck. After the surgery I was amazingly able to almost forget this part of my life as I had absolutely no pain or discomfort. I had always felt so lucky and appreciative. 2 years ago in November 2004 I was in an auto accident where my car was totaled and of course the air bag was released. When I stepped out of the car I took a deep breath and my back this horrific "cracking" noise (it didn't hurt though, just sounded really bad J) when I started having pain in the upper left portion of my back. An x-ray revealed a fracture in my vertebrae here and a bony spur to left of it, the fusion remained completely solid. My MD told me that if the pain was that bad he could shave off the bone spur but this was nothing to worry about. The pain wasn't significant enough and I was not ready to be opened up again so I took this as wonderful news and decided to move on with my life, I could deal with the amt. of pain I was having. My husband and I have since decided that we are ready to start are family and I was very concerned what a pregnancy and/or carry and lifting a child when their all cute and chubby would do. I made another appt. to ask these questions and the MD told me something different, that he would take the top metal instrumentation out, he didnít even talk about the bone spur. I was upset that it seemed as if he hadn't read my chart to refresh his memory and that I was told to call to schedule surgery without knowing is he going to do anything with my fracture/spur or just take the metal out. My parents felt I should assume he would but to call just to make sure, I was not comfortable wit the fact I had to do that. I decided to go for a 2nd opinion. This MD was very surprised that my other MD had not given me an MRI and basically had me schedule one for that day. The MRI showed that the cracking was due to arthritis and compression of the vertebrae in my upper back and neck. He felt surgery was not the answer but rather physical therapy, specifically cervical traction. I am thankful that I got the 2nd opinion but of course I am now not sure what to do. I feel that I should be able to trust my initial back MD as he did my surgery and is part of a renowned institute. What I think I may do is bring my MRI to him and ask why he hadn't scheduled me for one and to see what his opinion is after seeing the MRI. What do you think? Also from what I understand about arthritis from compressed vertebrae is that over time the cartilage will completely wear away and my discs will start to degenerate. This is my main fear. I am only 25 years old. Should removing the metal or traction help this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Fernley, Nevada
    Do your docs deal with ADULT scoli patients? If not that is whom you need to be seen by, before anyone does anything to you. Chiropractors/ family practice docs/ and a lot of orthopedic docs DO NOT DEAL with adult scolis. If you do a search on this site, you may find a doc in your area that can give you a more accurate opinion on your back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Kelly...

    I would not allow anyone to remove my implants without a specific reason to do so. You need to be seen by a specialist who has a lot of experience in treating adults with prior scoliosis fusions. You might try Glenn Buttermann in Mahtomedi or Joseph Perra in Minneapolis.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I didn't know 25 yr olds had bone spurs...

    Kelly, you might want to see my new post called Kudos!!!! to Dr. Douglas Slaughter, just so you can gage TOP-notch care of a patient, and their experience....

    I agree about an adult-scoli doc, as they will have "seen it all" by now.

    My doc is not an "adult scoli" specialist that I know, but he surely must have experience at seeing folk like me, 30 yrs post-op and worried. I'm not anymore.

    Seems strange for you to be rushing into a surgery.. our situations are different but Slaughter carries a conservative approach. He does not take surgery lightly. that is what was conveyed.

    Back to the guy or gal you trust? What was offered for your pain? My doc had a number of options. He wasn't going to leave me there. Fortunately my situation improved on its own. Herniated disc. Severe disc degeneration. Cause? Age, and who knows. I believe my doctor. It has nothing to do with scoli. Good luck on having kids! I am so happy for you!
    Traction at 13, body cast 1 mos., Milwaukee, first plastic (severe allergy, abdomen skin burst, watery) then leather. Harrington Rod @ 15, 9 mos body cast, hips up. 9 more mos being careful and protective. Degenerated disc C4-5 I think well above the rod. Degenerated disc below the rod now? Probably.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Has anyone had experience with this Dr.?

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience with a Dr. Kurz in Southfield, MI
    He works out of Beaumont Hospital. I believe he deals only with adult scoliosis patients.

    I will be seeing him for a checkup and checking into surgery. Would like any
    information I can find about him.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hi CK, I always have been led to believe that because of the fusion, the discs below and above that, are made to work harder and as the years go by they start to degenerate In my case it is the discs below.

    Just another thought.

    Kelly, I do agree with Linda, that is great advice. All the best with having your planned children. I have two sons, 31 and 35 and had absolutely no trouble at all with delivery.

    God bless,
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

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