Hello,

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?