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Thread: 43 year old-Surgery?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    43 year old-Surgery?

    My name is Linda I am 43 with a 40degree lower 31 degree upper curve. I have been on a roller coaster ride with this curve since the birth of my children in my late 20's. Finally I have a L5 herniation L4 bulge L3 and 2 DDD. In addition spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis. I was told 2 years ago by my gp that my curve was not changing, yesterday I was told by a ortho that I can expect 1- 1 1/2 degrees per year and that he would be reluctant to fix the stenosis in my lower left lumber without fixing the real problem, my scoliosis. I am self employed and the sole supporter in my home (heart disease for my 47 yr old hubby) I live with pain daily, the pain radiated down my left leg and can only stand for little amounts of time. I tried non surgical spinal decompression for the disks, but am discouraged because the pain in the left side still persists. Was your symptons anything like this? I too have tried to stay healthy however my job (own 2 retail shops) required alot of bending and my became lax from the pain in the herniated disk. Anyone have any of these symptoms or had surgery in there 40s?Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Surgeons usually operate on curves that are over 50 degrees. Your curves seem not at this moment in time bad enough for surgery. I guess your surgeon will probably want to avoid doing anything unless you run into trouble. I think surgeons take a less 'aggressive' approach with adults than teenagers and try and avoid surgery if possible. You are not too old for surgery but the risks do increase with age as does the recovery period afterwards. I don't have medical training but the above is what I understand to be basic info concerning scoliosis.

    Scoliosis is a complicated condition and you are best treated by a scoliosis specialist who has experience of dealing with adults with the condition. A general orthopaedic surgeon is not usually equiped to deal fully with the condition.
    Last edited by Frosty; 01-24-2007 at 03:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    Mississippi
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    37

    Unhappy 43 and surgery?

    Linda, I am 49. I have lived in constant misery for most of my life since I was born with the disease. Now, I would give anything to back up to your age and be able to have the surgery. You must do what you can to keep up with kids, grandkids, wild husbands, etc. Believe me, I know. I am stuck in this Boston Brace for the remainder of my life now. I wore the milwaukee brace from 2-19. They told me the curves would not get worse.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2005
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    Chicago north suburb
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    I too wish I could go back 20 or even 10 years and have this surgery. Now I'm nearing 60 and just the thought of going through this at my age scares me to death. But unlike so many of you younger people that I'm reading about in this forum, I never had pain or discomfort of any kind until just the past couple of years; and even now the pain does not keep me from working or doing most daily chores, but I am noticing more and more limitations, and I know it's only going to get worse.

    Chris

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    BC Canada
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    thanks for the reply, ortho said he would operate at 40degree because of the stenosis, the fear is the damage already to the disks and the nerve from the stenosis... there is also talk of perhaps a lower sacrum area curve as the left leg pain is on the opposite side than my pain should be for my visible lower curve.Zig zag? Confused yet? I am... Mri should show forminal stenosis and why it is on the wrong side...do people go on to live normal painless lives after the surgery? Thanks

  6. #6
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    Jul 2005
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    California
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    ok...sorry to butt in here seeing as I am only 19 but I have to comment. I recently had surgery (4 weeks ago) for a herniated disc between L4-L5 and a lumbar curve that was unfused after my first surgery and continued to progress. I did not have stenosis, but can comment on the surgery for the other parts.
    At age 43, you are still really young and you shouldn't have to live in pain for the rest of your life (or even 49 debigolebiwski), there are still options available to treat your scoliosis, you just have to find the right doctor with the right treatment options. Fusion of your lumbar spine is probably one of the options that will come up at some point to correct the curve. If/when they do the fusion they can also do a procedure called a discectomy where they cut out the intervertebral disc (either herniated, bulging, DDD, etc.) and replace it with bone graft or a metal mesh cage that has bone graft in it. This can free up some of what is on the nerves and decrease pain.
    The recovery is longer the older you get and you have a lot of life ahead of you...don't let your pain rule it for you. Get a second or third opinion if you need to and make sure that you are comfortable with the decision that you make.
    Good luck,
    Mandy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
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    Thanks all.........

    Gosh it's so hard to think about so many people suffering from this "painless" disease! When I was only a teenager, wearing the milwaukee brace never slowed me down. I never worried about what other people thought and I never cared what other people thought. I lived life to the fullest and loved every minute of it. My last visit to my spine specialist at Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tn, the doc spoke of going ahead and having the full surgery. My mom said that naturally, since this was a painless disease and the doctor had given his "guarantee" that the disease wouldn't change after my bones had stopped growing, mom and dad refused to put me through the agony of surgery. So, when I was young, I was misled. Now, I am in constant pain, every day. But, I come to this forum and I have found so many people who are suffering daily just as I am.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
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    Chris,deb,linda &all-I am almost 47, & had the surgery this past summer... I wore the milwaukee Br. as a teen & was'nt checked again until 43...I thought nothing could be done. I was told, at age 43, that it was too risky, 2 operations & all & that I had to live with this 'deformity'...won't mention the surgeon's name in NJ! Then I was guided by several 'signs'(& I do believe it!) to go to NYC to a surgeon there. I was scared to death to hear those same words...'you have a deformity' which made me feel like I should be in Ripley's believe it or not....
    thk god it was a great appmt even though I cried through the whole thing...I was told by the surgeon that he could do it...he sounded very confident & I my instincts told me to go with it....made the date 3 weeks later..
    I can't have regrets because I did'nt go sooner...it is what it is...& now I feel like a new person. It really has changed me...I feel healthier,I breath better,& cosmetically, I can't tell you how great I feel! I never thought much about the cosmetic part until right before the surgery. I was more concerned about my organs & such...But now I feel so much better about myself & love to buy clothes.Now I feel great every day!
    http://lynnebackattack.blogspot.com
    fused T-11 to L-5 for 95 thorocolum curve
    @HSS in nyc/Dr. Baochie/Dr. Kim

  9. #9
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
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    LEL.......thanks for the post

    LEL, your post really helped the way I feel. I'm 49 now, and cosmetically, I never realized that people really noticed my curve (I guess I was fooling myself) but the pain now has gotten terrible. I know my husband gets really disgusted with me and I honestly fear he will eventually leave me because of these constant pains. I don't have the money to go to New York for surgery, though. But I have read all of the wonderful things that you've posted here about that doctor. God Bless You. You must be a really strony individual.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
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    deb---my friends(good ones) said they did'nt notice my hump before surgery....now that is gone,pretty much...they say they did notice how bad my back looked....they are all so polite-right??? It was my sisters who pushed me to be checked again.....
    I honestly can tell you that I used to just about close my eyes on changing clothes, if I was by the mirror.....It reduced me to tears, but I had a big deformity which has been greatly corrected.
    I'm sorry to hear you are in pain. 49 is not old, you should get checked...what is your degree of curve?? Ly

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