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Thread: Surgery not needed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2

    Question Surgery not needed?

    Hi, I'm new to these forums. I'm 18 yrs. old and I have a 59 degree thoratic curve (not sure about the lumbar curve, but it's just compensation anyways) I recently had an appointment with a specialist to talk about possible treatments at my stage. I was basically told that no surgeon would operate on me, since I am now 18 (and my spine has stopped growing), and because I don't have much discomfort from my back (I get occasional pain, but nothing too bad). I was told to just exercise more and tone up my back muscles. I'll admit that I am a little relieved that I don't have to think about surgery, and I'm not even sure that I would go through with it if it was an actual option, but I was a bit surprised from this response from my doctor....I thought that anyone with a curve over 50 degrees was suggested surgery. Has anyone else had this experience, or does anyone know if this is the usual thing that doctors recommend?? Thanks!
    (P.S. sorry for typing so much! )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    *nic*o*leo* Hi, and welcome to the forum. Well to be honest, and I always try to be, I would definately get another opinion, just to make sure. It wouldnt hurt anyway eh!

    Macky
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    36
    Hi,

    I agree with Macky, with a 59 degree curve I would definitely get a second opinion, because most curves over 50 tend to keep progressing even after you have stopped growing. And the fact that they said that no surgeon anywhere would operate on you makes me a little weary about how much this surgeon really knows. A 59 degree curve is pretty severe and I think that this surgeon would have at least suggested that you keep checking your curves every year to see if it is progressing, as I said it's pretty certain that curves over 50 will progress.

    I am 19 and my biggest curve is 48 and have been offered surgery as my curve has progressed even after I have stopped growing and will most likely continue to do so. I know the thought of sugery is scary for sure, but to ensure that you get the treatment that is best I definitely suggest getting another opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    877
    Nic,

    I agree with the others. That comment made by the ortho makes no sense. I would get another opinion as quickly as possible. I doubt I would allow my daughter to leave her teens with a curve of that size. Chances are it will keep progressing. I have heard of many women in their 20's who are dealing with surgeries with jobs, husbands and babies in their lives. They wish they would have taken care of the problem when they were still in their teens.

    I told my daughter that if she needs surgery, we will get it for her while she is still a teen before her life gets really complicated with adult responsiblities.

    Please get another opinion.

    Melissa
    Melissa
    From Bucks County, Pa., USA

    Mom to Matthew,19, Jessica, 17, and Nicole, 14
    Nicole had surgery with Dr. Dormans on 9/12/07 at Children's Hospital of Phila. She is fused T-2 - L-3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for your responses! I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this. It definitely couldn't do me any harm to get a second opinion... I will try to look into this more. ~Nic

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    25

    Better late than never

    Hi, I'm 19 w/ a 59T curve...my only option is surgery and I'm having my operation in December. Most curves above 50 tend to worsen. I know I'm a bit late with my post but just keep getting checkups every 4-6 months. This way you can see if your curve is progressing. My curve progressed 5 degrees in 4 months, so I know it'll continue to worsen!... hope this was helpful (if it wasn't too late)
    glenda

    54T
    Posterior spinal Fusion--Dec. 12, 2007
    Fusion: T5-L3

    10T and Loving it!!

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