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Thread: Scoliosis surgery in 1978

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Move to Miami, FL in 1997 ( I regret it)
    Posts
    5

    Unhappy Scoliosis surgery in 1978

    Hello all:
    I just became a member of this forum and it's been quite interesting. I had Scoliosis surgery in 1978 at the age of 13 at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in NYC. My surgeon was Dr. Hugo A. Keim. I don't remember at all the degrees of my curvature or which type was it. I do however remember being in the hospital for 3 weeks and wearing a body cast for 9 months. I had the fusion done and have the Harrington rod also. My first pregnancy gave me a lot of pain in my back but my second was great. Had vaginal birth with NO EPIDURAL (OUCH). Both my daughters have Scoliosis as well but very very minimal. No treatment needed so far, but I do take them for follow-up every six months. Lately I have been expiriencing the worse pain ever on my lower back as well as painful left side of my neck and my left arm goes numb or cramps daily, not to mention a stiff neck that lasted 2 weeks. I had an MRI done, but the closest appt that I can get for an orthopedic surgeon is in mid Feb., but the lower lumbar MRI is all blurry due to the rod. Anyway, about 17 years ago the bottom part of my rod came loose and my doctor told me that if I wanted I could remove "the hardware". I was afraid of doing and now I was wondering if all this discomfort and pain was due to that. I have 2 appts in Feb., one with an orthopedic surgeon and one with a neurologist, but in the meantime I am going crazy will all kinds of thought about this. HELP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    Oh dear, girls1706 I know where you are coming from exactly. I am so very pleased that you have joined the forum as I know from all the support and information, and friends I have made, it has really been a godsend.

    Wish I could help, it is so hard isnt it because you know the bottom part of your rod is loose. I will pray for you, I bet you wish you could have got an earlier appointment. Could your ring your normal doctor maybe and explain that you are so very worried and in pain and could he ring the specialist and try to get you in a bit earlier. They do that over here, and it does help.

    God bless,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
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Move to Miami, FL in 1997 ( I regret it)
    Posts
    5
    My original doctor has already retired. All I know is that he's somewhere in Tampa now and doing other things but being a surgeon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    Welcome! I had surgery in 1982...this past year was my first year of extreme pain...lower back and radiating down my neck and right side! I went to chiropractors (not the right thing to do I later found out)...luckily the chiro referred me back to my physician...to make a long story shorter...I had a full body x-ray done and found that the scoliosis has progressed unbelievably (with the rod) and have herniated discs both above the fusion(causing arm and neck pain) and below the fusion. I also waited months for appointments...but there really is not much the docs can do until I consent and brave another surgery.

    Hope your results are better than mine
    But still ALWAYS SMILIN'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Harrington rods?

    I worked with Dr. Keim in the 70's at CPMC. At the time, Harrington rods were the state of the art. Unfortunately they made, the spine too straight from the side (saggital plane); this meant the normal lordosis was lost allowing for excessive wear and tear in the lumbar area resulting in "flat-back syndrome".

    There is relief for this. Don't waste time seeing a regular otho. An adult scoliosis specialist, who has experience with prior fusions/instrumentations, can help best.

    There is info dedicated to such problems:

    http://www.scoliosislinks.com/FlatbackontheInternet.htm
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Move to Miami, FL in 1997 ( I regret it)
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the information...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Move to Miami, FL in 1997 ( I regret it)
    Posts
    5
    Isthe solution to the problem? It sounds like we have the same problem, but mine is on the left side.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2

    Harrington rod

    Hi, new to this also, I had my surgery in 1975 at Vanderbilt in Nashville TN. I was 15 at the time. I was at 72 degress and now I'm at 32. I didnt have any problems other then the usual pains. But now that I'm getting older my hip is just killing me, it has for 3 months now. the doctor has said they might try needle therapy, does anyone know what that is?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi...

    There are all types of injections. You can read about many of them here:

    http://neckpatient.com/education/basics_dt_ssep.htm

    If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend that you find a doctor who has a lot of experience in treating patients with old scoliosis fusions. You'll find a lot of people in similar situations on this forum:

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Flatback_Revised/

    They can lead you to the right specialist if you haven't found him/her yet.

    Regards,
    Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Cameo...

    And welcome.

    It sounds like you may not be seeing the right doctors. Where do you live?

    Regards,
    Linda

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