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Thread: Advice greatly needed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Ontario, Canada

    Unhappy Advice greatly needed!

    Hi! I just happened across this site and after reading just a few posts, I feel much less alone!
    I am only 26 years old and have been off work for the last month due to back pain. I had a harrington rod put in December 1992 to correct 45 and 60 degree curves. I don't know how many discs are fused but they start at L3. Now, the disc below that is starting to deteriorate. I feel the pain mostly in my right hip and down my right leg, so I'm using a cane to minimize pressure there. I have also developed bursitis in both hips and am trying cortisone shots to help that.
    I just returned from seeing a surgeon in Ottawa and he does not want to operate because then the lower discs will start to deteriorate as well. Fusion of those from the back AND the front doesn't sound like much fun anyhow.
    My problem now is how to help myself so that I can go back to work in September. I've tried 2 different physiotherapists and acupunture to no avail. Percocet has been my only salvation this school year, but narcotics are not a long term answer.
    Any suggestions for exercises or other strategies that might help? Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Hi Kelli,
    You are about where I was 4 years ago. I had 2 harrington rods put in in 1993 due to an S curve from about T1 to L1. I ruptured my discs below my fusion about 4 years ago. Last summer I underwent a laminectomy/discectomy to remove some disc material and had my facet joints 'shaved' and had bone spurring removed that was trapping my nerves. The spurring grew due to the facet joints being arthritic and my spine being unstable. I am now finally going to see a revision specialist in NYC because I have been dealing with debilitating pain and immobility for far to long. My surgery last summer didn't work because of the instability and the bone spurring and such has grown back and my discs are bad.I guess I am telling you this because I wouldn't want you to make the same mistakes I did. You have very good chances of your disc(s) pain to get better and it very well could. The only thing I wanted to tell you is to make sure you are seeing someone who specializes in scoliosis or revision scoliosis surgeries. Not saying that you need surgery, just saying that because I wasted ALOT of time and money and had unnecessary surgery because I needed to see someone who was on top of the problems after harrington rod fusions. I'm not trying to scare you at all I just don't want you to fall into the wrong hands.
    It's likely now that I will need my fusion extended to the sacrum when originally if I would have saw the right doctors from the first places I would have known more.
    Good luck to you and I hope that you can get some conservative treatment.
    28 years old. Fusion for Scoliosis at age 17 from T1 to L1 area with Harrington Rods. Surgery in Sept 2003 for degeneration of discs and bone spurring of the facet joints. (Been dealing with the pain and immobility for almost 4 years.) Found out now that the spurring is back and there is more of it along with disc bulging. Going to NYC on 6-17 to see revision doctor. Probably will be having fusion extended to S1.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    new jersey
    Dear Christine,

    I'm not sure I can answer this but doctors take would not have been wise for them to fuse you all the way down to he sacrum...they gambled and you lost...meaning your dic degeranted...this does not happen to all patients.....but it seems like in your case that when it does, it hurts bad.......
    i'm going into surgery with problems with my L4-5 and they want to fuse what happens to the osteoprosis that i have or the buldging dic that i have...will fusion correct this? i don't think i'm looking into surgery that may just cause another one in the future.

    Surgery June 28th 2004
    fused T4 -L3
    Hip graft
    Grown 1 1/2 inches
    25/o upper T 15/o
    53/o T 15/o
    37/o L 6/o
    Dr. Micheal Nuewirth
    New York City

    August 6, 2004
    Pulmonary Embolism
    complication from surgery

    January 2007 currently
    increasing pain at the T4/5
    point irratation heardwear

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