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Thread: Weight loss and height increases!?!?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    From seattle WA

    Weight loss and height increases!?!?

    I'm 22, going in for surgery in 6 weeks, I have 5-10 extra pounds I've been working on losing, but I'm not sure if I should bother.

    Did you lose weight after surgery?

    Also, I am quite muscular, I usually do quite a bit of weight lifting, but I'm wondering if maybe I should cut back on that and focus more on extending my cardio workouts.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    On a sidenote, I was told I could expect to get at least 3" taller post op, which is really exciting since I'm the shortest of my 3 sisters, but based on what I've been reading, it doesn't seem like most people grow that much, How much taller did you get?

    Thank you!
    2001 T-sp 58* L-sp 55*
    2007 T-sp 64* L-sp 67*
    Surgery Dec. 21 2007
    Posterior fusion T3 to L3

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Hi rosie-- I don't think you should concern yourself with losing weight right now. Many people lose weight post-operatively. I don't think I have, but I think that is unusual. I don't have any information about what kind of exercise regime would be most helpful, but I have read widely enough to think that a 3 inch gain in height would be extraordinary rather than typical. I wouldn't get my hopes up that far if I were you.
    Age 33
    40 degree diagnosed 1993; 70ish degree 2007
    Fusion to T9 to L5 October 3, 2007 with Dr. Kurt Von Rueden
    Corrected to 8 degrees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    near Philadelphia
    I wouldn't bother trying to diet at this point, mostly because you need all the calories you can get to help your body prepare for the surgery. I gained 5 pounds in preparation for surgery and lost that plus 5 more. I think that's about the average weight loss for most people....I've gained some back but I think my body is using most of the calories I consume for healing. As far as exercise goes, it sounds like you're in good shape and you should keep doing whatever makes you feel the best.

    How much you gain in height depends on how big a correction you get and if your discs stay intact. I had a huge correction but only gained an inch. Most people gain between 1 and 2 inches.
    Last edited by Singer; 11-10-2007 at 06:42 AM.
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    My advice is not to diet. It is important for the healing process that you have a healthy diet prior to your surgery-- and then continue to eat healthily during recovery. That's what my doctor said too. Most people do lose weight. In the book by David Wolpert, Scoliosis Surgery: the Definitive Patient's Reference, he says he lost 2 pounds a day for 14 days. I think that is at one end of the spectrum. I am at the other end. I can look at food and gain-- have a really low metabolic rate. I ended up gaining 8 lbs. in the hospital-- even though I had developed an ileus and wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything for 5 days. Some people are lucky with weight, others not. You sound like you are pretty fit, so don't worry about the 5-10 lbs. That book says your body uses your reserves for energy to do the healing. Just eat sensibly and you'll be fine. I agree with shegiles and singer not to count on a huge height increase. I gained about an inch, but am still about an inch (plus a little) shorter from what I was at one time. Just think--you'll end up straighter and taller. That's what counts! Best wishes!
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Staten Island New York
    I lost 18 pounds after surgery and I was a rail. Before the surgery I worked out cardio and weights 6 days a week and after surgery losing all that weight I felt like I lost everything I work so hard on. I gained back my weight but my body is not the same I had more muscle and less fat. Hopefully I will get as strong as I was before, I would be in better shape now if I didn't have a stah infection (from the surgery) and still have trouble with my lower back so I have to get surgery again. To prepare for my second surgery I am exercising as much as I can and eating healthly. I suggest you continue doing cardio and weight lifting and do many core exercises because your going to need those core muscles strong for recovery. Best of luck to you.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I didn't try but I lost 10lbs prior to surgery (nerves I guess). After surgery I gained 2 inches in height (the tallest i've ever been since JH) and lost another 15lbs. My Dr. keeps telling me to gain weight but I have very little appetite and I am still in the normal range for my new height so i'm not too worried.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    hello rosie-

    I gained an inch and a half, and the weight melted off after surgery. That only lasted a few days after I got home, and I was back to the old slow metabolism again. I would keep on exercising for your mind as well as your body, but I would sure not overdo the weight training and hurt something else. ( I almost did that pulling weeds before my surgery) Your protein requirements will go way up, too..... hang in there ... Lisa
    Lisa age 47
    T curve 69 degrees
    L curve 40 degrees more or less - compensatory
    fused to from T-3 to sacrum
    anterior and posterior surgeries completed June 1, 2007
    pushing hard in recovery !!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Boston area

    I tried to drop about 10 pounds before prior to surgery because many years of numbness and pain had substantially restricted my activity level and had resulted in unwanted pounds. I was insulted to learn in Rehab that I had not lost even an ounce after being on ice chips for many days following each surgery. Once I got home, food and the smell of food became obnoxious to me. Believe me when I tell you that it was a totally new experience for me! I've lost about 25 pounds since July. My appetite has returned at this point. I'm eating a normal/healthy diet, and taking vitamins again.

    Dr. Rand never made any promises about how much height I might get back. He told me his concerns were to stabilize my spine and reduce my pain level and added height would be a bonus. Imagine my delight and surprise when I first stood up and discovered I had regained 3 inches!! Unfortunately, I can now see dust in my house in places I could never see before.

    Good Luck!
    Two-stage A/P fusion T6-S1 with lumbar implants June 12 & June 27, 2007 at age 57
    S curve 75+ degrees with kyphosis
    Now 45 degrees and standing 3 inches taller!
    Dr. Frank Rand, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston

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