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Thread: Symptoms of an increasing lumbar curve?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Symptoms of an increasing lumbar curve?

    I was wondering what those who eventually learned that their lumbar curve had increased, felt as "symptoms".

    I am fused from T5 to L2 (Harrington rod, circa 1990), but have been having a lot of problems with my lower back lately. A CAT scan has confirmed that my L5-S1 is herniated and is pushing on the S1 nerve, but I also have this feeling of being "crooked" - not sure how to explain it, but I feel sort of off-balance. I'm wondering if it's from my herniated disc and all it's done to my body or from my scoliosis progressing. I'm also wondering if they would have picked up on a curve progressing from a CAT scan (nothing in the 2 sentence report I got from it mentioned scoliosis, but I know that sometimes if you don't ask them to look for something, they don't).

    Thanks in advance for any help with this.
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    288

    curve progression.

    What you are experiencing is probably a general degeneration of the unfused vertebrae. Its the same problem that I have. My fusion goes to L3. I never thought of it as a curve progression. On the other hand, recently (meaning the past 2 years) my family says that I appear to lean to my left. And my MRI says that I have a scoliosis at L3L4.

    I am having my fusion extended this summer, to correct it.

    p

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101
    Hi PNUTTRO,

    Thanks for your reply. I am starting to think I'm having quite a bit of degeneration now below the fusion (particularly at L5/S1 where I have my herniation) - I have the feeling of bones knocking into each other more often. I guess the remedy for this is to extend the fusion? Good luck with your surgery!

    - Sarah
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329

    Question for Pnuttro & Sarah

    Hi there. Are you experiencing pain in your hips/buttocks? I am having so much trouble with my low back now (1981 Harrington Rod)and in constant pain. I have an appt. with Dr. Boachie for July 3rd. I did go to him almost six years ago but my back is so much worse now. It feels/looks like my left side is different than my right. I'm not leaning forward so I don't think it's flatback. I'm just curious what your experiencing. Thanks for your time. Lynn
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101
    Hi Lynn,

    I definitely was having a ton of trouble with my hips and buttocks a couple of months ago. My physiotherapist thought that it was a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve (which runs through the buttock and down the leg) and this was confirmed by a CT scan. My doctor also thought it might be a problem with my SI joint, but my CT scan didn't show any problems there. I've found physiotherapy very helpful in diagnosing and helping relieve the various problems I've had with my back over the past nine years, but this time physiotherapy wasn't solving the problem, so I got the CT scan.

    You might want to explore either physiotherapy or getting some imaging of the area. I've learned that discs tend to degenerate beneath the fusion, so you could have herniated disc(s). Good luck and hope you find some relief from the pain!

    - Sarah
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

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