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Thread: Chicago doc recommendation?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Chicago doc recommendation?

    I have posted on the revision board with no replies, so I am trying again here. I am a 41 year old woman who had Cottrel rods put in in 1989 for severe Schuermann's kyphosis. My initial surgery had good success, but now the curve has moved up my spine, and I am having terrible issues with my shoulders/neck area. I live near Indianapolis and have a doctor here, but he is very conservative. I am looking for a second opinion from someone who is not in the area and has experience in revision for kyphosis.

    I have read about Dr. Gupta here and have contacted him, but I'm wondering if there are any other docs in the area that people recommend. I'd also take recs for Indy area docs, too.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Hi "bad..." I'll recommend my surgeon-- Dr. Kim Hammerberg-- and the other scoli doc he works with, Dr. Christopher DeWald. They are located at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush-- part of Rush University Medical Center. They have both been "in the business" for a long time, are well published, etc. Dr. H was a partner with Dr. Ronald DeWald for years-- and Christopher DeWald is his son who joined in with them for awhile before his father retired. You can read about Dr. Hammerberg and look at his curriculum vitae at this Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush site:

    and at Rush University Med. Center:

    and at Spine-Health:

    You can easily check out Dr. DeWald at any of those sites as well. I'm not sure if he (or Dr. DeWald) is right for you or not, of course, but I appreciate his experience and felt my care at Rush after my surgery was excellent. A member who is not able to view forum posts right now but had Dr. Gupta for her surgeon this year really liked him as well. That's about it for the Chicago doctors with whom I am familiar by name or reputation. I think Dr. An also does scoli stuff at Midwest Ortho. I don't know anything else about him though, although I think they are all SRS members.

    A friend of mine sees scoli specialist(s) in Indy, but I'm not sure whom. She is beyond "repair" at this point... had fusion surgery without instrumentation a LONG time ago and she is too brittle and complex for further surgery now. If you really want, I could find out who she has seen in Indy. Best wishes as you search for a doctor that's a right fit for you. Susie
    Last edited by Susie*Bee; 10-10-2008 at 06:23 PM.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    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
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hi Allison,

    I'm curious about several things, 1) what degree was your Kyphosis before surgery; 2) how far are you fused and 3) how soon after surgery did the Kyphosis start to increase above your fusion?

    Sorry for all the questions. My daughter has both Kyphoscoliosis (both Kyphosis and Scoliosis) and she is fused from T3-L2 and is almost 4 years post-op. Her doctor noticed Kyphosis in the area just above the fusion within a few months after her surgery. He watched it very closely and at one point told us he needed to extend her fusion. We weren't ready to hear that at the time and watched and waited for a few months. Thankfully the Kyphosis hasn't increased. Now hearing your story, I'm concerned that she might have the same problem later in life that you are having. If we had allowed the fusion to be extended, it would have gone into her cervical area.

    Thanks for sharing. Good luck with finding a doctor.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    answers to your questions

    I'll try my best to answer your questions. I have Scheuermann's kyphosis. I was not diagnosed until I was 20 years old, due to the ignorance of my doctors. Before surgery, my curve was 108'. I had many issues from it, including respiratory problems because my lungs were so compressed. I am also fused T3-L2. I had my surgery in 1989, and for a really long time I had no problems. I don't even know for sure when it started getting bad enough for me to notice, but I am guessing about 8-10 years ago. It is just so bad now. I wear my hair longer so people don't see my neck. I am also in considerable amounts of pain. The thought of another surgery terrifies me, but on the days when the pain is so bad I can hardly move, I'd take it in a second. I'm a teacher, I love my job, and I want to be able to keep at it for a long time. I also have 3 active boys that I want to be able to play with for a long time.

    I wish your daughter the best. It sounds like she has a great doctor. I wish mine had kept track of my spine like hers is for her.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Lafayette, IN

    Chicago.. Dr Dewald

    I see Christopher Dewald, and I love him to death. He's honest, incredibly intellegent, and he really listens to what you have to say.

    Best wishes hun, let me know what you find out!!

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