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Thread: How Does Surgery Affect the Development of Back Muscles?

  1. #1
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    How Does Surgery Affect the Development of Back Muscles?

    I know that scoliosis causes some of the muscles in the back to be deformed, on one side some muscles are stretched and on the opposite side there not.
    One of the things that I was wondering is how these muscles would be effected after surgery, especially in some one with quite a lot of rotation at 28 degrees and a curve of 65.
    Would these muscles be able to develop properly after surgery or will they always look a bit odd?

  2. #2
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    Unhappy Muscles post-op scoliosis

    Hello ScolioDan I see you wrote this on the 16th but I just joined today After my 1st surgery, T2-S1, my back has lumps, bumps, muscle spasms & my right shoulder blade protrudes immensely with my right shoulder leaving me unable to stand up straight. My muscles & nerves are still in "pain" and am told always will be. My curve was 90* in the thoracic area. I hope your muscles 'treat' you better than mine.
    Take Care
    diane

  3. #3
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    Okay, thankyou for the response. If you don't mind saying could I ask how old you are?
    Also, what was the state of your back before the operation and did your surgeon tell you to expect these results?

  4. #4
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    dmlee55... T2-S1 ... WOW. That's a big one! What correction were they able to achieve?

    What you're describing is a prime example of muscle memory. It's easier for some to regain flexibility - and more balance - after surgery, but with severe curves (and the length of time the muscles "learned" a certain position) it can be tough to ever get them retrained and stretched after surgery. In a case where the fusion is exceedingly long, it's even more difficult because you can't actively stretch due to limited post-op mobility. I'm sorry you're in that kind of pain .

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoliDan
    I know that scoliosis causes some of the muscles in the back to be deformed, on one side some muscles are stretched and on the opposite side there not. One of the things that I was wondering is how these muscles would be effected after surgery, especially in some one with quite a lot of rotation at 28 degrees and a curve of 65. Would these muscles be able to develop properly after surgery or will they always look a bit odd?
    The difference in muscle strength and flexibility with an uncorrected (and even corrected) curve varies with everyone. Factors like sports you play, how much effort you put into stretching the "short side(s)", curve location, and even whether you're right hand or left hand dominant (when playing certain sports) compared to the direction of your curve can have an effect on muscle development.

    The short answer to your question is, yes ... with *exercise* (and possibly some other aids like Rolfing and myofascial release massage), you can lengthen and strengthen your "short side" muscles.

    But you can do that *now*.

    With surgery, even the muscles of a person corrected to 0 wouldn't just automatically become normal/equal without some work.

    My pre-op curve was a right thoracic 53, with rotation about the same as yours. I was corrected to 20 with fusion from T4-L1.

    At the time I had surgery, I was playing 8-10 softball games a week, and I'd played for 33 years . Of course all those years of play (as a right hander) led to a much stronger right side - BUT you'd also see that in a player without scoliosis.

    If I were a leftie, however, with a right thoracic curve, it stands to reason my right side muscle strength would not have become as prominent. I still wouldn't expect the left side bulk/development to be that of a left handed NON-scoliotic player. It's interesting to consider things *might* have been more balanced if I were left-handed ... the thought had never occurred to me ;-).

    Before surgery, no amount or type of massage could remedy the knots (like marbles) in the muscles on either side of my spine, and every therapist commented on the obvious right side dominance.

    Post-op, I've been getting fairly regular deep tissue and myofascial release massage, and even with a 20 residual curve, the knots have finally gone away. I really attribute this more to the great correction I got in rotation more than lateral correction: I don't have exact numbers for post op rotation, but I can tell you my ribcage is even in the front now (the right side stuck up before), and my shoulder is rotated back normally in the socket.

    My right side is still much stronger, but again, those muscles have been trained to be dominant for most of my life - and certainly during the years when my curve was developing.

    Out of curiousity, are you currently doing any type of exercise to stretch and strengthen what you consider underdeveloped muscles? Both yoga and Pilates are excellent choices to do so ...

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  5. #5
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    Currently I do back exercises for about 30 minutes a night that were given to me to do after I attended a four week course at a clinic called Scoliosis SOS.
    I think its because I have quite a lot of rotation but despite these exercises the left side of my back is very weak and flat and my right side has very prominent hump which when I feel it is clearly my rib cage.
    My question is really that if I had surgery and it was able to correct some of the curve and some of the rotation would it be easier, and would I be able to develop the muscles in my back so as to make it look more normal.
    I should possibly also say that I have something called "flat back" which I think also contributes to the appearence.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScolioDan View Post
    Currently I do back exercises for about 30 minutes a night that were given to me to do after I attended a four week course at a clinic called Scoliosis SOS.
    Like what type of exercises?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScolioDan View Post
    I should possibly also say that I have something called "flat back" which I think also contributes to the appearence.
    Although not always, flatback syndrome most often occurs in patients who have already had spinal fusions. Who diagnosed you with it?

    Perhaps you should query your doctor on the muscle development questions ... especially if you have some things going on other than scoliosis. It's difficult for anyone to predict your outcome from surgery even under "normal" circumstances. Good luck to you.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Last edited by txmarinemom; 11-22-2008 at 06:20 PM.
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Hi Dan

    Predicting the outcome of your muscles after a major invasive surgical procedure is not going to be a black or white answer. Just like Pam said, factors like what sports your involved in will have a specific result upon your muscle development.

    Its very important to 'stay in shape" and participate in activities that work all the muscle groups. It doesn't have to be a sport, it can be a work function. Herman Maier "The herminator" was an Olympic skier who in the summer in Austria worked as a brick mason. Now that's just an example, I'm not saying go lay bricks, but you should get the idea. Stay active!

    My muscles across my mid back are adjusting and balancing out finally at 10 months post. Several months ago I asked my surgeon about the 'imbalance" in my muscles and he told me that it will iron out in time, and its getting better. Its not a pain, its like the muscles are settling in and toughening up mainly in the center area by the spine. My "bear traps" the tight bindy feeling you get post surgery in the mid area are finally settling down.


    Hi Diane

    Welcome to the forum. We have the same levels fused, however a 90 degree curve is a doozy. Just wondering, when was your operation? Was it a 2 stage? I'm sorry about your pain, maybe it will mellow out with time.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 39...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
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    Okay so basically there was an imbalance in the muscles before surgery and by doing the correct activities after surgery they were able to improve.
    The exercises that I do are quite hard to explain but they involve using equipment like wallbars and activating certain muscles.

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