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Thread: Having surgery to correct flatback. Have questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408

    Having surgery to correct flatback. Have questions.

    Hi everyone -

    I used to frequent these boards while preparing for my first surgery back in 2006. I don't see a lot of familiar names anymore so maybe I should take a moment to reintroduce myself. My name is Brandi and I had A/P spinal fusion surgery and a laminectomy in May '06 (as outlined in my signature). Recovery was full of ups and downs but all in all I recovered from surgery pretty well. Unfortunately, I have a fixed sagittal imbalance (flatback) and have made the decision to have revision surgery on February 5, 2009. I met with my surgeon, Dr. William Lauerman, at Georgetown Univ. Hosp. yesterday and he explained that he would do a pedicle subtraction osteotomy (not sure at which levels) and would extend the fusion up to T-11 or T-12. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has had this procedure before and would love to hear your story, what to generally expect, etc. He also told me that this would be a posterior only procedure, which I was happy to hear. But, after doing some reading and research, it would appear that most osteotomies for flatback correction are done A/P. Could someone explain why he would only operate posteriorly?

    Thanks for reading.
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Hi Brandi...

    I'm not sure that your statement about osteotomies mostly being performed A/P. You'll find a thorough article on osteotomies for flatback, here:

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...rticle858.html

    While I think it's good to be concerned about the procedure, I would personally opt for having posterior only surgery if I thought it had a good chance of being successful. You might want to ask Dr. Lauerman how many similar surgeries he's done, and what the outcomes have been.

    You may also want to sign up for this YahooGroups list. Most of the participants have been through what you're going through.

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Flatback_Revised/

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Hi Brandi,

    Nice to hear from you again, though I'm sorry you need more surgery. Posterior-only surgery sounds REALLY good to me. Personally, I would never let anyone open up my torso again, no matter what. Let us know how it all goes.

    Best,
    Chris
    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
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Thank you Linda. You are a wellspring of information. I appreciate it.

    Chris - So good to see you on here! I hope you have/are recovering welll. Take Care!
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    cranbury, nj
    Posts
    2

    Angry flatback

    Hi,
    I have had a pre-surgical consult with a Dr Bochie in Hospital of special surgery in New York and he intends to open with a posterior incision.
    Previously, I also had an A/P fusion in 2005, laminectomy in 2004, Hardware removal in 2006... and now I have been diagnoised with Flat Back syndrome.
    Are you currently on Pain Medication? I have been prescribed Morphine Sulfate 4x a day 30mg and sometimes I still have achey pain and cannot sleep. So they added ambein CR. I am just tired of all these drugs and one more surgery may require more drugs.
    Just venting my fustration
    cheers
    Meg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Meg -

    I am still taking a low dose of MS-Contin due to pain in my mid and low back. I work full-time and by the time I get home in the evening, I'm spent. This is not how I want to live my life. I hear you on the more surgery, more pain meds front and I'm sure you're correct. However, try to keep things in their proper perspective. No surgery certainly means taking meds, right? I hope to have surgery, be better for it and ideally be off all pain medication. But, I accept the possibility that this may never happen for me. I have friends on this forum who have had surgery with Dr. Boachie. It doesn't get much better than him. It sounds like you've made the decision to have surgery to correct your flatback. Trust the decision you've made and if you need to vent or talk about it, we'll be here.

    Take care,
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    774

    Dr. Boachie

    Ever since I have been following the posts in this forum (for more than three years now), I have not read of anyone who has had surgery by Dr. Boachie come back to report the need for additional surgery whether for pseudoarthroses, loosening hardware, flatback syndrome or any other problem. This doctor’s reputation surely commands respect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    774
    Has anyone heard from Brandi since her revision surgery?

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