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Thread: Breathing Trouble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Breathing Trouble

    I have curvature of 21 degrees and I was told a will not require a brace because I am done growing. I notice I have trouble breathing as in not being able to take big breaths or running out of breath quickly. Does anyone else experience this? What are some options I might have?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    The first thing is to ask when were the last set of x-rays? The next thing is to see a pulmonologist about this and see if you can get a pulmonary function test. Before doing that, I would suggest that you get another set of x-rays to make sure that you curve has not progressed. If it has, and you are having trouble with breathing that is due to the progression of the curve, they will probably want to do the pulmonary function test either prior to any surgery, or to help evaluate whether you need surgery.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I can't tell by your name if you are male or female. Sometimes but not always there is another skeletal condition associated with scoliosis called pectus excavatum. My son had both. With PE the chest/sternum area is sunken or concave . Sometimes slightly sometimes more severely.It was once considered only a cosmetic "defect". PE can definitely cause breathing and endurance problems and sometimes pain. Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    There are medical papers out there, somewhere, about how the breathing issues with scoliosis start well before (for most people) the lungs start getting constricted by the skeletal structure. They haven't found out why exactly (I think), but it is sort of seen as a mild side effect of scoliosis by quite a number of doctors who specialize in scoliosis. However, many doctors think that it is untrue. Just like some doctor don't think scoliosis can ever progress more then 3 degrees per month.

    I found taking magnesium helps me with the breathing, (don't take it with the mixed calcium though). It got to the point that I couldn't walk up 2 flights of stairs without being totally out of breath. Then I took high doses of magnesium for something else, and I could run up those stairs 2 months later.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    You also must check out any heart problems. Difficulty breathing can come damaged heart valves.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Second the heart valve check advice

    And the advice to see if your curve is still at 21*.

    It is my understanding that even larger curves, say up to least the forties, and even in the thorax, are not capable of constricting the lungs.

    The reason I know this is my one kid was having some breathing problems and the answer was not the T40* curve. We didn't figure out the answer before the problem went away.

    Good luck.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine

    "We are all African."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Question breathing trouble

    My sixteen year old, who has had spinal fusion with rods, is fighting stubborn bronchitis this winter. She does have pectus excavatum. I would like to know how to go about seeing if the pectus excavatum is causing the bronchitis, as, despite, drugs, and nebulizer prescribed by our family physician, she cannot seem to shake it. The doctor dealing with her back said this wasn't his specialty. I'm stymied at where to start, first problem. Second problem is we are both on survivor's benefits, living in a state with no high risk insurance, our Cobra has timed out, and she does not qualify for the state's children's healthcare program, due to our combined benefits.

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