Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Hair Loss

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956

    Hair Loss

    Ok I'm starting to freak out. I read about hair loss after the surgery, and I did expect it. I don't' think it started with me for at least a month after surgery. But now...OMG. Sunday will be my 5 month post op date, and it's still falling out like nobody's business. My hairdresser (last month) said it isn't bad, but how much hair can one lose without me starting to look like a bald lady??? It also doesn't help that my hair is very fine. I've just always had a LOT of it, but now as I said, I'm starting to FREAK.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    Hey Debbe....I hear ya on the hair loss thing. Ive noticed that Im loosing a little bit more than usual. In the shower when I run my fingers thru my hair w/the conditioner to get some tangle out, I get a decent size clump of hair in bewteen my fingers. And when I brush thru it after....yikes! Im also noticing lots more grey too. Ive aquired a few strands over the last couple of years, here and there, and now that Im doing my hair again, Ive noticed alot more. Arent we lucky?!?!?!?!??!
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    213
    Hi Debbe,

    To rule things in or out & to get to the bottom of it, do see a doc (it doesn't need to be your surgeon, just your GP / family doctor). That said, to give you some ideas - there are two common causes, post-op - malnutrition or thyroid problems.

    On the first front, hair is especially sensitive to low levels of protein. The thing is, even several months post op, your body is likely still using a LOT of protein & many other nutrients to repair itself. It can take months to show up because it takes heck of a lot of depletion before the effects start showing outwardly. In fact, hair is one of the last things in the body to suffer when the body is low on protein, so if this is the problem, it needs to be addressed quite quickly (i.e., see your doc in case!). Unless you have any medical conditions that would contraindicate doing so, you might try increasing your protein intake - that might mean protein / nutrition drinks; much increased intake of protein via grains, nuts & pulses; &/or increased intake of animal products (esp. red meats). Esp. the last option would also help to increase levels of other vitamins & minerals that get used a lot with healing - e.g., B vitamins, zinc, iron, healthy fats, etc.. All of that is presuming that you're absorbing nutrition adequately, & just not getting a high enough intake. If you have any reason to think you're absorption is poor, definitely raise that with you doc. Low protein levels can be detected with a blood test.

    Alternatively (or as well!), temporary thyroid problems are very common after major surgery. Your doc can check this via blood test & advise you best on what to do if there's a problem. Usually this resolves within a few months. It's unlikely that it would require meds, but if you have a pre-existing thryoid problem & this has exacerbated it, you may need to work with your doc to tweak meds for the moment.

    Hope this gives you some ideas. If it's any consolation, when you get to this point, I find it's better for unhealthy hair to fall out. That way, once you're back on top of things, new, super-healthy hair will grow back in (& healthy hair grows Fast!)....heck of a way to get a spiffy new hair do though, lol! And, on the real upside, once you get this sorted, if it's either of these probs, you'll find yourself recovering so quickly & with so much more energy

    Goodluck, Debbe. Hope you're feeling better soon. Take care.
    Last edited by discombobulated; 03-13-2009 at 11:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,120
    Hi Debbe...

    I didn't have hair loss after my spine surgery, but I started losing my hair after a major illness when I was 50ish. The illness seemed to plunge me into menopause, and I'm pretty certain the hair loss is a result of a hormonal shift. Like you, I started with a large amount of hair, and was pretty shocked at how much I lost.

    I've been using Rogaine for the past 7-8 years. Without it, I suspect I'd be pretty bald.

    I hope your hair loss isn't the same thing, but if it is, it's not the end of the world.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    72
    Hi Debbe

    I was sorry to read about how upset you are about some of your hair falling out - I'd be freaked too. I haven't had this happen to me after my op but it did happen after I had both my kids. Try not to stress too much (hey, who the heck am I to say this?!!) but listen to what your hairdresser said to you.

    saying that, I think a trip to your GP would be a good idea to put your mind at rest.

    I have been following your recovery with interest (as we are quite close post op wise) and wish you all the best.
    Louisse
    Last edited by Louisse; 03-15-2009 at 03:08 AM.
    Diagnosed aged 17 thoracic curve of 40°/48? given brace worn for short time but was then told that I had stopped growing and it wasn’t likely to get worse. Follow ups ‘got lost in the system’ and I chose to ignore until age approx 33, after two children. Now nearly 42yrs curve was progressing (last xrays 67 degrees) and increasing 'backache' so surgery (posterior T3 - L1) went ahead beginning of September 2008 in UK - thoracic curve now approx 20° and I look a lot straighter!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Debbe, I lost good-sized clumps of hair when I showered from about 3 to 5 months post-op, then it gradually stopped. I have fine hair and not a lot of it so I got really concerned but I never lost enough to make much difference in how it looked.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    Hi Debbe,

    I hope the hair loss stops soon. Have you tried taking biotin (vitamin B7)? It can supposedly help with hair loss. I started taking it after my surgery and have excessive hair loss.

    Shell
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by briarrose View Post
    Hi Debbe,

    I hope the hair loss stops soon. Have you tried taking biotin (vitamin B7)? It can supposedly help with hair loss. I started taking it after my surgery and have excessive hair loss.

    Shell
    Shell,

    How much are you taking? Did it slow down the loss?
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    Quote Originally Posted by debbei View Post
    Shell,

    How much are you taking? Did it slow down the loss?
    I just saw what I wrote above. I meant to say that I didn't have excessive hair loss.

    I was taking 1000mg once a day. I'm not sure if it slowed down the loss or not because I didn't lose a significant amount of hair. It could have been from the biotin or I was one of the people that didn't lose hair from the stress of the operation.

    Shell
    Last edited by briarrose; 03-14-2009 at 11:53 AM. Reason: correction
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area
    Posts
    120
    Hi Debbe,

    I had quite a bit of hair loss post op, my appetite was also off and I was not eating a balanced diet. I was a walking commercial for bad hair. The texture of my hair was also funky, dry and brittle and my color was dull. Dr. Rand told me he was pretty certain I would not be bald and that the trauma of a lot of surgery frequently set off a cycle of hair loss. My hairdresser gave me some foul smelling cream to use that she said would accelerate what was going to fall out. My PCP told me to make sure I was eating a balanced diet and to take Biotin 5000. Eventually I stopped seeing as much hair in the shower and on the floor. More than a year later, I'm still taking Biotin, but I'm thinking I can probably discontinue using it soon. Hang in there. It takes a while but it does get better.

    Linda W.
    Linda
    Two-stage A/P fusion T6-S1 with lumbar implants June 12 & June 27, 2007 at age 57
    S curve 75+ degrees with kyphosis
    Now 45 degrees and standing 3 inches taller!
    Dr. Frank Rand, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Debbe,

    In my experience (>14 times completely under for various procedures ... and those are just the ones I can count off the cuff) general anesthesia in and of itself causes hair loss. Unless you were losing hair at this rate before, it isn't permanent.

    Your body will recover. Time, a balanced diet (a multi-vitamin probably wouldn't hurt, but ask Dr. N), gentle treatment of your hair (stay away from ponytails, blowdrying, etc. as much as possible), and a little TLC on your scalp (like light, gentle massages) should get you back on track.

    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455

    hair loss

    My goodness what else is there to think about post-surgery, there seems no end to it all! I must say in this department I am always happy to loose a little. I have enough to pass around to you all. I am not looking forward to my husband tending to the hair post-surgery. Since he doesn't want me to cut it he better prepare himself for some conflict lol....it's long/curly and I would love to cut it a bit and he swears he would die.....what is it with men and long hair I wonder!? It's getting close to surgery day and I must say so far still not nervous like I thought I would be. It is definitely ALWAYS on my mind but so far I am feeling really good about it. I keep getting into better shape thanks to the chiropractor and have finally passed the hurdle of the baby weight. However, I must say that tonight my neck is NOT GOOD at all. It wouldn't adjust due to the muscles being so tight and I am paying the price right now. Currently I am on the heating pad, have taken valium and so far no relief! Bed can't come soon enough so I can take my valium again. This is not the weekend for a sore neck, my son has a big St. Patricks Day hockey tournament......many games to get through :O) Hope everyone has a great weekend.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    I'm always glad to thin mine out too, Susan ... fine textured, but WAY too much!
    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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •