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Thread: calm my nerves

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3

    calm my nerves

    I am currently 23, was braced from age 12-16. I last saw a doctor at Children's Hospital (Pittsburgh - great people there) when I was 19. My lumbar curve at that last visit was 32 degrees.

    Over the past year I had been having some muscle tension in my back that I thought might be related to my scoliosis, so I went to Student Health at my university and got a referral to Dr. Gasho in DC/Maryland. He did some xrays and found that my curve has increased to 35 degrees. He told me my muscle tension was a result of imbalanced muscles connected to my spine (which I had already guessed) but then went on to say that I was showing the beginnings of arthritis and disc degeneration, and that surgery by the time I reached my 50s was almost an inevitability. I had never heard this sort of prognosis from my doctors at Children's, in fact, they seemed to think that I was "out of the woods" and wouldn't need any further treatment.

    I was pretty shocked by what Dr. Gasho told me and I'm wondering if this is actually a normal progression (about 1 degree worse per year?) and something I should not be concerned? I am unsure of what steps to take next, if I need to take any. Dr. Gasho told me there is nothing I can do besides quit carrying heavy books around (a difficult charge for a law student!) and do stretching exercises.

    Do other people at my age with my degree of curve also show signs of disc degeneration and arthritis? Is that normal?

    Oh, and I do NOT recommend Dr. Gasho to other scoli patients in the DC area. He was totally insensitive to the lingering trauma of wearing a brace as a teenager, made several jokes and so forth.

    Any advice or personal experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Erin

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

    I'd encourage you to see another doctor before giving too much credence to what you were told by Dr. Gasho. I can't find anything that tells me that he even specializes in spine, let along scoliosis.

    You're right in terms of "being out of the woods." While you may have pain, curves under 40 degrees at skeletal maturity almost never require surgical treatment. A 3 degree increase in four years probably isn't anything to worry about. Doctors usually talk about a 5 degree margin of error, so it's entirely possible that you actually haven't really had an increase.

    I'd encourage you to find someone who specializes in the treatment of scoliosis, so you can get a realistic picture of your condition. You can find a list of specialists here:

    http://www.srs.org/directory/directory.asp

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.
    Posts
    8

    Question Medical VS Experience

    [QUOTE=Erin14]I am currently 23, was braced from age 12-16. I last saw a doctor at Children's Hospital (Pittsburgh - great people there) when I was 19. My lumbar curve at that last visit was 32 degrees.

    Over the past year I had been having some muscle tension in my back that I thought might be related to my scoliosis, so I went to Student Health at my university and got a referral to Dr. Gasho in DC/Maryland. He did some xrays and found that my curve has increased to 35 degrees. He told me my muscle tension was a result of imbalanced muscles connected to my spine (which I had already guessed) but then went on to say that I was showing the beginnings of arthritis and disc degeneration, and that surgery by the time I reached my 50s was almost an inevitability. I had never heard this sort of prognosis from my doctors at Children's, in fact, they seemed to think that I was "out of the woods" and wouldn't need any further treatment.

    I was pretty shocked by what Dr. Gasho told me and I'm wondering if this is actually a normal progression (about 1 degree worse per year?) and something I should not be concerned? I am unsure of what steps to take next, if I need to take any. Dr. Gasho told me there is nothing I can do besides quit carrying heavy books around (a difficult charge for a law student!) and do stretching exercises.

    Do other people at my age with my degree of curve also show signs of disc degeneration and arthritis? Is that normal?

    Oh, and I do NOT recommend Dr. Gasho to other scoli patients in the DC area. He was totally insensitive to the lingering trauma of wearing a brace as a teenager, made several jokes and so forth.

    Any advice or personal experience would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Erin[/QUOTE=Mereana]I think degenerative and arthritis is as normal as the flu you either get it or you don't and when and if is a mystery. but I would'nt let it stop your pursuit in law or enjoying what life has for you in the taking. The doc is right about stretching exercises to keep flexible and body relaxing techniques like hot soaks, massages. And it is important not to carry things or stooping and bending and never carry things as light as they may seem to a normal person we are not like them, the best way to carry items are in a bag on wheels something like a travel suitcase but the ones I refer too are for books, groceries, items you would normally carry in your arms even a handbag can have weight. People are insensitive they don't realise their behavior is a form of harrassment. I come across discrimination alot because I do'nt want people to know about my scoliosis and try to hide it, they see me as {nothing wrong with me} and judge why my doctor has referred me to them {hospital physiotherapists} to attend hydrotherapy, the pool attendants are just as judgemental. You are young so take heed and remember to conserve your movements and take time out to relax. I wish I had this advice at an early age I am now 47. Had rod implant @ T4-L5 @ 17. I have degeneration @ C5-C6 due to a hug around my neck. I think people without our spines who I class as normal should really live like we do because we all suffer from the same cause but they come to realise much later in their life than we do.

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