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Thread: Anterior vs Posterior

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2

    Anterior vs Posterior

    I am new to this forum. My son is 15 and has an almost 90* lumbar curve. When initally diagnosed we had tried some chiropractic but it was not successful for us - maybe it was already too late.

    Anyway - we are now looking at surgery. Our surgeon here has said he will do a posterior surgery. When we went for a second opinion, that surgeon said she would recommend anterior surgery due to the size of the curve and since Danny is almost done growing. She thought she could get more flexibility out of his spine from the front.

    Does anyone have any experience with anterior surgery? Posterior seems more popular - I don't read much about anterior.

    THanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    I do have both anterior AND posterior. (I had posterior only in my teens - but this time around had both). Not sure what you want to know exactly. Do find out the details on EXACTLY what the dr. will do if going anteriorly (is that a word). My surgery was 6 months ago...of course I'm much older than your son - I'm still recouping - I know kids snap back quicker than us. Feel free to send me a private message if you have any specific questions.

    Best of luck!

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,125
    Quote Originally Posted by dannysmom View Post
    I am new to this forum. My son is 15 and has an almost 90* lumbar curve. When initally diagnosed we had tried some chiropractic but it was not successful for us - maybe it was already too late.

    Anyway - we are now looking at surgery. Our surgeon here has said he will do a posterior surgery. When we went for a second opinion, that surgeon said she would recommend anterior surgery due to the size of the curve and since Danny is almost done growing. She thought she could get more flexibility out of his spine from the front.

    Does anyone have any experience with anterior surgery? Posterior seems more popular - I don't read much about anterior.

    THanks for your help!
    Hi...

    As a patient (or parent) it can be incredibly difficult to know the right thing to do. As you already have been told, the big advantage to anterior surgery is that sometimes, levels can be saved from having to be fused. The big disadvantage is that it's a more invasive procedure in some ways, and usually results in a bigger scar.

    I'll tell you what I always tell people. Find the doctor you feel you can trust, and let them make the decision.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    I, also had posterior and anterior surgery. For me my anterior was done through an incision that resembles a " c section". My recovery has been a smooth one. I think though for males (someone correct me if I'm wrong) they have to be careful in that department.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2
    Thank you all for your responses!

    My husband spoke to our surgeon today and got to ask him about why he would do posterior, why someone else would do anterior etc. He told us that 10 years ago with a curve as large as my son’s he would have done BOTH anterior and posterior but that now instrumentation and technique have progressed to where he feels he can get good results from doing just a posterior incision. We really like this surgeon and he has been very patient and helpful with all of our questions. I really like that he assures us that this surgery is routine for he and his team, but that he understands that it is anything but routine for our family.

    So it looks like we are a go for December, probably the 18th – we’ll have a definite date soon.

    Questions for anyone who has been through this – we hear that the time in the hospital is really tough. What suggestions do you have for us to help Danny through it. He loves electronics – but will he even feel up to doing anything of that sort? How about once we come home? And how long do people tend to recuperate at home before heading back to school. Our surgeon is saying back to school parttime after 2 weeks! That sound so fast to me!

    Thank you in advance for any thoughts or advice you can give!
    Margaret

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,117
    Hi Margaret,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I had my A/P done 21 months ago with 2 70 degree curves. Its a tough decision....

    My surgeon actually thought about my spine for a few years and after all that thought, he wanted to do the anterior due to a better correction. He used "peek" cages which were inserted from the front with BMP Infuse, to help guarantee fusion. I don't know if a 15 year old would be a candidate. Its very expensive and of course the decisions on expense, are made by the insurance company.......

    Also, there are complications that can arise in "males" that have anterior surgeries. You can ask your surgeon. If not PM me and I will fill you in.

    Kids heal quickly. Its absolutely amazing.What levels does he want to fuse?

    You will need a "foam topper" for the bed. I feel its mandatory. 2-3 inches thick.
    He should also be eating correctly right now. Diet is important.
    Regards
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF 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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oregon, US
    Posts
    9
    I have no experience in anterior surgery, i'm getting posterior surgerythis summer. my curve is 50 degress. im 14. im sorry for your problems, there's really no way for me to express my sorrow that so many people have scoliosis it dosent really have a word.... i hope the surgery goes well for your son, i know it cant be easy.

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