View Full Version : Doubly glad I had it done

11-11-2010, 06:05 PM
I saw my cousin this past weekend, who I hadn't seen in over a year. She's 62 and has a thorocolumbar curve very similar to the one I had. In the past couple of years, her curve suddenly progressed to the point where she's shrunk at least two inches and has a lot of trouble standing up straight or walking for any distance. She also has intermittent nerve pain down one hip and leg and lots of aches and muscle fatigue all through her back.

For a variety of reasons and life circumstances, my cousin is not a surgical candidate. I can't imagine what she'll look and feel like in another ten years. I know none of us have a crystal ball, but it seems to me that I got a glimpse of what my future might have been had I not had surgery. I felt so fortunate -- and so STRAIGHT -- after seeing her struggles.

We all know how dangerous large thoracic curves can be, but curves that are mostly lumbar (like mine and my cousin's) can be really disabling and painful. For anyone who's on the fence about whether or not to have surgery, it's something to think about.

11-11-2010, 06:41 PM
I couldn't agree with you more! I'm so happy I had both of my surgeries - spondy and scoli. I wish I would have had the scoli surgery 10 years earlier but I didn't even know at that time they could fix scoliosis in adults and I didn't realize how far the hardware and surgical techniques had progressed.

11-11-2010, 08:54 PM
Thanks, Chris. I'm still one of those on the fence. Well, not really on the fence, just trying to decide about now or later--but I know it's inevitable. Any more details on severe thoracolumbar curves would be appreciated.


11-12-2010, 02:12 PM

I feel the same way....

I think my timing was perfect. I couldnít say I wish I had it done 10 years earlier due to my skiing and knew I couldnít go any farther at age 49. I also know that I wouldnít have wanted to do my surgeries at an older age and also know that surgeons can get jumpy and not want to proceed with tough scenarios. I was truly at the end and out of time and had no choice. Iíve had surgeons shake their heads and sigh looking at my x-rays a few times. Some can go longer, but in my case I couldnít. I was on the fence for many years.

I donít know why your cousin cannot proceed with surgery, I hope she will be able to manage her pain in the future. I really like hot water....I think its one of the easiest ways to deal with severe back pain.

We are fortunate.


11-12-2010, 03:42 PM
I am also one of the lucky ones who feels very glad to have had the surgery. Knowing how rapidly my curve was progressing I feel lucky I was able to go without the surgery as long as I did, as well as lucky for having not been penalised for waiting till almost 58.

My partner once said, we'll never win Lotto: we've already had all the luck in the world.

If only I could pass on some of this luck to those who feel less happy with their surgery.

11-12-2010, 04:04 PM

You are right about winning the Lotto. I would never try, and certainly never expect to win being the luckiest person on the planet.

I just wouldnít deserve it.

I also donít expect too much or want much anymore. Iím happy now, no matter what happens. I guess this comes with a second chance. This should be on the other thread on how surgery changes you.

I always have the wrong info on the wrong thread! LOL
No worries...


11-12-2010, 05:01 PM
I feel the same Ed. :)

11-12-2010, 05:02 PM
Hi Chris,
Thanks for sharing that. I could have been in your cousin's shoes in a few years had I not done something. My thoracolumbar curve was huge (I'm happy as a clam with it still being in the 50's!) but no more pain/nerve compression and I feel great. I am so thankful that I made the decision when I did. Timing was right in so many ways. That surgery changes your perspective about a lot of things!

11-12-2010, 07:56 PM
Just wanted to add that I'm mindful of the people who are less than happy with their surgical results. I really feel for them, because as we all know there are no guarantees with this surgery. I still have some discomfort from time to time but it's not a biggie...so I realize I'm lucky. And it took me a long time after a looooong recovery to be able to feel that way!

11-13-2010, 06:17 AM
Wow Chris, how sad for your cousin. It's wierd to have it stare you in the face like that.

I'm glad you had it done too; you were a big inspiration to me!

11-13-2010, 11:30 AM
I can't wait until I'm 6 months postop and I can say without a doubt that I'm glad I had this surgery because _________.

At 6 weeks postop, it's waaaaaay too early to comment about this. I'm at the frustrated stage where I am so limited at what I can/am allowed to do. I go outside and stare down at the nasty weeds popping up in my yard and I can't bend over and yank them out of the ground! (I had my daughter have the honors.) I can't mow the lawn. (I like to!) No dusting, no driving, no clothes shopping, no nightly glass of wine ;), etc, etc.)

BUT, at 6 weeks I am walking really well, walking up and down stairs, off pain meds except for muscle relaxers. I sat in a restaurant for 2 hours for my daughter's birthday. I am suffering from very little pain most of the time. It's a challenge to have to tell myself to backoff and NOT do anything and think of myself and focus on just getting better. I am thrilled that my back looks flat and my presurgical back pain appears to be gone - too early to tell really.

I feel badly for those I read about here who are suffering from postop pain and complications. :( I hope in time that they will heal and will have a happier quality of life.

11-13-2010, 11:49 AM
I can so relate to your feelings, Chris!
I waited a long time; well, actually didn't know they could do anything about my back. When it started deteriorating I realized it was now or never. I'm osteopenic and 57 years old. My mom had horrible spinal stenosis in her last years and was bent over at a 90˚ angle, in constant pain. We found out she was crawling around the house and not telling anyone, but her skinned knees gave her away. Her condition was so sad, but untreatable.

When I found out there was appropriate treatment, not only for my disc disease but for my scoliosis, I was overjoyed.

It was now or never. And even though I'm having some unpleasant issues with pain management right now, I know it was the right decision in the long run, and am looking forward to more active and pain-free years to come than I would have had otherwise.

11-14-2010, 09:38 AM
I feel the same way. It is now or never. Until last year, none of the pain management doctors were willing to recommend surgery. They kept providing shots when I had "acute" pain. That only got me to my "chronic" state and didn't solve the problem but I went on. I want to go on with my life and cannot make this decision again in later years. Because I have osteopenia, I may not be able to have the surgery later. Hopefully, all will be fine. The good thing about surgical pain is that there is supposed to be an end to it. The other back pain has no end.

Wishing you a continued and smooth recovery.