View Full Version : Help!! New here!!

12-26-2004, 06:04 PM
Hello everyone!
I am a 46 year old female just finding out the magnitude of my scoliosis.
I found the curve at 22 and the doc at that time said it would not progress. I had no pain at that time.
The last couple of years my back has felt tired with some pain (pinching-type ) at the bend,needing increased pillow-type support.
I went to a consult with an orthopedic surgeon late Nov,and his assessment was;
69 deg T curve convexity to the right,with 55 deg compensatory curve..said I should "strongly consider surgery as respiratory issues may possibly arise in the future.
I was floored!
I am a super active person.. hike, walk, on the go-- very fit, with no feeling of any lung involvement at this time, but minimal tiring/pain sensations.
Since that revelation..my back has started to kill me ..everywhere!
My ribs, neck all of it..I believe it is psychosomatic as it only came on after I was told of the magnitude of my situation!
I find it hard to justify putting myself thru a very serious surgery for something that will LIKELY happen and MAY cause respiratory issues.
I have had heart surgery for a congenital defect in 1989( no picnic!), and more recent, a splenectomy in June which was a horribly painful surgery..I still am sore there!!
I can't imagine climbing back onto the surgury table ..again!!
I am going to get another opinion maybe from an osteopathic doc..they do know of these things right??
Also, I may get to talk with a more prominant doc as near as I can get. I am located in central CA on the coast, but can get to San Fran or larger area for someone who knows more about scoliosis..I doubt the surgeon i spoke with from Santa Cruz may have done one such.. he was maybe 35 yo!
Anyone know any scoliosis spec in the bay area??or San Jose which is some closer??

12-26-2004, 07:24 PM
Hi Kimbo...

I'd highly recommend that you get to one of the doctors at UCSF. Drs. Bradford, Hu, Berven, & Deviren specialize in scoliosis and other spinal deformities and all have excellent reputations. You can find their contact information here:


I do think it's a good idea to get another opinion before you decide on anything. Doctors who don't specialize in scoliosis are notoriously bad at curve measurements. While there are some osteopaths who know something about scoliosis, there's not really anything they can do for you (other than manipulation, which might help with pain).

There is some evidence that certain exercise programs can be helpful in temporarily reducing scoliosis curves somewhat. I personally believe one has to be very devoted to such an exercise program, because the curve(s) will return to their original degrees if/when the exercise program is discontinued. If that's something of interest to you, I'd recommend contacting Elise Browning Miller (http://www.ebmyoga.com). Again, such an exercise program might help with pain control even if it doesn't do anything to reduce curve measurements.

One normally hears that scoliosis curves over 50 degrees progress at an average of 1-2 degrees per year after skeletal maturity. While one may have some pulmonary deficit with moderate curves, it generally doesn't get serious until the curve approaches 100 degrees.

Best of luck in your journey. Please feel free to let me know if I can be of help.


Scoliosis Association of San Francisco