View Full Version : Surgery 20 years ago - what now?

06-02-2005, 03:58 AM
20 years ago - at the age of 21 - I had Harrington rods in my upper back and, after the recovery, I had one check up and was then really left to my own devices. Until about a year ago, I have had no problems and had more or less learnt to forget about my back.
I'm pretty flexible and have done a bit of yoga on and off. The residual curves have not really hindered me in any way.
However, I now find that I have a tight, stiff feeling quite often in my pelvis. This is very bad when I wake up, gradually disappears over the day, but can come back if I walk a long distance or bend in particular ways for any length of time.
It has got worse and, because I was scared it meant a deterioration to the point of stopping me doing normal things, I went to see an orthopaedic specialist at the local spinal hospital.
My X rays showed a 59 degree curve where my rods are and a 54 degree lower curve. The doctor couldn't believe that I looked like an upright person - the X rays seemed to be of someone else!
He had no advice to give me. The only route he suggested was surgery on the lower curve because he felt this was affecting my pelvis. However, he didn't actually recommend it.
I am now utterly confused - and more so from reading all the contradictory opinions on the web.
I have just bought a book on yoga for the back and one on Callanetics.
I was about to make an appointment to see a chiropractor, but the posts have not given me any confidence in this option.
I'm at a loss about where to get advice and help.
Can I also say, though, that there seem to be a lot of people out there in a far worse position than I am, and I do sympathise.

06-02-2005, 11:10 AM
Hi RDB....

If/when you do decide that surgery might be an option, I'd urge you to find a surgeon who is known for treating people with prior scoliosis fusions. It sounds to me like the surgeon you saw may not be as experienced as necessary. (Someone who treats scoliosis all of the time would know that because your curves are balanced, your body looks relatively normal.)

As for non-surgery options, I'd urge you to find a good physical therapist who specializes in spine issues. It's difficult to find the right person. When I finally did, it was very obvious.