View Full Version : Is 30 degrees a good correction?

08-10-2006, 01:00 PM
When I saw my surgeon for the 2 week post-op, he compared my before/after posterior surgery x-rays. I got 30 degrees of correction for each of my two curves. I was 70T/77L, so that leaves me still with 40T/47L.
(I am age 47 and had not had surgery before.)

I guess after reading this forum and hearing all of the stories I had thought that the correction would be more than this, like down to 20 something degrees or less. My back does look straighter and I gained 1 1/2 inches in height. My surgeon said that the 30 degrees was a very good correction for me and seemed quite happy with it. Is he right?


08-10-2006, 01:06 PM
HI Deb,

The degree of correction has to do somewhat with the flexibility of your spine. My Dr. told me that they try to get 50% correction but it's not always possable. Also, If your spinal cord starts to react to the manipulation of you spine your Dr. may have needed to stop the correction. I would focus on the positive, YOU GOT 1 1/2" of height back! Thats great! Also you said your back looks straight, Yea! If your Dr. is pleased it makes me think that was all he could get for you. Remember we are all very different.

08-10-2006, 01:35 PM
Hi Deb...

Suzy is correct. You probably would have gotten a lot more correction if your surgery had been both anterior/posterior. However, if I had to do it over again, I think I would probably trade my excellent correction for not having to have the anterior surgery.


Jacque's Mom
08-10-2006, 03:01 PM
In 1981, I was 27 years old and my original curves were 62/32. The 62 was brought down only to 45. Now that I read what others were corrected to, that's not much at all. I'm wondering is it because of the instrumentation they use - the Harrington Rod vs. the ones they use today? or is it because of they way they do the surgery. Just curious. Thanks - LYNN

08-10-2006, 04:53 PM
Hi Lynn...

I don't think there's any way of knowing without someone looking at your surgical report. But, I think most surgeons who used Harrington implants, at least in those days intentionally applied a relatively small amount of distraction because they feared that they might damage the spinal cord.


08-10-2006, 05:01 PM
Why would you not have had the anterior done in retrospect?

08-10-2006, 05:18 PM

I have to admit I was quite surprised when I saw that you had only a posterior surgery. Everything I've read and researched indicates that anterior/posterior is always recommended for people over 40 with large lumbar curves. Who was your surgeon?


08-10-2006, 05:38 PM
Hi Dawney...

The anterior incision was quite painful, and I ended up with an incisional hernia.


08-10-2006, 06:18 PM

I sent you a Private message.


08-11-2006, 12:34 AM
Hi Chris,

My Dr. said he would have to do anterior and posterior if my spine wasn't flexable enough fo a good correction. The anterior access would give him the abiity to free up the spine more. It is not always recommended for our age group just because of age, it depends on flexability of the spine. There are 40 somethings in great shape and some not so much. My Dr. had a few bone spurs to remove that helped with my correction. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. At age 43, posterior only and a lumbar correction from 49* to 8*. Who knows Chris, you may only need posterior as well............

08-11-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi Deb

I also didn't get as much correction as I hoped after seeing some of the x-rays out there!

Having said that, my surgeon was aiming to do no more than to get me 'balanced' in all directions and he certainly acheived that. He did anterior only - his preference for older gals! (Which proves nothing beyond the fact that all surgeons have their own ideas). I can still see my curves in the mirror easily (we have trained eyes now, don't we) but to everyone else I look perfectly straight. In fact, if I had these curves to start with, I would never have contemplated surgery - so maybe that's what we should focus on, not, how good a correction surgeons can get from these young things!! Lets face it, would we worry, if we hadn't see our x-rays?

Take care

08-11-2006, 07:23 PM
Hi Deb,

I had posterior only, and a 60 degree curve. What I find weird is that at first, my curve had been corrected to about 15 degrees. When I went to my first post op appointment, it had increased to about 20 something(that's what I think, it could be a bit more), and it has stayed the same since, even after I had the hook at the top/right side removed a year later. Maybe the fusion needed a few months to stabilize itself, but I don't care as much as the fact that I didn't get anterior as well.