View Full Version : Anyone else over 100 degrees?

08-12-2006, 09:36 AM
I am 45 and am scheduled for surgery this fall-reading this forum I am becoming aware that my case is unusual. My lubar curve is 125%, thoracic is 73%. I avoided surgery when in my teens for some pretty poor reasons- of course I wish now that I had gone ahead with it. I have virtually no pain- I have always exercised and wonder if this is why. I just went to the dr now because I realized I had "shrunk", and the curve is more noticeable- all which surprised me because I thought once you were done growing that it could not progress. I never had pain as a teen either and it was 108% when I was 20. Now I have a little hip pain but not much. I went to one dr so far- he said my curve is so calcified that correction would be dangerous and he will not attempt to correct me, but I still need to go through with the fusion. He also said it is so fused that it cannot get worse- the only reason to do the surgery is because the other 2 curves are "slipping". I have perfect balance so it does not "look" nearly as bad as it is- I look straight. I am going for 3 more opinions this month- I guess I wonder if it cannot progress from this point and he cannot correct me, would I be better off doing nothing?

08-12-2006, 07:38 PM
I don't have as severe curves as you but mine are very severe in most doctor's books. I am 57 and with curves over 80 degrees top and bottom I have lost a lot of inches over the years.

I had little serious pain either until about a year ago so never went to a doctor again about my back for over 40 years. I wore a Milwaukee brace for 3 years when I was a early teenager. But the pressure from gravity and my curve finally was more than my lower disks could handle and I developed a constant pain from spondylolthesis in the last year. I feel like a 20 lb. bowling ball is sitting on my left hip always when standing now and the pain radiates all the way down to my ankle.

No one can tell you what to do, but my personal opinion is that it is better to do the surgery at your age now than to wait another 10 years when you might have arthritis, osetoporosis beginnings, and many things that happen because of menopause. I speak from experience! Also, if you have curved that much, you probably will continue to progressively get worse.

I am scheduled for surgery October 5 and the closer it gets, the more fearful I am because of my age. Just be sure that you are going to a world-renowned scoliosis surgeon who has lots of experience with adults and severe curvature.

08-13-2006, 08:27 AM
Do you mind telling me who your dr. is? I hope and pray your surgery goes perfectly. Does he tell you how much correction to hope for? I am hoping to find a surgeon that can tell me correction is an option for me. Maybe my surgeon here has not had alot of experience with rigid spines like mine and that is why he is telling me he would not attempt to correct it all.

08-14-2006, 08:13 AM
My doctor is Dr. Shelokov with Consulting Specialists and Baylor Scoliosis Center in Plano, Texas. I don't know how much correction to expect but from what I'm told it won't be anyway near what younger patients would get. He said I would probably gain 2 inches in height. Considering I have lost 4 inches since my teen years (and I already was a couple inches shorter because of my scoliosis then) it is only going to bring me to 50 degree curves or so. I guess I will know more after surgery. I am leaving this week for 3 days of tests....stress, myelogram, etc.

My outside appearance is like yours...by the way. I am very aware of it, of course, and have a hard time finding clothes that look good on me, but because of the "S" curve the doctor's I went to both said that I look pretty "even" to the casual observer.

Don't let anyone tell you it cannot progress still.....I started this process of finding a doctor in January. Since then I have lost another 1/2 inch, have considerable more hip pain, and that is frustrating.

What part of the country are you from?

08-14-2006, 10:41 AM
I am in Atlanta. I saw a dr here at Emory- I am going to 3 other drs this month- Bridwell in St Louis, Boachie in New York, and Johnson in Louisville. I feel after that I will know if correction is an option for me. It does seem odd that I can't find anyone on this forum where correction was not attempted in the surgery. I can't imagine going through all that with no correction! You may find that you gain alot more correction than they are telling you- I think alot of them tell you worst case scenario so you are not disappointed. And maybe the fact that we have little pain is a blessing- maybe that is an indication of lack of pain after the surgery too. I am praying for you! I know how fearful all this can make you feel. Please let me know how it goes-

08-14-2006, 04:25 PM
My surgeon told me that he is looking for a 50 percent correction. He seems to think He can probably do more but doesnt want to promise more. He also told me that if everything goes as planned the pain will be relieved in my butt and leg. He also told me that realistically speaking my back will never be pain free but much better than it is now.

08-14-2006, 07:38 PM
I'm not sure what you mean about no one getting correction. I think EVERYONE gets a considerable amount of correction.....we just will never have totally straight backs if we are older adults. But we all expect correction, are told we will have a lot of correction, and we would be totally crazy to put ourselves through surgery without correction! Just how much depends on the degree of our curves, our age, the doctor's ability, and many other factors regarding how each individual spine is deformed. I want less pain and less curves after surgery!!! Anything less would be a waste!!

By the way, it sounds like you are doing your research well and seeing some very excellent doctors! Best wishes to you as you seek answers...

08-14-2006, 08:56 PM
My dr told me he would not even try to correct me at ALL due to the fact that there is so much calcification around my spine- he said he would risk paralyzing me if he tried- yes, that is what I mean- I am so discouraged to think that I might have to be fused at 126 degrees! That is why I am going to the other doctors for other opinions- I have not found anyone on these forums that did not have correction (partial of course) as part of the surgery.And I cannot imagine going through all that (he would put rods in and fuse just like usual, just no correction-) with no benefit except prevention of future problems. It is such a big surgery, I want to be like everyone else and have a some correction too. Maybe I will hear some different opinions this month- will let you know-

08-14-2006, 09:48 PM
I bet you will hear some really positive things from the doctor's you will be seeing! I'm 57, have some osteoporosis, lots of arthritis, absolutely no flexibility due to the curves and I was told by the doctors I visit that correction should be good. Good luck; I look forward to hearing the opinions you get from Dr. Birdwell and Dr. Boachie.

08-15-2006, 02:15 PM
I am 55 years old and have my Herrington Rod Surgery in 1979, by Dr. Keim. At that time I had a 110 degree and 55 degree curve. MY correction was to 82 degrees and 35 degrees, I also got almost 3 inched taller. I still have a rib hump. I had some breathing problems in 2002 and when to see Dr. Boachie then. He did not see that the breathing problem was related to my scoliosis and since I have no pain, did not recommend surgery. I lost the 3 inches I gained after the surgery also. In 2005, I was told I have osteoporsis, I am taking medication for it. In January, I started have back pain and problem sleeping because of the pain. I want to see a local orthopedic doctor and he told me it was the aging process and live with it.
Well I do not accept that, I am scheduling another appointment with Dr. Boachie in October (I hope).
Has any one that have revision surgery, with a herrington rod, gotton more correction after the revision? Did the hump decrease too?

04-25-2008, 03:29 PM
i think u should do wut the doctor says is best 4 ur HEALTH, and i will be prayin 4 u and God will be with u thro everything. TTYL! God bless!!! -val :p

04-27-2008, 03:45 PM
oh hunny!! i know i'm scared but you must be terrified! i hope everything goes well. for the both of you! good luck with everything and keep us posted.