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10-21-2003, 12:56 PM
Hi, I am a 42 yo woman. I wore a Milwaukee brace from age 10 to 13. Over the years I have had back problems off and on. In Dec 2000 I was dx'd with early stage 1 breast cancer. Every time I get a pain, they send me for x-ray, bone scan. My recent complaint has been for two months my left shoulder and ribcage has been hurting. X-ray normal, bone scan, no significant change from last one. My new oncologist, upon reading my bone scan, asked me if I realized that I had a significant curve. He seems to think that my back, shoulder, rib pain and tenderness may be from the scoliosis. What do you think. As you can imagine I am quite sick of Dr's and pills, and tests, but my quality of life is suffering. My Onc. thinks that I should see a Physiatrist sp? My PCP keeps giving me new meds for the pain, first Motrin 600, didn't work, now Naproxyn 500, not working. Any suggestions.

Thanks, Mar

10-21-2003, 01:28 PM
Hi Mar...

If possible, try to get your PCP to refer you to an orthopaedist who specialists in scoliosis. You can find a list of specialists at:



Cindy Wall
11-29-2003, 09:54 PM
Hi Mar:

I have been quite pleased with my visits to a physiatrist -- basically a specialist in rehab. I'm 59 with 50 and 60 degree curves. He managed to significantly reduce muscle spasms I was having on the convex side of one curve with "tendon sheath injections" -- lidocaine injected directly into the muscle -- really helped and is still good one month later. I'm taking Bextra -- may switch to Feldene for low back pain. I've been told you need to keep experimenting to find the best medication for you. Don't give up.


12-19-2003, 08:05 AM
Hi Mar,

I also wore the Milwaukee brace when I was 10-14. I know so many rave about it but for many of us it merely held the curves and prevented them from getting worse as we grew. I had a 5 degree correction both thoracic and lumbar and now it is obvious I should have had surgery.

Your story sounds much like mine (no breast cancer, thankfully). I was around your age when the pain increased and they noticed the progression had happened. I'm 50 now and disabled from the scoliosis after those horrible years of wearing that ugly brace!

Did the doc tell you the current degrees of curvature? I was wondering if you are now progressing. If it is similar to my situation the progression starts and then the arthritis sets in. I'm now pretty well twisted forward. Don't wait until it gets to that to do something!

Keep us informed.