View Full Version : am very confused

09-09-2004, 11:59 AM
Fiest of all, I have been reading a lot of posts in the last 2 days and I want to say that is great to get this much info in one place. You are all wonderful. I first noticed my scoliosis when I was 14, I did not see a doctor(local) till I was 17 and he told me there was nothing that can be done(I took his word for it and learned to live with it). I am now 52 , I did see a Doctor 7 years ago(one my primary sent me to) they were amazed at how bad my curves were and that I only complained of pain under certain circumstances. I do'nt recall the degrees but it is pretty bad(my ribs fub on my Hip, uneven shoulders and horrible uneven hips). I was looking into surgery mainly for cosmetic reasons, the doctor said make surgery your last resort. I never followed up. I do'nt understand why I have minimal pain when everyone I read about had intense pain(maybe I was lucky or am more tolerant). Anyhow I can go through a normal life almost pain free, I just have many limits and it seems as they are increasing with time. I can not carry my grandchildren, I cannot rake leaves, carry anything heavy,when I lay in bed for a while it hurts to turn over and get up in the morning, or walk the mall carrying a package(if I am emty handed I am fine). I did loose 3 to 4 inches in height in the last 3 years(all in the midrift), and as most of you am always aware of my deformed body(no bathing suit, no form fitting clothes only baggy).
Should I pursue surgery? After reading these pages I am afraid I may have more pain after than I had before. Another problem is I can't afford Private nursing care, and I do'nt have a husband to care for me the first few weeks.
thanks for hearing me
all answers are welcome
Karen thanks for you email

09-09-2004, 12:21 PM
Hi Angie...

People with thoracic curves report a lot less pain than those with lumbar curves, so that could be a possible explanation as to why you have less pain. You also have less pain because you've lost function (not picking up your grandchildren, not gardening, etc.).

You're the only one who can make the decision to have or not have surgery. It's a big surgery, and recovery can be pretty tough. Also, the surgery often causes long-term pain. While that pain may not keep you from doing everything you want, it is often the reason people list for being unhappy with their surgical results.

You should talk to your surgeon about not having anyone to help you out at home. I've known people who went home right from the hospital, without someone there to care for them. They always make do. The biggest problem would be not having someone there to cook for you. Would it be possible for you to have the surgery and then stay a few weeks at a friend's or relative's home?


09-12-2004, 08:31 PM
Sorry it took so long to answer your reply.
I did not stop doing those things (guess I worded it wrong) what I meant to say was I cant pick the grandkids up or rake without pain. I do quite a bit of gardening I cut the grass weekly and everything else around the house. I also have a problem carrying a full laundry basket up the steps, seems like weight is ok unless it is bulky.
I am going to start the procedure to see a surgeon and find out exactly what the curves are and what it will take to correct them. I NEED TO START AT THE BOTTOM AGAIN AS IT HAS BEEN OVER 7 YEARS SINCE LAST XRAY( i WILL TRY TO CONTACT MY PREVIOUS DOCTOR TO SEE IF HE CAN GIVE ME THE FIGURES FROM THOSE.If anyone can offer advice on a surgeon in South jersy or Philadelphia who will accept someone 52 it would be greatly appreciated.

09-15-2004, 09:04 PM
Hi there,

I don't know if Dr. Balderston ever refuses patients on age basis, but he was recommended to me as a top-flight spinal surgeon (specializing in adult scoliosis and disk replacement). He is at Booth Bartolozzi and Balderston--Penn Orthopedics, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia.

Good luck in your search.

Karen Ocker
09-17-2004, 06:59 PM
After surgery my husband could not help me because he could not take time off from work. There was no one else available. I got great help going to a rehab hospital, paid by insurance. I was discharged when I felt ready. It off loaded my dear husband. I got a good grip on pain control, got used to being taller and having a different center of gravity.

I was 60 when I had my revision with very good results. I am back at work.