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  • surgery

    Our daughter is 9 years old and for the last 3 years has been braced and has stayed at a 67 degree curve. In the past 6 months she has gone up to a 86 degree curve. Can you tell us what kind of side effects come with the spinal fusion? Will she be able to twist or bend at all after this surgery? The doctor has said she is still very flexible, but what results can we expect. Also, other than bracing, has anyone tried any alternative therapy such as stretching for the spine, if so what did you do and what were the results?

  • #2
    Hi Sharon,

    Welcome to the board. I hope you continue your research and make sure you ask LOTS of questions, including getting other opinions before deciding on fusion surgery. Your daughter is very young to be having her spine fused. You mentioned that her spine is still very flexible - that is a GOOD thing. By having a fusion surgery, the spine will be much LESS flexible, but she would be able to bend, twist, sit on the floor, do cartwheels, etc. Somersaults may be difficult because there isn't the forward flexibility in the spine.

    My son is 8 and had/has 8 vertebrae that were fused (no instrumentation) at 11 months old. I don't recommend this unless it is the absolute last resort.

    At age 6, Braydon had rod implant surgery to stabilize his spine and expand his chest space. This procedure requires surgery every 6 months to lengthen the rods to grow as the child is growing. A huge committment on the patient, family and doctor's part, but in Braydon's case, very well worth it.

    I strongly recommend that you see a pediatric orthopedist who is up-to-date on the latest technology for improving scoliosis in young children. There aren't many out there, but those who are should be able to give you options to choose from.
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc.


    • #3
      My cousin had an operation on her spine when she was a teenager. ever since then she walks with her feet facing outwards and can hardly move her neck and back so i can tell you that it lasts forever cos she's nearly forty now!

      I'm sixteen and i'm gonna have to do excercise like yoga and stuff, but i've seen my X-ray and i don't think it will work. also my chiropractor said that a brace rarely correct the problem they stop it in it's trcks till the bones fuse, and 4+ years in a brace bruises your ribs and just makes life uncomfortable.


      • #4
        spinal fusion

        At age 14 (1956) I had a 100degree curve. I was partially corrected by a spinal fusion fromT-4 to L-2. I was able to do everything and became a nurse. I lived a perfectly normal life.

        No instrumentation was used then, so that fusion weakened; last year my curve was back up to 80 deg with breathing impairment. I was re-done last year and am now back at work. This time i am fused to the sacrum because the curve below the fusion increased to 40 deg and those discs were totally degenerated. Even though my fusion was extended I am very grateful and live a normal life now. No skiing or Ice skating though but i hike and do modified Pilates exercises.
        My major curve was reduced to 30 deg and I had a thoracoplasty (hump reduction)
        Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
        Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction