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  • The I'm Happy I Had Surgery Sticky Thread

    This thread is for anyone who wants to post details about their good surgical outcomes. Please post your details, including the approximate date of your surgery, your age at the time, the name of your surgeon, and the levels that were fused. No debates or discussions will be allowed. If you have a question about a poster, please send them a private message.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  • #2
    Date of surgery: March 3, 2009
    Age at the time: almost 58
    Surgeon: Dr. Geoffrey Askin, Mater Private, Brisbane, Australia.
    Levels fused: T4-Sacrum with Pelvic Fixation
    Curve pre-op: 68 degrees
    Curve post-op: 22 degrees
    Recovery details: In hospital 19 days, difficulty sitting for about 3 weeks, experienced dizziness for 7 weeks. At six months went on holiday with Dr.'s blessing: trekking, snorkling, swimming. Felt 100% but improvements continued up to 2 years.
    Problems experienced pre-op: Standing was my main problem. 30 seconds and I was in pain when I had to stand, which meant it was very painful doing lots of things. Lower back pain mainly. Would describe my pain pre-op as moderate but increasing.
    Current details: No pain whatsoever, can stand or walk as long as I want. Hoping this will continue for the rest of my life.
    Last edited by JenniferG; 12-07-2011, 11:57 PM. Reason: Added problems experienced pre-op.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free


    • #3
      I am currently 11 months post-op and have never regretted having the surgery. I will be estactic if I get a good report from Dr. Lenke in Jaunuary for my year check-up. I have already returned to tap dancing by modifying the high impact steps. I walk several miles each day and go to water aerobics a couple of days a week. I hope to return to golfing in February (Florida Vacation-yeah!) I continue to get compliments on my new physical appearance with my improved posture and increased height. I constantly feel my back where the rib hump used to be and am thrilled that it is totally gone. I love Dr. Lenke!

      Date of Surgery: January 5, 2011
      Age at the time: 60
      Surgeon: Dr. Lenke-St. Louis
      Fused: T4 to Sacrum with Pelvic Fixation (other details in signature)
      Hospital Stay: 6 days-no rehab. but husband was able to be home with me for over a month

      No post surgery complications other than the typical abdomen pain from constipation.
      Blacked out at 3 weeks post op & stopped oxy. I discontinued all pain meds except Tylenol at 5 weeks and soon felt relief from the abdomen pain and started having a social life, again.

      I was physically active prior to surgery, which might be a factor in my smooth recovery. Fortunately, I had very little pre-surgery pain which allowed me to exercise a great deal.

      Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
      Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
      70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
      Rib Hump-GONE!
      Age-60 at the time of surgery
      Now 66
      Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
      Retired Kdgn. Teacher

      See photobucket link for:
      Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
      Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
      tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.


      • #4
        Suggestion for thread

        Thanks for this great thread to Linda for the idea and to all the posters. The info is very helpful. For both the "Glad I had surgery," and "Unhappy I had surgery," it would be good to add one more piece of info--Problems pre-surgery (extent of pain, area of pain, any disability), etc.
        60 degree thorocolumbar curve beginning at T12
        58 years old


        • #5
          Hi, I had revision surgery May,and June (posterior, anterior) That was the best thing I did, I feel great, Dr. Kahaled Kebaish at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore,Md. I am fused from T5 to Pelvic, He did a PSO. I had flatback and saggital imbalance. I am 68, I was in hospital 1 week no rehab. Just a lot of walking, and returned to work in Sept. as a hairdresser 3 days a week. I hope everyone has the same results I had, Lu


          • #6
            Well, I haven't had scoliosis surgery but my son has, does that count? If not go ahead and delete.

            My son was about 12.5 when he was first diagnosed with scoliosis. His curve was already at about 48* and surgery seemed like the only option. Wait times here in BC for a consultation with a spine specialist is at least a year and if surgery is needed, then you're looking at about two years. So for a good 1.5 years we watched his spine go from 48* to about 110*-115* and he could no longer participate in PE at school and it hurt for him to just sit in the chairs at school and walking a few blocks caused him so much pain. It hurt for him to cough or sneeze and he said it felt as though a "hot knife was sticking in his back".

            No luck with BC Children's hospital, so we contacted Shriners and he had his first surgery (posterior release) & halo traction application on March 22nd. 2011 and his posterior fusion from T4-L2 with four weeks of halo traction in between the surgeries. He is about seven months post op now and he says he feels great! He is also four inches taller from being stretched out. He says he has no pain, just tenderness, was off all meds after about a month and is attending high school full time with no issues.

            Are we happy he had the surgery(s). Umm, YES!!
            Son 14 y/o diagnosed January 20th. 2011 with 110* Curve
            Halo Traction & 1st. surgery on March 22nd. 2011
            Spinal Fusion on April 19th. 2011

            Dr. Krajbich @ Shriners Childrens Hospital, Portland Oregon



            • #7
              Iím extremely pleased. I think about all the pain I endured through the years, and you know what?

              It wasnít worth it.
              49 yr old male, now 63, the new 64...
              Pre surgery curves T70,L70
              ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
              Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

              Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

              My x-rays



              • #8
                Surgery January 10, 2011
                49 years old
                Dr. Kathleen Moore
                Fused T3 to S1 with pelvic fixation
                pre op curves- both in the 70's
                post op curves- both 35 degrees

                I have done extremely well and would do it again in a heartbeat. I have my life back. No more sciatica pain, back pain, or pain from ribs sitting on my rib cage. I can drive/fly long distances, bike, hike, rollerskate, (I hope to go skiing in a few months!), cook elaborate dinners (standing at the sink for long periods of time were nearly my undoing), do some landscaping,-all the things I love but were nearly impossible to do before surgery. I haven't found anything that I can't do yet!
                Bend, Oregon

                Braced 3 years in high school
                Lumbar 70'+ Thoracic 70'+
                I had 3" shrinkage in 6 months...

                Surgery Jan 10, 2011
                9 hours
                T3 to S1 with pelvic fixation
                Both curves now 35'

                Possible revison for Flatback Syndrome
                Loose/broken hardware-awaiting CT results

                Here is the link to my before and after pics..


                • #9
                  Great thread Linda

                  Thank you for considering those of us that are still debating. We need these stories to help us make a decision. And I am with Lisa, who suggested adding the problems expirienced before surgery.

                  THanks to all who respond.

                  30 yrs, mom to two girls ages 9 and 7
                  8/9/04 - 18* thoracic and 42* lumbar
                  3/7/06 - 22* thoracic and 45* lumbar (38*kyphosis)
                  4/8/08 - 38* thoracic and 50-52* lumbar (54* kyphosis)

                  2007 - Scheduled surgery but cancelled due to no major health issues at the time.
                  2011 - Back pain, spasms, sciatica, difficulty doing any physical work/activities w/o following back pain and spasms. Revisiting surgery decision and soon to schedule a doctors appointment to determine the progression since 2008.


                  • #10
                    Date: December 7, 2010
                    Age: 65
                    Surgeon: Dr. Frank Rand
                    Procedure: Laminectomy L3, L4, L5; Vertebroplasty T9-T10
                    Transforaminal Decompression L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, and L5-S1
                    Bil. right L4-L5 disc excision; PSIF T10-S1 w/BIL
                    Intra-pelvic fixation plus local autograft
                    BMP and allograft; corrective spinal maneuver

                    I am very happy I had this done. It wasn't easy but it has been a positive life-changing event.

                    Attached Files
                    1996 x-rays (none read recently) 50 degrees thoracic, 40 degrees lumbar
                    Never braced, found out I had scoliosis at age 28
                    At time of surgery, multi-level disc spondylotic degeneration,
                    advanced lumbar degeneration, stenosis
                    65 years young and very active but no lengthy walks or standing without pain
                    Now, 67. walking and standing as much as I want
                    Surgery Dec. 7, 2010
                    T10-S1 posterior
                    Dr. Rand
                    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston,


                    • #11
                      Even though I am not totally pain free, I am still happy I had surgery because, prior to surgery I was not able to walk very far, stand for more than 10 minutes and could no longer roller skate or generally enjoy life. Recovery was really tough for me but by three months, I was off of the narcotics. Once off of the narcotics, I realized I had residual nerve pain in my right leg for which I take Neurontin. At about two years post-op I had another surgery to decompress the nerves. I was hopeful that the nerve pain would eventually go away, but it has not and at this point, four years post-op, is probably permanent. Eleven months after my surgery, I was allowed to go back to roller skating which was a joy for me. After my surgery, I am able to walk a mile or two (if it wasn't for bad knees and ankles, I could walk more), stand in the kitchen to prepare meals and can pretty much do anything I want to do. Since we moved a year and 1/2 ago, I don't have a skating rink that has adult skating, so I have taken up line dancing which is almost as much fun. I also have a great social life in our new location. Moving at age 70 is not much fun, but would have been impossible if I hadn't had surgery.
                      Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
                      Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
                      Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
                      Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
                      New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
                      Dr. Frank F.

                      "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.


                      • #12
                        Date: March 10, 2010
                        Age: 18
                        Surgeon: Dr. Munish Gupta
                        Procedure: Posterior Spinal Fusion T4-L2, Thoracoplasty
                        Curve Before: 50 Degrees
                        Curve After: 20 Degrees
                        Last edited by kennedy; 12-10-2011, 04:14 PM.
                        Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
                        Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
                        Before 50T
                        After 20T


                        • #13
                          I'm very happy. So far, so good--knock on wood!
                          Debbe - 50 yrs old

                          Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
                          Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

                          Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
                          Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
                          Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

                          Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
                          Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees


                          • #14
                            Date of Surgery: January 1986
                            Age at the time: 10 (I'd had infantile idiopathic scoliosis, so had grown up wearing EDF plaster casts and Milwaukee braces up until this point)
                            Surgeon: Michael Edgar, RNOH Stanmore, UK
                            Fused: T1-T12, Harrington Rod with Luque wires
                            Hospital Stay: Thoracic anterior release (open thoracotomy), 3 weeks in halo-tibial traction, posterior fusion - 6 weeks in total

                            Date of Surgery: June 1994
                            Age at the time: 18
                            Surgeon: Michael Edgar, Middlesex Hospital, London UK
                            Fused: Removal of Harrington rod and replacement with a longer rod, placement of anterior Zielke rod to include lumbar curve, fusion T1-L3. Costoplasty
                            Hospital Stay: 3 weeks

                            Date of Surgery: Sept 2001
                            Age at the time: 25
                            Surgeon: Mr Burgoyne, Middlesex Hospital, London UK
                            Fused: Second costoplasty to gain more cosmetic correction as I had such a "sharp" rib hump
                            Hospital Stay: 2 weeks

                            Date of Surgery: June 2009
                            Age at the time: 34
                            Surgeon: Stewart Tucker, RNOH Stanmore / Wellington Private Hospital, London, UK
                            Fused: Fusion extended one level down to L4 to include degenerated disc, using XLIF minimally-invasive technique
                            Hospital Stay: 1 week

                            I'm ever so happy that I had all of these surgeries and my back does not stop me from doing anything, I've had a great career and spent my university days clubbing and these days I enjoy climbing mountains and cycling. I'm more active than many of my friends with normal spines. At school I always took part in normal PE activities throughout. The length of my hospital stays were all typical for the time.


                            • #15
                              What a great idea for a thread, both pro and con!
                              I fall in the category of "really super glad I had surgery". I had curves 91 and 86 degrees (previous fusion in two areas in 1967, but my curves were progressing) and lumbar stenosis ("no detectable spinal fluid" at L4). I did not really have pain, but could not stand for more than 20 minutes w/ out resting.
                              I had surgery w/ Dr Lenke in August of 2010, fused T1 to sacrum. It was an extremely challenging thing to go through, but, to me worth it in every way. If I was told that I needed to have it done right now, I would gladly hop in the car and go have surgery, no question!! That's a silly scenario, but that's how enthusiastic I am about the results of my surgery.
                              My curves are now 50 and 45. I feel fantastic. Tons of energy and flexibility.
                              happy !!!
                              Age 58
                              Surgery w/ Dr Lenke August 23, 2010
                              original curves 91 thoracic, 86 lumbar
                              fused T1 to sacrum, new curves 50 and 45