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Pregnancy, delivery, long scar and epidural

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  • Pregnancy, delivery, long scar and epidural

    I'm now a little over 6 months pregnant and had my appointment with the anaethesiologist today. I'm very leery of having an epidural, more due to my past herniations at L5/S1 than to my scoliosis fusion. The anaethesiologist was really pushing toward an epidural (though not making me make a decision then) because he said the scar tissue from the L5/S1 herniations would be on the sides and not directly in the spinal canal, so would not affect epidural insertion.

    Then he examined my back itself. I am fused from T5 to L2, but he told me the scar goes down well past L2 (which I've known for a while - they made a really long incision). He called his supervisor who told him it wasn't worth chancing it - the scar itself might cause a problem with the insertion. As much as I didn't want an epidural, it kind of suprised me that this ended up being the reason they won't give me one. Has anyone else had this experience giving birth post- surgery?
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  • #2
    I have Scheuermann's kyphosis, and was fused from T3-L2 in 1989 when I was 21 years old. I have since had a singleton and a twin pregnancy. I had my older son in 1997. I was not keen on having an epidural when I delivered him, and had 12 hours of labor with no drugs. However, I ended up having a c-section. The doctor had no problem getting my epidural in. In 2003, I delivered my twins. I had planned a c-section, but went into labor about 4 hours prior to my scheduled surgery. Things weren't going well, and I had 2 docs trying to get the epidural in. No luck this time, and I was put under general anesthesia. Fast forward to this past summer. I had to have a hysterectomy. I ended up luckily getting an anesthesiologist who had lots of spine experience. He managed to get an epidural block in after a couple of tries. It was a blessing that he was able to do that. I was, of course, under general anesthesia for the surgery, but the spinal block helped for recovery.

    My incision goes all the way down to my rear end, but that didn't seem to cause any issues. My best advice to you is to be flexible and try to get anesthesia docs who have some experience with spines, if possible. Best of luck to you! Congrats on your wee one!