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  • Would My Spine Be Useful For Research?

    I am new here, and this is my first post.

    I am a 58 year old male with severe kyphosis, technically kyphoscoliosis, but the kyphosis outweighs the scoliosis by a long shot. Treatment is not an option.

    See http://www.flickr.com/photos/77824735@N03/6971001285/

    Would there be any organizations that would get value if I donated my body to research? If so, what institutions would be best to donate it to. I'm not planning on dying any time soon, but wanted info for estate planning purposes.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. Who told you treatment is not an option? I've seen more severe curves/kyphosis where Dr. Lenke in St. Louis was able to drastically improve patients' conditions. Dr. Lenke only works with the most severe of the severe. Please explore his site http://www.spinal-deformity-surgeon.com/ and in particular, click on the Patient Stories tab.

    Warmly,
    Doreen
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

    http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Woah....I feel your pain....

      They can fix you you know.....you need the right team. They do amazing stuff these days. It would be worth e-mailing your x-ray to UCSF, Dr Lenke or any other extreme deformity center.

      Welcome to the forum
      Ed
      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
      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

      My x-rays
      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by titaniumed View Post
        Woah....I feel your pain....

        They can fix you you know.....you need the right team. They do amazing stuff these days. It would be worth e-mailing your x-ray to UCSF, Dr Lenke or any other extreme deformity center.

        Welcome to the forum
        Ed
        Hi Ed

        I see your preop measurements in your signature, can u share your postop measurements too?

        Warmly
        Doreen
        44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

        Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
        Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

        Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
        2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

        http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Doreen

          You know, I never asked. I didnít think it mattered much, was just happy to come out so well.

          If you look at them, you can zoom.....my Lumbar looks like a 25 or 30.

          Both of us are missing the one screw at around T7, isnít that interesting? Since that level was quite a wedge, they didnít have clear trajectory.

          I have 5 Peek plastic spacers in my Lumbar...you cannot see them as Peek doesnít show up on x-rays.

          Glad to see you doing well.

          Ed
          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
          http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

          My x-rays
          http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

          http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by titaniumed View Post
            Doreen

            You know, I never asked. I didn’t think it mattered much, was just happy to come out so well.

            If you look at them, you can zoom.....my Lumbar looks like a 25 or 30.

            Both of us are missing the one screw at around T7, isn’t that interesting? Since that level was quite a wedge, they didn’t have clear trajectory.

            I have 5 Peek plastic spacers in my Lumbar...you cannot see them as Peek doesn’t show up on x-rays.

            Glad to see you doing well.

            Ed
            Are you saying I'm missing a screw at T7? I double checked my xrays as there are some sets that I did not post and can see screws at every level. Maybe the xrays I posted didn't show the entire length of my fusion, but I see them. It is a wonderful thing to be on the other side for sure! :-) I hope gonzorini reaches out to either UCSF or Dr. Lenke to see what his options are.

            Warmly,
            Doreen
            44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

            Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
            Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

            Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
            2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

            http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Severe Kyphosis Video of Dr. Lenke's Talent

              Here is a great video of one of Dr. Lenke's patients who had severe kyphosis of 135 degree. Dr. Lenke ranked this patient as a 10 out of 10 for difficulty (1 being the least difficult surgery and 10 being the most challenging surgery).

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKvVv...re=relatedcool

              Dr. Lenke performs these surgeries on patients of all ages; there is hope.

              Warmly,
              Doreen
              44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

              Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
              Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

              Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
              2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

              http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Doreen1 View Post
                Are you saying I'm missing a screw at T7?
                I don't see anything missing.

                Gonzorini... A university hospital might be interested. Finding the right person within the organization, however, could be an exercise in futility.

                I agree with Doreen and Ed, your spine could be fixed if you're interested. Where do you live?

                --Linda
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Dr Lenke, UCSF and your nice welcome

                  I've sent a letter with link to UCSF asking if the back would be useful for research.

                  I was unable to find a way to email a message to Dr. Lenke. If anyone has an email for him, I'd appreciate it.

                  Thanks Ed for your pictures, the scar isn't as bad as I would have expected.

                  Doreen, thanks for the link to the video, that was really impressive.

                  Thanks to all who have given me such a warm welcome!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gonzorini View Post
                    I've sent a letter with link to UCSF asking if the back would be useful for research.

                    I was unable to find a way to email a message to Dr. Lenke. If anyone has an email for him, I'd appreciate it.

                    Thanks Ed for your pictures, the scar isn't as bad as I would have expected.

                    Doreen, thanks for the link to the video, that was really impressive.

                    Thanks to all who have given me such a warm welcome!
                    Do you live in northern California?
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do hope you read some of my threads....I donít think I have ever talked about donating, but I have thought about these things before my surgeries mainly due to resulting depression, wondering what was going to happen? Its our main fear.

                      I donít think about these things now....

                      I think that you owe it to yourself to investigate the options. Discuss with only the best of the best. Discuss and think only the positive. The technology is there, its do-able.

                      For me, my surgeries saved my life....a new focus, with new goals....a long life. Now, what am I going to do? LOL

                      I would never talk anyone into ANY surgeries, its their 100% decision....I will talk people into learning what there is to offer, that I will do, after all this is a scoliosis/kyphosis forum. Ask any questions you want here.

                      I know itís a hard step. I was there... scary stuff.

                      BTW, Linda works at UCSF. (smiley face)

                      Ed
                      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
                      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

                      My x-rays
                      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

                      http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gonzorini View Post

                        I was unable to find a way to email a message to Dr. Lenke. If anyone has an email for him, I'd appreciate it.!
                        Lenke's office doesn't regularly use email with patients or potential patients. They will want u to fax your X-rays to them. Call Naomi 314-747-2538 at Lenke's office to introduce yourself and your situation then ask for their fax number.

                        Keep us posted on what u find out.

                        Warmly
                        Doreen
                        44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

                        Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
                        Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

                        Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
                        2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

                        http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why I asked about research and not treatment

                          I appreciate the concern for me that you folks have. I live in Utah for those of you who asked. UCSF responded to tell me they forwarded my request to their spine department.

                          Now to answer why I do not want treatment. I have a weird sense of humor and thought perhaps I'd use a David Letterman style top 10 list of reasons to explain. I could only figure out 6 though, so that will have to do.

                          6. I registered with studentdoctor.net to ask what people thought about my x-ray. The thread was terminated promptly because "it was asking for medical advice". So I figured if I didn't want treatment, I didn't want to get busted for that here.

                          5. Getting metal in my back would make going through Airports harder.

                          4. The metal would make me feel colder during the winter and be uncomfortable.

                          3. Can't afford it. No insurance and no money or job at the moment.

                          2. Risk of paralysis or other bad things.

                          And the number one reason I don't want treatment is:

                          1. Aside from the severe deformity, there is nothing wrong with my back.

                          I can't imagine why a doctor would give me a referral for treatment for that reason. I do not have pain. I can walk. I breath normally. I look pretty normal when standing. I have no handicap of any kind except for a self imposed restriction on lifting heavy objects. If it ain't broke, I don't want to break it as noted in reason two.

                          I'm very sorry for not realizing the picture of my back would generate concern for my well being. You kind people have been through pain and stuff I can't even conceive of. I hope you will forgive my insensitivity.

                          As I understand it, a severe curvature like mine is very rare. A doctor at the University of Utah hospital told me that he's never seen a curvature like mine that wasn't handicapped and restricted to a wheelchair. And so, as an exception to the rule, my back may have research value because somehow, miraculously, it didn't interfere with my life function. It occurred to me after seeing all the comments in this thread that with today's technology, they could do quite a bit of research on me without needing me dead. With all the new body imaging they have now, they could get a lot of information without having to open me up. And they can get it while my body is still functioning. A neighbor of mine told me that if your body is ravaged by cancer or the like it isn't useful for donation. Her sister who died of cancer had made provision to donate her body was denied on account of that. So sooner may be better than later. I'm hoping that somehow I can be of help to others who aren't so lucky.

                          As for my top six list, I think some of those reasons are misinformation or bad assumptions on my part, so feel free to correct them, as I'm curious as to what the truth is. Particularly, how the cold affects the rods and screws in the winter, what happens in airports, and what financing options are available. Then I'll be in a better position to help others at least.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So would you be interested in being part of a "live" study with or without surgery? Finances are always a problem for us poorer (financially) folks. I, fortunately, do have insurance coverage. So for now, if I need surgery I can have it. If surgery is something that you are dead set against (excuse the pun as you started this thread about donating your body), then would you put yourself through testing to see why you are not disabled? Sometimes companies will pay handsomely for human test subjects, but they are usually drug companies. I'm not sure where you would go to be checked out. I can't imagine that information on your spine wouldn't be useful. Like you said, most people in "your condition" are disabled or in a wheel chair.

                            I'm really glad you aren't in any pain and can live a normal life. That's really great. I'd even be curious to see if your body is really functioning within normal parameters, for example, lung function, liver and kidney function, etc. since things really do look scrunched up in there.

                            I would contact all the big university teaching hospitals to start. I wish you all the BEST!!

                            Rohrer01
                            Be happy!
                            We don't know what tomorrow brings,
                            but we are alive today!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rohrer01 View Post

                              I would contact all the big university teaching hospitals to start. I wish you all the BEST!!

                              Rohrer01
                              I agree... UCSF and Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University where Lenke is located are the best scoli university teaching hospitals.

                              Warmly,
                              Doreen
                              44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

                              Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
                              Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

                              Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
                              2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

                              http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

                              Comment

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