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Thread: silly question...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los angeles
    Posts
    122

    silly question...

    For all of you who already have had the surgery,

    Does you body really change afterwards? Can you and people notice the difference? Did your old clothes fit you differently?
    I've had this body with these large curves since I was 12 years old. I'm 32 now with a T90 and L50. Most of the people cannot really tell I have this deformity ( I became a master of disguise) but I can tell. For the last couple of years I have avoided looking at myself in the mirror and going to the beach...
    Obviously, I am not doing this for cosmetic result... My daily rib and chest pains remind me of what I have, I am just trying to focus on the outcome rather than what I am going to go through in 2 weeks... I guess I just need encouragment!
    Pilar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Honestly? I was gobsmacked.

    Before surgery, I didn't think much about the change in shape. I suppose this was because my shape never worried me much. My back had stood me in such good stead over the years, I was ok with it.

    But the first time I stood in front of a mirror naked - I didn't recognise myself!
    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. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,447
    Pilar
    Big time.
    You will probably grow 3 inches after your surgeries. It’s a big improvement.

    Can I ask if your anterior will be XLIF’s? or waistline ALIF? I had a vertical done.
    XLIF’s are from the side, and leave little 1 inch scars. I ask because I don’t think that the surgeons do vertical ALIF's on women too often.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    399
    Yes, the cosmetic correction was remarkable. As a child I would be called a "hunchback" and spat on in the street for the way I looked. After all my surgery, no-one can really tell I have scoliosis and I can wear lovely dresses and feel great about myself. And, even though my first surgery was in 1986, I haven't lost any correction at all! I have friends who are jealous of my figure! It is amazing

    There are apparently some chiropractors out there who are telling people that surgery doesn't give you any cosmetic correction whatsoever and that if your surgeon tells you it will then they are LYING to you. This is utter, utter BS but if it worries anyone at all, they should just take a look at some of the wonderful before and after photos on the various scoliosis forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Jennifer put it so well!

    Throughout my adult life, I learned how to disguise the deformity, and essentially forgot about it most of the time unless it became obvious because of exposure (swimsuits) or something that just didn't fit (like tucking shirts in, or skirts that hang at an angle). It was just part of who I was.

    Even though my angle wasn't severe, and I was looking forward to pain relief and repair of degenerating discs, I was SHOCKED to see myself with a normal back and waist. I hadn't expected it to be such a difference, given the degree of correction wasn't very extreme. To me, it was like an unexpected bonus - looking normal after all these years! Wow.

    Your body really changes. Everyone will notice the difference. You will be able to wear anything you want. It's like the icing on the cake.
    Last edited by BadKitty; 11-22-2010 at 10:08 AM.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Yes, even at my age it does make a difference in how you look. My torso looks a bit longer, I look thinner because my rib cage isnt all twisted around and my rib hump is basically gone. My right shoulder blade is just slightly prominent but you have to be looking for it to notice it. I would imagine you will notice a big difference since you are younger. If you look at my x-rays, the before side view shows a double roll and on the after it is gone after straightening my spine.
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,317
    Quote Originally Posted by tonibunny View Post
    There are apparently some chiropractors out there who are telling people that surgery doesn't give you any cosmetic correction whatsoever and that if your surgeon tells you it will then they are LYING to you. This is utter, utter BS but if it worries anyone at all, they should just take a look at some of the wonderful before and after photos on the various scoliosis forums.
    This is simply more Clear "geniusry." CLEARLY the Clear chiros should scrupulously avoid talking about surgery as it is well established both by their remarks and how they misrepresent the literature that they known zip about it.

    It's analogous to a chiro telling an engineer about vibration theory or referencing any type of equation of any sort whatsoever.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    225
    Titanium Ed, what the heck does "don't forget the foam!" mean?
    Stephanie, age 56
    Diagnosed age 8
    Milwaukee brace 9 years, no further treatment, symptom free and clueless until my 40s that curves could progress.
    Thoracolumbar curve 39 degrees at age 17
    Now somewhere around 58 degrees thoracic, 70 degrees thoracolumbar
    Surgeon Dr. Michael S. O'Brien, Baylor's Southwest Scoliosis Center, Dallas TX
    Bilateral laminectomies at L3 to L4, L4 to L5 and L5 to S1 on April 4, 2012
    Foramenotomies L3 through S1 in August 2014

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    It took me a while to figure it out, but I'm pretty sure he means the foam topper for the bed post-op!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,447
    Stephanie

    Yes, the foam for the bed. Foam toppers help tremendously with sleeping after surgery....I had so many problems with sleeping and realized that the foam would help tremendously, and it did. I learned this after struggling so hard to sleep.

    My shoulder was also broken which didnt help....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by pilar View Post
    For all of you who already have had the surgery,

    Does you body really change afterwards? Can you and people notice the difference? Did your old clothes fit you differently?
    I've had this body with these large curves since I was 12 years old. I'm 32 now with a T90 and L50. Most of the people cannot really tell I have this deformity ( I became a master of disguise) but I can tell. For the last couple of years I have avoided looking at myself in the mirror and going to the beach...
    Obviously, I am not doing this for cosmetic result... My daily rib and chest pains remind me of what I have, I am just trying to focus on the outcome rather than what I am going to go through in 2 weeks... I guess I just need encouragment!
    Pilar
    Pilar,
    My body didn't change so as anybody else could tell, but I can tell. I still have a crease in my back (but that is small potatoes), I feel less scrunched up in my torso and generally straighter. Obviously none of us do this for cosmetic reasons, but it is a nice side effect for all the tough recovery we go through...
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    66
    Hi Pilar! I'm 19, female, and am almost 1 1/2 years post opp. Fused T9 -L3. And I can feel the difference especially in tighter fitting clothes and dresses...they fit like they're supposed to. I'm sure its different for everyone though. I also feel like my lungs have more room to expand. I was at approx 60 degrees so my ribs were compressed on one side and spread out of the other. I feel great now and can sit up straight and breath wonderfully! All the best with your surgery! You can do it!!!!
    Maliha
    Fused 2009

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I had 2 curves at 66 degrees prior to surgery, and everyone said they couldn't tell. However, some of those SAME people who saw me afterwards, said, OMG you are so STRAIGHT!! So apparently I wasn't as disguised as I or these other people thought.

    I also lost 15 lbs after surgery so of course my clothes fit me differently anyway. I do like what I see in the mirror better without any clothes--the ribs aren't squished over one one side and caved in on the other.
    __________________________________________
    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. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    52
    this is such encouragement! I'm looking forward to have my surgery and put this behind me.. so i can finally able to wear a bikini without hiding!
    62/75 (T4-T9 68 degree & T11 - L4 80 degree) 10/19/2010
    45/50 year 2000
    36 yrs old
    Considering, researching surgery for the first time
    S. California
    http://s1210.photobucket.com/albums/...ashionista889/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    The change in my body was remarkable, with a symmetrical waistline for the first time in my life. I gasped and teared up the first time I tried on a dress with a nipped-in waist three months after surgery. If I were 30 years younger, I'd wear a bikini !!!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

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