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Thread: Muscle tightness, ribs did not follow back?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    37

    Muscle tightness, ribs did not follow back?!

    One and a half year after surgery with Dr. Hostin to correct a 45 degree thoracic curve, I'm still in pain. I have lots of muscle tightness (need to take 3 muscle relaxers to keep food down and completely empty my bladder). Also have pain between shoulders. Surgeon has no explanation. PT and an osteopathic Dr./mannipulator talk about releasing the muscles so the ribs will follow the straight spine. They believe the spine got straight, but the ribs stayed in the old place causing this great deal of tension. I'm all mixed up and not sure what to believe. Anybody with similar experience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NC
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    Hi.

    Do you have a rib hump post-op? If not then your ribs are in place and either your surgeon removed the rotation or you weren't very rotated to begin with.

    Did you have a lot of rotation pre-op?

    Why do they think it is the rib placement and not a bazillion other possible causes?
    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."

  3. #3
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    Aug 2004
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    ny
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    I agree - just about anything could be causing this pain/tightness. They could be overlooking so many other possible causes by assuming it is the rib placement. What are they basing this theory on? Have you had any other tests to see what the cause of the pain might be?

    Best of luck - I hope you get some relief soon!
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    I know they told me that about 85% of people get pain reduction after surgery. That leaves 15% either the same or worse for pain. This is one reason my surgeon won't operate on my curve of similar magnitude. He's afraid of leaving me in pain. My ribs hurt now, so don't know how they'll feel after fusion. I'm wondering if it could be more of a muscle pain. It could be the hardware irritating the muscles. Have you asked your surgeon about having the hardware removed?

    I've been diagnosed with dystonia. Could that be a possible cause for your pain? You might try going to a pain doctor and asking about trigger point injections. I also just started Botox for the dystonia. It's too early to tell if it will help me or not. So I don't know what to recommend there.

    You also have to remember that with rotation, the ribs are malformed along with the vertebrae. There was a nice diagram posted on here somewhere. I don't know where it's at right off hand.

    I am also on muscle relaxants. I'm curious about your comment about needing the relaxants to keep food down or empty your bladder. That doesn't "seem" to have anything to do with scoliosis. One of the muscle relaxants I'm on is actually used for bladder incontinence. Even though it's a relaxant, it has a constricting effect on the urethral sphincter. It's baclofen just so you know. The other relaxant I'm on is klonopin. My urethra doesn't seem to be affected in any way by this medication. Maybe you need to see a GI doc about your swallowing problem and a urologist (or gynocologist if you are female) about the urinary problem. They just seem unrelated, but I could be wrong.

    I'm really sorry to hear that you are in pain. :-(
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  5. #5
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    I agree the other issues are probably unrelated.

    I think the reason the ribs became the favored explanation is just a function of having gone to an osteopathic doctor. But that's like looking for your car keys not where you lost them but where it is most well lit.

    Now osteopathic doctors in fact do have a comparable education as medical doctors but I have never understood why they are necessary and what they add to the general diagnosis and treatment picture. They are NOT in the same category as chiros who claim to take the same classes but the content is nowhere near up to snuff, the teachers aren't qualified, and it is not rigorous at all.
    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."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    37
    Hi,

    After surgery I was on Valium and Metaxalone. Valium was tapered off over a period of 2 mths then stopped at 6 mths mark after surgery. Metaxalone was continued. For 3 weeks I could not keep much down and could not completely empty my bladder. My PT at the time said I felt very tight all over. I thought maybe ab. tightness was causing the problems. Surgeon did not think so and put me on prednisone for 5 days without any benefit. Asked PCP to try 5 mg of Valium daily. Boom. Worked like magic.

    Well scoliosis is the land of mass confusion. I lived with no pain and a stable curve for 30 years then I got all the pain in the world. Imaging showed nothing except the curve, so the cureve was the cause of pain. Now the surgery is the source of the pain. I'm bombarded with theories based on no hard evidence. My top surgeon is mind boggled. I feel I'm in the middle ages. Maybe one day somebody will suggest blood letting. Who knows.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Toronto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Hi,

    After surgery I was on Valium and Metaxalone. Valium was tapered off over a period of 2 mths then stopped at 6 mths mark after surgery. Metaxalone was continued. For 3 weeks I could not keep much down and could not completely empty my bladder. My PT at the time said I felt very tight all over. I thought maybe ab. tightness was causing the problems. Surgeon did not think so and put me on prednisone for 5 days without any benefit. Asked PCP to try 5 mg of Valium daily. Boom. Worked like magic.

    Well scoliosis is the land of mass confusion. I lived with no pain and a stable curve for 30 years then I got all the pain in the world. Imaging showed nothing except the curve, so the cureve was the cause of pain. Now the surgery is the source of the pain. I'm bombarded with theories based on no hard evidence. My top surgeon is mind boggled. I feel I'm in the middle ages. Maybe one day somebody will suggest blood letting. Who knows.
    Hi there,
    this is intersting, I have not yet had the surgery, planned in August, I have similar issues with emptying the bladder. I am male, so after a thorough prostrate inestigation etc, no-one has given me a clear cause for this. i however have a much sharper curve of 72 deg plus also kyphosis and rib hump is slowly forming. One thing that I noticed is that if I am able to push my left arm(palm) against the wall at shoulder height, then I feel like I have a bit more control over my abdomen muscles and this helps empting the bladder. My MRI etc was inconclusive, my surgeon suspects that there is stenosis somewhere which is not being picked up by MRI because of lying down position when doing MRI. Load bearing MRI may show some additional info. My surgeon revommened performing CT myelogram and found that the dye took a long time to move in the spinal canal and also some sign of stenosis near the nerve roots

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    NJ
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    1,293

    pain after surgery?

    I had "tightness' in all sorts off places. Exercise and myofascial(Rolfing) release helped that. The body often objects to its realignment. Scarring occurs with any surgery. It's easy to get upset by these things. It is common to have all sorts of jabs, aches etc. after this surgery. I found the best thing is to keep moving and not dwell on it.I have absolutely no pain 10 years post a mega surgery--but it took awhile to become pain free. I also worked on not dwelling on aches and getting fearful because that in itself can set up a pain cycle having nothing to do with surgery.
    As far as urinating is concerned. Have you been evaluated by a urologist? During surgery a urinary catheter is inserted. Sometimes a stricture can occur.
    Just my experience.
    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

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