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Thread: Other Surgeries to Fix Scoliotic Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    177

    Other Surgeries to Fix Scoliotic Problems

    Is it possible to treat the symptoms of scoliosis with other surgeries besides fusion surgery?

    I know that no other surgery straightens spinal curves. But maybe you don't care about being straight. You have a problem that the curvature caused and you want the problem taken care of with surgery that isn't as invasive and body-altering as fusion.

    Me, for instance. My lumbar curve caused muscle strain and a pinched nerve that affected my walking. Alleviating the strain on the muscles probably requires straightening the curve. But fixing the pinched nerve might be possible with another kind of orthopedic surgery, a "release" surgery that carves out the area of bone that is impinging on the nerve.

    Anyone have any experience with or information about something like this or reaction to it?
    Last edited by Tina_R; 09-09-2020 at 07:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,109
    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    Is it possible to treat the symptoms of scoliosis with other surgeries besides fusion surgery?

    I know that no other surgery straightens spinal curves. But maybe you don't care about being straight. You have a problem that the curvature caused and you want the problem taken care of with surgery that isn't as invasive and body-altering as fusion.

    Me, for instance. My lumbar curve caused muscle strain and a pinched nerve that affected my walking. Alleviating the strain on the muscles probably requires straightening the curve. But fixing the pinched nerve might be possible with another kind of orthopedic surgery, a "release" surgery that carves out the area of bone that is impinging on the nerve.

    Anyone have any experience with or information about something like this or reaction to it?
    Depending on one's age, some much older patients have gotten relief from smaller surgeries. Unfortunately, doing smaller surgeries on middle aged adults, often (if not always) leads to destabilizing curves, causing even worse structural issues.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    111
    My adult onset scoliosis was mostly my lumbar - I am fused T11-Sacrum. 4 of my lumbar discs were basically dried up and gone - but I still had a little bit of my L4/L5 disc. I ended up rupturing that and so I had the nerve pain all the way to my foot. After awhile, I couldn't stand for more than 2 minutes without horrible pain and same for walking - I could barely go 1 block without pain.

    At the time, I had 2 daughters engaged and I wasn't willing to have my fusion surgeries before their weddings in case I had a "bad outcome." 4 months prior to the 1st wedding, I had a discectomy to relieve the sciatica pain. It did help somewhat. (of course I still had tons of back pain from bone on bone and all sort of other issues but at least I could walk).

    In the 11 months before the next wedding, I could tell I was getting worse. I believe the discectomy destabilized my spine and made me worse. At the time, my surgeon said "This is a bandaid surgery. If you choose this option, I guarantee you I will be seeing you again." But, he understood my predicament and was OK with my choice.

    So, you can probably have a smaller surgery and relieve some pain, but in my experience it did make my spine "crumble" faster....

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

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