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Thread: Dr. Geck in Austin

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    CT's are easy peasy....I have done a few CT and MRI rides over the years for various reasons.Ed
    I agree that regular CTs and MRIs are easy, but it's the contrast and myelogram (spinal tap) that I am very anxious about. That's a whole other experience.

  2. #17
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    Wow, you've been through a lot! Thank God it was successful.

    I have put it off for a while while doing my due diligence with other treatment options, but those other options cannot fix the curve and twist in my spine. I understand what you mean about feeling the twist. I am in pain daily and look forward to a positive outcome after surgery. The Myelogram was difficult for me for a few reasons, so now having to do it again is hard for me, but I will make it through. And it is required by the surgeon as part of the pre-op clearance.

    Thank you for your response!

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Did Dr. Geck say what was done incorrectly? I'm guessing they didn't visualize the correct levels. -Linda
    I was told that the contrast was too viscous. I pray they get it right the second time.

  4. #19
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    Maybe you can try a different hospital to do the test. You can request a disc and bring it to your surgeon.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoliosisstory View Post
    Wow, you've been through a lot! Thank God it was successful.
    I guess so....2007, 2008, and 2009 were busy years for me as far as surgeries are concerned. The scoliosis procedures were substantial for a 2 day stage, front, then back, I guess my surgeon felt I could handle it. It all worked out...I used up all my prayer allowance.

    You will get through that 2nd tap.... They made me roll over twice and then wait about 20 minutes before laying in the machine. They should keep a pogo stick available for mixing purposes. (More Radiology room humor) Ha ha
    Thinking about this, it's been almost 20 years since I had that test....

    How big are your curves? Are you an idiopathic? Male, Female, Age? How long have you been hanging in there? I waited 33 years for my surgeries. Since I was 16 every single doctor told me I would have my day, including my Chiro's. It was also a whole different scene years ago and I also need to be fused to the pelvis, which they don't like doing on young people....I was also a very active skier and was in great shape except for my spine....I waited for technology to advance which it did over the years.

    On the subject of CT, scoliosis surgeons do use "O" and "C" arms during our surgeries which is live flouroscopy so they can see things as they operate. Some doctors also use CT scans and operate through a heads up display which is also a great tool. I had flouroscopy burns on my hips with all the extensive lumbar work I had done. It was like a bad sunburn. This comes with really long surgeries....some up to 12 hours.

    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

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    You will get through that 2nd tap.... How big are your curves? Are you an idiopathic? Male, Female, Age? How long have you been hanging in there? Ed
    The second tap got off to a rocky start, but was more successful overall.

    I am a 47 yr old female. I was diagnosed with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis at age 12 and wore a brace for a year. I got annual check ups for a while, then every five years due to no changes occurring. Five years ago, I was in an auto accident that seemed to exacerbate everything. I now have bulging discs in my neck and back, a torn ligament in my back, and two torn ligaments in my wrist (for which I had surgery probably 3 years ago). My curvature has increased to 36 thoracic and 59 lumbar, my pelvis is tilted forward, and my spine is actually twisting (causing a back bump).

    I have participated in the following treatments over the past five years: chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, physical therapy, and pain management. I also go to the gym 4-5 days a week to use machines and dumbbells, I can handle about 10 minutes at a time on the stationary bike, and try to get in 3-5 yoga sessions a week. I feel like I have done what I can to avoid or delay surgery, but the above cannot fix my scoliosis. It helps me to be in better shape prior to surgery and possibly delayed it for a while, but at this point it's only getting worse. The surgeon called it a "collapsing spine" and that's exactly what it feels like. I am hopeful that I will not only experience relief from pain, but have my spine and supporting muscles back where they are designed to be, and get some relief for my internal organs that are compacted and pushed forward.

  7. #22
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    Hey. I just want to say I admire your command of the situation and your knowledge base.

    I think you will figure this out and be successful.

    Best regards,

    Sharon
    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. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoliosisstory View Post
    The second tap got off to a rocky start, but was more successful overall.

    I am a 47 yr old female. I was diagnosed with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis at age 12 and wore a brace for a year. I got annual check ups for a while, then every five years due to no changes occurring. Five years ago, I was in an auto accident that seemed to exacerbate everything. I now have bulging discs in my neck and back, a torn ligament in my back, and two torn ligaments in my wrist (for which I had surgery probably 3 years ago). My curvature has increased to 36 thoracic and 59 lumbar, my pelvis is tilted forward, and my spine is actually twisting (causing a back bump).

    I have participated in the following treatments over the past five years: chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, physical therapy, and pain management. I also go to the gym 4-5 days a week to use machines and dumbbells, I can handle about 10 minutes at a time on the stationary bike, and try to get in 3-5 yoga sessions a week. I feel like I have done what I can to avoid or delay surgery, but the above cannot fix my scoliosis. It helps me to be in better shape prior to surgery and possibly delayed it for a while, but at this point it's only getting worse. The surgeon called it a "collapsing spine" and that's exactly what it feels like. I am hopeful that I will not only experience relief from pain, but have my spine and supporting muscles back where they are designed to be, and get some relief for my internal organs that are compacted and pushed forward.
    I see you have been doing the rounds. Very good on the spinal tap and CT. Let us know what your surgeon says. Of course you can always get these reports from the Radiology dept. They are good to have for the future should you move.

    How bad is your pain? Adult scoliosis surgery decisions are all about pain and degeneration. Do you have sciatica? I remember discussing my long road battling scoliosis and at the end, I was shot at age 49, the pain was insane. I had serious DDD in my lumbar. All those discs had to go. I had 4 verified lumbar herniations diagnosed in 2002, and 2 cervical herniations in 2013, after my scoliosis surgeries.

    Our cases are similar.....We don't see too many lumbar curves or S curves around here. A 59 degenerative lumbar curve needs some thought....If you have x-rays, do post them. Front and side views.

    Do you have any kyphosis?

    Are you osteoporotic?

    There is a good probability that he will talk about anterior procedures with you. ALIF and XLIF or LLIF. ALIF is open, the rest are minimally invasive. I have read quite a bit about ALIF and circumferential fusions over the years. TLIF and PLIF are also common procedures done accessing the front, from the back. When you fuse from the front and the back, it balances it out and it's a stronger fusion. We have to fuse otherwise we will break out hardware.

    Pseudarthrosis and infection are our biggest worries. You can get Staph without surgery. I had it when I was 19.

    A name is always nice to know.....I used to post as Rod Stewart on the Brit forum years ago and everyone called me Rod in England. It was quite entertaining....I picked Rod since Jose Cuervo was taken. There actually is a Jose with scoliosis out there! Jose, where are you? Those big sombreros (see below) probably cause neck problems but there is no proof.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trMO...parkerwest5179

    If you decide to do surgery, they don't have lip balm at the hospital. They have everything else, but no lip balm.

    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

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Scoliosis surgery saved my life. My lumbar was wasted with severe DDD, and came out perfect. I never expected that...Incredible. My surgeon just shakes his head. I was age 49. Ed
    This is an amazing story for persevering and fighting for your own medical treatment, and extraordinary results and recovery!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Hey. I just want to say I admire your command of the situation and your knowledge base. I think you will figure this out and be successful. Best regards, Sharon
    Thanks, Sharon, I appreciate it!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Ed
    Hello all,
    Yes, it's true that a name is good to have...my name is Jen. So far my surgeon discussed only a posterior procedure, but I have an appointment with him soon to discuss the plan for surgery so I will know more information then. I do need to research further about the particular procedures (ALIF, XLIF, LLIF, TLIF, and PLIF).

    There is no kyphosis and no current knowledge of any osteoporosis. I will know more specifics in the next couple of weeks, and look forward to getting more information.

    Are thoracic curves more typical of people on this forum than lumbar?

  12. #27
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    Alright Jen.. We have a Jen from Australia who was fused about 10 years ago, posterior only, and came out great. She doesn't post much anymore and I think her username is Jen. I rarely look back at the old stuff....I can remember names, but not usernames. Post your x-ray and I will remember that. I want to see your lumbar....

    If its posterior only, look at TLIF and PLIF. These are wrap around from the back, that address the front. The spacer goes in from the back. Dr Lenke is the PLIF master and doesn't do ALIF's....Probably due to associated complication rates. There are different complication rates for each procedure. This is something only scoliosis surgeons can weigh.

    You should find out if he will fuse to the pelvis. This is important, especially the L5-S1 level.

    No kyphosis or osteoporosis is a really good thing....consider that big bonus points.

    I think the brunt of idiopathic scoliosis cases start in the thoracic. (Right thoracic) Linda, our mod would know more as she researches. Sharon also knows more than me on this. Left thoracic is indicative of congenital pathologies. We don't see those too often. On the Adams test, the rib hump will be on the left side.....

    They did extensive MRI studies in Hong Kong (Cheap MRI time) (Cotrel White book) on a large amount of scoliosis cases a few years back and found inner ear cochlea and brain stem malformations in a VERY HIGH number of idiopathic's. (Left inner ear, right thoracic). I found this interesting since I have had some ear problems in the past. The party balloon popped when I found an old 1978 study, so they have known about this for quite some time....Our ears have a lot to do with balance and it's the 8th cranial nerve. There are a lot of hints in scoliosis, but nothing conclusive or decisive. It's a 10,000 pc puzzle with maybe the border done. They will cure other diseases before scoliosis. Aids, some cancers, Alzheimers etc, are getting really close....Lots of trials going on right now.

    I will trade the occasional biotech every once in a while....Those are the hardway bets with big payoffs but you have to watch and wait.

    If you want links, just ask and I will look. All this stuff is here on the forum and in my files. Searching can be tricky and you have the use the right combinations of search words.

    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

  13. #28
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    Dr. Geck in Austin

    Thanks for the information, I'll check out the TLIF and PLIF procedures. So far, they will fuse T9-L5 and insert rods and screws, no mention of the pelvis yet.
    From what I have seen, it looks like thoracic scoliosis is more common - go figure mine would be uncommon. Mine is a 59 degree lumbar curve and 36 degree thoracic curve with a rib bump on my left side.

    The information you provided regarding the congenital pathologies is interesting! I've never done that much research into it, so I wasn't aware of this info. My balance is terrible! At least I think it is. If I'm standing and close my eyes, I typically sway. Also, my eyesight was always 20/20 but started to decline in the past couple of years and I now wear readers. I wonder if that has anything to do with my worsening scoliosis or bulging discs in my neck (due to pressure on nerves or whatever other cause it may be). Thanks again for all of the information in your post, and I plan to do some more reading about it.

    I have attached one x-ray of my spine that shows the degree of curvature in my thoracic and lumbar spine.

    Jen


    scoliosis x-ray 2021.jpg

  14. #29
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    That looks painful....

    We have a lumbar curve member here named Suzie in Sacramento. She came out good also. About the same length fusion mass.

    Looks like he wants to skip the L5-S1 which is the ALIF from the front. I would ask how long he thinks that level will last under your fusion mass. Will I need a revision surgery down the road?

    My eyes also took a dump when I was 47 and required readers....This happens. I actually have cataracts and need new lenses. I have to get this done one of these days.

    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 11-03-2021 at 11:15 PM.
    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

  15. #30
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    Some reading material and videos...

    In figure 2 and figure 3, you see the bone spurs that mushroom out from the vertebral body that can cause pain. With our large curves and rotated spines, exiting spinal roots that come off each side get pinched, and also the main spinal cord. This is stenosis (narrowing) which just about all of us have and can cause some terrible neuropathic pains. Radiculopathy is a word they use to describe all of the degenerative problems on a level. It's the lump sum definition.

    In figure 3, you will see the facet joint. There are 3 joints on each level, and 2 of those are the facet joints. They remove our facets on each side. That takes care of a lot of pain.... all my facets were removed on all my fused levels.

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...e-disc-disease

    This video on Facet Joint Injections has some good diagrams that show the facets. These facet joints can get pretty raw. Some members here have had various blocks and injections.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBFP...dBrain%26Spine

    After surgery, I knew all my previous pain producing areas were solved, the thing is that you trade these old pains for new surgical pain....which is masked with opioid's (Percoset, Oxy etc) and then you heal in time, and then you wean off your medications. The weaning was the hardest part of it all for me, not the surgeries. The meds work great, especially the injectables, then come the orals....It's the reduction of these medications that are tough.

    Here is a good TLIF animated video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okNJ...ticSpineCenter

    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

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