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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260

    Spotting other people with scoliosis

    It seems as though ever since I made the decision to have the surgery I keep seeing older people zipping around with severe curves, seemingly doing very well. This messes with my mind a little. Today I saw an old lady in the supermarket who obviously had the same kind of curve I do -- one hip was way higher than the other -- and she was very, very short. She was walking okay, but she was leaning pretty heavily on the shopping cart. I wanted to talk to her in the worst say but I didn't have the guts. I wondered if she was in pain... if only we had a crystal ball and could see where we would be in 20 years if we didn't have the surgery!!

    Okay, enough rambling. Nothing's changed....I'm still having the surgery. Just wanted to get all that off my chest....
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    544
    Hi Chris,

    I have often wondered the same thing! The other day I was using a cane because I was out shopping by myself. I was mainly running (Walking is about the fastest it gets.....and that's pretty slow) into a couple of stores to see if they had a certain item. Of cource they didn't, but I saw something else! An older lady saw me struggling with the item, my purse, and the cane and came over and said, "For the next time, it's easier to get a shopping cart when you go in a store than using a cane." I told her that I had found that out! I just wasn't planning on buying anything (famous last words!) today so I didn't get the cart. We got to laughing some and went our seperate ways. I think next time that I see someone I'll bring something up. We had a nice little chat.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    texas,dallas area
    Posts
    136
    yeah everytime me and my mom are in a store she will comment to me,look at that lady leaning over, struggling to walk ,she reminds me if i dont get the surgery how much pain ill be in.
    Trudy T60 L70 posterior surgery feb.8th 2007

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,293

    I don't envy them!!!

    I am now 64 having had a successful revision 4 years ago.
    Had I NOT had the surgery I would have definitely been in pain, disabled and not able to work or be there for my husband, my 90 year old mom, my children and grandchildren. This also would have meant financial ramifications since my husband's company stopped paying for spousal medical benefits after he retired and I am not yet eligible for Medicare. Since I am able to work we can easily swing the group payments.

    Since my surgery I have traveled to Europe 3 times and hiked in the Alps. I have been gainfully employed, lately almost full time, at the profession I love.
    I've been able to help my elderly mom. I am pain free.

    Don't kid yourself. Progressive scoliosis in adulthood is insiduous and gradually can rob one of quality of life. The curving does not stop because it's reached a certain magnitude or you've reached a certain age. With increasing life spans perhaps this is more relevant than in the past.

    I also hate to think of the burden I could have been on my husband and family.
    Just my experience.

    Will see Boachie on Mon for my annual check and thank him again.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    82
    Thanks, Karen, for your post. I am 59, and have struggled with scoliosis pain since I was 12 1/2. In the past several years my pain has become constant. I recently was referred for an eval by an orthopedic surgeon, who ordered Xrays. We discovered that both my curves have progressed at least 10 degrees, and now I'm scheduled for surgery on April 24. My mother had a fusion when she was 70 because of her progression but it was in many ways too late for her. I had been avoiding the idea of a spinal fusion, since my mother's pain increased afterwards. But she had already lost 5 inches in height and had developed congestive heart failure (I suspect her progression was at least partly responsible.) Her doctor waited too long to refer her for surgery, and it only corrected her curves minimally.

    I've been concerned about my pain not improving after my surgery, but just becoming different. I'm so glad that surgery helped you so much. I'm trying to keep the faith that it'll help me too.

    Thanks,
    Brynn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    I live in Cedar Park, TX which is a suburb of Austin, TX.
    Posts
    76

    Yeah, Karen!

    Wow, you give me hope for a complete recovery! At 50 I was beginning to think the recovery would not be worth the benefits but if I can have half the gains that you have had, I would be happy! Going for my 12 week check-up next week and I am still in pain and have muscle spasms and burning all day. I hope I progress as well as you did over time.

    Thanks for the positive story.

    Joan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    4

    I'm an "oldie" with scoliosis

    Quote Originally Posted by Singer
    It seems as though ever since I made the decision to have the surgery I keep seeing older people zipping around with severe curves, seemingly doing very well. This messes with my mind a little. Today I saw an old lady in the supermarket who obviously had the same kind of curve I do -- one hip was way higher than the other -- and she was very, very short. She was walking okay, but she was leaning pretty heavily on the shopping cart. I wanted to talk to her in the worst say but I didn't have the guts. I wondered if she was in pain... if only we had a crystal ball and could see where we would be in 20 years if we didn't have the surgery!!

    Okay, enough rambling. Nothing's changed....I'm still having the surgery. Just wanted to get all that off my chest....
    I have not noted anything from someone on the forum that is around my age (77) who has had scoliosis for years to learn how they cope with the disease as it gets progressively worse. It's at the stage now where my back seems incapable of hardly holding my body up. My curvature was never measured or anything. When I asked what was the worst thing that could happen to me the dr. replied "a wheel chair." I am glad that you are having surgery, an option that was not brought up years ago. Perhaps 5 years or so ago I was told that surgery was not a good option and that 2 other options were not any good either. I frown on using a full brace as was told that once you do use one then a person can't get along without it at all.
    I wish you luck with yout surgery and am glad for you that you don't put it off any longer. I'm living proof that it only gets worse as a person ages.
    Nice keeping in touch. Elaine eb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Thanks, Elaine. I'm sorry you are having such difficulties with your curve, but it does help me with my resolve to take care of mine while I'm relatively young.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    850
    Ironically, I was heading in for my most recent check-up for 3 mos..(in Dec) & As I approached The Hospital of Special Surgery(HSS) in NYCity, I noticed a workman right in front of me with a horrible limp & it looked like very bad scoliosis where he was completely crooked & to one side. I can't say a 100% it was scoliosis but it sure looked like it.... I sighed...
    I'm grateful that I was able to get help. I can't express in words how much better I feel inside & out!
    PS. For those of you who have'nt seen my surgeon's website, check it out. There are several pictures of kids who had horrible curves & were helped greatly..... www.orthofocos.org
    Lynne

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    84
    I do the same thing
    I'll be at the store or at church or recently at a yard sale and I'll see someone that looks like they have Scoliosis or Khyposis.

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