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Thread: Thoracoplasty anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Thoracoplasty anyone?

    Can anyone who has had a thoracoplasty enlighten me a bit about what to expect? I have a significant rib hump which does bother me and my doctor has indicated that having a thoracoplasty can reduce this hump somewhat. It sounds very painful though. The thoracoplasty can provide the bones needed for my fusion, otherwise it will be taken from my pelvis. Does anyone think that it might be easier for me to do the thoracoplasty (as a separate incision is not needed for this procedure) as opposed to having my pelvis thouched? Any feedback would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Suffolk, UK
    I had a double thoracoplasty with my surgery just over 2 months ago. Although it was very painful, it was a lot easier to just have the one inscision to worry about. You may also have to have a chest drain aswell, which means a tiny inscision just under the main one (if you are having anterior).

    I did find though that the pain from the missing ribs made it very difficult to breathe or yawn etc. If I cough or sneeze I am in pain for the next half hour. I also had phantom pains from them which was an experience.

    Most of my pain is gone now, but I have a complication with the rod sticking out through the gap in my ribs which I am due to have corrected soon and this is prolonging the pain in my case. My surgeon told me that this is quite rare, so I wouldn't worry too much about it happening.

    Having said that, I am very, very happy with the results. My rib hump is entirely gone and my ribs are now even at the front. I have no regrets about having the thoracoplasty.
    Anterior surgery 18th Jan 07
    Fused from T8 to T12 with 2 ribs removed
    Surgery was done by Mr Harrison and his team at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, England
    Revision posterior surgery on 26th April 07 to remove protruding rib stumps
    No longer wearing a Stanmore custom hard backed brace
    Posterior surgery on 18th August 08 due to non fusion of first op and further kyphosis. Two rods from T2 to T12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I had a thoracoplasty done through which my surgeon removed a rib and the discs in my thoracic spine. They then flipped me over, did a hip graft to get additional bone and then opened my back from just below my neck to below my I basically had it all!

    Like Kazyn, my rib removal area was painful and sore for many months while the rib regenerated and I also had phantom pains (muscles spasms) that took my breath away. My father had open heart surgery in '96 and still has occassional spasms, so I knew that they were all part of the healing process. I hardly ever have spasms anymore though.

    The hip graft on the other hand was/is the most painful part for me. I still get aches and pain in my hip graft area and always will. If I had knowing this before the surgery, I would have still opted to have the hip graft rather than use donor bone, but that's just me. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    new jersey
    I had a thoracoplasty & it was uncomfortable for a while right after. Mostly numb. But I am so thankful to be rid of my ugly hump. Over the years I accepted my disfigurement more but now I feel I stand taller & look so much better. So at 47, I feel better self esteem & younger in a way! I honestly neve expected to have the hump gone in addition to the straightening of my spine but it has changed my life! go for it!!! Lynne
    Last edited by lelc2002@yahoo; 03-27-2007 at 06:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Speaking of thorocoplasty's.........
    I am a little confused about these. At what point are they necessary to ensure the disappearance of a rib hump after surgery?
    At my first doctor's appointment, my surgeon said I would not need a thorocoplasty to take care of my rib hump, and that it would be "taken care of" by the surgery to correct my curves. But I thought I read somewhere on here that surgery alone will not make a rib hump disappear....?
    31 year old female
    55* (day of surgery) thoracic curve w/compensatory lumbar
    T4-T12 on Aug 15, 2007

    MRI, pre-surgery
    Xray, 3 mos. post-op
    Machu Picchu, 8 mos. post-op

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Question rib hump

    The smaller the thoracic curve before surgery the better the chance of less rib hump before surgery. Once the rib cage gets so "pointed" as in my case from a 100deg curve (1956) some humpness will remain even after thoracoplasty. There is also the issue of space for the lungs. If my surgeon had taken off any more hump I would have less room to breathe.
    Lumbar curves, which do not affect the ribs, give a better result corrected because the rib cage was not misshapen to begin with.

    All the more reason not to postpone treating progressive deformity.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    My thoracic curve wasn't as large as my lumbar curve. I had a moderate rib hump which corrected itself during my lumbar fusion.
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback

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