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Thread: decision for the surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    decision for the surgery

    Hello, I have 15 year old son with double curve 50 and 49. I know this is not parent's site but I need to ask some questions to you all. His surgery is scheduled the last day of his final exam in may. Am I making a right decision. After I read scoliosis surgery book I am terribly concerned about revision surgery. Could revision happen to young patients with best doctor. When/if it happens it sounded pretty grim to fix it. Not to mention emotional turmoil and pain the patient had to endure. I am not too worried about surgery itself because i have total confidence in doctor. I am more concerned about long term effect after the surgery. His doctor feels his curve will only progress so we are opting for the surgery while he is young. But what if it start to stabilize then I am making a wrong choice here. His curve has progressed rather quickly from the last exam which was four months ago. He is not in pain now and he does not care for the surgery because of the time loss. He thinks this will screw up his academic plans. My biggest thing is that am I doing right thing making him have a surgery now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    i know the dilema you are going through. My son too is 15. THe doctor has been monitoring his progression since the fall. If his curves were not so high already and progressing so quickly then the doctor would have held off. My son is a risser 2 which means he has quite a bit of growing left. Is your son close to finished growing?
    Also my sons spine is quite stiff and if they wait any longer the spine will get stiffer and correction will be even less. Maybe if they had done his surgery last fall he would have had great correction, we will never know. Now he will be having surgery about the same time as your son -we haven't got the exact date yet.
    Your sons surgeon must have good reason for wanting to do the surgery now. Our surgeon said that progression is relentless in boys so he may be looking at why wait till its broken more when you can fix it now and have better results. I also think it's better to do it in the lower grades then in grade 11 or 12.
    Keep asking questions and keep us posted as to how things are going.
    mom of Patrick, age 15 at time of surgery
    diagnosed July 2006 curves T58 L 38

    Nov. 2006 curves T72 L38
    also lordoscoliosis

    feb.2007 curves T79 L43

    Surgery May 16 2007
    fused T4 to L1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Near Houston, TX
    I am having this same conversation over and over with myself. I'm having a hard time justifying surgery on a girl who is healthy and not in any pain. I agree with everything Ramona said though and realize there are good reasons to do it now. I too am more concerned with the long term effects of surgery. We have had several consultations and they all say fusion from T4-L4, she also has an s-curve. We have tenatively set a date for surgery in June, but on the condition we'll get an xray one month in advance and if it's stabilized, we can reconsider at that time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    i had the surgery 6 months ago. you should never wait it out to see if it progresses or not , because what if it does, he'll be a hunch back for his life!!!!! it is very painful but it does pass, i'm a competitive cheerleader and i had the fusion only 6 months ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Question Long term effects of surgery


    It served my well for over 40 years but since I had NO hardware the spine lost correction and therefore I needed a revision--which was very successful. Up until then I lived a perfectly normal life.

    The state of the art has advanced greatly since then. I remember my mom saying how difficult it was to put a "healthy" 13 year old to surgery. BUT, was a 100 deg (part of a triple curve)--healthy??? She even delayed the surgery so that I would have a "summer" despite the urgent advice to do the surgery in the Spring. Well, that summer I got drastically worse and began to have pains I never had until then. All kinds of well-meaning-people advised against it--"like give her a good education" and "she might be paralyzed!" Because of the delay my rib hump became "pointed" and could not be reduced with the modest correction obtained at that time.
    There are, of course, no guarantees but scoliosis surgery for progressing curves is the state-of-the-art and, so far, nothing else has been shown to stop this baffling progression permanently.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    I appreciate your last statement. My son is 13 and otherwise healthy. This was the last thing we wanted for him, but here we are--surgery is scheduled for November 13. It seems the only thing to do.

    Mary Ellen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Surgery was definitely the only rational decision for Savannah. Knowing that took some load off me in the run-up to surgery. It's not like we had a choice.
    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. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    It’s never easy to make decision for your love one. My 13 year old son had the surgery 4 months ago. I remember how difficult it was to put my son who is healthy and not in any pain to surgery. He was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 10 with a single curve around 16. In the past 3 years, we went through Boston brace, SpineCor and Cheneau brace with Schroth treatment. On top of all kind of braces and exercises we also went to massage every weekend, and try out the 4 weeks ASCO treatment in NJ. But nothing seemed to be effective stop his progression. He went from a single curve to double curve 58 and 31. Also my sons spine gets quite stiff and if we wait any longer the spine will get stiffer and correction will be even less. We are glad that his surgery went well and my son is feeling great now.
    Scoliosis is scary sometimes, because it seems to me to be very unpredictable. For me it was a struggle between subjecting my son to continue having the traditional and alternative treatments not involving surgery that may stop progress, to having surgery…if only we had a crystal ball. We'll just need to focus on the positives and work through the challenges.

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