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Thread: Contemplating surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Contemplating surgery

    Posting on this forum is a new experience for me so let's see how it goes. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was entering college and at that time the Drs. felt the curvature wouldn't increase. Unfortunately I don't know the degree of curvature that I had at that time because I have always been extremely self-conscious of my curved back and felt like I would just have to learn to live with it.

    In the last nine months the pain has increased. I am not in pain 24/7 at all, but struggle the most with pain when I clean our home and sit at the piano bench playing piano. I have had two consults with Dr. Whitaker at the KS Joint & Spine Institute and he said the only way to alleviate the pain and to prevent the curvature from increasing is to have surgery. Currently my curvatures are 60 and 55. (See I'm still so new at all this jargon that I'm not sure if those are the correct numbers.) I am 52 years old and considering having Dr. Whitaker perform the surgery in Wichita. Has anyone else had him perform their surgery?

    Reading about others having come thru surgery has been encouraging for me. I know that the surgery will be a major thing and recovery won't be easy but I feel like my options are surgery or live with the fear that the scoliosis will continue to increase and I will become more hindered in daily life. My husband and family are extremely supportive of me pursuing surgery. I think I am too, just the fear of the unknown.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    long island, ny

    welcome to the forum!

    This forum has been a godsend for me, my surgeon recommended it to me and I am very greatful he did. When I first went on, I did not post right away, I just read many of the threads and was amazed at what I learned just by doing that. Also, I have never been part of a support group before, never needed to, and now I understand why people join, it takes away a bit of the fear and you get alot of encouragement.

    I have the same problem you do in that I was not sure what the doctor was talking about, as a matter of fact I just called today to find out exactly from where to where he planned on doing my fusion! I learned more about the terminology here on this site, so now when I have to explain it to someone, I at least sound like I know what I'm talking about! There are many people in this forum who are so well informed and helpful, all you have to do is ask, and someone will pop on with a helpful suggestion.
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hi Timetofaceit! I too was in your position as were many others on this forum. Have you tried all conservative measures first before going to surgery? Such as physical therapy and going to a pain management doctor? Sometimes I wish I had given those more of a chance before having surgery. I really had no idea about what pain mgmt doctors could do until after my surgery. If all else fails get at least 2 opinions. Be prepared for a long recovery. My pain has eased tremendously so I wish you the same!!!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Readin this is helping me so! Thanks! I am going to the Doc w/my mom this week. She is ready to do surgery. Her rib cage is now on her pelvic bone, and the pain is to where she can't stand it.
    Any advice is great!!

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