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Old 27-07-2011, 09:36 AM
MaggieG MaggieG is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
Default Longer term outcomes

My 15yo daughter is scheduled to have rods implanted at the end of September. She has a thoracic curve of 59 degrees and a lumbar curve also 59 degrees. It seems that the rods will run from the base of her neck to below her waist.

Our main concern is finding out just how much, and in what ways, her movement is going to be limited after the recovery period i.e. more than 12 months after the operation and into the future. Will she be able to bend from standing to pick something up off the floor, or touch her toes? Will she be able to draw her knees up to her chest? If sitting in the driver's seat of a car will she be able to turn her upper body to look out through the rear window? Will she be able to arch her back at all?

She has a lot of back pain every day and hopes the surgery will make her pain-free but is *very* concerned about movement limitations. We are thinking about asking that only the thoracic curve be corrected and that she will try to live with the lumbar curve. What do you think of this idea?

In cases where only one of two curves are corrected, does the inflexibility of the fused part of the spine cause increased wear or other problems in the parts of the spine above and below the corrected part?

Thanks very much!
Old 27-07-2011, 04:30 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: Longer term outcomes

Thank you for your enquiry. You have posed a number of questions which clearly would be best answered by the surgeon who will be looking after your daughter. Hence, any comments from this end would be in general terms only.

From what you have described, your daughter has the type of curve which is called the double major with the thoracic and lumbar components being of equal degree. At 59 degrees in both curves the prognosis is most unfavourable.

There is a school of thought, and I use this term literally, to which this Dr Scoliosis belongs that there is a place in double curves for treating the lumbar curve by the anterior route in order to save the maximum number of mobile segments (intervertebral discs) in the lumbar region. In all forms of scoliosis surgery it is advisable to save at least three mobile discs in the lumbar region if at all possible.

In double curves when the upper component is just on 60 degrees, one can expect continued progression as the likely outcome. Studies on natural history, that is when no treatment has been instituted, confirm this view.

I would like to suggest that you take your list of questions written on a piece of paper to the surgeon looking after your daughter to seek the answers you would like to have.

I trust these remarks are helpful.

Dr Scoliosis
Old 28-07-2011, 10:19 AM
MaggieG MaggieG is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
Default Re: Longer term outcomes

Thank you very much for your speedy response. I hope to have the opportunity to discuss these questions with the surgeon sometime soon.

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