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Old 10-10-2011, 10:20 PM
emma emma is offline
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Default 17y/o girl with scheuermanns disease(kyphosis) & scoliosis


I only just found this forum luckily, so hopefully someone can give me some guidance!

I am 17 years old, turning 18 mid next year.
When I was 11 or 12, I was at school and I was doing cartwheels and somersaults and all of a sudden i collapsed and was in a lot of pain. I went to the hospital and got x-rays and was then later diagnosed with scoliosis. I was sent to a scoliosis clinic in a hospital in the city. I found out I had scheuermanns disease (kyphosis) and a bit of scoliosis. The degree of my curve was around 65 I believe, but I was instantly booked in when I was 13 to get a brace.
I had a Milwaukee brace for around 12 months or so but unfortunately being young and embarrassed ( I know this is no excuse but I was put up a year so everyone was into boys and wore make up!) I did not wear it all the time like I should have. Please don't bully me for that, it was my own fault and I acknowledge that. After a year of the brace, my curvature went down to around 55 (as I was young I dont remember exacty what the degrees was, we didn't really take notice of the degree of the curvature we just wanted to get rid of the pain/curve etc.)
The hospital gave me a year to let my spine grow and see how I went. I was getting the worst pain possible. My whole back would hurt daily, it was unbearable at times and unfortunately over the counter pain meds didn't work.
I went back there when I was turning 15 and complained about the severity of the pain which not only affected attending school but also leisure activities. They said that I could get surgery but he said it might not take the pain away so we brushed it off. Long story short, was prescribed over the counter pain meds which knocked me out but was the only thing that was a temporary pain reliever. Tried an osteo, PT, swimming, etc.......

Now I'm 17 and I'm still getting the pain. As I have stopped doing the things I love like horse riding, the pain has become less then before but still affects my daily life. I get sore legs like pins and needles a lot, have trouble sitting, standing and walking for medium periods, etc. I havebeen having trouble breathing sometimes, it's not always happening but I know it's from my kyphosis because my neck is stooped forward. I know that my curvature has gotten worse and I know that in the next ten years, the way I'm going I will be a hunchback even more.

I am going back to the hospital next month but I just thought I would ask has anyone got a similar story and would it be worth mentioning surgery?

I'm not saying all I want is surgery but if it helps my future I want to just know if it's an option?

Sorry for the story but just want some help.

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Old 13-10-2011, 12:10 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: 17y/o girl with scheuermanns disease(kyphosis) & scoliosis


Your post concerning your problem has been brought to my attention and I thought it in order to make a few comments which might be helpful to you.

You have given a very good account of the not infrequent clinical account of a youngster with Scheuermann's disease who revolted against the brace. These days teenagers often refuse to wear a Milwaukee brace because of the neck rim but inasmuch as in kyphosis the spine bends in one plane only, the Milwaukee Brace is quite effective in controlling and improving the curve. At 17 years of age there is no point in attempting to wear the brace again. The brace is of use only in the growing phase.

Many youngsters with Scheuermann's disease have no pain whatsoever and then some with comparable x-ray changes have quite a deal of discomfort. The reason for this is not known. However, it is also relevant that the pain associated with Scheuermann's disease tends to become much less when skeletal maturity is reached and that is at or about 18 years of age in the female.

It does appear from what you have said that you have considerable cosmetic concerns and I think it would be very purposeful for you to see a spinal specialist to explore the advantages of surgical correction. These days the techniques available for this are very safe and, most important, very effective. I see that you have previously been to a scoliosis clinic and it would be a good idea to go back to that clinic because your past records would be on file.

When it comes to cosmetic concerns it is the patient's perceptions of the outward appearance and not the doctor's which is central to any decision-making process. It is remarkable over many years of clinical practice how often one encountered patients with minor degrees of kyphosis who were adamant that they wanted it corrected while on the other hand it was not infrequent to have patients with quite obvious round-shoulderedness who were not the least bit concerned as to the cosmetic effects. Hence, it is the patient's decision in this matter which is central to optimal management. Cosmetic concerns are very important.

I trust this information is helpful.

Dr Scoliosios
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