View Full Version : Does A rod stunt your growth?

28th March 2005, 08:35 AM
HI everybody,
I was wandering when a rod is placed in your back does your back quit growing ? for instance my daughter is 11 and will be having surgery May 18th. Risa :roll:

28th March 2005, 09:59 AM
Hi Risa

I don't know the ins and outs of surgery, but I'll try and say something until someone is on who does. There are 2 types of surgery done including rods that I know of. Growth rods are usually used on young children who have a lot of growth left as these are extended every 6 months or so to allow the child to grow. At 11 though, and with a curve of 72 degrees, I suspect that they will not use growth rods on your daughter (this is just an assumption though, based on her age). This will mean that her growth will be affected, depending on the length of her fusion. Many people grow taller after their surgery as their spine is obviously longer too.

Do you have more details about her operation? ie where the curve is and the veterbrae they will be fusing?


28th March 2005, 11:43 AM
Hi Risa,
I suspect at age 11, they will do a full fusion surgery for your daughter.This means that the vertebra which are fused will stop growing.The ones which aren't will continue to grow as will her legs and neck.An 11 year old girl will have achieved approx. 90-95% of normal torso growth anyway and as the curve is corrected she'll gain some height during the surgery.Overall,it won't make any significant difference to her height wise.It's better to have a slightly shorter torso and a straight spine than be slightly taller with a crooked one.Also it's good to have the scoliosis dealt with because as she enters her teens the increasing curve will prevent normal breast development as it will deform the chest wall in front as the curve increases.If this damage can be prevented it's much better than trying to fix it at a later stage.Please try not to worry too much about the operation and growth.Doctors have been doing scoliosis surgery for many decades now and know exactly when is the best time to intervene to get the maximum result.Also for your daughters benefit, her lung function must be protected in her situation and is far more important than any cosmetic consideration.

29th March 2005, 01:17 PM
Hi Risa,

I had my entire thoracic spine (T1 - T12) fused at the age of ten, for a 75 degree curve. I am *slightly* short in the body (so whilst I wear normal length trousers, I wear petite tops) but do not look at all abnormal in that respect - and I'm 5'2" tall. No-one has ever noticed or commented that my torso is shorter than it should be.

Hope this helps!
Toni xx

30th March 2005, 07:48 AM
Sins & Tonibunny,
Just wanted to say tahks for your replys. It helped me alot. I have so many questions. We know surgery is whats best for her and we are going forward with it just want everything answered. Thanks Risa

Sarahs Mum aka Chrissy
30th March 2005, 01:18 PM
We were also told at the hospital, that Sarah (my 12yr old) has in fact stopped all the growth in her spine, and all that was left to grow would be in her limbs.
She is 151cm tall at the moment (just under 5ft. tall) and will no doubt grow maybe a couple of inches after her surgery too.
Her torso looks shorter than the rest of her, probably because of the curved spine.

30th March 2005, 07:48 PM
The cool thing about this though is that it makes your legs look really long. I actually love it!! When I wear heels under long trousers my legs look great :D

5th April 2005, 12:18 AM
Exactly, Toni! hehe.

I had vertabrae fused when I was around 2ish and yes my torso is a bit shorter than it's supposed to be but no one notices. People are more likely to go "Wow, you've got long legs!" Apparently it creates what my doctor calls "torso-limb assymmetry". I do notice sometimes because it's hard to find mature looking shirts that aren't too long. I've got the rods in now but I wasn't going to grow much anyways. I'm just happy I finally got to 5' (mostly on account of these long legs)! hehe.