View Full Version : Rib cage

19th July 2005, 05:16 AM
Hey everyone! I'm new here and need some help! I have a 30 degree curve and my rib cage is twisting! Is this normal? The left side of my rib cage is higher then the left and I'm kind of concerned. I have a doctors appointment, but need some advice before I go. Can the fix the twisting? I hate my ribs and chest being deformed and would like some way to fix them. Can they fix my ribs at least a little? I'm even willing to have surgery. Thanks!

19th July 2005, 10:18 AM
Hi Kate! :welcome2:

With most curves, especially thoracic ones (essentially ones above the waist), the fact that the spine also rotates a certain amount will cause what is called a rib hump - this sounds like what you are describing.

When, and if, to have surgery depends on a variety of things including the size of the curve, the rotation of it, and whether you have stopped growing yet or not (the figure usually quoted is that girls will stop growing within 2 years of starting their periods - on xray, how close you are to stopping growing is measured by what is known as the Risser sign - 0 means you have a lot of growth left, 5 is fully grown).

There is an operation that they can do to reduce the rib hump, but it's generally only done with, or after, the main spine surgery. Having it done on it's own should be approached with caution - it's something which doesn't seem to be done often, because it might destabilise the spine and make the curve increase in some cases.

Hopefully your doctor will be able to answer all your questions when you see him. Can I ask how old you are, and when your curve was measured at 30 degrees?

19th July 2005, 12:30 PM
Hi kate,
As Titch has said the rib cage twisting is caused by the spine twisting like the steps of a spiral staircase.This will pull the ribs out of shape somewhat.If your curve is 30 degrees it's unlikely that you'll be offered spinal fusion surgery.
I suspect that they won't make any decision about surgery at this visit, but rather they'll monitor you carefully over the next six months to see if it gets worse.They can then insert rods into the spine and straighten the spine and with a smallish curve like yours they should derotate the ribs as well.It's a major operation though and it wouldn't be done unless it goes above 40 deg usually.
many of the world's most beautiful women live with scoliosis similar to yours.Sarah michelle gellar for one.It's worthwhile looking at pics of her back and seeing how she has no problems wearing backless dresses in spite of her obvious curve.
How old are you Kate?

19th July 2005, 08:47 PM
Hi Kate, I can't really add anything to what Sins and Titch have written above, but I just wanted to say hi and welcome :welcome: :D

Do let us know what your doctor advises!

19th July 2005, 09:05 PM
This diagram is kind of how my doctor describes what happens when your ribs change shape with your spiraling spine. Mind you this is a pretty severe case drawing but it shows what they are talking about.


19th July 2005, 09:09 PM
That's an excellent illustration of what happens, thanks Shortgirl! :D

19th July 2005, 09:49 PM
Sorry to be absolutely no help regarding the query but I just wanted to say hi to Kate and you welcome to our family :wave:

Little Ali
19th July 2005, 10:01 PM
Yeah I think the others have given some pretty good advice...as usual. So, I'm just saying :wave: and :welcome2:

19th July 2005, 10:05 PM
Hi Kate! Welcome to SSO!!!! Your ribs seem similar to mine.....my right rib is higher than my left and they both stick out!! If you have a look in the gallery....I have a picutre of what my ribs look like!!!

Welcome to the family! :D

19th July 2005, 10:34 PM
Welcome Kate! :welcome2: Hope you enjoy it here! :D

20th July 2005, 04:32 AM
I don't have anything to add--everyone else basically said it all. But I do want to add my welcome!

20th July 2005, 09:48 AM
:welcome: Kate i hope you get all the info you need.

We are a friendly bunch.

20th July 2005, 11:52 AM

There is an other aspect not really mentioned yet, and that is that at 30 degree there are nonsurgical approaches which could help. However, this is all dependent on your age, amount of growing left to do and whether there has been any recent worsening (measured).

Good bracing can in many cases stabilise or at times even improve the condition, whilst, specially on the continent (germany) a various types of physical therapy are thought to help (Schroth-therapy is BIG in Germany)

A bit more info about yourself would allow us to give you a bit more focussed advice.

Hope you find this forum helpful, it surely has the friendliest bunch of people available on the internet


22nd July 2005, 09:29 PM
Hi Kate my scoliosis sounds similar to yours, I think mine is around 30 degrees. Is your twist really that noticable? Maybe it is not as bad as you imagine, sorry I sound so unsympathetic! Surgery is a big step, what if went wrong? They normally only consider it if the curve is bigger than 45 degrees. Does the curve cause you pain?

Is it noticable over clothes? My spine rotates nearer the bottom, when I stand up and feel the back side of my right side of my body I can feel my waist curve is much bigger than the other side if you understand. I think my ribs are affected a little but I only noticed when I looked at myself naked in the mirror, and then I was like wo I never knew I looked like this!

Maybe before you consider extreme fixes, why not try to be a bit more confident about your body. Do you worry it will get worse? I do about mine too. Also I am really pleased sarah michelle gellar has the confidence to show off her back, I loved watching buffy when I was younger and I only found out she had it when I found out about mine and searched on the net for info. She is a great role model. You should be proud to show off your backs.

23rd July 2005, 07:18 AM
yea it sounds like mine! im not sure where mine twists though. the only big problem i have is wearing a bra cause it sits funny...sometimes it looks like im two different sizes

25th July 2005, 01:10 PM
The two different size thing was (and techincally still is) the same problem I experienced with scoliosis. I only had the one major curve which progressed from 45-56 in a year and my whole ribcage was twisted badly. When they straighten your spine, the abnormality does correct itself a little, but sometimes it still leaves you with the impression that one breast is larger than the other. If, like me, surgery doesn't correct the ribcage abnormality to a successful degree, there is always the possibility of plastic surgery to mask the defect.

25th July 2005, 11:33 PM
I think there was a post about uneven.... yeh... in the women's forum area at one point...

26th July 2005, 01:48 PM
Hi Floralgypsy is that photo of your back now, after the op? Your spine looks completley straight and your waist so even! It is good to see the results of successful surgery.

My bras seem to sit ok, well apart from finding one that fits me! But I think that is because my curve is below my bra strap line

I looked at my ribs this morning actually, when I stand up and bend forwards my right rib sticks out a lot more. But when I am standing up straight I think my body sort of twists back so it is not noticable. If I did not have the rotation then my rib would stick out, I think. So maybe the roatation is good for me. The body is just too confusing.