View Full Version : Our visit with surgeon

2nd July 2006, 02:47 PM
Hi everyone :spin: My son and I had our first appointment with Dr.Stanley Lee this past thursday at the University of Michigan. I have to say it went really good, his staff was very nice.

My x-rays showed that I have an 85 degree kyphotic curvature with some scoliosis while my son has a 72 degree curvature. My curvature being worse than I thought it would be, but I'm not suprised about it.

Dr. Lee wants to do Posterior Fusion only for both of us. I have already agreed to the surgery for myself and only need to stop smoking before I can set a surgery date. My son wants the surgery also but his mother wanted some more time to think about it before making a decision.

I know some here have had anterior /posterior fusion, and one of my worries would be if I can get the same correction with posterior only. I know it varies from surgeon to surgeon. And from Dr. Lee's presentation I saw from Scoliosis Research Society's web site he believes in posterior only with pedicle screws and smith-peterson osteotomies. Is anyone familier with what Smith-peterson osteotomies are or mean?

Gonna go for now...Hope everyone here is doing good! :niceone:


2nd July 2006, 05:25 PM
This web page: http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticl...article858.html (http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article858.html) shows quite clearly how a Smith-Petersen osteotomy works. Basically, removal of the facet joints (part of the way that one vertebra attaches to the next) allows the spine to be pulled backward. So in the case of kyphosis, it allows the curve to be straightened out somewhat. It sounds like a good way of approaching it - Smith-Petersen osteotomies are also sometimes used, as in the article, to restore lordosis (the back waist curve) in people where it has become reduced.

Bearing in mind that normal kyphosis runs in the range of 20-40 degrees, and my understanding is that a Smith-Petersen osteotomy typically produces 5-7 degrees of correction, then I would imagine that a combination of osteotomies and the effect of the hardware allowing correction even when used on it's own, then it certainly should be possible to restore to the normal range.

Pedicle screws are commonly used in scoliosis and kyphosis surgery. My salvage surgery, which was to significantly extend my fusion and correct a surgically induced kyphosis over the T10-L2 levels used them, and certainly despite the fact I'm quite overweight, and they had to do a different kind of osteotomy on me (I'll find out which one of these days - it was either a closing wedge osteotomy or perhaps an eggshell osteotomy - basically get all the correction at one level rather than spread over several levels, for lordosis it doesn't matter too much if it's a quite sharp curve that is created, whereas kyphosis will look better with a smoother curve created) which required more support initially, it all held beautifully :D

Perhaps you should ask Dr Lee what degree of correction he expects, and also if he expects the scoliosis curves in your case to present any additional difficulty, as that should help put your mind at ease to have his answers to those questions.

Good luck with the giving up smoking - it's never easy, but so worth it :-)

3rd July 2006, 08:11 PM
Good luck with the giving up smoking. I gave up a couple of years ago and know how hard it is to kick the evil weed. I hope titch has been able to answer your question with the post above and you and your son get the surgery you need. I just wanted to give you a little moral support with the smoking thing

Take care


4th July 2006, 09:31 AM
Glad to hear things went well with your consultant. Good luck on the smoking thing. I gave up too & it was one of the hardest things I've ever done but definetely one of the best.

Would agree on asking the consultant what correction he expects. Each surgeon has a preferred method & they vary from patient to patient. If you feel confident in your surgeon then that is the main thing.

good luck


10th July 2006, 01:05 PM
Thanks again all. You know...I cant believe I didn't ask him what kind of correction he expected! Should have been one of my first questions. Will be next time I see him though.

Its good to hear you all were able to stop smoking. These urges for nicotine really suck! Its ok though...something ive wanted to do for awhile now.

bye for now...Lanny

10th July 2006, 05:44 PM
Hi Lanny,
Nice to hear from you again.Seems like you and your son had a very good consultation with Dr Lee.
Good luck with the quit smoking campaign, hopefully you'll kick the habit as nicotine plays havoc with the formation of a good fusion.
As for your son, he can see how you come through surgery and decide for himself then. He needs to be involved in the decision about his own surgery and as informed as possible.
Needless to say, we're right behind you all the way in whatever you choose to do.

10th July 2006, 08:34 PM
:-) Hi Lanny,

we've not made contact before, but I hope I can help a little. I have recently had posterior surgery for a scoliosis with slight kyphosis. My curve was 70 degrees. The surgeon initially expected a 50% correction, however, the surgery was more successful, and he reduced my curve to 22degrees.

I appreciate scoliosis and kyphosis are different, but hope this helps. I don't know what kind of screws I have as I never thought to ask!

Good luck with the smoking, I gave up 7 years ago, and felt really good for it.

Take care


13th July 2006, 08:10 PM
Thank you for the info and support Sins and Catherine!

I found out yesterday I go back to see Dr. Lee on September 21st and have a surgery date of October 9th. I didnt expect it so soon...but glad to hear it!

take care all


13th July 2006, 09:02 PM
I'm glad to hear that your surgery is so soon

lets hope you have just as speedy a recovery