View Full Version : Update on daughter

Round The Twist
6th July 2007, 11:39 AM

Well my daughters appointment with the Orthopaedic Consultant at the local hospital finally came around a few weeks ago.
She was examined and I kept shtum while he looked over her, he mentioned Scoliosis to his colleague so I spoke up then and told him that I had a double major curve for which I'd had 2 surgeries, he grinned at me and said well theres the family history then! He also looked at the length of her legs to check they were the same length (they were) and then sent us off to x-ray.
She had 3 in total because the first standing x-ray from the front didn't come out, so she ended up with 2 laying x-rays, front and side. Now I thought it was important for the x-ray to be taken standing up? Or am I wrong?

Anyway the results were that she does have a small curve of 10 - 15 degrees and has to go back in 6 months time for another x-ray, in the mean time do plenty of swimming.

I told the Dr that I was worried that it would suddenly get worse when she goes through her next growth spurt which is due any time in the next year, but he didn't seem to concerned and was reluctant to talk about treatments at this stage.

So here we are again waiting.....

Kat x

6th July 2007, 01:44 PM
Hi Kat,

I'm no expert, but I think a supine x-ray does not give a true picture of the curve. My understanding is that the curve should definately have been measured standing up. I know of a 10 year old whose curve was 38 standing & 22 lying down. I don't know whether this is usual, but I think it may be. My daughter's curve measures 38 degrees but when you look at her it only appears to be very slight. Most people don't notice anything and are very surprised when they find out.

What I'm trying to say is that I think you should demand to see a specialist straight away! We took a year to get to see someone who knew what they were doing and during the second 6 months Immy's curve grew by 10 degrees (no idea how much in the 1st six). These 10 degrees were significant as they pushed her into a category where she has over 90% probability of surgery. This was not during a growth spurt either, I don't think she's grown more than 2cm in the last year and currently measures 133.5cm.

My biggest regret is that I didn't push harder to get her into brace while her curve was still in the 20s. It may not have made any difference but at least my guilt would be reduced.

Good luck,


6th July 2007, 11:44 PM

I would definately push them to do an x-ray standing up. You must push them. I feel the same as rugbylaura. I never pushed them enough and my daughter's scoliosis progressed from 20 degrees to 40 degrees in a short period of time and that way she is also facing the possibility of a spinal fusion in the future.

Take care,


7th July 2007, 12:01 AM
Hiya Kat,

I have to agree with what the others have said. The growth spurts are the worst time and it's just possible that a standing x-ray could push her into the 'treatment bracket'.

If you feel daft going back (you know, that they might think it's 'paranoid Mum' syndrome), then get a second opinion elsewhere. In fact, that may well be the best idea anyway.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Gilly xx

7th July 2007, 09:32 AM
regarding growth spurts, em hasn't grown upwards at all and they said that was because the curve was eating it, and when she was operated on she would be quite taller...We have problems with xrays if we go to the local childrens hospital, which is a combination of not listening to mum and not being used to scoliosis patients... so we have to go again up to chailey where the xray lady sees scoli patients every day. She got very cross over the amount of double xrays,,,, this was in the early days, I go straight to Chailey now, I was trying to save time before, as the Alex was 5 minutes away :spin:

7th July 2007, 02:23 PM
I'm just going to echo what everyone else has said, which is that I think it's extremely important to get standing xrays done. Particularly if her curve is lumbar, it would be more likely to straighten out a bit with laying down - the chances are that "bit" is small, but you do need to be sure of that and more xrays, done properly, are the only way to be sure about that. Is there any chance either your GP, or the local ortho, can refer her to Stanmore properly, considering you know they'll be happy to see and treat her as long as she is properly referred?

7th July 2007, 03:16 PM
My sister has just being diagnosed with scoliosis, a 15 degree curve. She had standing and lying x-rays. I always had a combination of both. I would mention this to both the people xraying her and her consultant. My sister also has an extra vertebrae and set of ribs. Her curve is low thoratic or, including her extra verteabrae and ribs thoracolumbar (same as me). She's classed as thoratic though.
The differance is my sister is 11. Still it would be interesting to see how juvenile scoliosis developes compared to infantile, since there curves are similar.

8th July 2007, 05:03 AM

I agree with everyone else! If the curve is 10 -15 degrees lying down it could be anywhere from 10 - 15 degrees higher with a stand-up x-ray so that would bring your daughter into the 20 - 30 degree range. I urge you to demand another stand-up x-ray and immediate treatment! Explain to this consultant that you are not interested in "watching and waiting" for your daughter's curve to progress to surgery levels so that he can spend fees earned from surgery on some lovely vacation in the French Riviera!

Amazed Jean
8th July 2007, 07:21 AM
YeP. Everyone is right. Get a scoliosis guy. Gripe , bitch and complain until someone gives you a referral. Supine xrays have little value. You need standing ones. Just tell them straight up that you know scoliosis from your own experience and you know that you are going to require accurate standing xrays. I wouldn't wait either. You won't feel right waiting - it's just not in a parent that is well versed to sit idly by. Give em hell and Good Luck!

8th July 2007, 11:33 AM
Something I feel should be pointed out as an aside here is that UK consultants, for NHS work, do not as far as I know get any extra money for doing surgeries - in fact, as they are salaried, then for an easy life I would even say that it is in their interests to keep people from requiring surgery rather than being rushed off their feet with a massive waiting list of increasingly urgently required surgeries hanging over them. I am aware that this may be different in the US particularly.

8th July 2007, 12:58 PM
Ahhhhh....is that right? It's my understanding that in the U.S. ( I don't know about Canada since our health system is publicly funded by the Govt. ) surgeons get roughly $50,000 - $70,000 in surgeon's fees for each spinal fusion performed.

8th July 2007, 03:42 PM
I think there may be bonuses in some cases for meeting waiting list targets, but again it's easier to do that if the waiting lists are kept short by keeping people from requiring surgery.

It does astonish me how much US surgeons are able to earn - it's no wonder health insurance is so expensive! Again it's kind of odd in a way as one would think that the insurance providers would have a vested interest in keeping people from needing anything of that expense, and would be able to incentivise non-invasive treatments somehow.

Amazed Jean
9th July 2007, 03:07 AM
It is possible that US doctors make more money than on anyplace on Earth. Surgeons are the best paid. Brain surgons and heart surgeons probably the best paid people ever. No wonder so many of the doctors in the world want to come to the US to practive medicine. We pretty much often treat them like gods and expect them to work miracles.

Yep. Good old USA and private medicine = mney for some +poverty for others. Surgeons tend to make a lot of money -always triple digits most in half mil + a year. They have many paid vacations/learning clinics or seminars etc. per year always at a posh resort , ski area. South Sea Isle etc. You get the picture. And in their behalf their insurance is sky high because there is not an across the board limit on the amount they can be sued for. I get that I really do but, we have as much education in years and time and we pay absolute crazy insurance rates to get minimal health care and we will probably never see a triple digit annual income, so it's hard for me to feel sorry for them. (However I do usually become an absolutely huge pain in the ass to my doctors - but we are paying them fairly tidy sums too.)

9th July 2007, 10:29 AM
and still infantmortality is lower in a thirdworld country like Cuba....... (and general life expextancy higher i believe)

9th July 2007, 10:43 AM
Is is because there are fewer doctors there? :-D