View Full Version : Scheuermann's Kyphosis Patient

29th July 2007, 06:05 PM
I'm a 17 year old male and was diagnosed with Scheuermann's kyphosis a year ago. I was sick of being called the "hunchback" and went to visit Shriner's in Erie, where I was told that the surgery would be very risky. The surgeon came in to talk to me and told me he had performed 3 procedures in the past to correct the kyphosis, and one of the patients ended up with paralysis. He recommended PT for about ten sessions, which I found didn't really relieve the pain that well. I also found an excerpt from the article below:

John Albert Odom, Jr., M.D. states that

"While physical therapy (PT) doesn't help in severe cases of scoliosis and kyphosis, it is still the mainstay of treatment for minor scoliosis and kyphosis, The sooner physical therapy is started, the more likely the child will not end up with a humpback. We recommend that PT be started as early as age 10. At age 15 PT is considered too late to start, at this point bracing or surgery are the two most viable treatments especially if the curve is progressive and/or is accompanied by C-spine deformity."

I'm not exactly sure what degree my curve is, and my orthopedist had an X-ray of my hand done to see if my bones have stopped growing. He says they have, so he ruled out bracing. Does anyone have any suggestions? Possibly a second opinion, or has anyone else gone through something similar to this? Thank you so much for any help you can provide.

29th July 2007, 06:48 PM

That is some pretty scarey stuff. There are quite a few members here who have had spinal fusion done and even a few who have had it done for Kyphosis. My understanding is (and anyone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that paralysis is a risk but a very remote risk at the hands of a trained surgeon. To me, if his failure rate is 33% - that is unacceptably high. Perhaps you should get a second opinion from a surgeon who has more experience treating kyphosis. There are a lot of great surgeons in the US and it is key to find one which has significant experience performing spinal fusion on kyphosis (3 just doesn't give me any comfort) as the surgery can be slightly more complicated than spinal fusion for scoliosis.

29th July 2007, 09:43 PM
I agree 100% with Seeking Help, any doctor who has only done three kyphosis surgeries and paralysed one of them is not the surgeon I'd want to choose.
Kyphosis surgery is more complex than scoliosis surgery, but is still safely performed for very many patients.
Definitely a second opinion!

30th July 2007, 02:33 AM
Hi Kration and welcome to the site.

I had surgery for Kyphoscoliosis in 2001. Before considering surgery, its pretty standard practice to first be refered for physiotherapy to see if the pain and curvature can be controlled by building up the muscles in your back. Then quite often the next step is to try wearing a brace to see if that helps. As you were told, these usually only help for mild cases.

It sounds to me that you will need to consider surgery but I strongly suggest that you get a 2nd opinion and most certainly speak to someone that has performed more than 3 spinal operations. My surgeon stated that only 2% of kyphosis surgeries result in paralasis as your nervous system will be monitored during every second of the surgery and the slightest fluctuation in readings alerts the surgeon that he might be a bit too close to your spinal chord. Either he isn't a spinal specialist or he's newly qualified so dfinately speak to someone with a lot more experience with kyphosis and scoliosis operations :)

If you have any other queries about the surgery, feel free to message me :)


Jose Curvo
30th July 2007, 05:27 AM
Hey Kration,

When I had spinal fusion for my Kyphosis, and my surgeon told me that the risk of paralyis with this surgery was like 1% chance. I mean there's always a risk no matter what with surgery. I'd totally recommend getting a second opion though, spinal fusion is a big surgery, and if my surgeon had told me she only did 3 other surgerys, I'd find someone else haha. I hope everything goes well for you buddy!

30th July 2007, 05:52 PM
Hi there :welcome:

Well, I'd definitely second the second opinion route! You need to find a very experienced spinal surgeon, as the others have indicated. It's important to have confidence in the surgeon you choose, which isn't going to happen with someone who has a 1 in 3 failiure rate! :P

Good luck, please let us know how you get on.

Gilly xx

Amazed Jean
30th July 2007, 08:30 PM
Do an immediate change in doctors. Please get a second opinion and be sure it's with someone who routinely does scoliosis surgery. It's important that you feel comfortable with the doctor and have faith that he isn't new at it.

10th October 2007, 03:38 PM

My 15 year old daughter just had spinal fusion 2 months ago for Schuermans Kyphosis. It was done at Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia by Dr. Samdani. He has done many, many, surgery's for Kyphosis. My daughter is doing great with her recovery. Her curve was at 92 Degrees pre op and now is at 35 degrees and gained 2 inches in height.

I suggest you get in touch with Shriner's in Philly and see what they can do for you....

Best of luck!!!

10th October 2007, 03:42 PM
As a side note to my above post... my daughter is very overweight and has sleep apnea which greatly increased her risk during surgery. Like I said above, she is doing great and her recovery has really been quite smooth.

2nd December 2007, 02:12 AM
Hello!!! There's always the risk!!! I would have the surgery but find a more experienced surgeon!!! Take Care Dave

4th December 2007, 12:48 AM
You have to do what your heart tells you my friend

I like you had all the horror stories

My journey began in the dim dark days of the early 1980s and i'm still on the journey

Keep looking, make informed decisions and above all do it for you and no one else.

It makes me weep when i read stories like these, i can see as clear as day my first hopsital appointment after which i cried for a month because i went back to the same ols torture at school and if truth be told i'm still living in that knightmare over 20 years later.

If you ever need a chat drop me a pm or e mail

Take it easy and try not to let the morons get you down


12th December 2007, 05:17 PM
I agree, definately get a 2nd opinion... many people do get 2nd opinions so don't feel as though you're stuck with one choice.

12th December 2007, 07:53 PM
Hello, I had surgery for kyphoscoliosis (a double scoliosis curve and kyphosis) and lordosis. My results are extreamely pleasing.
PLEASE seek a 2nd opinion. If you could find a more trained doctor who specialisis in these procedures, the chance of parlaysis will be less than 1%. If you want surgery... go for it! Just PLEASE find a more trained surgeon.
Godd luck and feel free to ask questions.
Keep us updated
Nikki x x x