View Full Version : curved again! *makes a face*

30th August 2004, 11:37 PM
oh, it's been so long since i posted here... and i apologize, as this may be a long one.

so i went for a checkup with Dr. D this morning - it's been ten and a half months since my surgery (crazy!) and he said he wanted to have a look and see how everything is progressing, as he won't be able to get me in around October, which would mark a year since my op.

background for people who don't know me: anterior / posterior fusion to correct a 67 degree thoracic curve (curve was in T5 - T10), fused with USS rods from T2 - T11. my curve was overcorrected to make sure there would be no extra stress on the fusion, so the shoulder that was lower is now kinked up higher... *laughs*

okay, so i get down there, get the xrays done (they were surprisingly effecient today), and head over to see Dr. D. this was about, erm, 9 this morning (i got to skip off work! woot!).

so, the good news first - my correction is sitting at 103% because of that kinked up shoulder... *cracks up*... but the fusion is holding beautifully with no extra bone formations (no spurs or the like). he says that he doubts i'll ever have a problem with the fusion, which certainly brought a smile to my face!

then he started on the bad news. *cue the fading smile*

first off, the rib hump that i was so happy to be rid of has returned, almost the same size as it was before. it's not horribly noticeable - it never was - but it's a slight nuisance to have it back. Dr. D told me that, since the fusion has formed and solidified, the only option would be to slice the ribs off... i told him it wasn't that necessary. i learned to live with it before, i can do so again. just no wearing skimpy bikinis for the last few warm weeks of summer. *laughs* and since the hump is on my stomach (lower, beneath my left breast), it's a lot easier to hide than it would be if it were on my back.

then he pointed out what i'd already noticed but didn't want to acknowledge - i have a nice sized curve forming beneath my fusion. currently, the little bugger is 28 degrees and RIGHT BENEATH my fusion... as in starting at the first unfused vertebrae. it runs from T12 to L5.

it's funny, because i never really noticed it, save for the fact that my blue rose tattoo on my lower back is rather crooked. *laughs* but no pain, not unless i'm lifting a lot (which i shouldn't be doing anyway).

anyway, Dr. D said that it's alright the way it is right now, but if i wanted, he could do surgery. of course, i said NO... the last thing i want is another surgery. but he added that if it gets worse... somewhere in the ballpark of 40 degrees, then he'll have to do another surgery. anterior MIS / posterior fusion, from T12 - L3 most likely. he would either do it that way, or break the bottom of my fusion now to T9, insert artificial discs to replace what he took out, and then fuse me from T12 - L3 to allow a little flexibility between the two fusions.

not something i would like, either way. *makes a face*

but hopefully it's not going to get that way. i'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and say a few prayers. *smiles*

31st August 2004, 12:17 AM
Awwww Jenn I'm lost for words :squeeze: That's so unfair :cry: You sound quite upbeat about this, I'm not sure I would be handling it so well or has it not sunk in yet?

If you need us then you know where we all are. I wish I had some wise words of comfort :mope:

31st August 2004, 01:18 AM
Oh I am so sorry to hear that! The last thing you need! I will keep my fingers crossed that it stays under 40 degrees!

31st August 2004, 02:25 AM
aww i'm so very sorry to hear that!!

31st August 2004, 02:43 AM
:hug: poor Jenn. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't get worse.

31st August 2004, 03:10 AM
I've already talked to you about this but that's really nasty. I am telepathically pushing at your sides to try and keep that curve nice and low, because no-one EVER should have to go through all that again. :hug:

31st August 2004, 03:49 AM
That's awful Jenn... :-( Really sucks.
Ya know, I've noticed that my ribs are more misshapen on my front too than my back... I only have the teensiest of a hump under my left shoulderblade, but my left ribs are very much more prominent on my front side than the right ribs are (those are nice and flat into my stomach)

31st August 2004, 03:50 AM
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this. It's so unfair! I really hope your curve remains stable and you don't have to go through another surgery until/unless you decide you want to.

31st August 2004, 05:13 AM
aww that sucks i hope your curve doesnt decide to curve anymore!

31st August 2004, 07:33 AM
Gosh! This is awful... :cry: I hope this curve doesn't progresses one degree. :-(


31st August 2004, 11:05 AM
I'm really disappointed for you.I was one of those people who imagined once you had a fused spine that was that and it would never curve again.
I hope you manage to avoid surgery.Because your upper spine is so straight Let's hope the little 28 degree curve stays put.
I'm hoping my little 110 degree curve stays put! :P If it's any consolation you're in a very safe pair of hands with your surgeon.
Hope you feel ok about it today.

31st August 2004, 12:19 PM
I'm really sorry to hear that Jenn :( Hopefully it'll stay put though - how often is Dr D recommending follow up to keep an eye on it?

31st August 2004, 12:35 PM
*Big hug for Jenn*
We generally think ourselves lucky if we only have our thoracic spine fused with no need for a lumbar fusion, but your experience shows that we can't be too content and think that we got away with anything. Chances are it may backfire and require another surgery at a later date which, if you think about it, is harder to deal with than having a full-length fusion straight away. I hope that yours doesn't progress any further - I'll say some prayers, and whatever the outcome, you know that we are all here to support you and that you will be fine.

31st August 2004, 01:42 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this Jenn :( My ribs continued to curve even after I had my thoracic spine fused when I was ten, and even after I had a costoplasty at 18. That's why I had a further costoplasty at 26. Damn ribs, they aren't supposed to do that!!!! :evil:

Costoplasties aren't so bad though.....yes, they are painful, but the results can be amazing.

31st August 2004, 01:44 PM
I really don't know what I can say to make you feel better, but it looks to me you're coping quite good with it. I'd be totally devastated (probably misspelled). But remember that you'll always have our support whenever you need it. My fingers are crossed for you!

31st August 2004, 02:29 PM
Aww, this is the last thing I wanted to hear! :squeeze: I really hope things work out for you! I might be having another surgery too, and I get goosebumps thinking about it.. I'll write more in my upcoming 'appointment'-topic. Ack.

31st August 2004, 06:03 PM
ah, i'm handling it well because i'm not letting it bother me. everyone that knows me knows that i think everything happens for a reason - so if i have to have another surgery, well, so be it. like with my first surgery, this isn't definite - even when i had a date for op #1, it was never CERTAIN that it was going to happen. so, in other words, there is absolutely no point in me stressing and crying about this like i did last time - all it'll do is make me an absolute state and ensure that i'm not going to live normally.

Titch - Dr. D is going to try and get me back around December. he says that, at that time, we'll have a good idea of how quickly (if at all) the curve is progressing. we'll need to get an idea pretty fast, as there really aren't many degrees between 28 and 40, and it already went from 0 to 28 in less than eleven months. *sighs* ah well.

31st August 2004, 06:43 PM
Fingers crossed the 28 is settled and balanced, and it now thinks it's where it should be :-? Keep us up to date with how it's going - I'm really sorry you've got this worry even if you are handling it well :squeeze:

31st August 2004, 07:30 PM
that certainly is a nice way of thinking. I wish I could be like that, I always worry too much and let little things get to me :-) But it has gotten a lot better since I found this site. Keep it up :-) and like titch said, keep us updated

3rd September 2004, 02:24 PM
Deary me, so sorry to hear/read this Jenn. My greatest fears have almost become your reality. I hope for all the best. You don't deserve this. *Hugs to the max* Good luck for future appointments!