View Full Version : Appt w/new Dr

16th September 2004, 11:43 PM
I had my appointment today with a new doctor (He specializes in scoliosis surgery). I think it went well... my overall feeling about him is good. He didn't treat me like an idiot, so that's a big plus! He did say my curve is 71 degrees, which kinda surprised me since two years ago I had a doctor tell me it was 77. He also told me I am looking at a fusion from T-1 to either L-5, or to my sacrum. He will determine that once I get my MRI done and he looks at the results. He did stress the seriousness of such a long fusion and the time involved in such a surgery. We discussed the fact that at 42 if I am going to get surgery I need to do it now. Waiting is no longer a wise choice. I agreed and told him I was ready. At this point he feels a correction of 50-60% is entirely possible. This is incredible to me, since this would bring my curve well below what it was originally diagnosed at almost 20 years ago. I know I wasn't straight then, but it seems like I was much less crooked than I am now. So, getting even some relief from pain, as well as the prospect of wearing nice women's clothes (no more baggy tops and men's jeans cuz I have no waist) is kind of exciting! I'm really quite pleased so far. Finding a doctor I feel I can trust and be comfortable with has been a concern of mine. Got a BMD test tomorrow a.m., then my MRI on the 27th. After that I will know more about what he'll be doing surgically and when it will be done. :-)
Anyone here have a fusion that long? Let me know... what's it like, etc?

17th September 2004, 12:01 AM
That's excellent news :-) A doctor you trust is worth so much!

I don't have a fusion as long as that - mine is now from T3-L4 (not the longest fusion here though), although before the surgery they were convinced they would go at least to L5, so it's difficult to know what will happen - sometimes they get better correction than they expect, but you have to be prepared for it to end up being a very long fusion. The potential correction sounds very good as well.

I was 29 when I had my revision/salvage surgery done, and it definitely knocked the stuffing out of me - the recovery has been a long one. Really though, I am feeling very good now and am really glad that I had it done :-) Um - it's getting late here, and I'm not sure what else to say - it's probably easier in some ways if you just ask questions about anything specific you want to know and we'll do our best to answer :D

17th September 2004, 10:28 AM
This is your first surgery, right, Gabrielle?

It sounds like you saw a good doctor... you must be so pleased at the prospect of correction and pain relief! Keep us posted, especially after your MRI coming up.

17th September 2004, 05:07 PM
thats great news gab

17th September 2004, 05:40 PM
Brilliant news Gabrielle!!

My fusion is from T1-L3, which I recently realised is the longest that I know about on this site, amongst the regular chatters anyway - I am sure there will be plenty of lurkers with longer fusions, so if they would come out and say hi that would be great :D

I am really lucky, as I've never actually noticed any real loss of movement....but then, I grew up with scoliosis, wore braces and bodycasts all the time, and then was fused from T1-T12 when I was ten (the fusion was extended to L3 when I was 18). I have a Harrington rod running all the way down....but it was contoured to fit my natural waistline more naturally. There are x-rays in the gallery if you look :)

Hopefully you won't experience the problems that such low fusions used to cause, and your surgeon sounds pretty on-the-ball. I'm really happy for you - it sounds like you have a fantastic correction to look forward to! :clap:

Toni xx

Amazed Jean
17th September 2004, 07:05 PM
Sounds like good news! Good Luck and be sure to put up your x-rays before and after. I love to see how great everyone's back looks after surgery!

17th September 2004, 10:57 PM
So, my bone density scan this morning showed my bones are still really strong- phew! Yes, I feel really fortunate to have finally found a dr who is both knowledgeable AND a human being! This seems to be somewhat rare. I don't know how much flexibility I'll miss out on. I've lost quite a bit as it is over the past five or six years, and it's not like I was ever gymnast-flexible! I get my MRI done on Sept 27th, as I'm going to Vermont to visit family tomorrow through Sat. the 25th (I live in Eastern Pennsylvania, about an hour North of Philadelphia). After that I'll have another appt with the doctor and I'm going to try to get pics of my xrays
then. I do have one taken in '99 I can try to get a picture of- maybe when the sun comes back out here I can put it to a window!! Oh, and yes, Kim- this will be my first (and hopefully only!) surgery. :-D

18th September 2004, 01:05 AM
That's great news Gabrielle. I wish you all the luck with the upcoming surgery.

19th September 2004, 01:04 AM
I'm glad you found someone who's willing to help you. :niceone: It's great when people on here have good appointments :spin:

20th September 2004, 11:33 AM
Hi Gabrielle,
initially I was a bit surprised to hear how long your fusion was going to be but that really is a low lumbar curve!! Wow!! It looks like you've got a surgeon that you're happy with and that's such a positive thing.If you go into your surgery in a positive frame of mind and a good feeling about your choice of surgeon it will be altogether an easier experience.
Good to hear your bone density scan went well and hopefully you'll be able to set a date for your surgery.