View Full Version : Scoliosis & Kyphosis

24th March 2008, 10:50 PM
Hello Everyone:

I am new to this forum. I am a 51 year old male with untreated (no surgery or anything else) scoliosis and kyphosis. My kyphosis has advanced to the point where I am having breathing problems and regular lung infections. I live in a small town in Ontario, Canada and my doctors seem at a loss of what to do for me. It is my understanding that if my kyphosis is allowed to progress that eventually it will prove fatal by crushing my internal organs. Not a nice way to depart this world. Are there any specialists, doctors, surgeons in Ontario that the readers of this could suggest? I understand from the Mayo clinic web sight that since I already have breathing problems that my kyphosis would have to be operated on while I was awake using a local anesthetic. Not thrilled at that prospect but I am not going to give up my life without a fight. Any help or information would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. :help:

24th March 2008, 11:25 PM
I'm not sure where you read that about having the surgery under local anesthestic, but if your lung problems are so severe that you can't be put under GA, I don't think they'd do the op. I've never heard of kyphosis surgery under local anesthetic. Further, I'm pretty sure you're not so severe that you couldn't have the op, because my lung volume is only 25% capacity, and I have had GA for a much less important thing (septoplasty to correct a grossly deviated septum).

Do you know your curve measurements? What is your lung capacity? Also, you should ask your GP or pulmonologist for the pneumonia vaccine next time you're in. That should clear your lung infections right up, and it's good for 10 years.

Try not to worry too much about being crushed to death any time soon. There are other adults on this site who have untreated scoliosis to the point of lung function impairment. You'll have plenty of warning before you're in dire straits. But do get yourself seen by an adult kyphosis/scoliosis specialist to see about correction. The younger you are when it's done, the easier it'll be for you.

Also, WELCOME TO SSO! Some others will be around to this thread to help you find a specialist to ask for a referral to.

24th March 2008, 11:55 PM
Got to agree with everyhting Kim has had to say. I have never heard of anyone being crushed to death by there own frame (however thats not to say it hasn't occured)

Have a look in the kyphosis forum. There are a numbe of pinned threads with lots of research papers and a gallery with pictures of the backs of members of this site. Compare the size of the curves with yours. Most of those curves ahev either been operated on or are about to be operated on

Try not to worry, now you have found us you are in safe hands. Take a look at the pinned thread in this forum with lists of surgeons and the basic details.

I hope you find some answers and i am sorry to read about the circumstances that have brought you here

However welcome to our wonky world


By the way if you look in the gallery in the kyphosis room my back is the first set of pictures you will come to.

25th March 2008, 01:14 AM
Can't add anything to what's already been said, but just wanted to say :welcome:

25th March 2008, 04:31 AM
Have they expressly said they can't give you a general anaesthetic? As Kimberly said, it usually takes more than breathing problems (or COPD or heart failure or anything of the like) to stop them giving you a GA. Though a lung infection is a good reason not to be given one.

As far as I know, spine surgery can't be done under a local anaesthetic, for various reasons - if it is possible, I'd love to hear about it.

There's nothing else I might say that hasn't already been said, so

welcome to SSo! :wave: Hope we can help.

25th March 2008, 01:24 PM
Hi and welcome,
I have a very large curve and have breathing problems also.My spine has been fused at 110 degrees and I have approx 46% lung capacity and like you, had a tendency to develop lung infections.The problem with curves like these are not that you get your lungs crushed but the infections and pneumonia that can get you and you have no reserve lung capacity to cope when this happens.
Basically we have learned that almosdt any curve can be tackled surgically with the right surgeon.
What I recommend firstly is to get seen by a respiratory consultant, who can assess your respiratory function.Secondly many of us with low lung capacity take asthma meds, especially long lasting steriod/bronchodilator combinations to keep the airways open.
There's also the option of using a portable maching called bi pap at night which again keeps your airways open at night and can help prevent headaches and cardiac problems.
Secondly if there's anything to be done surgically, there's a surgeon in Vancouver called Dr marcel Dvorak who's excellent with adult cases and may be worth seeing.I don't know of anyone in Ontario though.
May i suggest joining the NSF forum www.scoliosis.org who have a large USA and canadian membership and may have some recommendations for you regarding doctors.
Once again welcome.

Amazed Jean
2nd April 2008, 11:59 PM
Hello and Welcome to SSO. Hey, you are like me. No surgeries etc. I am a fossil here. At 57 years old and rapidly approaching 58, I seldom forget that I am just a tad above geezer. My lung function is crap at about 10% of normal. I also seem to retain CO2 at a much higher rate than I retain oxygen so I am on full time oxygen at 2 liters. Oh yeah, I sleep with O2 and a bipap machine on. I am not going to say life is easy but it does beat the alternative. I currently have an Upper Respiratory "Thing" as my brand new GP stated. Caught it from my grandbabies. I cannot stay away from them and they are little snot trailers. At any rate I am on antibiotics but I am still coughing like crazy. I am supposed to be resting so I popped in to say Hello and welcome you and let you know you can email me at anytime. jeaneng@cox.net. Anyhow I had all the crushed insides talks with a few doctors. They are right in that your lung capacity diminshes with age. My heart is fairly strong but I have a very rapid pulse and it is shallow. However I point out to doctors etc. that this is what I know. My body is what it is now. I can wish all I want to go back in time but cannot, so surgery is out of the question now. I am not ready to give up. Incidently I had a Csection 30 years ago to deliver our daughter and I was awake.