View Full Version : New to this and need Advice
12th August 2008, 02:57 PM
Hi everyone! I'm currently 19, and was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease at the age of 14. Little was done by my doctors about it (no x-rays from the time it was diagnosed til age 19) and my curve progressed throughout my growth. It now measures about 75*, up from 65* five years ago, and I have also developed a very slight scoliosis curve in the last year. I know that it is not a bad curve compared to many other people, but I went to a back surgeon as I have been experiencing pain and limited mobility for abuot two years. This back surgeon has a very, very good reputation in the area I live. Anyways, the disk between my T7 and T8 vertebrae is almost completely squished, and bone is rubbing on bone. On top of that I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder which will slowly wear away at all my joints over time. So, the doctor pretty much gave me two options: get the surgery now while young and healthy and before I finish school, and only have the surgery on my posterior side, or wait thirty years and live with the slight pain and the cosmetic effect (which I greatly dislike and have not had success with PT), then see the curve stabilize but then rapidly get worse around age 40, and then get surgery. I was just wondering what those of you who have experience with the condition and surgery think. Any advice or input is appreciated. Thank You! :)
12th August 2008, 04:19 PM
Hi Sarah i also have the same disease as yourself, my curves progressed to over 100 degrees and i'm 37, the longer you leave it the harder it is to fix so my advice would be to get yourself whilst your young and your body has time to recover
I have suffered chronic and acute pain for going on 30 years and let me it does gradually wear you down and gets on top of you
Welcome to sso and i am sorry to read the reasons that have brought you here but if you want to look at a 100 degree plus curve look in the pictures of my back post by mark about 2 threads below this one,
12th August 2008, 05:06 PM
Hi Welcome 2 sso
Am simon and i as well as mark have got This disorder I have been operated on And it was a succes As mark said its better to get it out the way with now while your younger than when your older thats if its not going to progress ...
If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask you can find mine and marks storys of hope and courage on the this thread .
12th August 2008, 06:50 PM
Hi SarahBella and welcome to SSo, I'm 19 too =D... I'd have to agree with the guys, you should get it fixed sooner rather than later as it'll be the best option for you in the long run.
Although I had kyphosis, mine was like really nothing compared to my scoliosis and hypolordosis and it's Idiopathic, so basically the cause unknown.
Hope you get everything sorted out soon,
Take it easy sweet xx
12th August 2008, 08:29 PM
Hi there and :welcome:
I have scoliosis rather than kyphosis, but I would echo the previous advice that it would be better to have surgery younger rather older. The body has far better powers of healing the younger you are, plus the actual toll on the body is less as the curve will be more flexible.
Good luck, we will happily support you whatever you decide :D
12th August 2008, 09:20 PM
Yep....I agree with what the others have said!
12th August 2008, 09:21 PM
Sorry thats simos thread, he's just been fixed
thiss is me
12th August 2008, 10:56 PM
Thanks everyone so much for your advice! I spent a couple hours reading through all the posts and links on here and have learned so much. When I heard the word surgery I freaked out a little, but all your stories are so inspiring and helpful! I need to keep researching a little more, and get another surgeon's opinion but I think I'm finally on track. I'm sure more questions will come to me, but thanks so much already for the support and advice
12th August 2008, 11:07 PM
I'm glad we can help, where a friendly bunch who just want to help one another, the thing we all have in common is we are a little wonky
welcome to the family
13th August 2008, 11:46 AM
Hey Sarah, I had the Kyphosis operation about three years ago. Had to wait til I was over 18 as my parents didn't want me to have the surgery (they saw it as purely cosmetic). I think the best you can ever hope for when it comes to treating our condition is youth and a reputable surgeon and it seems as though you have both on you side! My only regret is not getting the surgery done sooner as it really reduced the amount of pain I suffered and improved my mobility no end.
13th August 2008, 12:08 PM
yeah i'd say better sooner rather than later, your body heals better and sometimes it's best just to get it over with!
hope things go ok :)
13th August 2008, 08:29 PM
Buffalowilliam, your parents sound a lot like mine... they didn't believe that I was in actual pain until two days ago when the doctor showed them everything on the MRI.
The doctor told me it's six weeks to recover enough to go back to school. Do you guys think it might take longer? I have to plan with school and surgery and try not to fall too far behind, and six weeks would fit breaks between semesters perfectly. And I also read that posterior only surgery is better if you're still growing, which I'm definitely not, but the surgeon told me that he could do it posterior only. He mentioned only fusing T5-T10/11 (can't remember) so maybe that would have something to do with it?
13th August 2008, 08:36 PM
Its hard to say how long it may take to recover from surgery, it depends on a lot of factors, including size of curve, whether you need anterior and posterior releases (which may mean two surgeries), your age etc, etc, sorry there's no magic formula, your young so you should pull quicker than say me who's 37,
To give you some idea and i don't want to scare you but it could be anywhere between 6 weeks and six months, hopefully with you being young it will be 6 weeks ish but that may extend to a couple of months
i hope that makes sense
13th August 2008, 09:11 PM
As Mark says, it's very hard to be sure as everyone is so different, but I'd say 6 weeks is a reasonable target to aim for. Your youth is a big factor on your side, plus it doesn't sound as though it will be too long a fusion either. I wish you the best of luck :D
15th August 2008, 05:33 PM
Wish I'd had an MRI for some proof! Even though my surgeon said I was in pain and surgery was common for someone who had my degree of curve (can't remember how much now, maybe I'll look it up) he mentioned the word 'cosmetic' once and from that moment on my mum acted like I wanted a nose job or something. Guess she was just worried for me.
6 weeks would probably be long enough for you to be physcially capable of returning to school, but that doesn't necessarily mean its what you should do or be aiming for. I had knee surgery at the beginning of the year and with both operations I was up and about pretty quickly (obviously much longer for spine surgery) but with both, looking back, I wasn't actually better/recovered for a period of months rather than weeks. You can do your school work any time, any where, at any point in your life ... you'll only have back surgery once and you shouldn't rush your recovery.
Believe me, missing a bit of school is nothing compared to your physical health and you certainly shouldn't rush back until you're ready to do so.
21st August 2008, 02:26 AM
My son is having surgery tomorrow. He's 16 and a junior in (American) high school. We were told 6 weeks until going back to school as well, but he'll have significant limitations for longer....no running or jumping for 6 months, no diving (he's a competitive swimmer) for 6 months, no flip turns for one year, no lifting more than 5-10 pounds for 6 weeks....then slowly increase weight lifted over time.
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