View Full Version : Decisions, decisions

25th November 2009, 05:55 PM
As many of you know my daughter is currently wearing a Spinecor brace through Dr. Rivard in Montreal. Yesterday after months of waiting we finally had our appointment a Sick Kids in Toronto. Everyone there was very pleasant to deal with. We met with a Dr. Zeller who told us that our daughter has scoliosis and needs to be braced. He didn't really give us a chance to discuss what we had already done and our reasons why. He then told us that he would have his assistant bring in the prescription for the brace (cheneau, I'm guessing, although he spelled it with an sh at the beginning??) He then said he would see us in 6 months and to go to the orthotics clinic to look at the brace. I understand that the man is an amazing surgeon but I really felt as if we had just been rushed through the whole procedure. He said the brace had to be worn 23 hours a day, and if it didn't work then our daughter would need surgery when she was done growing. He didn't look at the xrays with us or anything. As you can imagine we are very confused right now. I wish we had more time with him, (he also brought in two associates whom he didn't introduce. My daughter is now horrified that she will have to get this hard brace and has clearly stated she will not wear it. Wouldn't it be nice if these braces came with some kind of guarantee so you could know which one is best. Needless to say we are more confused that ever. By the way they didn't have a sample to show us, but did have a picture of one. Lu

25th November 2009, 06:07 PM
im sorry to hear that you feel that you were rushed & are now as confused as ever x

25th November 2009, 06:44 PM
Thanks Bronteamy, I'm sure you know all too well the feelings my daughter is going through. You are very strong to share your experiences and help others through theirs. You are a very brave young lady. Lu

25th November 2009, 09:51 PM
What a rude sounding man >:| Brilliant surgeon or not, there is some call for basic good manners, an area in which he seems sadly lacking.

I'm not surprised you're even more confused as he didn't give you the chance to discuss anything. If your daughter is happier with the flexible Spinecor brace then I think I'd be tempted to go with that as at least there's more chance of compliance and therefore success.

Amazed Jean
27th November 2009, 03:58 AM
First a disclaimer - I have never worn a brace nor have I had surgery. This was not by choice. If I could go now for either or both I would.
I think you need to trust your gut feeling. If you aren't happy with the brillant surgeon I think you should look for another opinion. Doesn't mean that you can't stay on the radar with the brillant guy. But aren't you always going to wonder if you did the right thing? Brillant guy should not be offended by a second opinion. Or maybe he could see you again because you have more questions and/or that you felt a bit intimidated the first time around. You are the best source your daughter has right now to protect her health - no doctor cares as much as you do. It could be that Physicians haven't the time to care deeply about each patient. They know what they do and they have no idea what we as patients, or patients parents, feel. This may mean you have to pay for a private consultation but it might well give you the peace of mind that will help you rest. I suggest you start a notebook and keep it with you to right down questions as they come to you. Write down answers too when you get to see a doctor or just jot down some notes so when you get home you will have a frame of reference. Another idea is to take a second person with you that is going to help you listen so you both can compare what you heard. This is a stressful time and I am so sorry that you have to go through it. Good luck!

27th November 2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks Jean, we are still thinking about all our options. As you can imagine my daughter doesn't even want to hear the word scoliosis. Right now she is still wearing her Spinecor brace for the usual 20+ hours per day. I am getting the feeling that it really doesn't matter what brace your wear, the result will end up being pretty similar. If she already has a cobb angle of 46+, without having a growth spurt, I truly fear the future. The notebook idea is fantastic and I will get one going right away. Should I use a 'spiral bound' one? Sorry I couldn't resist the dark humour. Lu

Amazed Jean
27th November 2009, 06:48 PM
"Twisted humor" is just my style.

30th November 2009, 05:07 PM

I would go for a second opinion, as Jean says, even if you have to pay for a private consultation. That way you and your daughter can ask all the questions that Dr Amazing but Arrogant avoided. My own scoliosis specialist is very much like Dr Amazing - he tries to rush me out of the examination room so I know exactly what a highly respected doctor with no time or people skills is like. To be fair, they sometimes think they are doing us a favour by just giving us a solution with no explanation - they think it is easier for us to digest.

If you cannot get another opinion, can you send a fax to the doctor with bullet point questions? Or ask if you can be given a few minutes to talk to him on the phone.

I really hope you receive some clarity to the situation very soon.

I wish I could be more help as I can imagine how frustrated you must feel.

All I can do is send these :squeeze::squeeze:

30th November 2009, 05:50 PM
Thanks again for everyone's support. We have an appointment with yet another specialist on Dec. 23 of this year. This appointment was made a few months ago when it didn't look like we would get into Sick Kids very soon. I think it is good that we didn't cancel it. We are thinking of going with all our questions written down and see what this doctor has to say. The Princess (my daughter) does not want to even speak of scoliosis or anything to do with it, so hopefully by December 23 (Merry Christmas to us!) she will feel up to being subjected to yet another round of doctors and questioning. Luckily she is still wearing her Spinecor brace without a fuss. Again thanks everyone for your support, this forum is such a blessing. Lu

3rd December 2009, 03:29 PM

You've just been given excellent advice from everyone here. If you have questions regarding the brace or any questions about scoliosis for that matter, the doctor should find time or make time to answer all your questions. If he's too busy, he should find someone for you who can answer all your questions.

Brilliant or not, one thing you need to know about great surgeons are that they're great surgeons. They may be the best in their field of surgery, but that does not make them an expert on everything about scoliosis.

I would make sure that you are totally informed before you make any decisions. You should also look into alternative therapies and treatments for scoliosis.

Best of luck!