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Thread: Height Gain After Scoliosis Surgery

  1. #1
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    Default Height Gain After Scoliosis Surgery

    Hi All,

    I am new here. I checked the old messages but could not find a case like the one I will present. So here it is. My daughter had her spine fused from T2 down to L3 to fix her double major curve (T57, L51) about 3 weeks ago. She is 13yr3mo, 8 months post menses. She is a very short girl 4 feet 8 1/2 inches.


    Immediately after the surgery when she did her first walk in the hospital, her trunk appeared to have grown taller and she seemed at least an 1 1/2 inch taller. We did not bother to measure her height at the hospital as it was obvious she had gained some height and we were pleased.


    2 days post op she started to have some posture problems (leaning her head forward, rolling her shoulders inward) they attributed this to her reaction to pain and before discharge physiotherapist gave her a few exercises to do at home. Her posture seem to have approved now. The x-ray on the day of discharge looks very good, her curves have almost fully straightened out. Rib hump slightly visible.


    However, a few days back, we felt her trunk was not as tall as when she was in the hospital and when we measured her height on Sunday we found out she was only 1/4 inch taller. Obviously we are all disappointed. She had very high expectations about height gain.

    Her surgeon had told us she must have grown at least 1 1/2 inch. We reached out to him and he says she might not be standing straight due to pain and we should measure her again when she feels better. However, she does not have any pain since 2 weeks post op.

    Does anybody have any idea what's going on? Is it normal to lose some of the initial height gain a few weeks after the surgery. Would some of the hardware have alreay failed?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Height Gain After Scoliosis Surgery

    First of all, hiya! welcome to SSo and secondly, this seems a bit strange but people do tend to lose /some/ of their height gained but I've not seen of it so soon or so much. I think maybe do try again like her surgeon said and then if the result is still the same or similar, chase things up a bit x
    I'm Tiff, I'm 17, my consultant's Mr Gibson at RNOH Stanmore and I was diagnosed in November 2011 and I had my spinal fusion October 3rd 2012 and am now fused T2-T11 with amazing correction (60T/40L to 30T/40L).

  3. #3
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    tonibunny is offline T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
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    Default Re: Height Gain After Scoliosis Surgery

    Hi Sinan, welcome to SSO

    It's normal for some "settling" to occur following fusion, so some of the height gained will be lost. This is to be expected, I'm afraid. Whilst it might be disappointing for your daughter, I don't think you need to fret unduly. When is her next follow-up appointment? Hopefully she will be having one soon, so you will be able to see her x-rays and be reassured that the metalwork is all in place.

    I think there's still time for your daughter to grow, as she's only 13. I certainly did at this age. Most of a teenager's growth is in their limbs at this stage, so hopefully she will gain an inch or two in her legs

    Fingers crossed everything is okay with your daughter,

    Toni
    37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Height Gain After Scoliosis Surgery

    Thanks. I guess she would have been in pain if rods were dislocated. We'll see on September 10th.
    Daughter (13 years 3 months as of Sept 2012) diagnosed in Novermber 2010 with T25 L17 double curve. Braced in Spinecore from Feb 2011 - Mar 2012. The curves progressed to T49 L45. Surgery August 8th, 2012. Curves at the time of surgery T57 L51. Fused T2-L3.

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