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Thread: New here

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default New here

    Hi everyone..
    My name is Nancy, and I guess I'm here to get more insight from everyone. I've had scoliosis as a teen, but never got any treatment for it. I've dealt with pain off and on my whole life. I'm now 43, and have kind of reached my wits end. I have horrible pain in my lower lumbar region when standing for any period of time or walking. I have a pars defect, with a spondylolithesis of L5. In Nov 2013, I started with a terrible pain in the right buttocks/hip area. After researching causes I figured it was SI joint dysfunction and sought out a doctor in the area to help with this. After an injection, that pain improved, but the lower lumbar pain persisted, and I finally decided to get an evaluation from an ortho. I had a full scoliosis set of films, and MRI. My last films to compare were from 2008, and the degenerative changes were shocking. In addition to the curvature, 3 discs are bad, and I have a thoracic and lumbar curve measuring 40 degrees each. By looking at me you wouldn't know, because they are nicely balancing each other. It's obvious the scoliosis is advancing, but we don't know how fast because we didn't have yearly films to monitor it. The doctors recommendation was a fusion from T4-tailbone. I was beyond shocked. The surgeon isn't pushing the surgery and suggested we wait a year, and see how fast the progression is moving, though he does anticipate the need for fusing at some point.. I'm doing pain management until February, trying to stay on the lowest possible dose of narcotics. I'm so scared of what my life will be after a fusion this big, but I'm also tired of being in such pain that I can't even go grocery shopping without having to bend over to stretch my back and what feels like push my lumbar vertebrae back in line. I fully researched this surgeon and he is affiliated with the best hospital in the St Louis Area. I might add, I've been a nurse for 17 years, and have altered my area of practice from ER/ICU to now working at home on a desk job.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Salina Kansas

    Default Re: New here

    Hello and welcome to this amazing site!!!
    I am also a new member, just a few months, However i have found a great source of information and comfort here.
    I am scheduled for a T4 to L5 fusion the 28 th of July and I too am having a VERY hard time with how my future may be afterwards. I am 28 years old and both L4 and L5 are completely degenerated and I'll have something like a false disc or shim put in, don't really understand that part but 13 discs will be fused. I can't give any advice as to how it feels so I'll just offer support. For me, it had become a question of not IF I have it but WHEN. In 2010 I was at 34 and 36 degrees and this year I am at 41 and 52 so the progression is what scared me, the pain after years i have found my own ways of dealing.
    I wish you the very best of luck and I'll keep you posted as mine approaches. Have a great day!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reno, Nevada USA

    Default Re: New here


    Its always nice to welcome a nurse to the forum....I wouldnít have made it without my nurses....

    I guess it is shocking.....I have forgotten, its been 6-1/2 years now for me....

    Waiting a year sounds good....

    I never took opoid meds before my surgeries, but took NSAIDís for severe sciatica....They kept me alive you might say, but I have this love/hate relationship with oral medications....I think itís understandable. Many hot soaks, and many massages were the norm in those days.....Major pain drove me in, and had a massive stacked ALIF done with partial corpectomies.....L1-S1 then a T2-Pelvis posterior 2 day stage. PEEK spacers with BMP.

    Any talk of an anterior procedure with your L5/S1 spondy? or can they do this posterior only?

    Is this Dr Bridwell?


    57 yr old male
    T70 L70 double trouble
    A/P T2-Pelvis BMP Jan 2008

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Default Re: New here

    Welcome to the site!

    Sounds great that you're being monitored carefully and not strong armed into anything, take the time to ask all the questions you need although as a nurse I guess you can probably tell us a thing or two

    It's a horrible shock when you're first confronted with this all, hope you're ok.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Sheffield, UK

    Default Re: New here

    Hi Nancy, just wanted to 'Hi' and I hope you find the site useful and supportive
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    South Wales, UK

    Default Re: New here

    Hi Nancy, you have come to the right place for support and guidance, this community has been such a comfort to me. I have a similar story to you as in my scoliosis was left to see how it progressed,and due to a number of factors such as my initial lumbar curvature was only 16 degrees I got lost in the system. Fast forward to 2012 and I got knocked over and had some x-rays done to see how badly I was injured and they found my lumbar had progressed to 49 degrees and 47 thoracic, more importantly my rib cage was severely twisted and rotated.

    I was fused T2 to L4 on 27th March this year. I'm at week 12, and now I seem t have blanked out the worry pre-op, it's like it never happened in some ways. Such as I am doing most household chores (except hoovering and ironing),I'm cooking, shopping and I can change the sheets on my bed. Not without discomfort, and adaptations to how I used to do things as I can't twist my body in the same way.

    The pre-op worries were horrible. I sympathise with where you are at. My surgery has promoted new aches and pains and difficulties, but it is all part of the healing process with nerves and muscles knitting back together. I feel you need to do what's right for you and in your own time.

    Don't be afraid to vent and ask questions on here, the people on here are fantastic and there is a wealth of knowledge and experiences Welcome
    I'm 44, I had a scoliosis: thoracic at 49 degrees, lumbar 47 with severe rib rotation. My surgery took place on 28th March 2014, I have 26 screws and 2 titanium rods.

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