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Old 21st April 2013, 01:14 PM
toref toref is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Norway
Posts: 54
Default A new beginning

Hello all,

I've only just recently discovered this wonderful forum. What a great community you are!

Thanks to the many people that stand up and share their stories here, I've finally found the courage to move forward with my own situation and share it with you. My hope is to ease the journey and perhaps give inspiration and courage to others in a similar position.

I'm a Norwegian man in my mid-40's. I was diagnosed with Scheuermann in my early teens. From the conversation with the specialist, now some 30 years ago, a few words have been stuck in my memory: “90 degrees kyphosis and a significant scoliosis” ... “However we do not recommend surgery due to extreme risk of complications.” I wore a brace for some time, but it was so unfortable that I quickly stopped using it.

Over the years I've coped fairly well with life. I've gotten through school and I've got an interesting job. Never had much success with romance, but I don't think it's fair to fully blame my back condition for this. A near total lack of self-esteem is probably the most important part here. I've never been able to respect my body. Nevertheless, the idea of surgery and the fear of severe complications was kept under lid. I wanted to be strong and “play with the cards that were given to me.”

After I turned 35-36 the pain took a gradually bigger part in my life. From the rather mundane episodes a'la “alright, that was my lower back speaking” to the really dramatic “ohh my God, I've just got to get out of this chair - this pain is killing me!”

It's scary to describe this next period. I can see how my pain and my appearance have shaped what I do, what I think I am, my relations with other people. During the past 4-5 years my back problems seem to “have gotten the better of me” and I'm becoming gradually more isolated and focused on the negative. I hate myself when that happens, as it is not who I really am. I'm generally a positive and optimistic fella.

Now I've just turned 44 and the weight of it all is just too much. I've decided that I want to try to get surgery. Fully aware that surgeries rarely solves everything I'm hoping that it may give me more of my life back. Guess I've reached the point where I'm desperate to get a change. I've read the numerous and gripping stories here on SSO and despite all the perils, shores and challenges described they've all contributed to give me the courage to push for surgery.

I've got an appointment with a GP the coming Thursday and I've made a list of the things I'd like to tell him. Hopefully I'll manage to convince him to refer me to a scoliosis/kyphosis specialist.

Alright, that was the first step. I'm feeling a little better already.
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Old 21st April 2013, 04:29 PM
mistakendrop's Avatar
mistakendrop mistakendrop is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: colorado
Posts: 137
Default Re: A new beginning

Welcome to the site good luck with your journey I hope your appointment with the gp goes good.
24,m fused oct 2nd 2012 t-2 through l-3.
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Old 21st April 2013, 04:44 PM
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GillyG GillyG is offline
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 16,187
Default Re: A new beginning

Hello there

I'm so glad you've taken the step to join us, you are now amongst friends who understand exactly where you're coming from.

Your story is eerily similar to my own, except that I just have scoliosis with an element of kyphosis (due to a lack of lordosis), but not the Scheuermann's kyphosis. I was 49 when I finally had surgery and, despite a few complications from one area which is having trouble fusing, I have found my life completely transformed and most definitely all for the better - virtually no pain and tons more self confidence

Good luck getting a referral please let us know how you get on.
Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker
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Old 21st April 2013, 05:19 PM
toref toref is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Norway
Posts: 54
Default Re: A new beginning

Thank you both!

It really means a lot to me to have people like you around that face similar difficulties and that are so willing and resourceful in communicating and sharing experiences. I come from a modest-sized town and I can't remember having seen anyone else with my type of back. I've always felt weird and different. It's kind of cool to be amongst similars.

I do believe that having experience from such traumatic conditions can make us even more appreciative of the good things that life has to offer. I'm very happy for you Gilly that your decision to undergo surgery has given you such a nice turn in life. It gives me stronger motivation too.
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Old 21st April 2013, 06:18 PM
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bluestone bluestone is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: west midlands
Posts: 4,350
Default Re: A new beginning

Hi and

I had surgery almost two and a half years ago and although I still have pain I don't regret a minute of it. I muddled through my twenties and thirties, working and bringing two children up and putting up with pain that would make me feel completely drained. My hump got bigger and i just wore baggy tops so nobody really knew. At that time I only saw Orthopedic surgeons and they just told me that surgery was too risky. As time went by i started to feel desperate, then I saw a scoliosis specialist who told me my 72 degree curve would continue to progress.

My pain is most likely from my metalwork which can be removed if I want to take that gamble but I'm not so sure if its worth it. If I continue to have some pain I would still rather be straight and not have the worry of progression than be crooked and in pain.

This is the place to be for lots of advice and support-I couldn't have got through my surgery without the support of many people here
Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight
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Old 21st April 2013, 09:33 PM
toref toref is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Norway
Posts: 54
Default Re: A new beginning

Thanks for sharing! It's truly impressive what we can get through when it comes to pain, but that's no reason for not trying to make it better. The pain you're experiencing now, is it also different in character compared to pre-op?

What is your curvature now - roughly? I'm thinking that reducing my curvature down to low 40-ies would be perfect, but getting a back that allows me to sit and stand upright for a couple of hours at a time is top priority. I don't really understand how the surgeon decides on the final curvature, but I guess it depends on a lot of issues?

Take care, Tor
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kyphoscoliosis, scheuermanns

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