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JohannesAJJohannesA Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

My name is Johannes and i used to have kyphosis (still has?).

About 5 years ago i had a surgery for it and you can say that the surgery changed my life or most of it. I had a 97 degree curve that was changed to 55-65 degree curve. The surgery changed my life completly, everything or almost everything that i wanted to accomplish, i have done that. I lost 100 pounds, i got my bachelor of science degree and i started building a great life for me. You can say that before the surgery, i was pretty much a nobody.

Back to the point, after i did the surgery it had some serious complications, when he straighten my back completly they saw that the nervs stopped sending signals and that scared the doctor which made him bend the back a little bit back to way it was. The surgery was 10 hour long and when they woke me up, i was not able to move at all. I stayed in the hospital for 3-4 months because of this and it may have taken up to 5 months to learn how to walk again. Today i run, i do martial arts, i swim and i go to gym all the time. However i am not satisfied, i look at my back 24/7 to see how good/bad it is. Any mirror i see nearby, i have to see if i am walking straight. I get nervous when people are walking behind me and i wait and let them walk ahead because i am scared of bad comments. This has been going on for 5 years now and ive gotten to a point that it is driving me crazy.
It has this mental control over me and i can't seem to shake it off because it isn't a 100 percent good back and that is what makes me angry, knowing that other surgeries was more successful then mine and i had to suffer a lot.

Sometimes if we go out, i notice that some people makes comments about it but my family/friends insists that i am hallucinating.

Some family members that haven't seen me before, when they see me the first time, they ask me, why do you stand like that or what is wrong with your back. People don't understand that this type of comments hurts. I am 27 years old. I can't even go out on dates or approach someone because i am afraid that they will be disgusted.

What should i do? I am worried that if i do another surgery, i will be paralyzed for life. I can't even go to the doctors to have it checked out because i don't even have health insurance anymore.

I have spoken to the doctors that did the surgery and they keep insisting that if they straighten my back more then the chest form will look weird as i have an oversized chest (if this is true). I don't know if these are excuses, if they are scared or if it's the trueth.

My family says, the only problem you have is that you have no confidence and that you care to much about what other people thinks. This could be true but when you haven't been through the same thing then you have no right to make statements like this. I just want my back to be 100% straight.

If you have any suggestions on what i should do then please do let me know, i am just about willing to do anything because as much as i have done good things for the past 5 years, i have so much things left to do but i feel that this "mental" condition, me being obsessed with this back has gone to far.

Thank you!



  • It's rough you went through such a long surgery and months of recovery. Is it you walk with a limp? Perhaps using a cane would help? I have kyphosis myself and use a cane to walk to ease my back pain and leg pain but as for limping or walking abnormal maybe you could see an Orthopedist Dr. at a teaching university hospital where they don't charge anything. I don't live in the States and it's awful you have to go without medical treatment.

    Being young sometimes you can be self conscious with the way you walk and most important is that you have to accept you are who you are and there may not be anything wrong with the way you walk but of course I'm not a Dr. to say that as a Physiotherapist or Orthopedist could be able to help you.

    My SIL was born with Spina Bifida and she walks with a limp a little but it doesn't keep her down. You must do what you enjoy but try not to overdo anything especially having any pain then you'll need to see a Dr. Have you had recent x-rays?

    I had a Teacher say why do you hold your head that way? Well I have hyper-extension of my neck and reverse lordosis but that comment I was about your age was enough to drive me batty almost and think it was inappropriate for her to say that.

    Walking differently from others will not stop you from having a social life because my SIL met my brother with her walking and she even has a metal plate in her leg but it didn't stop him from being attracted to her and marrying her and having children and they are happily married 21 years.

    You get out there and get yourself someone and have friends and don't listen to any negative comments because they're not worth being friends with. But like I said get to a University teaching hospital and get an opinion from a Dr. as I had to wear braces as a child but you may find the help you need.

    Good for you for losing the weight and going for your Ba in Science, you should be proud of yourself and hang around with positive people who compliment you because you're feeling self conscious which is normal in a lot of people 27, well I was too. But seeing and getting a good report from a Dr. will be a bonus for you now that you'll be making money with your degree I hope you get good benefits at your job also. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Charry,

    Thank you for reply!
    I am not limping, i walk just like anybody else but people when they see me walking, they think i bend my back forward. I have no pain whatsoever after that surgery, the only pain i have sometimes is after i have done a lot of workout but other then that i am just fine.

    I am just irritated by the fact that i did a surgery like that and suffered from these complications and still it is not 100% good.

    Maybe you are right, i should try to contact a Dr. at University.

    Thank you!

  • Johannes, hello and welcome to the site!

    While I can understand being a bit self conscious about the curvature you may still have, I think, for me at least, I'd be thinking more about how different my life was now.

    People will make comments, regardless... but that, I mean, the same person that might make a comment about your back, would talk about your haircut, your clothes, the way you wear your shoes (I'm not joking... my grandmother used to look at the wear on mens shoes to see how they walked and I guess if they took care of them selves!)

    So, if they are going to make a comment anyway, you might want to find other ways of dealing with it. For me, due to my back and knee problems, I walk with a cane and often have to lean forward. Most people don't say anything, but rude people will and do. For them I've come up with 2 responses depending on how I am feeling that day... you might think of a few that work for you...

    1. Oh, if you think this is bad, you should have seen me last year! And then I leave it at that.

    2. Oh, really? How odd of you to notice and actually comment about it. Do you find people tend to walk away from you a lot? Like this (and walk away)

    3. You can offer a polite response for those you feel are genuinely concerned and not just being rude. So many people have back issues, that most of the time they'll be mid yawn before you get to the juicy bits. (not because you are boring, but because so many people talk about their backs)

    4. Last but not least, you can ignore them. People comment on everything. If not your back, they'd find something else. You're healthy, active and able to do pretty much every thing you want... just ignore the negativity!

    I hope you're able to accept your great new life and enjoy yourself. Surgery scares me greatly, and I think, I'd worry about doing more if you aren't having pain and issues....

    You're young. And, I think you'll find that yes, there may be people that are uncouth enough to comment on your scars or the way you stand... but finding the right person will remove that from the equation... especially since you are able to do so much more now.

    Please take care, be glad that your surgery was a success in that you're able to live a full, active life and get out there and live!
  • Hi Clandy,

    Thank you also for your reply. You are right that i should avoid those comments as i guess most people do that to eachother. I which it was easy and just be able to forget the past and move on but it is tough and i have a lot of work ahead, i just don't wanna wake up 70 year old man alone and realize that i have let this thing control my whole life. That is what worries me but it also worries me to do a surgery and maybe end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life, that would mean that my life is over. So i am stuck with two decisions, either do another surgery and take the chance or try to move on.

    Thank you!


  • Spam content edited for forum violation.

    Edited by Cindy
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