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Should I Have Spinal Fusion Surgery?

PaigePPaige Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all, quick background about me to start off, I’m a 23 yr old female and have a 75% progressing kyphosis. I first noticed it when I was very young (being the stereotypical overly body conscious pre-teen girl) and I began making a conscious effort to practice good posture. I had a huge growth spurt, during which, my curve got much worse. I didn't like to talk about it because I was understandably embarrassed, but I finally swallowed my pride and asked my Mom about it. The local doc told me it was just bad posture and sitting up straight would cure me.. it didn’t. When I was about 16 I was sent to a specialist. The specialist said I had about a 68% curve and prescribed physical therapy. Fast forward to last yr, my persistent back pain drove me back to the specialist and she took fresh x-rays. I’m a diligent worker, so I always blamed my aches and pains on my working hard, not just the kyphosis, but lately it had began to affect my day-to-day life. Practicing good posture and doing my kyphosis stretches seemed exhausting and only added to the pain I’m experiencing already. I’m also experiencing popping and grinding sharp pains in my shoulder and most recently some new troublesome pain in my lower back and throbbing hamstrings, which she said could all be related to my spinal deformity. After months of waiting to hear back from her on my x-rays she said my curvature was close to 75%, which meant it had progressed 8-10% over the past 3yrs, and we were talking about surgery. I was heart broken and shocked because I was always told surgery was out of the question for me and I was naively under the impression, because of what I was told growing up, that my physical therapy and posture habits would correct my spine or at the very least stop it from getting worse! Now I’m told physical therapy could do nothing to “structurally” correct my spine. Anyway, My apt. Isn’t for a few months but I’m assuming she’s talking about spinal fusion surgery? Looks scary ☹… but other means of treating my condition have apparently been unsuccessful and I fear it will only continue to get worse. My question is: Have people been happy with the results of their surgery? Regrets? Is it all worth it in the end? Does anyone have any surgeons In the New England area they would recommend? If I need something so major done, I would want it done by the best of the best. I’m talking the “Will Smith” of spinal surgeons! Any input is appreciated.


  • I'm sorry you never got a response for your post! I had never heard of kyphosis so thank you for educating me. I hope whatever you decide, it fixes your problems!

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • Sorry that you are in so much pain.

    I had a spinal fusion for scoliosis at the age of 13. It is major surgery and a big decision to make.

    My advice is that since your physical therapy is not giving you the relief you hoped for, and since your curve is progressive that surgery would probably be a good thing for you to have.

    Since you are also having pain in your hamstring muscles, you may want to talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for a muscle relaxer.

    Good luck.
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