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Please help _ Those who underwent spinal fusion for scoliosis please give me your opinion

Hi everyone,
I need your advise on my situation. I have S-curve scoliosis. I am 25 years old. I discovered that I have idiopathic scoliosis 5 years ago only. My upper curve was 41+- 5 and the lower was 49+-5.
When I first discovered that I have scoliosis it was because of extreme back pain that I had to go to the ER. Then I went to a specialist who told me to just live with my scoliosis because I was 20 years old at the time, so my curves most likely would not progress (or would only progress 1 degree a year). Now, I'm 25 years old and seeing a new specialist who compared my old x-rays to the new ones this year, he told me that somewhere in my future I will have to get the surgery. However, now I have to weight the benefits of getting the surgery now than later in 5 years or 10. The doctor told me my fusion would be from T3-L4 or L5 . The doctor told me that my situation now is not an emergency, yet I am a candidate to get the surgery and now I'm healthier than ever.

Here is how I look at it:
Currently, I'm done with college and I'm applying to get my master's for next year, I have no job commitments and I will have a few months to recover. Secondly, I have my parents to take care of me during my recovery. I have no personal commitments, no kids, husband, etc. Also, as the doctor said generally now I'm healthier than I will be in 5 or 10 years. Another important aspect I'm looking at is my surgery and all hospital expenses will be paid for me. My back pain is manageable with ibuprofen.

In 5 or 10 years, I don't know how my life would be whether I would have job commitments or kids, etc. Also, I'm afraid that my back all of a sudden gets worse and I don't have the money to get the surgery done at that time.

I'm not scared of the surgery itself, but I'm scared from my life after the surgery. For example, would I be able to do the things we all take for granted, such as tying my shoes, bending to get a pen on the ground, applying nail polish on my toes, wearing high heels, stretching, etc.
I know that I will lose flexibility, however I'm worried that I am underestimating the amount of flexibility I would be losing, especially that my fusion is very long. I'm not a very flexible person, however I always have the urge to stretch my back I am afraid that with the spinal fusion I will have that urge but I won't be able to stretch ( the idea of this terrifies me). Please let me know if after your spinal fusion you had such problem.

How did your life change after spinal fusion? I want to know about the little things we do and never think about, like picking something up or swimming or just twisting our back to look at someone next to us,etc.

I have a lot of worries in my mind about this surgery and whether to get it done now , so PLEASE LET ME KNOW! After reading this do you think that getting the surgery now in oppose to later in 5 years is a good choice, I want to know from someone that underwent spinal fusion and know the other side of the story

Thank you


  • I at least wanted to answer since no one else has and you asked a couple of months ago!! So here are my thoughts, and I think you are very smart in how you saw the pros and cons! I agree with the thought that if ever is going to be a good time, now might be it...just because of all you stated. It really does matter, and I had the same circumstances you did! But sometimes I wonder if I jumped at it too quick, and didn't take the time to try other things, or research good doctors.
    As far as how you will miss things, you really won't, after awhile. Of course you won't be able to round your back and do certain things with rotation....but it really never slowed me down. I was a fitness trainer teaching classes, pregnant, then later doing triathlons! So you can do it....but you really do need to be smart and take care not to be undue stress on the other remaining unfused, they are more apt to injury after. But really, you can stretch in new ways, and massage help with those back muscles you can't physically stretch.
    I know this is a quick answer to something life changing...feel free to contact me by email, and we can talk more! :))
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