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Scheurmann's kyphosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
About two years ago I had a horriable surgery for scheurmann's kyphosis. My curve was 110 degress at that time. I had anterior and posterior surgery and now I have about seven disc fusions in the thoracic spine and then I was also fused on top of the spine from T2 to L2.
Last August I had bilaterl jaw surgery and had my jaw wired shut for nearly five months. Nine months ago I was in a car accident and had my C5/C6 fusion done due to the dislocated vertabra and herniation. I now have four screws and a plate and fusion in the cervicle spine. I have 36 screws in the lumbar and thoracic spine,two cross links and two rods from T2 to L2. I also damanged the T1/T2 vertabra and will be having surgery for this real soon. I only have to vertabra left inbetween the two surgeries and this is stressing my neck and upper back up pretty good. I can hardly hold my head up anymore due to the pain and weekness this has caused. After I have the next surgery I will be fused and rodded from C4 all the way to L2. I will not be able to bend my neck or back at all and will be very stiff,I am told. I have to have this surgery done if I want to live a half way normall life if one could call it that. I am really getting depressed over this as this is how I will have to live the rest of my life. I just want to know if anyone else in hear has had the rods and fusion from C4 to L2 and if so how you can manage when basicaly your whole back is nothing but fusion,screws and rods and what not. I really can't take it anymore. It is really to much and it is really hard trying to get on SSDI at the age of 39 even with all these problems. The surgery's I have mentioned are just a part of what I have going on. There are a whole lot of other painfull conditions that happen to your spine when you have this much hardware in your body.


  • I just wanted to add some things I just found out two day's ago when I had another MRI. I now have areas of irregularity's in my spinal cord. More degenerative change at the costovertebral junction. Narrowing in the anterior half of the disc space at presumed T4/T5 compatible with ankylosis of the anterior aspect of the disc. They also are not sure if this is the T4/T5 area as the metal and fusion's make it difficult to verify. There is also an increased thoracic kyphosis. This increased kyphosis is ware the next surgery will take place. I just do not know how much more I can take. This is such a painfull condition and basicaly very hard to live with.
  • Hi Sally,
    I just joined this forum to get info on a recent (but becoming chronic) scapula winging that is very uncomfortable. I then came across your post and realized I had nothing to complain about in comparison to what you and others may be dealing with. Athough I have no experience or knowledge with spine or back conditions (aside from the research I've done to dx my own condition since I haven't been given much attention from m.d.'s),I am a mental health counselor and would really suggest you go speak to someone about your difficult and depressing situation. I'm guessing you feel very isolated and alone and maybe even a bit tired of talking to those close to you about it. So, I would definitely consider this if you haven't already done so. Maybe a counselor could also teach you meditation and relaxation techniques that can also offer relief to some. There may even be a support group for people dealing w/ chronic pain or disabling conditions. I hope you don't mind this advice. The counselor in me just wanted to offer some suppot. Mar2
  • I agree with Mar2 she is right. I too had counsiling for my neck and back problems. It does help. I will pray for you. I can't believe SS is giving you a problem. I hope you have a laywer. If not get one, they can work magic. You don't need to worry about the legel stuff you just need to get through everyday.

    I'm truly sorry for pain and trials. If you need to talk we are always here.

    I'm very humbled by your case. Lois
  • Thank you for spending some time reading and offering sugestion's on my post. I do have a very nice doctor at the pain clinic that I go to. This is ware I do most of my talking. I guess I sorta figure going to the pain clinic once a month as being the counsiling that I need. It takes special people to work with pain patients and I think the pain clinic is the best place to go to dicuss all of the things going on with me. I also like to come to this board and read other people's story's. I think to some degree this board is more helpfull as most people on it are suffering from some kind of disability,pain,finacial stuff, dealing with SSDI and so on. For the most part we all can relate to one another. Having people respond or reply to my post is also very helpfull and supportive. Thanks again for the sugestions.
  • Hi,
    I ran across your post and had to write you.... Although I am not as up on my technical medical terminology as you, I think we have a lot in common (almost)...
    I was diagnosed with Scheurmanns Kyphosis (had it from birth, but didn't know the "real" reason for my chronic pain until a few years ago). I am 45 years old and have suffered with this as long as I can remember. As I have grown older, the pain has only gotten much worse.
    In 1999, I had C5/C6 fusion. MRI showed a protrusion. Epidural injections, anti-inflammatory and pain meds didn't help. No MRI was taken of my thorasic spine. I questioned why a neck protrusion could hurt further down in my thorasic spine and was told that the pain could spread that low. So, I had the fusion. It DID NOT help, stop, alleviate or touch the pain I continued to have in my thorasic spine.
    If as that wasn't enough, I lost my job of 11 years because I could not perform the manual labor that was required.
    A few years later and a different Doctor, an MRI showed numerous problems with my thorasic spine.
    In November 2007, I finally had reached the point of desperation and decided to have the fusion, hoping to alleviate the intense pain. The fusion was an 8 vertebrae fusion. T7 through T12, L1 and L2.
    I have to say that I have had some relief, if only for a few hours a day. But, when the pain comes again(and it always does) I question if I made the right decision to go through with the surgery. Now I have limitations because of the fusion. I can't bend anymore, except at the hips and the very top of my shoulders.
    If I happen to "forget" and try to bend as I used to, it feels like I am ripping my spine apart. There are days that I don't feel like even getting out of bed. It will be a year this November since I had the fusion and I guess this is as good as I should expect to get...
    I take 2.5 mg. of Hydrocodone every 6 to 8 hours (which doesn't even scratch the surface for pain relief). My Doctor wants me off the pain meds (if you can call 2.5 mg. Hydrocodone every 6 to 8 hours pain relief)..... It is a constant battle to get a pain prescription from their office.
    The only option that I feel I have now is to go back to the pain management doctor and start over again. I can't go back, have a "redo" and undo the surgery.
    If I had that option, I'm not sure that I have gotten enough relief from the surgery to warrant all the new limitations, still having severe pain, the enormous medical bills ($30,000. for the surgeon, $90,000. for the hospital), depression, you name it....
    I understand and sympathize with you. Though you have even more wrong with you, than I do, I have and do, walk in a very similiar pair of shoes. No one can understand unless they have been in that situation.
    I haven't even tried to apply for SSDI, I figured that I couldn't get it.... I am married and have an 11 year old son. I try so hard to be the mom that he needs and though he understands that mom can't play ball or ride the amusement park rides with him, I feel that I have let him down too....
    A lot of Doctors that I have been to over the years have tried to put me on antidepressants. I have always told them the SAME thing; "If I weren't in pain, I wouldn't be depressed!".
    I wish you the very best and hope that you will get relief, I can relate...Well, almost....
    Hope this gets a grin;
    I thought a lot about my username. And I finally decided it: steelhurtz

    (get it?!! still hurts / steel hurts HA! HA!)
    Best wishes for better health,


  • Again I'm humbled by your cases. Both of you need a SS lawyer and fast. They will get you the help you need. Your son deserves the money and it's quite alot. You have nothing to lose and the lawyers don't take any money from you the SS pays their fee. It is a battle but worth it.

    I have had C5 and C6 done and need a long thoracic fusion myself. After chasing the operation for three years, I'm not going to have it and live with the pain you decribe. I get depressed and sad too, because the only thing that has happened is I have learned how to give up everything. I was very active, worked hard and made great money. Now I'm broke and can't do anything but walk. Soon my legs will go, I see that coming as my back gets worse over the years and the MRI's I get show that. Not much to look foward to. I do make the best of every day and try to be kind to myself. I hope you feel better at least some of the time. Oh can't understand way you can't get pain meds that is just wrong. I don't use a PM doc I have the best neuroligist in the whole and he controls my pain and meds. I take Xyrem at night and percocets during the day for the thoracic pain that never goes away.

    Truly sorry, Lois
  • 20 years ago when my thoracic spine problems first manifested themselves, I had an X-ray which showed previous scheurmann's disease. No-one has ever explained to me what this means, though I have been told by the docs and physios that I have a slightly rounded upper back. Can this be contributing to my thoracic back spasms and pain and how does this disease occur?
  • Yes this kind of Kyphosis is very painfull and would most likely be the cause of your back pain. The pain from this kind of Kyphosis is very painfull once it does hit a certain degree. Like my curve reached 110 degree's and I could not take the pain anymore.This is when I first went to the doctor for the problem and had the surgery a few months after my first vist. There were times when at home it hurt so bad that I actually had to crawl on the floor to get to my bed as I could not stand up. In this kind of kyphosis when your growing your vertabra do not grow as they should. The front part stays small and the back part of the vertabra grow normall. This is what caused the wedge shapped vertabra. Your spine is being pulled so far fowared and your back muscles are fighting everyday to try to keep you straight. This is very painfull. The disc's that are in this curve of your back will sometimes herniate. My were from T4 to T10 or 11.
    I was in a car accident last October and now my T1 Has slid down onto my t2 vertabra. I am waiting for yet another surgery. It will be done some time next month so I am told but have not heard back from my doctor yet.I can't take it anymore as I did just have my c5/c6 done last March so there is so much stress inbetween these to areas as I am already fused from t2/L2. I guess all I can do is wait for the phone call. It wont be easy though being fused from C5/L2. I will have to learn to deal with it,that is for sure.
    Good Luck. Has your doctor mentioned surgery for your kyphosis,or has he measured your curve in your back yet. It is very progressive and will not stop curving on its own. That is if it is Scheuramann's Kyphosis.
  • Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post, it really helped. My back pain first started 20 years ago, when I was in my 20's, and it started 'locking'. I used to get stuck on the floor and have to crawl to a chair or something to pull myself back up. I had an x-ray then and it showed 'previous Schueurrman's disease'. I assume this to mean it is no longer an active disease? I have taken strong pain killers almost continually since then and had the odd period of sick leave from work when the pain would get really bad. The past year however, it has got much worse, and I get severe spasms. My back 'locks up' for hours at a time when I cannot move a muscle, and the pain is the worse I have ever experienced in my life. I don't think my (slight) curve has got any worse, but I cannot bend backwards very much at all. Like I say, no-one has ever explained it all to me and an x-ray I had taken a few weeks ago just showed spondylosis in my thoracic spine, which didn't really tell me much I didn't already know.
    Thanks again for your reply. I am so humbled by all the people on here, many of you are suffering far worse than me.
  • Sally, how old were you when you were diagnosed? Even at that severe of a degree, I can't imagine a surgeon is his right mind performing a surgery only months after diagnosis in a patient that was still in the age range or even had a hope of bracing! Were you under 20? Over? If over, I could understand more the surgery needing to be urgent because the disease is so progressive that getting it done and recovering when relatively young is a key element.
    Compared to pain you've had already, with the accident and the incredible, debilitating pain of Scheuermann's Kyphosis, you can make it through the difficulty of having your spine fused. You won't be able to do everything that all the people on TV do, but you'll be alive. You'll have a good life, and love, and family, and a career, and vacations. Scars on your back are nothing but showing off your courage. And rods are horrid, and screws hurt so much in the vertebrae.
    Make sure you're taking an iron supplement(have your doctor tell you how much because too much can make you really sick), make sure you aren't loosing weight because being underweight can affect your pain so much more. Consuling is an incredible support. If you have a good consulor, I promise you will get through it.
    Bracing might be helpful is building your muscles in your neck to help support you. The brace would relieve pressure in your back so you could concentrate on those specific neck muscles to build to hold your head up. Recovery is a pain, but a little pain now is worth the rest of your life without this same pain.
    Also, with your current back, you probably cannot ever have a child (I know I cannot until I am a few years recovered from my fusion). If children are something you want, getting through this will enable you to have that beautiful experience.
    If you need any referrals to a good Orthopaedic Surgeon and are in the Northeast, I have good references
  • im new here,and ive been reading all posts.i know what every one is going threw.9 years ago i had a work accident.ive been fused at c3-c4-c5-c6-c7 also my thorasic spine is fused t-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 and t12. i also live in chronic pain from my thorasic spine. i take norco,soma and 2 diferent antideppresents.
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