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My 12+ year battle with my own spine

hello everyone! My name is Savannah, and I live in north Jersey. My story begins directly at conception. My mother noticed that I would sleep like a frog (hips open, knees bent, torso tucked between legs) under her rib cage while pregnant with me. I still sleep this way 20+ years later. When I began walking, I was pigeon toed. Pediatric orthopedist insisted I would grow out of it... I didn’t. When I was 8yrs old, my grandmother (a retired nurse) noticed my uneven shoulders and curvature. I was soon diagnosed with Scoliosis. It was very minor at the time and again, orthopedist insisted I would be fine. When I was 15 I started experiencing back pain. From there they discovered my scoliosis had progressed to 25 degrees. Since I was no longer growing, bracing was not an option. My pain became chronic shortly after graduating high school. The beginning of my second year in college, my grades plummeted and i was forced to quit my job. My scoliosis has reached a 45 degree curve. I had “non typical scoliosis,” where the spine has a single curve, rather than the normal double or S curve. My orthopedist did nothing for me. My aunt (who is a head nurse at RWJ) gave me the info for one of the top orthopedist she’d ever worked with. After my first appointment with him, I finally had a spinal fusion scheduled. The day of my surgery (4/10/18)  he told me he planned on fusing five vertebrae, but wanted to open my entire back to look for anything we couldn’t see in my scans. I am forever grateful for him and his decision. After fusing my lumbar spine, they discovered I had severe kyphosis at 78 degrees. I woke up with another seven vertebrae fused than planned. All together I had 12 vertebrae fused and grew an inch and a half. The road to recovery has been excruciating, but it’s only the beginning. With pain comes strength. 



  • hi savannah

    welcome to spine-health

    your words are very true.  with pain does come strength; strength of mind to cope.

    you have had an extensive surgery, as has some of our other members here and some do post about their experiences.  @wllady and @xrobynx are two that i can recall, so look out for their posts, as they make very interesting and inspirational reading.

    there are also surgery buddies groups under forum topic, if you wish to join in with other members.  the groups offer a support system and somewhere to share experiences of your surgery and recovery.

    this site has many other articles and videos, so you should find many things of interest for research and learning.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research on spine-health that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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