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Arthritis now because of scoliosis surgery years ago

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Scoliosis
Is there anyone out there who now has arthritis because of a long fusion for scoliosis surgery years ago? I had my surgery in 1983 and have been pretty much pain free until the last year. Now my NS says the arthritis in my back is equal to a 70 year old. I have pain in my left side lumbar area and down into my butt and down into the back of my knee. There are other things going on with my back but the doc is blaming my pain on the arthritis. I have not been working for months which has helped some. My doctor said I am disabled. We could have surgery but I would need more fusion in 10-15 years. I will be 48. There will not be anymore room for fusion then. Aughhhh, this is so frustrating. Anyone else going thru this??????
Peace be with you,
Melissa O:)


  • I have had 3 surgeries for scoliosis. I no longer have the single harrigton rod. My third surgery was fusion and a bone stimulator was implanted. I have been having a lot of lower back pain, and pain to my knee. I also have crunching in my lower spine/hip area when making certain movements. I also find that I have been getting a lot stiffer in my lower back, and I notice this with things that I do every day. For me to bend to the right hurts, and I don't go very far...to the left it hurts my hips also, but I can go a little further. I have not yet been diagnosed with any arthritis, but I haven't found a really good doctor yet either, and I am pretty sure that is what I have also. The doctor that did my 3rd surgery was an awesome one, but is now located in Denver Colorado, and that is very far from me. I am sorry you are going through so much. I know how you feel. I will let you know what I find out once I find a new doctor. I will chat with you later. In the meantime I hope they can help you some.
  • Melissa thank you so much for your post, thou having seen it is now 3 years ago I hope that you are well.
    At the age of 13 I was diagnosed with Scoliosis. At 14 when I got to see a consultant in London royal national Orthopaedic Hospital UK. It was explained that due to the degree of curvature's of my spine (i had a backwards s curvature and it was also corkscrewed) I would have to under go surgery as soon as possible otherwise I would die at 16 years old due to my lungs being crushed by my ribs.
    so I had surgery to remove a rib and then the titanium rods fixated to my spine and they used the removed bone used for fusion.
    I was fixated from T2 to L2 in early 1997.

    I suffered with a little discomfort about 2005 at the top of the rods,but never got checked out.
    About 4 years ago I had sudden severe pain in my lower spine (lumbar below my fixation), when I was initially seen,and x-rayed it was apparent the top hooks of the rods had come away from my spine,this caused no concern as there was no further movement due to the fusion.
    They did offer surgery to trim the rods so they aren't so visible (I have two lumps just below the neck that are fairly visible but are really an issue to me).

    I was seen by a number of consultants and finally last year I was diagnosed with spinal arthritis which the consultant described as being "atrocious" This was just 13 YEARS after my corrective surgery.Over the time waiting for the appointments.
    The L3 nerve which affects the use of the right leg has been affected and I have now I lost the feeling in the front top part of my right leg which I try to use but most days I end up dragging,I use a wheelchair but hate it, so try to keep going and my aim is to walk up the aisle at least this year!

    I asked for complete fusion where the arthritis is but they wont do it now because the change in quality of life,but what a quality of life now,in constant pain,registered disabled! what a quality of life
    Also the complete fusion may not resolve the pain, but it may do.id rather risk it than be living as I am.
    I have a wonderful son and am getting married this year to a wonderful man who is prepared for the future of me being permanently wheelchair bound.

    Just don't see why that they couldn't foresee and warn of the chance of the arthritis.
    really,thinking about it now its pretty obvious, because wherever isn't fused will take all the pressure of movement.
    I have spoken to people on another scoliosis web sites and no one seems to be suffering to the extent they are registered disabled I have found it hard to accept that I am alone,which is why im so glad to have found your message.
    Really hope to hear from you,
    Many thanks again Juls

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