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need more help understanding Levoscoliosis

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I'm at a loss. for all that the internet is great for finding out all sorts of things, I can't find anything that makes sense about levoscoliosis of the cervical spine.

I am the "dumbest accident" poster. 6 weeks post ACDF c4/5 & c5/6. Now the CT scan finds mild levoscoliosis at C5/6.

what does this mean????? I won't be able to see my doctor until thursday. do you think it means that something happened at that fusion site?

I'm really nervous. One site said muscle spasms cause it another says trauma and injury cause it. so I've had muscle spasms and trauma. gosh....this is nerve wracking. I called the surgical assistant, she's not in. won't be until Thursday.

I'm calling on my fellow spineys. We can figure this out together! I hope anyway. I'm really scared. will I need more surgery? Will this pass on its own?

Where is the info when you need it???????? :S


  • From everything I found when googling, it seems like Levoscoliosis is something that you might have had pre-op. It just seems like levoscoliosis means you have a curve in your spine to the left. It might not be anything to worry about at all, but maybe try calling a different surgeon's office and just asking them? It may help calm your nerves. The fact that it's "mild" may mean it's not a big deal too.
  • Did you have a CT scan baseline prior to surgery?
    If not, I was thinking what noseovertail said...maybe it existed prior to the surgery.

    I will try to research it later (I'm still working ...apparently taking it easy means working remote from bed but for longer hours, my job is nuts) but until then some food for thought. Your doctor had you go to ER. If ER thought it was critical, they would have kept you.

    I would definitely take it very easy (extremly careful) until Thursday but trust that if it were critical, they would have have squeezed you in even sooner than Thursday.

    Tough to say remain calm and take it easy until the appt b/c I'd be like you searching for help. I will be back later to check in.

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  • I think the biggest part of it for me is the not knowing. I didn't have a CT scan before surgery. I had an xray and 2 MRIs.

    I'm trying to take it easy. Resting mostly. A family friend cooked dinners for my family until Thursday so we're set there. The percocet makes me groggy for a few hours but sleep???? Not so much.

    I was frustrated in the ER because they wouldn't call my surgeon. I mean, I understand that it was busy and understaffed due to the snow storm but it would've been just a phone call.

    I got the soonest appt he had. He does surgery Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I just to stop worrying so much. Before the surgery the MRI said that there was a loss of cervical lordosis. so that means that my neck was straight...had no curvature at all. But if there was a left curve in at C5/6, wouldn't he have noticed since that was one of the levels that was fused. See...my concern is that because this is the lowest level of discectomy and fusion but fusion hasn't begun, is it possible that the impact of the door on my head shifted the fusing bones? I'm probably overworrying this whole thing and on Thursday I'll probably be laughing my head off at how simple this is.

    Please let me know what you find and thanks for researching it. I don't know exactly how to go about looking.

    Thank you......
  • Why don't you post on the scoliosis part of the forum incase someone there can answer your questions and doesn't read this category?
  • My best guess is that it very well may be something that you have had all along and for whatever reason it was noted in the ER.

    When you go in for imaging, the radiologist bases his report on what the doctor has ordered. He does not mention absolutely everything that shows up on the MRI or whatever imaging is being done. That report would be pages and pages long if he mentioned every little issue.

    It may be that the levoscoliosis is what stuck out to this radiologist who was looking to see if anything was damaged in the accident -- so he would have been looking for fractures, cracks, things out of alignment, etc.

    I think you'll find that at this particular level you have a mild curvature in your spine, levo being to the left. I agree with others who said if it had been something significant, the ER doc would have mentioned it, treated it or told you specifically to talk to your surgeon about it.

    Try not to worry excessively. They don't do anything for mild scoliosis anyway...but you might end up with a collar to keep your neck in position while you heal.
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  • You guys are right and I'm just being a scaredy cat. Ha...whens the last time you heard that one?

    thursday is just a few days away. And hey...the meds manage the pain...the valium manages the spasms.

    I'll be fine. Freaked out for the moment but it'll pass. doesn't it always???

    I contacted my primary doctor on Facebook to see if she knew anything. But at the end of the day, regardless of how crowded the ER was, had this been serious they would have kept me. My husband was upset because they sent me home and I was still in pain after 6 hours...but pain is manageable. I'm even surprised the did the CAT scan because ERs here don't usually unless its a life/death issue. We usually get xrays and a referral for further testing. I'm ok though. The percocet seems stronger than the Vicoden ES. I don't know how sleepy it really makes me or how wired. My kids say I'm loopy and they're laughing at how much I'm talking now.

    I'm going to try to get some rest. Not really sleepy but I have nothing else to really do....maybe read a book.

    Y'all are awesome! Thanks. I'm feeling more at peace now. Not 100% but more than before. You see, I know that in the ER for cases like this they deal to manage the pain and let the specialist handle the rest. That's ok. I'm not in danger of having my head fall off (might feel like it, but it wont' happen). My sister had Chiari syndrome and the ER only medicated the migraines until after 10 visits in 3 monthts they sent her to a specialist who found the extra bony growth by her brain stem. She's fine now - Thank God. So I just want to be really careful. I trust the ER doc, but I've trusted my surgeon with my life.

    Good night all. I sooooooooo appreciate all the responses. Maybe I will get a collar after all. yikes!
  • Sorry to hear you're worried about the levoscoliosis. Levoscoliosis simply means scoliosis with a curve to the left. Which is what I have. A curve to the right is far more common. They tend to do a few other tests when it's a left curve in case it indicates other problems, which happens in a few cases. Mine was fine.

    Many people have scoliosis and it never causes any problem. There are all sorts of different types of scoliosis. And the treatment depends on which type you have. Many people have it and are never treated for it because it doesn't cause any problems. Perhaps you always had it and it simply wasn't pointed out to you before because it was so mild.

    Without knowing what type you have, I couldn't predict whether yours would need treatment at any stage, but as it's very mild right now, I don't think you should worry about it too much. But do ask about it because it might have occured since surgery. Plus of course, you need to put your mind at ease.
  • I was thinking that maybe it is a result of the surgery since I had the ACDF with cage and the lovely titanium plate the feels like it weights 10 pounds! ha ha. Maybe its just because of muscle spasms I've been having since I got hit.

    Last night was a particularly bad night. Well most of it was good. I slept from 1-5 but then the pain was really horrid. I couldn't take another percocet because I would have missed the alarm to wake my son up for school. I just took it and am lookiing for it to kick in anytime now.

    what is disappointing is that I read in NoseOverTail's topic that she was told she had mild scoliosis. And spondy. don't doctor's think we should know these things? I'm not usually the freak out kind of person but I when I was in my early teens I had a friend with scoliosis who had the surgery, the slipped on the ice and reinjured her back. She was put in a body cast for a year! some memories never fade. I remember visiting her and trying to take her mind off the pain. I have a vivid imagination (which is why I love to read) but in this case....wild imaginings.

    but I agree that it is probably something I've always had. Though...I could take a stick to the doctor (not my surgeon) who said there was a loss of cervical lordosis. Doesn't that mean my c-spine lost its curve and was straight???????

    Oh the joys of spine issues! I'm a bit more at ease today. I finally figured that whatever the issue is, despite the occassional numbness and tingling in my left hand...nothing will be resolved until Thursday. I have PT to look forward to....in 7 more weeks that is. I've been dropping stuff since Sunday and can't find a pharmacy that sells that thing to pick stuff up with. Fun...my kids say the percocet makes me talk a lot and kinda loopy. They're loving it. haha...

    I'm appreciating spine=health and these forums more and more every day. And you know what I think????? I must be pretty smart, because my head is as heavy as heck! Must be a lot of brains in there! ha ha =))
  • I totally agree, I think they should tell us ALL of the issues going on with our spines. When I heard I had scoliosis I think I tried to block it out of my mind because I too had images of being in a full body cast type thing!

    I'm hoping for your sake that it's just something the radiologist marked down that you've always had. I know my spine was curved a LOT when I was having really bad muscle spasms, so that's possible too.

    See if your local pharmacy can order a grabber for you. I got mine at Walgreens, it was the cheapy $10 one with that Billy Mays guy on the package, haha. I don't like using it for some reason, but I've been trying to be better about that.

    I'm still in shock about my spondy. I sure wish I knew about that before surgery, I like to read and read and research the heck out of everything and I kind of feel betrayed a little bit because they kept that from me.
  • We must be doing better at night sleeping! ha ha. Ok, that's not so for me but at least with the percocet I'm up to 3-4 hours at night.

    It is freaky when you find out new things that your doctor should have made you aware of. I posted on my dumbest accidents topic how today I'm having more pain but this time at the front of my throat. It was like this right after surgery but when the swelling went down, the pain stopped. Now its back. Last night was not good to sleep. It is good to sleep, but not so good to still be aware of your pain while you sleep and be unable to wake up to do anything about it.

    I too like to have details. I'll read and read like crazy to updated on what's going on. This is typical for me, which is why I surprised my own self by not researching recovery for this surgery more than I did. what did you learn about the spondy? What I find makes no sense to me. What did your uncle say????? Its got to be great to have someone give you the info you need. Is it a doctor's way to give less info than what is necessary for a particular procedure? Maybe so people like me won't freak out????

    So with the all this new pain, it is just a reminder of what a stupid decision I made to go out in the first place.

    I thought maybe it was muscle spasms too. But they why did the ER doc give me pain medicine and not muscle relaxers????? Or maybe she just wasn't up to date about this kind of surgery. I asked her repeatedly to call my surgeon but she said "for what, there's no fracture". I wasn't anticipating a fracture. But I don't think it would be too difficult to dislocate bones that are not yet healed. does this make sense to you? It might be my crazy logic.

    Are you sleeping better????? I sure hope so. I don't find you on at night lately, which must mean you're sleeping better. Thats really good!
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