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Developed scoliosis after back fusion

Has anyone heard of getting scoliosis after spinal fusion T-11 to S-1? I DID! I have had 7 back surgeries 5 in a 10 month spand. I had a dr. fuse me from L- 2 to s-1. He took out my curve of the lumbar which I developed flat back. I went to a spinal specilistes who told me that I had flat back. He advised for me to have another surgery to put the curve back in my lumbar. He then fused me from T-11 to s-1. 3 weeks later I went to get my staples out the dr told me I had developed scoliosis. He said my spine had shifted from T-3 to T-12. I then had to go back into surgery to be fused from T-3 to S-1. I have 28 screws, rods and a cage. When he opened me up he found out that I had developed a stap infection in my T-11 T-12. This had happen from my December surgery 2010. I'm still on antibocs and was told that I will be on them for the rest of my life. I'm on doxycyline and rifampin which is a very strong medication. I have a chance to develope livrer problems. This all started out with my first surgery of 2 slipped disc of L-4 L-5 in 1997. I never ever thought that having a fusion would cause all of this. I blame the first surgen who performed my first 4 surgeries.

Would someone tell me what they think about all this?


  • earth2robineearth2robin Posts: 50
    edited 08/05/2012 - 5:22 PM

    It's called degenerative scoliosis and usually develops following a fusion from what I have learned the last few days. I have been researching it since Friday when I read my xray report stating I had developed a mild right concave scoliosis involving around 5 thoracic/lumbar vertebrae. I couldn't understand why I had developed scoliosis when the last MRI of my lumbar region in July 2011 didn't show scoliosis, just a small bulge and other degenerative changes following a microdiscectomy in March 2011 and an additional surgery to repair a CSF leak 2 weeks afterwards. So four months after my emergent micodiscectomy for cauda equina syndrome at the L4/L5 level, I already had another bulging disc, arthritis, and other degenerative changes. Now a year and a half following those surgeries, I have developed scoliosis. I have additionally had an ACDF and corpectomy this February, which has definitely put more strain on my back I guess, but it's literally falling apart in less than 2 years (although nothing like 5 surgeries in 10 months :-) ! ). That site still has not fused and the xrays showed that its curvature is out of alignment as well, potentially from muscle spasms as well as arthritis. At least its not scoliosis yet. I also think there is some amount of instability in my lumbar region near my L4/L5 as I can feel and hear it clicking when I have to twist and turn. I try to avoid this because of the pain it causes though. I left a message with my surgeon about my new development, but I don't have another appointment with him until September.

    I didn't think doctors liked to perform so many successive surgeries in such a short time frame. When I told my surgeon that my lower back was really hurting me at my 3 month follow up for my corpectomy and ACDF, he actually said we need to let this surgery site heal. It was actually my primary care physician that ordered the full spine xrays. Were there extreme circumstances in your case? I also blame my first surgeon, the one who performed the lumbar microdiscectomy then the CSF repair surgery shortly thereafter. I wonder if there is a way we can prove this. How bad is your scoliosis? How quickly did it develop?

  • I am only 33 years old and I had my surgery on May 2012. When I had my a follow up appt at the end of June there was no evidence of any curvature. Then I went back this week with another set of x-rays and now there is significant curvature that wasn't there 6 months ago. My surgeon told me he was concerned about it and for me to come back in March. Due to him being 30min behind schedule I was not able to ask him any questions, like why it happened and why so quick or is there anything that can be done to correct it. If anyone knows why this happens I would really like to hear what you found out since it might be awhile before I get an answer from my doctor.
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