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Lower Back Issues Help 16 years after Spinal Fusion Surgery

Does anyone relate/have advice? Is this the norm? 

I am a 34 year old male, I spent 2 years in a Boston Brace before having Spinal Fusion Surgery at age 16. My upper curve of my "S" curve was twisting my ribcage into my heart and lungs so I had the surgery. I have 2 steel rods still attached to my spine and am fused from T1 through L1. No issues on recovery, no major issues over the past 18 years. The only issue I continue to have is that my lower back goes out on me about 3-4 times a year. I feel as I have gotten older the frequency increases. I was told when I got the surgery that the more muscle I built up in my back the better I would be in the long run. I do keep myself active, not as much as I would like, but I'm definitely not stagnate.

I was also told that eventually my discs in my lower back would deteriorate because they are doing the work for the fused thoracic discs. Is there validity to this? 

I was also told that I have a chance of ending up in a wheel chair due to this condition. Validity?

My issues with my lower back muscles spasming frequently do concern me, but I still not sure to this day if I was being told things because I was a 16 and being over warned t0 be cautious or if it was legitimate.

My back doctor from 16 years ago no longer practices, what kind of doctor would be better to see? Has anyone seen a chiropractor with spinal fusion?

Thanks in advance :-)


  • Hello Mathnerd -  I too have (after next weeks surgeries it will be 'had' scoliosis)   I think u are correct about that part as u age ur lower lumbar discs, that weren't fused take the brunt of everything above it.  My scoliosis didn't hurt til I aged and now my lumbar discs are basically crumbling. 

    Chiropractic? If it were me, I'd find a good neurosurgeon.  Chiropractic after all that hardware in ur spine   I don't know.  I wouldn't.  

    Progress has been made since u had ur scoliosis surgery when u were 16. And u are one of the few males that ended up with it.  My son, he's 23, has rotoscoliosis, twisting of the cord along with the bones.  After I'm fixed.  He's next.  

    I hope u find this forum supportive.  I have.  I'm new to this but I've received lots of encouragement.  

    Find a great neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal deformities.  No wheelchairs for you.  Ur too young.  Hang in there. :) 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello mathnerd11235 !

    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • I had Scoliosis surgery with the rods & all from the neck all the way through the thoracic when I was 15. I stared having pain in the lumbar area 2 years later & found out that I had a slipped disc. I was put in a corset type brace & after 3 years I had to have surgery because 2 disc were out. Exactly 1 year later I had to have surgery again for another ruptured disc in the lumbar. Then after 4 more years of pain I had to have a total spinal fusion they removed my old rods & replaced them with longer ones so now I am fused all the way down except for 3 areas high in my neck. About 4 years ago those disc wanted to mess up, but I am holding out as long as possible (hopefully never) to have anything done.  I still live in a lot of pain. 
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