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Disappointing post-op scoliosis results

Hi all,

I had scoliosis surgery in 2004 at 14-yrs old. Pre-op measurements were 64 degrees right-sided thoracic curve T5-L1 and 43 degrees left-sided lumbar curve T12-L4 with mild rotary scoliosis of lumbar spine. Surgeon performed posterior spinal fixation using two rods & supralaminar hooks extending from the level on the left of T2-L1, and on the right from approximately the level of T3-L2. 

Post-op measurements reduced right-sided thoracic curvature from 64 degrees to a dissappointing 44 degrees. Procedure did not address left-sided lumbar curve.

While entirely subjective, I am still left with severe residual deformity. Seems as if most surgeries are cosmetically successful in curve correction. For those who have undergone surgery, were you unhappy with cosmetic results?

Up until yesterday, I had no idea the procedure did not address the left-sided lumbar curve. I do not know why. At 14, I was young, scared, and ignorant. 

I'm almost 28-yrs old now. I suffer from chronic discomfort and mild pain throughout my back, right hip, shoulder and neck. However, I am able to run 2-3 miles/day and lift weights x3/week.

Call me crazy, but I'm entertaining the idea of pursuing revision surgery using much newer instrumention, i.e. pedicle screws, in hope of improved results. My 62-yr old mother says there is just too much inherited risk for clot, infection, nerve damage, even death. 

I have not had my back xrayed since 2005. Hope there has been no progression. Will be contacting former surgeon.




  • Hello, Jon!

    It sounds like you are taking charge of your situation, and that determination will undoubtedly guide you as you weigh the decision to have revision surgery!  I've seen a few members around here who are all along the scoliosis spectrum--from the contemplation of an initial surgery to, as in your case, considering revision.  In the interim, might I suggest you use the search feature in the upper right hand corner to locate posts/articles on the topic? 

    I'd like to welcome you to Spine-Health!  Please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

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    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,440
    Hi Jon

    The advances in spinal surgery in the last few years are amazing. Hopefully your surgeon can go through everything with you and together come up with a plan. I think the question for me is now that you have had instrumentation for a while would the curve that was reduced actually be flexible enough to reduce further, or if you should just address the other curve.  Since you have hooks any revision should be easier on the bones than taking out and redrilling pedicle screws....but i am not a surgeon!!  Actually, just thought of something, usually curves have a compensatory curve-they might have reduced your more severe curve to that of the less severe so you were balanced.....if your bigger curve was reduced to 10 degrees for instance then you would be unbalanced and might make the other curve progress more rapidly....hm.....
    something to discuss with your surgeon. Let us know how it goes, please keep in touch.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

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