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Old 08-09-2013, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
15,869 posts, read 10,180,178 times
Reputation: 20417

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At the age of ten, my parents noticed a lump on my back which turned out to be a shoulder blade. I was diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis (spinal curvature); the cure in those days involved fusing several vertebrae and about six weeks immobilized in a body cast., but happily, I made a complete recovery -- at least for half a century.

About a year ago I learned of the establishment of a National Scoliosis Society/Foundation and discovered that many of my colleagues with this condition face further trouble as they reach retirement age. I'm still working full-time as I approach my 64th birthday, and at a fairly demanding physical job. So when a change of assignment generated some aches and pains, I went back to the hospital which did the surgery, and was unpleasantly suprised to discover that while the fusion in the upper spine is still rock solid, the vertebrae immediately above the pelvis are beginning to kink, My family has a history of "shrinking" in later years -- my Mom was 5' 4" as an adolescent, but 5' 0" at the time of her death, so I'm curious as to whether this might be a factor.

I have additional CAT scans and MRIs scheduled next week, but no actual treatment options, other than a transfer to a less physical job -- not always easy in the slimmed-down, speeded-up "new economy" -- have been discussed as yet, and my retirement options are complicated by the fact that my long-time employer fell apart some years ago, and I had hoped to delay applying for Social Security in hopes of a higher benefit.

I've been assured that whatever treatment might be suggested, it would be nothing as confining as what I faced as a child, and I really feel that I've no reason to complain given the fifty-three years of very little trouble between the original diagnosis and the recurrence. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else here who has been dealing with this issue.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
2,449 posts, read 2,702,957 times
Reputation: 5915
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
At the age of ten, my parents noticed a lump on my back which turned out to be a shoulder blade. I was diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis (spinal curvature); the cure in those days involved fusing several vertebrae and about six weeks immobilized in a body cast., but happily, I made a complete recovery -- at least for half a century.

About a year ago I learned of the establishment of a National Scoliosis Society/Foundation and discovered that many of my colleagues with this condition face further trouble as they reach retirement age. I'm still working full-time as I approach my 64th birthday, and at a fairly demanding physical job. So when a change of assignment generated some aches and pains, I went back to the hospital which did the surgery, and was unpleasantly suprised to discover that while the fusion in the upper spine is still rock solid, the vertebrae immediately above the pelvis are beginning to kink, My family has a history of "shrinking" in later years -- my Mom was 5' 4" as an adolescent, but 5' 0" at the time of her death, so I'm curious as to whether this might be a factor.

I have additional CAT scans and MRIs scheduled next week, but no actual treatment options, other than a transfer to a less physical job -- not always easy in the slimmed-down, speeded-up "new economy" -- have been discussed as yet, and my retirement options are complicated by the fact that my long-time employer fell apart some years ago, and I had hoped to delay applying for Social Security in hopes of a higher benefit.

I've been assured that whatever treatment might be suggested, it would be nothing as confining as what I faced as a child, and I really feel that I've no reason to complain given the fifty-three years of very little trouble between the original diagnosis and the recurrence. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else here who has been dealing with this issue.
I do not know if I fit this, but here it goes....first, let me say how lucky you were. I will be 53 in October and was not diagnosed until I was 17 or so....I did n0t really start having issues until I started having my kids, then I started with bad muscle spasms, weeks on end of disability. I had a spinal fusion done at 41, disabled since then. I have a pain management doctor who keeps me maintained on painkillers and muscle relaxers. I told them no more surgeries. The first almost killed me.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,817 posts, read 11,098,158 times
Reputation: 13616
Yes I have also had it since childhood and not fused or treated at all. Around my 50s I started with low back pain, but up til then, pretty much ok.

Now, I am 70 and am finding much of the back pain is moving around (down to the knee, up to the neck) and nothing has helped in terms of treatment. Back injections did nothing. I did PT for awhile which did give me relief but the thing is, you have to keep it up, and not let the exercises go. That was several years ago when I had good insurance. Now I just try to keep my back muscles strong by doing floor exercises and walking alot. My lastest endeavor was chiro, and that definitely did not help and may have made it worse.

I have seen so many specialists and tried so many things that I just deal with it on my own. Occasionally get the help from a spine specialist who gives me new ideas to try. Having seen the curve on xray, I am surprised I am not in more pain that I am. Apparently alot of people have scoliosis and don't know it.
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