Scoliosis with spinal stenosis, degenerative discs: Surgery?

Posted by wheelerma @wheelerma, Sep 30 3:01pm

I have scoliosis which is causing pressure on my disc. Spinal Stenosis, Deg. Disc. Disease and of course arthritis. From what I have read this surgery is rough and takes a long time to recover and the results are mixed. I would love to hear what others have to offer. Thank you so much.

Hi @wheelerma, Fellow members @lilypaws @parus @princessd and @jager5210 may have some thoughts to share with you about surgery for scoliosis that is putting pressure on your spine and causing spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.

You may also be interested in these discussions:
– Scoliosis – Introduce yourself and meet others https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scoliosis-introduce-yourself/
– Scoliosis surgery: Harrington rod placement and spinal fusion https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-had-surgery-for-scoliosis-in-1973-which-included-harrington-rod-placement/
– What helps spinal stenosis besides surgery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-came-in-here-because-i-suffer-from-spinal-stenosis/
– Waiting for surgery: How to manage the pain while I wait? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/waiting-for-surgery-1/

Wheelerma, how are you managing the pain at the moment? What helps?

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@wheelerma Have you worked with a physical therapist? I know that may seem like an odd question, and at one time I was told I had a functional scoliosis because my spine was side bending in my thoracic area from thoracic outlet syndrome. This means my bones had not changed from pressures, but were not being supported as they should be. That's not the same as when the bones are changed, but it can be a progressive problem. I had lots of tight muscles in my neck and chest that were aggravated by poor posture which over time can cause changes in the spine by remodeling the bone. I did also have cervical stenosis with spinal cord compression from an old injury, and bone spurs that formed due to uneven pressure on the vertebral end plates due to the collapsing disc. Physical therapy helped before and after my spine fusion surgery. I also had a bulging thoracic disc that improved because of PT and posture awareness which then helped me attain better posture when it stopped bulging. If you do seek a surgical opinion, you would want to see a spine deformity expert. I have watched surgeons speak online about scoliosis correction surgeries and they have a lot to calculate in how they correct it to get the angles correct over the length of the spine. These can be big surgeries that place support rods and they can make the difference in helping a person stand upright again. Get multiple opinions if you do seek corrective surgery. It is a big decision and a long recovery. The placement of the screws to hold the rods needs to be very precise because they can pull out if not placed at the correct angle into good quality bone. There is a lot of pressure at the bottom end of the spine that can pull poorly placed screws out which then requires a re-operation. I say that not to worry you, but to explain how important it is to choose a highly skilled surgeon who focuses on the type of surgery that you would need. My cervical surgery was at Mayo and my surgeon is also a spine deformity expert.

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