Update on my Issues and questions for anyone who can help

Well my back has continued to cause me grief, I went through four different injections, physical therepy etc,  Nothing I do has helped, Then while walking through the store, I pushed on my back on the side that bulges.  I found instantly that it felt better, I ordered a brace from amazon because when I would try to walk, I couldnt get more than a 100 feet without hurting bad,  When it helped I wore it all the time for the last couple of months because I could walk and do household chores again.  Probably not a good idea, cause it causes my stomach muscles to be lazy.  I met with the Dr to discuss options, he informed me that I can only wear it 6-8 hrs a day.  My back has gotten worse,  My last scan showed  a double major curve in thoracic
and lumbar spine.  It is measured at 61
degrees from T3 to T12 and 65 degrees from T12 to L4.   The Dr sent me for another CT Scan  the scan cabe back with alot of words that I dont know are below , love Google for info though.

There is a lumbar
levoscoliosis centered at L2-L3, overall similar compared to the prior study
there is approximately 7 mm left lateral listhesis of L3 on L4 and 4 mm of left
lateral listhesis of L2 on L3. There is multilevel degenerative disc disease
with disc space loss most pronounced at L1-L2 and L2-L3, predominantly on the
right side. Severe multilevel facet arthropathy is also present. Multiple disc
bulges are present, most pronounced at L3-L4 and L4-L5 with mild spinal canal
narrowing. Moderate left foraminal narrowing at L4-L5. No acute bony findings.
Partially visualized liver cysts.

Looks like I will be having surgury some time this fall,.he stated , we are going to obtain a CT in the supine position of her thoracic and lumbar spine to see how much she straightens and then we will schedule surgical interventioneed an anterior stabilization at L5-S1 and L4-L5 as well as posterior correction with osteotomies and fusion from T4 to the pelvis posteriorly.

I have been trying to find information regarding this and exactly what it is and what do I need to do to prepare for it.  Any help with where I can read to inform myself is appreciated.  



  • LizLiz Posts: 2,468


    Here are 2 links to help on what you describe, there is a search box at the top of the page where you can search for other articles and discussions on this topic,

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024

    Hello dkolney!!

    We have had a few members that have had long fusions and are always willing to help out. I will be glad to contact them so they can talk to you.
    I also have scoliosis in all 3 levels of my spine but I am not a candidate for surgery. So I do understand the pain and daily living with it.

    As far as your MRI results, no one can comment on those, it is against the rules, Code of Conduct.
    Take care and hopefully you will hear from someone soon.

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  • I obviously can’t say for sure but based on my having a similar test, the CT you are going to have is to see how much flexibility is in your spine so your surgeon knows how much he/she is able to correct/stabilize your curve/s. When I had one of my CTs for my kyphosis, they stuck what I called a pool noodle under my back to check my flexibility. Which explains the potential for you having osteotomies. I have had a few different osteotomies to correct my kyphosis curvature, during my initial surgery to correct my kyphosis and during a revision surgery. Continue to do your own research so you can get a good list of questions together to go over with your surgeon at your appointment. I hope you take someone with you so they can take notes of your conversations with your surgeon for you! Good to have two sets of ears listening! Best of luck to you!

  • I had a similar surgery (T4 to pelvis) but did not need the anterior portion. I'm guessing this is to put cages in? My surgeon mentioned that and decided against it. I also had the foraminal narrowing at L4-L5 which he planned to open a bit during surgery. When they straightened that area of my spine they didn't need to do the foraminotomy because the nerve wasn't in danger of hitting the bone (I think). It sounds like the surgeons plan out the surgeries in advance and then once they operate things might change.

    Please read all you can on scoliosis surgery and especially for adults. There are a ton of conversations on this site regarding the surgery. Much of the online info is about scoliosis surgery for kids, which is a very different beast. They recover so quickly.  As an adult, it's a whole different experience. My surgeon told me the recovery was worse than that of open heart surgery. Not sure if that's true, but it does feel that way. The surgery and recovery are very challenging and take a lot of patience. You have to remind yourself that you just don't have a choice. I have never regretted doing it but I am constantly frustrated at how much my life has changed. You will have a completely different body in a few months. I read all I could and even watched scoliosis surgeries on youtube. It helped to know what I was in for. But that calms me, and we are all different. A list of questions for your surgeon is a great idea. Purchase all the aids you might need: a device to put your socks on, a walker (maybe for a week), and several grabbers. They will be your friends forever. You will need to learn how to roll out of bed and that seemed to be the hardest thing for me after surgery. Just a new set of muscles. You will need help at home for at least a week. You are up and walking the day after surgery, but it's slow going at first.

    The pain you have from the continuing collapse of your spine should clear up, which is good!

    Best of luck to you,


  • Thank you for all of the information.  I went for the followup to my CT scan, dr has scheduled my operation on Oct 8, they are going to complete a two part surgery, basically he will go in and complete a ALIF at L4-L5 and L5-S1 then two days later go and put in staged fashion, a posterior procedure with extensive Smith-Petersen and Ponte osteotomies throughout her thoracolumbar spine and T3 to ilium fixation.  What I was wondering where to read on how to prepare for the surgery.  Any advice is appreciated.  

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024

    This one may be of help also.

    How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery VideoLet us know if you need anything else.
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