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Does noticeable scoliosis years after original surgery be due to failure of the initial surgery?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9086 Questions
My transaction reference number is HCM32806. This is a question from way back in the past. In 1962, at the age of 13, I had Harrington rod surgery for scoliosis. It was termed idiopathic. Two years later, after experiencing severe left hip pain (no back pain) when I walked, I had repeated surgery. I wasn't given details about exactly what had gone wrong but the original surgeon, who performed both surgeries, told me that during that interval my back had grown, which was the cause of the failure. My mother was 5'7" and I was maybe 5'2" or 5'3" at the time of the initial surgery. However, starting about three months after the surgery and before I was given the go-ahead to start walking, I would get out of one side of the bed, walk around the bed and get back in again...obviously when no one was looking. I did this maybe a dozen times (very rough estimate from the long-ago past). No one had given me information about the surgery or why I'd needed to be in a Stryker frame or on a cast, so I didn't know that I may have been doing a big no-no. Unfortunately I told my mother, who declared this to be the cause of my need to have repeat surgery. She was a cruel person always on the lookout for a reason to declare herself a martyr. Fifty years later, I have noticeable scoliosis but no complications that I've noticed. I'm used to looking 'different' and have a very happy and loving marriage. If told that I did indeed contribute to the need for repeat surgery, I can easily live with that. It's so long in the past, almost 50 years. I should add, perhaps, that when in the hospital at age 13, when I would have my pulse taken routinely after the post-lunch nap, my HR would be 120. I would glance at the notes taken by the RN and see that other girls my age had heart rates of about 80. I didn't think much of this until years later when my thyroid function got a bit busy and I was seen by an endocrinologist about 15 or so years ago. She said I had borderline Graves disease (sorry, forgot to include this in my history) and when I told her about my relatively elevated heart rate at age 13, she said that it was very possible that I was having a growth spurt at the time. My thyroid function simmered down (referring to the recent thyroid trouble), fortunately, and XXXXXXX treatment was not recommended. Just in case this is relevant.
Posted Fri, 27 Dec 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 10 hours later
Brief Answer: Scoliosis not related to walking early Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. A noticeable scoliosis 50 years after the original surgery is not likely to be due to the failure of surgery. It can be due to a positional anomaly, muscle stiffness, osteoporosis, disc degeneration and other age related changes. The few steps that you walked after the surgery without using a brace if they would have caused a damage, that would have been evident within 6 months of surgery and a repeat procedure would have been recommended at that time. Right now you can consult a spine surgeon and get a CT scan of the spine done to find out the cause of anomaly you are having. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does noticeable scoliosis years after original surgery be due to failure of the initial surgery? 18 hours later
Dear Dr. Tayal. I feel that your initial response to my question about scoliosis was great and I don't think I need further discussion though I sent you a great long message in reply, essentially saying, I think that I didn't intend to consult an orthopedic surgeon just now. Thanks for your reassuring answer and I'm closing the discussion now. I wish to close this discussion now. How can I do that? Thank you.XXXX
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you. Detailed Answer: You can close the discussion after you receive this reply. Please do recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful. I wish you the very best in whatever you do. Warm regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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