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I am 76 years old and have a severe adult scoliosis without pain .

Started by Hayati on 11/02/2010 12:58pm

Usually I have no pain or I do not complain about back pain: but I can not stand straight and walk with difficulty ,by bending from hip and using a supporting stick. My doctor adviced me spinal surgery explaining that it will be a difficult operation which may take 10-12 hours. At this age should I take such an operation or try to make exercizes and physical therapy for not to worsen this situation?

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After the problems I have experienced, I would advise you to put off the surgery, especially if you have no pain. I am 57. When I was 50, I had scoliosis surgery for a 48 degree curve. The pain would come and go, but I it was generally mild, and I was very functional. After the surgery, I was in tremendous pain. After 5 years, i found a surgeon who told me my lumbar curve was too high, and that was why it was so painful to stand up straight. So he revised the lumbar curve and fused the last level, making it a fusion from T9-S1. Now i cannot sit at all. The first surgery damaged my SI joint by taking bone graft from my iliac crest. The second surgery made the SI joint pain worse, hence the inability to sit. So three weeks ago, I had my SI joint fused. It helped somewhat, but I am still in tremendous pain. Of course, it hasn't been that long since surgery, so I am hoping for improvement. Spinal surgery is primitive compared to other surgeries. If you're able to function, I say, leave it alone!


I am 67 with a 76 degree curve and 12 discs that were fused at the age of 12. I general have little or no pain. Surgery has been discussed, but I decided to leave well enough alone. This was based on talking with other who had some of the same experiences of the other responder. Good luck in your decision and please have a second opinion.


i work closely with a neurosurgeon that specializes in adult degenerative scoliosis, which is different than adult idiopathic scoliosis. Whether you're a candidate for surgery depends upon many variables, including co-morbidities. Your pain and function, however, are central to the decision. With little pain, and without significant compromise of your function, surgery is not a consideration if you're in the hands of a good/conservative surgeon. If, however, you qualify as a candidate for surgery, then the two types of surgeries for the two types of scoliosis are done by different sub-specialists. if, perchance, your problem is degenerative scoliosis, rather than idiopathic scoliosis, then i suggest you check the webstie,www.lateralaccess.org
to find a surgeon who does this, considerable surgical procedure, reasonably close to you. Spineuniverse also has information on the xlif procedure.

if you happen to have adult idiopathic scoliosis, that is a different surgery and the neurosurgeon that i work with, generally recommends the nearby academic hospital, Emory University Hospital, which has a fine spine center. Good luck to you. If you have questions you may reach me at castanet@backstrong.net


I was 36 years old when I was told I had a 85% curve. The ONLY reason I had the surgery was because of what the curve had done to me. My organs especially my lungs were being damaged. If it had not been for that I would not have had the surgery. I am now 53 and still have problems with the rods at times and I have 3 of them. It's a very serious surgery and takes a long time to heal.

This is just my own opinion. You have to make the choice that you think is right for you. God bless you in whatever you decide.


Hi there. I have had two back surgeries in the last two years. I wish I never had. The first one was three x-stops. Did not work. The second was a major fusion. Eight rods and screws. I am in so much pain all the time. The very issues you wrote about is what I am living with right now. The bending, the standing and walking difficulty. I am under the care of a pain management specialist. I have had steroid injections and a spinal stimulater. Did not help. The Dr. I see for the pain management wants me to take heavy doses of pain medication. I can not function at all if I do the regiment they want me to do. Plus even the absurd amount of meds. I take just ever so slightly help. I am a tough cookie but when the pain is a 10 or more I breakdown and take (A )pain pill. The Dr.'s however want me to take 15mg of morphine twice a day. One in the a.m. and one at bedtime. But wait, there's more. During the day they want me to take 3 oxycodone also 15mg! Who can function full of that stuff. I do the best I can and always think positive. I meditate and do relaxation, breathing, etc. I have been rambling but the point is: I would not advice anyone no matter what age to have spinal surgery. By the way I am only 57. Best wishes to you. No matter what you decide.


All the comments I received are very useful and helpfull for me to decide about surgery. I am thankfull to all of you who shared their experiences with me. With these comments, I decided not to have a surgery for the moments since I am able to do all living practices without pain. My main problem for the time being is a bad posture and walking difficulty even for relatively short distances. Thanking to all of you again.


Hello, Hayati (and everyone else)--

We know this thread is a few years old, but we recently launched some new scoliosis content--some of it specific to adults--that we wanted to share with you. This article is a basic overview of adult scoliosis that we hope you'll find interest in: ( Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis and Degenerative Scoliosis ).

As you'll read in this article, most adults with scoliosis don't require surgery. Hayati, we see that you chose non-surgical treatments, and we hope they have helped improve your quality of life! If surgery does become an option again, you may consider looking into minimally invasive approaches, which are becoming increasingly popular (you can read more about them in the linked article as well).

We hope this information is helpful, and we wish you all the very best!