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Posted in: Scoliosis.

Scoliosis and Intrathecal Baclofen Pump

Started by Rdmc on 12/23/2017 10:33pm

I have had MS for the past 20 years. About 7 years ago I had an Intrathecal Baclofen pump implanted to help with my spasticity. The pump itself is in my abdomen, but a thin catheter enters my spine and drips medicine directly on my spinal cord. It's a wonderful way to treat spasticity without the side effects of oral Baclofen, and the Baclofen keeps me mobile.

A couple years ago, people started commenting that I was leaning to my right. I knew I had a log of cramping on my left side. I started PT to see if I could get some relief. It wasn't really helping, so my Physiatrist...not to be confused with psychiatrist, LOL, (she is a movement specialist and manages the pump and my PT) sent me for x-rays for scoliosis. I don't know a lot of the details, except my curve was 40 degrees. She said normally, if someone is at 40 degrees she sends them for a consult with a spine doc about surgery. However, due to the previous Baclofen pump surgery I also have in my back, (at T9) and the catheter that enters my spine there, it might be wise to wait and see the direction the scoliosis is headed. I was fitted with a Peak Aspen Scoli Brace and have been wearing it every day for between 6 and 8 hours. I've also continued PT.

Fast forward to the present, and the pain , has seemed to be worse. My brace which always helped me stand up straight wasn't doing such a good job anymore. So another scoliosis set of x-rays, and scoliosis curve was 55 degrees. I'm hoping to get
an appointment with the neurosurgeon who placed the pump... I've had 4 surgeries with him due to replacement of the pump at battery life end, and 2 other revisions when the pump or catheter slipped out of place. They also want to bring in the physician in the group that handles spinal issues like scoliosis and decide if they can do anything.

My MS neurologist is not a proponent of the surgery, and let me know as I had my regular 6 mouth routine appt with him last week. He did not think my neurosurgeon, nor the other surgeon, will be willing to attempt to correct a scoliosis curve in a 65 year old MS patient. To be honest, I'm not crazy about surgery either, but if my scoliosis increased about 30% in this past year, if it continues to regress at that high a percentage in a year, then what will I be left
with, pain and permanently looking at the ground...that prospect doesn't make me happy either. They have labeled this neuromuscular scoliosis because they believe the MS has weakened the muscles on one side of my body to the point that I am
"leaning" toward the strong side and the spine is going along with that "ride" sideways..

My neurologist mentioned I may have to go to a University Medical Center to find out if there is help for this situation...is there a place on this site that lists Universities which are well respected in the treatment of scoliosis. Thanks for any help you could give. In the meantime I'll wait and not jump to any conclusions till I see my neurosurgeon...I called last week and they want to see the images before they decide if they want to see me, so I'm going to make that happen this next week and get them a copy of the spinal scoliosis images.

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1 Response


Hello, Rdmc--thank you for sharing your story with us. We do not have a list of university medical centers specializing in scoliosis treatment, but we do have a doctor finder tool that shows qualified spine specialists near you: https://www.spineuniverse.com/locate/spe... . It may be worthwhile contacting one of these specialists to discuss what they might recommend for your specific situation.

We hope this helps, and we wish you the very best!