Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Clinic with Dr. Hey today. 3 month postop visit for Rena, looking great!

We just saw Rena back for follow-up.  I fixed her scoliosis back in July this year with a T5-Iliac wing instrumentation and fusion.
She really looks great.  Her posture is excellent.  Her incision is well healed, and she is very pleased with the result.
Rena is a good example how we can often get a very nice correction even for guests in their 40’s and 50’s, depending on the underlying flexibility of their spine.
Even older people can get good corrections, but in general the spine tends to get stiffer with age, with larger curves, and decreasing bone quality (osteoporosis).  That’s why it is usually better to get scoliosis and kyphosis fixed when you are younger rather than older, which also decreases the medical / anesthesia risks.
You look great Rena!  Thanks for allowing us to share your picture with me on blog.

In addition to Rena, I saw a very nice nurse in her 30’s with a 71 degree kyphosis and progressive lower back pain this morning, who has failed conservative therapy and will be having surgery with us this winter.  The deformity also affects her self-image with her posture from front view as well as side and back view.  We talked about the possible effects of pregnancy on her back with or without surgery.  It is interesting that the back pain with kyphosis is usually below, or above the “hump” which is usually in the thoracic area --> low back pain and/or neck pain.  When you fix the thoracic area of kyphosis, it helps straighten the area above and below, which often helps relieve the pain in those areas.

Also have seen one of Dr. Coonrad’s former Harrington Rod patients who had fusion done back in mid 1970’s, who has done great.  He shared that he was in traction for 10 days before his surgery, had a full day of surgery, then was in hospital for 10 days after surgery and wore a body cast for a year after surgery.   He got into trouble with Dr. Coonrad because he cut a “V Neck” in his body cast several months after surgery!  This gentleman is still doing very well now over 30 years after his fusion done when he was 16, with no significant back pain, flat back syndrome, or leg pain.  He has a little bit of pain under his R rib cage, which is likely not spine related. He could possibly develop flat back syndrome or adjacent level failure with stenosis as he goes from 40’s into 50’s and 60’s, so we told him what signs to look for to see us back.  Otherwise, we’ll plan to see him back in 5 years.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

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