Saturday, February 19, 2011

Before and after scoliosis surgery photo showing immediate postoperative posture improvement

On Valentine’s Day earlier this week, we shared with you the preop and postop x-rays on the 35 yo woman we treated that day for severe collapsing thoracolumbar scoliosis.  This patient had a small thoracolumbar curve during her teenage years, but noted progressive deformity during her adult years that also became increasingly painful.

She did very well after surgery, going home yesterday from the hospital.  The night of her surgery, she shared a photo that she took of her back the night before surgery, showing the large spinal deformity with big trunk shift and “hump”, with asymmetric posture including loss of normal “hour glass” coronal alignment.  I have seen many patients like this over the years.  Sometimes the curves can progress very slowly, but then when the curve and trunk shift get beyond a certain level, the curve can collapse much more quickly, causing severe pain in back and/or legs, and also a very worrisome and upsetting change in posture.  This has to do with gravity, which is able to exert more force on the spine with greater trunk shift, which causes more rapid disc and facet joint degeneration, possibly leading to increasing destabilization, progression and pain.

This young lady did very well.  Her surgery was challenging, given the curve size, trunk shift and curve stiffness.  It is easier to fix these curves when they are corrected in the younger ages when the spine is a bit more flexible.  

It’s been a great week, and it is a beautiful sunny blue sky North Carolina day here today.
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

1 comment:

Shamela Jackson said...

This brought tears to my eyes! Seeing that it is possible to have a straight body again! I have severe scoliosis and my back looks about as bad as hers. I am 26 though and have checked you guys out a few times but never thought I could afford something I deserved.. But overall good job one less of us suffering! :)