Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"You're too old for scoliosis surgery"

Saw MD yesterday in clinic who had referred a 50 Yo patient w post-polio syndrome w severe scoliosis and severe pain. Was seen at an academic medical center by spine surgeon who told patient "you are too old for scoliosis surgery!". She continues to suffer.

This patient below had kyphoscoliosis surgery this morning. She is 80 years old and in agony w back pain and deformity. She doesn't wish to live unless she gets relief. She is otherwise quite healthy

We did T3-iliac wing instrumentation and fusion for her this morning and she did really well. Surgical time 4 hrs 20 min. Ebl 850 cc. No blood transfused. Got very good correction.

While I would obviously prefer to fix spinal deformities in younger patients, many older guests benefit greatly from having their scoliosis stabilized an corrected.

The "too old" opinion is a bit of a hold-over from the old Dr. Harrington days when scoliosis and kyphosis surgery was done just for children, and adolescents an adults under 40.

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