Scoliosis 

Introduction 

Scoliosis: Rachel's story

Rachel was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, when she was 11. She describes how it progressed throughout her childhood, the treatments she had and where she found support.

Media last reviewed: 10/05/2013

Next review due: 10/05/2015

Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine to the sides.

It does not usually cause noticeable symptoms in children other than affecting the appearance of the back.

Physical signs of scoliosis may include:

  • a visibly curved spine
  • one shoulder or hip being more prominent than the other
  • clothes not hanging properly
  • a tendency to lean to one side

Ususally only adults with scoliosis experience back pain.

Read more about symptoms of scoliosis.

Seeking medical advice

If you or your child shows physical signs of scoliosis, you should make an appointment to see your GP.

Your GP can carry out a physical examination of your back, but you may be referred for an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

Read more about diagnosing scoliosis.

Why does scoliosis happen?

The cause of scoliosis is often not identified. This is known as idiopathic scoliosis and accounts for about eight out of every 10 cases.

Some cases of scoliosis are caused by other medical conditions, including:

  • cerebral palsy – a condition caused by brain damage that occurs during birth or shortly afterwards
  • muscular dystrophy – a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness 
  • Marfan syndrome – a disorder of the connective tissues

In rare cases, scoliosis can be present from birth, due to a problem with the development of the spine in the womb.

In adults, the condition can be the result of damage to the spine or due to previously undiagnosed scoliosis that worsens over time.

Read more about the causes of scoliosis.

Who is affected?

It used to be thought that scoliosis was a childhood condition. However, it is now recognised as a condition that increasingly affects older adults. This is most likely due to the increasing age of the population.

In the UK, scoliosis affects three to four children out of every 1,000. It can develop at any age, but is more common at the start of adolescence.

It is thought that as many as 7 out of 10 older adults aged 65 or over have some degree of scoliosis.

Scoliosis is more common in females than males.

How is scoliosis treated?

The majority of children with scoliosis do not require treatment because the condition is mild and corrects itself as the child grows.

If treatment is necessary, a back brace worn until the child stops growing is usually successful in preventing the spine from curving further. Very few children will require surgery to correct the position of their spine.

In adults, treatment primarily aims to relieve any pain. Non-surgical options, such as painkillers, are the first line of treatment with surgery seen as a last resort.

Read more about treating scoliosis in children and treating scoliosis in adults.

Further problems

Scoliosis can sometimes cause further emotional and physical problems.

Having a visibly curved spine or wearing a back brace can cause problems related to body image, self-esteem and overall quality of life. This is particularly the case for children and teenagers with scoliosis.

In rare cases, scoliosis can cause the upper spine to twist (kyphosis) and the curvature of the spine can put increased pressure on the heart and lungs.

Read more about the possible complications of scoliosis.




Page last reviewed: 19/02/2013

Next review due: 19/02/2015

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Comments

The 59 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

roseyposey1997 said on 11 April 2014

I am almost 17 and was diagnoses with idiopathic scoliosis when I was 13. My mum noticed that my waist was far more predominant on my right side and so I got checked out by the doctor. They found that I had curve at 25degrees which then only mildly progressed to 28degrees. I didn't experience much pain to begin with, however now that I have stopped growing and am 5'11" this small angle does effect me often. There is also a massive emotional effect, in that you know that it can never be fixed. As well as the visual aspects of my skirts never quite sitting right and not being able to wear tight clothes. I wish there was a way to safely straighten spines completely, as even with the slightest of curves, the effect on my life has been certainly noticeable!

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DLTapped said on 09 March 2014

I've had scoliosis for as long as I can remember, possibly since birth. School friends commented about a limp when I was about 11. I noticed my skirts were never straight at the bottom, my trousers always had to be taken up on the right leg, or trail on the floor.

My family never noticed & I never saw a Doctor about it. My right leg is shorter & thinner than my left, my right foot is also smaller, making shoe buying a problem at times.

As I got older I started to have problems with my upper back, didn't get anywhere with the NHS, so started seeing a physio privately. He kept me pain free for years & when he retired I found a nice osteopath. He was the person who told me I had scoliosis--he also pushed me to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Since then--I've been helped by the osteopath, physio's, sports therapists, both NHS & private.

It hasn't stopped me doing much. I have kept fit & exercised to keep symptom free & have lived a normal life--just have to keep taking time out to 'heal' the body from time to time. :-)

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bjtappage said on 05 October 2013

On Sunday 13th October 2013 my four year old son is having magnetic rods put into his back to straighten out his scoliosis. After spending the last 12 months having casts fitted under general anaesthetic and sedation the consultants have decided now is the time to operate. Everything has happened so quickly but everyone at the Royal Orthopeadic Hospital Birmingham has been amazing and supported us throughout. If you are going through this don't be afraid to ask questions. They are there to help and put you at ease. Don't be scared :o)

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beverleyann said on 22 September 2013

i have a 5 yr old daughter who has lumbar scoliosis she has to wear the boston brace 23 hrs of the day it was 40 degrees now its gone to 11 degrees do anybody know if this condition can cause her legs to ache when walking or doing activity

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mjwallace said on 29 May 2013

Hi my son has scoliosis his curve is 37* he is onlay 9 he is 4 foot tall i am so scared i can see it it worce from his last xray i don't know Wat to do :-( he is back to Edinburgh sick kids hosp next month.

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Hayley5346 said on 26 May 2013

I was diagnosed with scoliosis last Friday 27/05/2013. I am 13 years old and am quite short, if i did not have scoliosis I would be taller, this would have prevented me from some experiences in my life that I did not want to go through.

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hissing said on 17 October 2012

There is one other type of operation which no one seems to talk about that is the magnetic rods which require one operation till old enough for the one fusion this has had 30 operations very sucessful results. thiscan be researched on the net under scoliosis magnetic rods I have for my 10 year old Grandaughter diagnosed at 8 years old

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HelenJ777 said on 28 September 2012

I am now 48 and was diagnosed with scoliosis in 1978 - a thoracic curve to the right and a lumbar curve to the left. The condition progressed quite rapidly and I spent most of 1979 in hospital, where I underwent 6 weeks of halo-pelvic traction followed by fusion and pinning of the lumbar spine. It was hoped that this would hold the upper spine as well but it didn't, so I had to have another operation to fuse the thoracic vertebrae and fit a Harrington rod, apparently no longer used now. For many years, I was able to stand relatively straight, although my right shoulder blade still sticks out and I have been very self-conscious about my back ever since. I have had two children and was able to give birth naturally to both, although without an epidural because I wasn't confident that it could be properly administered given my lumbar fusion. In my 40s, I have started to develop more pain and discomfort, particularly at the base of my spine where it joins the pelvis. I regularly take pain killers and I am under the care of an osteopath (at my own expense as the NHS won't cover it), who does a lot to manage the knock-on problems that I suffer from as my body tries to compensate for the original scoliosis, the fusions and the Harrington rod. My leg lengths are slightly uneven, and I now suffer from something called Flatback Syndrome. Despite all of this, I lead a very normal life and I do run - not very well, but enough to keep fit and get some enjoyment from it. Having scoliosis certainly isn't the end of the world, but you may have to make adjustments. I strongly recommend the help of an osteopath as you get older - I know I would be in a much worse state without him! Support from family and friends is also crucial. My confidence suffered badly and it's taken me many, many years to realise that people are generally too wrapped up in themselves to notice what I think is glaringly obviously wrong with me!

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User706422 said on 21 August 2012

I had my first operation on my hips at nearly 5, and spent my 5th birthday in hospital. The operation didn't work and i went on to have 5 more hip operations, all unsuccessful. I found out, at the age of 13 that my hip problems had caused my spine to curve. I don't know what degree it was as those days we were not told. Bearing in mind that it was 43 years ago, it was a very lengthy process. First, i was in hospital lying flat on my back on traction for 2 weeks. I was then fitted with a plaster cast from my hips up to the top of my neck and under my chin. When this was dry it was cut off down the sides and across my shoulders. I then had my operation. The surgeons fitted a 14 inch metal rod down my spine. I had a scar from top to bottom of my back. I was in intensive care 3 days then transferred to a ward. I was there for 6 weeks. The plaster cast was then put back together and re-plastered. I was then allowed home. I spent 6 months in this plaster cast. The cast was then taken off and a new one put on that didn't have the bit going up my neck. I had this on for a further 3 months. After the cast was taken off I thought it was all over. But unfortunately the operation hadn't worked.
I was sent home, and approx 2 years later at 15 I had to go through it all again. It still didn't work.
I am 56 now. I Have had to cope with my curved spine all these years.
I have been told by a surgeon that if I had been born 10 years later I would never have had to go through any operations as my dislocated hips would have been diagnosed. No surgery would have been needed and my curved spine would never have happened.
I'm not bitter about it. I have gone on to have two wonderful children. Although at a cost, as I can no longer walk very far, and get out of breath easily as my curved spine presses on my lungs.
So i wish everyone who has this condition good luck.

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AliciaLSH said on 22 June 2012

I was around 13/14 when a family friend had noticed that I was standing at an angle and my right shoulder blade stuck out. She told my mum, who then rushed me down to hospital. It turned out that I had Scoliosis, and then my back was only a C-shaped curve at the top, at around 45 degrees. After around a year and a half of waiting, x-rays, scans and tests, it was decided that I would go for my operation on the 1st September 2010. By then, my spine had an additional curve, making it an S-shape, and around 86 degrees on the top and about 45 on the bottom. Although that wasn't so great, it made me stand at a better angle. I had a rib taken out and a chest drain put in. Unfortunately, the bottom of my scar developed a lump and it turned out that I had an infection running along the length of my spine. I then had 2 more operations in 2011 to flush the infection out and to put a PICC line in. Unfortunately, I still have what is called Pars Defect. Which, I won;t lie, hurts. I've recently turned 18, and as much as it still causes me pain and I can feel it moving to the right, I am eternally grateful for the help I recieved from the NHS.

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sianib12 said on 11 June 2012

I was 14 when I found out I had scoliosis from a family member, as they noticed that I could not sit straight. First I went to the doctors to see what it actually was. I then had to go up the hospital for a number of x-rays. I then found out I had scoliosis. 5-6 months later I had it operated on. My curve was in an s shape and the top curve was 68 degrees. The bottom was a very mild curve. The doctor told me I would need to have a operation on my spine if not I would not survive as my spine was crushing my heart and lungs.
So with this information I knew I had to have the operation. My op took 8 hours and I now have two rods and 28 pins in my spine. Luckily my operation went smoothly and there where no complications.
I would recommend the operation to any person who will need to have it done. It is an uncomfortable situation to be in after the operation, mainly the first 6-8 weeks but a year and a half on from the op, I'm now 16, my surgeon said I will lead a normal life and my spine is fine now and I can forget I even had scoliosis.
So I thank the NHS and my surgeon for their help and good luck to anyone who has to have it done :)

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sallysparrow811 said on 22 May 2012

Im 19 and i have a 34 degree upper curve and a 56 degree lower curve.
I play sport 4-5 hours a week and im running 10miles in october. I have occasional backache which is luckly for someone with my curves. Sport keeps my muscle strong and prevents the pain
You teenages dont worry your life isnt over, be positive and dont let it beat you. chin up

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Lewissss_93 said on 22 May 2012

I have had a curved spine since the age of 12. I started experencing pain so I went to see the doctor, the doctor advised me it was growing pains, I went 4 times after that and they kept telling me it was growing pains, on the 5th visit, they advised me that I have a curved spine, they sent me to physio and that was that, when I got to 17 I could not take the pain anymore I pushed through it for years, I went back to the doctor and they gave me co-codamol... did not make a difference... they gave me tramadol... did not make a difference... they have recently given me Amatryptalin at 20mg which has made yet again no difference, I am constantly in agony, and because it has been going on for so long, I push myself to carry on. They have cut my hours at work because i refuse to take time off. About 2 weeks ago I was about to come down the stairs at home when I had severe pins and needles in my right leg, from my bum cheek to my toes, I collapsed and fell down the stairs, Nobody was in, so I struggled to get anywhere, I ended up getting a docs appointment, and they have now referred me to an orthapedic surgeon!
I have read all these comments about people backs being measured and been getting alot of help from their GP. I have NONE! it has taking me to fall down the stairs to get this far. It has caused so many issues in my life... I have severe depression, My mood swings are uncontrolable and unpredictable, Its hard for me because no one understands the pain i am in day and night, I cant sleep till early hours of the morning in between 3 - 6 and i still get up around half 8 - 10 It is affecting EVERY aspect of my life.

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Becca2425 said on 07 May 2012

I am 14. I found out I had Scoliosis last year in a school check up. They said it was minor but I should go to a GP and see what they say. I went and the GP told me to go to the RNOH but for some reason I couldn't so I went to the Wellington in London (which is awesome!). I talked to the Dr there and had xrays and we found out I had 1 curve in the top half of my spine. It was 41 degrees. I know that sounds really bad but I found out that because above and below the curve were straight that there was no need for a brace or surgery, just regular check ups. 4 months later I went back to find out it had gone to 36 degrees. I was apsoloutely delighted! I'll be going back again in 2 weeks for my next 1 (6 months after) so hoping it's good news again!
The reason why i think it got better is because I went to a Physio place. I do exercises on one of the awesome gym ball things every day which helps stretch my back out - it helps make it more comfartable and makes it get better, what more could you want!? I only do about 5-10 mins every day and it makes such a big difference! (5 degrees better is really really good!)
So if you think, what should I do, how will I make it better, do physio, it helps so much! And also don't give up, some days I'm like ugh I don't wanna do my exercises and that's ok but if you leave it for like a month that's hardly gonna make it better!
Good luck everyone!! x

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naomiaimoan said on 01 May 2012

I first discovered that I had Scoliosis when I was 14 when my mum noticed that I was sitting lopsidedly, so she felt down my spine and discovered that I had quite a significant curve to my lower spine. This was confirmed by the doctor, who referred me to my local hospital to have an x-ray, which revealed that I had a 47 degree curvature. I was then referred to the Nuffield Orthapeadic Centre in Oxford which specialises in things such as Scoliosis, where I met a Scoliosis specialist surgeon who offered me an operation. He said that I'd just about stopped growing, so now would've been a good time to operate. I decided to accept the operation offer & a date was set. I had my operation at the John Radcliffe Children's Hospital in Oxford on Tuesday 1st November 2011 when I was 15. On the first night, I struggled to get to sleep and completely lost my appetite because I was far too drowsy from the morphine to even care about eating. The day after (Wednesday), I managed to sit on the edge of the bed with a physiotherapists help, and on Thursday, I managed to walk from my hospital bed to the toilet and back. It felt very strange because my back felt 'tight' and 'heavy', as if I had a suit of armour on. The average time a Scoliosis patient spends in hospital after having the operation is around 1 week, and I managed to have my operation on Tuesday and go home on Sunday of the same week - which was actually quite quick! I'm in my last year at school (year 11) & even though I had from the start of November to the end of the Christmas Holidays off school, I felt that I was ready to go back to school after Christmas. I'm glad I had the operation because I'm able to sit in class now without having to move around and stretch my back because of pain. I have some numbness in my sides (top of my thighs), but the feeling is slowly coming back now, 5 months afterwards.

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sadiemae said on 24 April 2012

I have to say that having surgery to correct my spine when I was 13 was the best thing I ever did! I had a double curvature and by inserting rods to fix the bottom curve, the top curve in time should even out. Before surgery, I couldn't sit down for very long so lessons were hard, and I looked pretty strange too with one shoulder higher than the other. I had an amazing doctor, and got back to normal in around 10 weeks, but those 10 weeks were hard.
I'm 17 now and ofcourse I was lucky, everything ran smoothly, and it's not like that for everyone. But anyone out there who is offered surgery, have a serious think!

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kizzy22 said on 23 April 2012

Hey em427, im also 22 and im about 36 degrees. i was wondering if u wana keep in touch, just curious about ur experience of having scoliosis and how it has progressed and so on. nothing really has been done for my scoliosis either and i am also in ridiculous pain.

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em427 said on 23 April 2012

Hi, my scoliosis was picked up by a physio when I was having treatment for another condition. When I was 13 I had a 30 degree curve, and they decided not to brace it because I was already 'quite tall'.
My first specialist was unsure whether my curve had progressed or not 6 months later (he forgot which vertebrae they measured it from, and there was a 5 degree difference, 30-35 degrees), so we asked for a second opinion, but by the time I got this I was 15 and they said I had stopped growing, so it wouldn't progress anymore.
I am now 22 and am in severe pain from it. My right ribcage is twisted inwards and it feels like it's crushing whatever is underneath it. I realise it is likely to be muscle tightness/strain, but it is very uncomfortable. sitting or lying down doesn't help with that pain. The other pains in my neck, back, left knee and feet get better if I lie in bed all day everyday... however I do need to go to college and get a job - both of which would be near impossible at the moment due to my back let alone other health probs! Just been referred to adult orthopaedic doctor after seeing GP, hoping there may be an alternative to surgery, nervous as to what my xrays might look like! :s
Wearing a brace as a teen may be horrible, but I'd encourage anyone offered bracing to wear it with dedication - nasty as it may be, better than being an adult with debilitating pain and never able to wear fitted clothes! I really wish it had been offered to me. (I hadn't stopped growing - I've grown 2 inches in height since it was last measured)

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chloe022 said on 15 April 2012

And just think that if you suffer a stress fracture or fracture to the spine they put you in a brace, well they did with me and that one was very obvious to everyone :L So just be grateful that Scoliosis ones are much more discrete! xx

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chloe022 said on 15 April 2012

For those few and rather careless people on these comments who think that Scoliosis can't kill you. Well it can. My mum was 14 and was told if she didn't have the operation she would die at 17 :L Your spine curves so much it squashes your lungs and heart. It can kill you, it really can.
I have probably commented before, but who cares?
More people need to recognize the effects that Scoliosis has on some patients who suffer with it most severely. I am lucky, my spine is improving, slowly but its improving.
If more people knew about Scoliosis and how to recognize it in their child then their child's Scoliosis could be caught earlier and it has less chance of developing into a worse curve. In lots of countries they test children in the early years of secondary school where Scoliosis is most likely but in the UK we don't have this facility available which lots of people disagree with but this is why parents need to know how to recognize if their child has the signs of Scoliosis.
I developed Scoliosis genetically from my mum when I was 10.
I suffered a fracture to my spine at the same time which made it weak but I recovered and I get lots of pain due to that now but I am ok.
Last July I went back to my specialist and he diagnosed me with Scoliosis and told me my curve was 39 degrees. He put me in a brace because I was still growing as I am only 13, 14 next month.
He told me I need to wear it until next year when I will start to slow down and eventually stop growing.
I am in my second brace now, because I had a growth spurt. If your child has a growth spurt get a new brace or it will be un comfy for them. My Scoliosis is improving and I hopefully won't need surgery :)
For everyone that has a brace or Scoliosis just try and stay strong for the people around you.
Everyone who suffers from it knows how hard and distressing it is but you will get through it, if you try and you stay hopeful then everything will turn out well :)
Good luck <3

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Jay26 said on 21 February 2012

I am 31 and yesterday went to a&e after reacting to penicillin taken for a chest infection. When the doctor looked at my chest x-ray (taken last week) he pointed out that my spine is curved. He said that it curves to the left and is causing my left lung to be alot smaller than the right - which would explain why I've been suffering from breathlessness since I was 18. I'd had a chest x-ray two years ago and my spine was not noticed then. At present I have not been officially diagnosed, as I couldn't take in this news at midnight! I've also had back pain since I was 18 and occasionally get sciatica, and have had physio on my back in the past, but nothing has ever been picked up before. I find this worrying as I don't know what happens next or whether anything will need to be done.

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lynn48 said on 14 February 2012

hi
just wanted to say, that i had my scoliosis corrected in 1979 with surgery i was 15, im now 48.
i have not missed out on anything in life i have had 4 children, i work as a cleaner and i own my own home.
don't let anyone tell you, that scoliosis will limit what you can do, you can take pain killers if you have pain.
good luck to everyone. make the most of what you have.
lynn

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lewis30 said on 17 January 2012

Dear roscoe64, I hope that you read my comments. Your not on the scrap heap and it will get better. I too, have been involved in a accident and I understand how quickly life can change, what goes up must come down so what goes down must come back up.

You should be able to claim for the work accident, get a good solicitor on a no-win no fee agreement, one that specialize's in your health condition. For disability living allowance, appeal but get someone to support you, The Scoliosis Association are really helpful, or maybe someone from the Citizens Advice Bureau?

Sorry if these things are already in the pipeline but please don't give up.

I know what it feels like to be isolated and to feel that no one is on your side but it's a fear and I think that you need to preserve with people and organisations to get your viewpoint and experiences across. It's not that it's not in your grasp it's just things just don't come easily because often it involves money but you can do it when you preserve.

Is this the perfect chance to learn something new? I mean studying and learning involves sitting and reading etc and from personal experience at first it's hard to concentrate when your in pain but when you get into something it's the best pain relief. Maybe this is your chance to do something you have always wanted to do. Make it work for you x

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charlotte_xo said on 20 December 2011

Hello im 15 and i got diagnosed with scoliosis when i was about 13. It was mum that discovered it although it only came about when she was checking my seriersis at the top of my back when she discovered that my neck bone stuck out a little further than normal then she carried on feeling down my back to find that my spine was not straight. We booked an x-ray at Wigan infirmary and i discovered that i have 2 curves but they told me that because the two curves were between the lines of 40 degrees they were actually straight, weird but it then later gave me horrible pain and i could feel it moving over day by day as i became in much more pain. I went for another x-ray at Manchester Children's Hospital to find that one curve had grown to 48 degrees and the other was 42 degrees so they are now un-equal. I am now in the most excruciating pain ever and i will hopefully have another x-ray as they told me at first that the operation was up to me as it was unnecessary but if it grew over 50 degrees that i would need an operation which i feel like it is now over 50 degrees. I'm in that much pain that i would get the operation right now if i could although i am in my last year of school so there is never a right time, probably like the rest of you i am scared of what the effects will be after the operation as they told me the pain will not go away but it wont be as bad. It is a very emotional process finding out you have scoliosis as you begin to think your some sort of freak although i am proud of it as it makes me different. I have read some stupid silly stories of people saying that they have been told they will die or they will have half a spine, not true :S it only effects you if you let it, yeah it might stop you going to school because its such bad pain (like me) but just go for it, have the operation done! And if the hospital you go to tell you that your going to die then go to Manchester Children's Hospital because they are guatanteed to be the best and safest hospital!

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marcoral said on 15 December 2011

im 16 and i was diagnosed with scaliosis 2 years ago and there wasnt a cause, and it was my mum that actually noticed that my bach was a bit tilted so we decided to go to the doctors and they told me i had a big curve about 60 degrees. it was a emotional rollacoast for me and my famile but we got throught it. i then decided to have the operation done as it was the only option. i did my operation on the 24th of august 2011 and it has only been a couple of months and i feel normal i can do evrything except exercise. i was scared that i was going to become parlysed and not being able to be me again. but i was wrong i recovered really quickly at the hospital and at home with my mums help. while in the hospital the day after my operation i got to start walking and it was really hard as i was really dizzy and i couldnt stand up by myself, and i could feel a heavy weight in my back which was really umcomfortable, but after 7 days i was walking at a normal pase. and now if you see me in the streets you wont notice i even had a major operation which was what i wanted, i can now lead a normal life. and i strongly advise for anyone to do the operation it will give you back your life.

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lucytocks33 said on 07 November 2011

my name is lucy and i am 13 years old and i was diagnosed with scoliosis 2 years ago from now when i went to go see my doctor about somthing completly differnt and he told me to bend forward and noticed a curve in my back and ever since then i have been refered to Norwich hospital and was told i have 3 curves in my back and the middle curve is quite major id say and i was going to go for an oporation but more nearer the time i was told to loose about 10-15 killoes in a few months and i couldnt really do it verry well instead i gained weight and they told me if i was over weight whilt having the operation i would more likly loose twice the amount of blood and could posibly die on the table or if anything whent wrong i could be in a wheelchair for life and i really didnt want to take that risk so i held it back for a year and in a few months i shall go back and x-ray my back to see how much has changed since my last x-ray and then take it from there. im am only worried about if i get older that my back may get much worse and if i wan to have chilldren that could make things awkward for me or somthing iv seen most websites saying that the curve stops growing as you become an adult but they are only really for small curves and mine is verry big and i suffer from bad back pains every day but even if i have the operation it still wont take the pain away right now at the age i am i dont really think about my back unless it aches but the only thing i ever worry about is the feature and wonder why i get picked on by the other girls because im not the same shape as them and im am verry cautious about my back and dont like to show any of it off if i can the only reason i was thinking of having the operation was cosmetic reasons and now i just think that is a stupid thing to do. i hate being like this, i hate being different, why did i have to be the odd one out, im look terrible now with my back at an awkward posision i was beautiful as a child what happened to that girl :'(

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chloe022 said on 22 October 2011

I was diagnosed with mild scoliosis when I was 10 and at the same time was told I had fractured my spine. I wore a brace for 6 months and was then told my scoliosis was only 4 degrees and it was left. In July of this year my mum noticed how slouched and how un-level I was because she had scoliosis at the same age and we went back to London, Harley Street. The doctor told me that within two years my scoliosis had gone back up to 30 degrees. It wasn't nice knowing I should of noticed before so now I am again in a brace 23 hours a day. I get checked every 6 months but I am likely to be wearing the brace for two years or having surgery. There are worse things to go through and it doesn't hurt as much as fracturing your spine but it isn't nice admittedly. Its also not nice that I have three younger sisters who could also be affected by this when they are older. Even though the braces are uncomfortable it is for the best and everyone should try and remember that.

Best wishes to every child and adult suffering with scoliosis because it is horrible but others understand. Your not alone.

Chloe, 13

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warwickshire said on 16 October 2011

my daughter as her 6th cast made on the 14th of november at birmingham goes to a main stream school but now the teachers keep on going on about puting her in a special school its like they dont want to have to look after a child that wear a cast she can do the samestuff as the other children was think of going to see the c a b to get advise of the . i dont think schools should treat children that have scoliosis any diffent . but they wil only do what they want .

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CaoimheC said on 12 September 2011

Hello, I am 16 years old and was diagnosed with Scoliosis when I was only 5 years old, therefore my spine has been getting checked on for 11 years.

My scoliosis isn't exactly the problem, for me... but my scoliosis CANNOT be treated as it is too close to my neck , if I was to be treat with surgery, there would be a huge massive risk of becoming paralysed after the procedure.
Like I said, I don't mind the scoliosis, the only bad thing about it is that I am 4'8, but my height is probably through hereditary as well... but anyway, I also have klippel fiel syndrome, which is fused bones to the right on my neck, it does not cause any pain it is only cosmetic, it also cannot be treat with surgery due to the high risk of becoming paralysed. Klippel fiel is also a very rare condition therefore that is also a big risk.

If only there was a way around these kind of things....

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warwickshire said on 08 September 2011

hi my daughter is 5years old she as scoliosis since she was 1 years old she as to wear a cast 23hours aday only can take of when as a bath she loves to wear it coz it as groovy chicks on it . first notice it when she was bout 6 months old . her spine was a s shape . she as had 3 xrays

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roscoe64 said on 02 September 2011

I have kyposcoliosis which is very severe and dont under stand how after living a normal life,though now through injury at work can't do every day simple things due to extreme pain at times.I take very strong painkillers I.E Tramadol, Pregabalin topped off with Paracetamol.These help greatly although the pain is still moderate to severe ,tending to be severe after any physical activity which sometimes leaves me unable to get out of bed the next day.I now have problems claiming any disability allowances.they seem to think that because you can squat sit down stand up ect without any help and you can walk a mile or so that your fit for work so i agree totally with lou_Dodd and user 360077 in that i feel let down and isolated by the people who know best.I too have had MRI scans ect cect but due to the 2 fuson operations i had before the age of ten that the results are inconclusive
.NOW im 47 years old and feel my world is over that im on the scrap heap and can't seem to get any help in relation to all this.I hurt myself at work and i know in my own mind that i will never work in manual work again and this is all i know.

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jennie_14 said on 15 July 2011

I am 14 years old and I have pretty serious scoliosis, I went to my local NHS Health Centre to have a X-Ray on Wednesday, and after a few minutes of having the X-Rays done me, my mum and my dad saw the photos and it showed that I have 2 curves in my spine one going to the left and a smaller one going to the right, The nurse said that she has seen worse but she said I definitely have scoliosis. Me, my dad and my mum where is shock when we saw the X-Rays, I didn't believe it but then after a few hours reality hit me and I was very emotional. I still have too see a specialist just so I know what is exactly going on, and what will happen, but what ever happens I guess is for the best, and if I need the operation then I am Ready! I have got a lot of support from all of my family, friends and also school. Whatever happens I hope I will be Okay x

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alphabetti said on 06 July 2011

I'm 15 and was diagnosed with scoliosis only today. It was quite scary at first when my mum noticed that my spine curved the side, but after speaking with my GP and getting a proper diagnosis i feel a lot better. i don't think my curvature is that severe, as it's not completely noticeable under clothes, and i only experience minor back pain. As yet i haven't been to speak with a specialist, but i have put a referral through to have some physiotherapy. i hope this helps and i won't need surgery, but i suppose even that's better than any future problems that may occur.

Wish me luck :)

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anamey said on 22 April 2011

hi there , I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 12 for which I had corrective surgery on both ribs and spine at the Royal National Orthopedic in 2002 at the age of 14 its been 9years since my surgery and I have metal rods with screws to support my spine. Recently I exceeded 90 degree movement as my leg reached to my neck causing pain in my neck and my left shoulder. The pain feels like someone has punched me and it feel inflamed. Is this pain temp or can there be a possibility that my screws of the rod has caused damage to my nerves ?

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jojoch11 said on 16 March 2011

My scoliosis was S Shaped so very bad, but I would like to thank all the Drs, Nurses and all other staff at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Northfield, Birmingham for all the treatment that I've received over the past 20 years if it weren't for them I don't know what would of happened.

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jojoch11 said on 16 March 2011

I am now 20 and the only person in my family to have scoliosis. I found out I had scoliosis when I was 18months old which I was to young to understand until I got older and drs and parents told me what was wrong. I handled it really well did miss alot of time off school but it was all worth it to make myself better I had operations every 6 months and had final one on my spine at 15 yrs then one final one on my rib cage at 17 yrs.
I live a normal young womans life i'm in a relationship and I have support from all my family.
If anyone found out they had scoliosis I would say take it one step at a time weigh up all your options and always ask questions and to see xrays.
I don't know many people in my area who have scoliosis the only people I see with it was when I was in hospital.
It may be a painful and long winded thing in your life but in the long run its best to get treated for a better life in adulthood.
I may only be 4ft 9inches due to scoliosis but I get great support and live a great life.

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AmyM1990 said on 11 March 2011

I'm 20, and noticed that my spine wasn't 'normal' when I was 14/15, never thought nothing much about it to be honest. Was watching a programme on tele and a woman had a moderate curve to her spine, and it looked like mine, but not as bad as mine.
I haven't been diagnosed, I am worried to go to the doctors to be honest.
I'm going to though after seeing the programme, she had surgery, would that maybe be my only option, as I'm 20, and effectively fully grown now?

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Stacey1590 said on 10 March 2011

I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was eleven, and wore a brace for three years, as well as a built up shoe because my legs were different lengths.
I had surgery to fuse the bottom half of my spine at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in November 2004, when I was 14.
I never really suffered any pain prior to surgery just the occasional backache. I was in hospital for 10 days due to some complications with my breathing and had almost three months off school, not ideal when you are doing your GCSE's!
My mum has mild scoliosis and so does my nan, her mum did too, and there is american evidence to prove that it can be genetic.
More needs to be done to raise awareness of scoliosis. My mum checks my younger sisters back almost monthly to see if there is any curve, and I am currently slightly concerned that my boyfriend's five year old niece may have scoliosis, or end up with scoliosis, as she has had to use crutches since she learnt to walk, which leaves her permanently leaning over to one side, and overcompensation and the differing muscle tones made my scoliosis so bad.
Good luck to anyone who is on the waiting list or recovering from surgery. I find that it hasn't stopped me from doing anything, and it shouldn't stop you either.

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Dancer2 said on 01 February 2011

Be positive, it's easy to help yourself.
I am now 58 and was diagnosed, at age 11, with moderate lumbar scoliosis by a secialist at the Royal Orthopoedic Hosp. He thought that I had probably been born with scoliosis: they monitored me annually until I was 16 and felt that my spine was probably fairly stable and that surgery would not be nec.essary. This opinion was repeated by another consultant about 15 years ago.
I have suffered from moderate backache throughout my life and since the age of about 40, I've been careful to always use good-quality seating and a lumbar-support pad tailored to my personal shape!
I find that leaning/stretching forward and carrying heavy shopping presents the most risk of painful injury (usually taking some weeks to recover) so I avoid gardening and I let Hubby do the carrying!
The best way that I have found to avoid problems is to keep my back as strong and supple as I can..........believe me I don't like exercise, but the right kind really makes all the difference. Swimming is brilliant (though boring) but dancing is the best because not only do you exercise without realising, it does such a lot to improve posture and stretch your spine upward (my height has actually increased by 2 cms). This helps to relieve the pressure on the compressed vertebrae and therefore reduce pain.
Try it, (or swimming) it really works. Good luck.

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Sam_02 said on 21 November 2010

I was diagnosed with Idiopathic scoliosis when I was 13/14 and had surgery when I was 17. Everything during surgery went well, even with my heart and weight problems. I am now 25, I had Kass rods and so far have had no issues with back pain or problems with flexibility. My sister and cousins also have scoliosis.
My only issue is that prior to my diagnosis is that I had never heard of scoliosis and nore had anyone that I know. I feel that as in the US there should be mandatory tests in school for this condition as it is a quick simple test that could save many adolescents from surgery.

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linda may said on 18 August 2010

i am 51yrs old and was born with scoliosis,i was in hospital for a full yr at the age of 3,they operated on me and i had to wear a full body brace all the time.i had to learn to walk still suffering from the scoliosis.i had a mri scan 10 yrs ago which shows that no surgery will benefit me at all,the neurosurgeon told me not to let anyone operate as i would probably end up in a wheelchair.i also have breathing difficulties due to the scholiosis,which at night as my lungs crush under my ribcage,it causes my oxygen levels to drop so i have been put on a bipap machine at night which keeps my airways open and helps me to breath better,i am alot of medication cos the pain gets really unbearable at times,i do get very depressed,and very tired,but the staff at doncaster royal imfirmry have been so understanding,and are always there to listen .i do have to go every few months for check ups,on my breathing.and the neurologist comes to see me from sheffield hospital twice a yr to see if my scholiosis is getting any worse.my growth stopped when i was 4ft 8in ,due to the scholiosis,but i just think it could have been far worse,at least i can walk so far.

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mrsmagoo1974 said on 17 August 2010

i had an epidural 9 years ago my spine was fine then 2 years later they said i had a bad curve in my spine sinse then ive had a number of problems including back ache

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Donna Lou said on 08 July 2010

Ive had lumbar scoliosis since i was 13 and now im 21 ive not needed an operation, as i have been quite mobile and do a lot of walking through a sports course. Only now im working im in a bit more pain than usual through the type of chair im using i normally have an orthapedic chair but not been able to get hold of one since moved over to Manchester.
Hopefully somthing will come of it lets see.

I feel im one of the lucky ones, i feel for those who's had operations, GOODLUCK to you all.

Donna Lou

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drewzie said on 29 June 2010

Im 13 and have been diagnosed with scoliosis resently at a dancing (ballet) audition. I have both lumar and thoracic scoliosis and do have alot of pain especailly sitting on plastic uncomfortable chairs at school. I have seen a specialist who has told me to think of other careers other than dancing as my scoliosis may get worse as i finish growing this upset me alot! I dont want surgery because of my dancing (by the way im very good second best ballet dancer in enlgand) but i was offered a brace which i hopefully will be getting after my MRI scan in october. I do think it is a serious condition and i do feel deeply for the people that have it worse than me x

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jm700 said on 23 June 2010

I was diagnosed in 2007. I was in so much pain at times that I had to sit or lie down and do something to take my mind off of it. I had to wait 18 months for my surgery date. I was really scared and nervous. The surgery lasted 7 hours which felt like 5 minutes to me but a lifetime to my family. I was in the HDU (High Dependency Unit) for a day or two then I was moved on to the ward. At this time I was only 15 years old and now I'm coming up to 17 so it was pretty recent obviously. A week later, I was home again but out of school for a month.

Could I take this opportunity to thank my surgeon and consultant. They could have saved my life because Scoliosis, if left unattended, could result in your lungs and heart being damaged. I am glad that my Scoliosis was noticed and operated on. So, thank you once again.

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lozmw84 said on 14 May 2010

I have diagnosed with thoracic and lumbar scoliosis. I first went to my GP complaining of lower back pain when I was 15, who told my parents that I obviously just wanted time off school! i eventually went to a private physiotherapist who advised me of the condition and was finally sent for x-rays. I missed six months of school in an important year, i missed my friends so much. Thankfully I have a very supportive family and I still managed to do 11 GCSEs. I moved overseas for a few years when i was 19 and the heat really helped. Since coming home my back has become much worse again and i am struggling with my job. I am living on paracetamol and ibuprofen as i can't work when i take the stronger pain killers. I am now under Lincoln hospital awaiting my MRI results. I am so grateful to have such a loving and supportive family. my sister had the operation to straighten her spine a few years ago and is now doing great...she recommends it everyone. Best wishes to your daughter Joanne Rennie, she must be a very brave little girl! good luck to you all xxx

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laurabaker1 said on 29 April 2010

I was diagnosed with ideopathic scoliosis in thoracic and lumbar regions at 14. I had two curves that were at 53 and 45 degrees, and as I live in Germany, their first step was for me to commit to physiotherapy weekly, which I did for 2 years (and went to a rehabiliation facility for a month for intensive physiotherapy) which didn't help at all as I had pretty much stopped growing and this makes it much harder to reduce the extent of the curvatures. I was then referred to the Werner-Wicker-Klinik, a hospital that specialises in spinal fusion surgery, and they told me that my curvatures were too far progressed and that I needed the surgery soon to prevent it getting much worse. I had the surgery the following August and I was in hospital for around 3-4 weeks. It was very painful afterwards. I also had to wear a back brace for 6 months afterwards & go for regular check ups.
Although I am now pretty much fine and only have small curvatures, I still believe that if I had been more aware of the condition I could have hit it earlier on and improved it through physiotherapy rather than having the surgery as it does create some restrictions; 8 months on now and I still experience frequent pain, I can't bend my torso at all which limits activities sometimes, I have a significant scar on my back and one on my hip and I am still not comfortable in sporting activities that I did before the surgery.
Anyone considering having the surgery, I would urge you to seriously consider it and try the other options such as bracing & physiotherapy first. I had tried a plastic brace before my operation though, and it was extremely uncomfortable and attracted attention as it involved metal bars lying across my chest. Still, the surgery was a lot worse than I had expected! It is beneficial though and I am glad to have had it.
I don't know if you can do this on here but if anyone has any questions about the surgery/physiotherapy/bracing feel free to ask me! :)

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laurabaker1 said on 29 April 2010

I was diagnosed with ideopathic scoliosis in thoracic and lumbar regions at 14. I had two curves that were at 53 and 45 degrees, and as I live in Germany, their first step was for me to commit to physiotherapy weekly, which I did for 2 years (and went to a rehabiliation facility for a month for intensive physiotherapy) which didn't help at all as I had pretty much stopped growing and this makes it much harder to reduce the extent of the curvatures. I was then referred to the Werner-Wicker-Klinik, a hospital that specialises in spinal fusion surgery, and they told me that my curvatures were too far progressed and that I needed the surgery soon to prevent it getting much worse. I had the surgery the following August and I was in hospital for around 3-4 weeks. It was very painful afterwards. I also had to wear a back brace for 6 months afterwards & go for regular check ups.
Although I am now pretty much fine and only have small curvatures, I still believe that if I had been more aware of the condition I could have hit it earlier on and improved it through physiotherapy rather than having the surgery as it does create some restrictions; 8 months on now and I still experience frequent pain, I can't bend my torso at all which limits activities sometimes, I have a significant scar on my back and one on my hip and I am still not comfortable in sporting activities that I did before the surgery.
Anyone considering having the surgery, I would urge you to seriously consider it and try the other options such as bracing & physiotherapy first. I had tried a plastic brace before my operation though, and it was extremely uncomfortable and attracted attention as it involved metal bars lying across my chest. Still, the surgery was a lot worse than I had expected! It is beneficial though and I am glad to have had it.
I don't know if you can do this on here but if anyone has any questions about the surgery/physiotherapy/bracing feel free to ask me! :)

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lauren rennie said on 20 March 2010

Scoliosis has effected my daughter from the age of 1 years old. She was put in to a plaster cast for 3 months at a time giving her only one day to have a bath, she went through this process for 3 years and every time they renewed it they put her to sleep. Im thankfull that it has improved it slightly and my daughter is in a plastic back brace which allows it to be removed. The scoliosis is still there and she needs an operation but at 4 years old is still young, she will have to put up with a few operations before we reach adulthood. The freemen hospital has been fantastic and the staff are brilliant. But the treatment for this condition at a young age is a long and painfull process. The condition does effect the family routine and puts alot of pain on watching your child suffer not even being able to have a bath and not being comfortable and to even bend over.My daughter has been fantastic and brave and is turning in to a bright and beautiful little girl, were all so proud of how she copes with everything. I thinf the service has been excellent and the doctors are great with my daughter.

Joanne Rennie Durham

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pinkfloss said on 14 February 2010

I am 50 and for as long as I can remember I have suffered from chronic lower back pain. I went to my GP about 10 years ago and was told by him that the pain in my back was due to me being (His words) FAT!
I was so upset by this that I never went back again and tryed to get on with life as best as I could.
After moving from london to Cumbria 5 years ago I decided to go and see my new GP as the pain was getting unbearable. She sent me for a X-Ray and was diagnosed with Scoliosis. I was giiving accupuntre, physiotherapy and sent to a pain managment clinic.
None of which helped
. I am now on mophine to help with the pain as I can no longer stand or walk very far without a walking stick.
I also feel very depressed and lonely and feel very isolated as no doubt many other sufferes do.
I have a very loving and supportive family but I know it's hard for them to understand the day to day struggle
I go through.
I often wonder if my GP had been more helpful all those years ago would I be as bad as I am now.
It would be so nice just to have a few hours a day pain free.
Best wishes to all you other sufferes out there.

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audyd said on 01 February 2010

I am 44 years old and have suffered from lower back ache for 20 years. It has got so bad over the past 7 years. I was referred to a specialist in 2003 who did an x-ray only showing wear and tear they did nothing else and discharged me saying nothing they could do. I live on painkillers every day but they were doing nothing. After 6 years I fought for a MRI scan to be done which resulted in a spinal surgeon saying I had worn discs and referred me to the pain clinic. I decided to go France for a second opinion as I was getting nowhere in this Country will lots of tests I was diagnosed with Lower Lumber Scoliosis with very badly degenerated discs the only solution is for surgery which I am going to France to have as they will not perform this type of surgery in this Country to the extent I need. Trying to get the funding to have the operation in France it has been such a battle but I do intend to have a better quality of life there is not enough people who care in our NHS system down to funding etc. Don't give up if you need help keep looking and pushing as it is your right and this is a serious condition as one person said unless you have it people do not understand the pain we are in.
Good luck to you all.
Audrey

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Griffy said on 09 December 2009

I was diagnosed with a scoliosis when I was in my late twenties, only after seeing a chiropractor privately. I had been told for years by many gp's to go home and rest as my back was in spasm. The great news for me is that with the help of a fantastic Chiropractor my condition is managed well enough to only require the odd paracetamol or ibuprofen to manage. It seems costly to pay for this every 6-8 weekis but for me it's worth it to keep mobile and pain free.

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ApGcLaRkE said on 26 November 2009

im 14 and have just been diagnosed with a scoliosis in the upper part of my back. i didnt know i had it until i went in to see my doctor about something completely different. I agree that it took a very long time and alot of waiting to get an appointment with a specialist. My parents decided that we would go private so that i could get someone elses opinion and that it would be quicker.My scoliosis is only 31 degrees but they offerrd me lots of differnet treatments including surgery. Im not surre that i want a big rod in back or a massive brace on for ages becaus ethat would be awcward and anoying. i dont really know what to do. and have any of you tried going private?

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ApGcLaRkE said on 26 November 2009

im 14 and have just been diagnosed with a scoliosis in the upper part of my back. i didnt know i had it until i went in to see my doctor about something completely different. I agree that it took a very long time and alot of waiting to get an appointment with a specialist. My parents decided that we would go private so that i could get someone elses opinion and that it would be quicker.My scoliosis is only 31 degrees but they offerrd me lots of differnet treatments including surgery. Im not surre that i want a big rod in back or a massive brace on for ages becaus ethat would be awcward and anoying. i dont really know what to do. and have any of you tried going private?

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lou_dodd said on 03 November 2009

i started with back problems when i was 10 years old i am now 25 years old and i have been through accupunture, physiotherapy, epidurals and different painkillers several times and whenever i do any of these activites i am often crippled the day after sometimes not even able to get out of a chair!!! so after 15 years and seeing different doctors and consultants i finally got diagnosed with scoliolis 2mths ago and practically got told that theres nothing that can be done til it gets worse and that abit of physio will make it all better and thye decide just to give you more painkillers i dont want painkillers i would just want this to stop all together...i feel so depressed and lonely and let down by the nhs how can when we pay so much nhs insurance whenwe cant get no help for people with this horrible thing, you have people turning round and saying that we've only got a bad back but they have no idea how much pain were in....im so angry with the nhs but i know that if i ask for another opinion im gonna be waiting for mths just to here the same thing over and over again i mean how much pain do they want us to go through til they actually decide to do something....i would pay anything just to have no pain and to be able to stop taking strong painkillers and my back to be right so i cant work normally instead of having to have time off.

this may seem like some kind of rant to people that dont have scoliosis but for people that do i hope you can understand

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User360077 said on 28 October 2009

I am 22 and have lumbar scoliosis which was diagnosed by a chiropractor i visited at age 16 after suffering chronic back pain. After visiting my GP for more info i was refered to a specialist outside cardiff to deal with my case. 6 years on, 4 xrays and 2 MRI scans later, and not mention the hundreds of visits to different health care centres, i am left in the lurch. I too waited almost a year to finally get an appointment with my specialist.
I am told my scoliosis is 36 degrees, yet i have been offered no treatment apart from physiotherapy to help straighten my rotated pelvis ( a side effect from my scoliosis ). My rotated rib cage however has been left unmentioned.....Not once have i been offered a back brace, or any such support and i feel really let down by the NHS. I am currently studying Medical Science in University, where i hope to go on to specialise in Orthapedic trauma so i hopefully can make a difference and stop others from feeling sidelined as i do. Now the specialist has told me they have no further need to monitor how my spine progresses, and i am left totally alone to deal with this horrific condition at what i consider to still be a young and delicate age. It affects not only my self confidence but my quality of life as i cannot fully make automous descisions about what i want to do as my condition holds me back. I would urge people to keep questioning all the health care staff they come into contact with, and dont let them sideline your case as they have sidelined mine.

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holly_star said on 11 October 2009

I have been off work for 3 months. I hurt my back on duty (i am a care assistant) in a nursing home. I went to my g.p who sent me for an xray at the local hospital. It turns out I have thoracic scoliosis and due to the kind of lifting work I do, put too much pressure on my spine and has made it worse. I am in agonising pain and the pain killers I have been given make me feel very ill.
I have now been waiting 12 weeks to get an appiontment to see a specialist. I think the service is disgusting and I am none the wiser about how my back will be dealt with. Scoliosis is a serious condition but I think only someome that is/has suffered from it would understand that.

Holly shropshire.

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beepaul said on 06 October 2009

I agree my daughter has scoliosis and the waiting times to see a consultant is 7 week's!! which i feel is to long.

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paolab said on 21 September 2009

I was operated because of scoliosis in Italy more than 20 years ago and have a Harrington rod attached to my spine.
I disagree with your statement that scoliosis is not a serious condition as I believe it must be considered as a priority condition. Many types of scoliosis can cause permanent damage to blood vessels and nerve endings because of the shrinking and degeneration of intervertebral discs.

More work is needed to increase awareness of scoliosis at school so that it can be treated early on.

Paola Bassanese, London.

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