February 3, 2010 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #591187
Our son has a mild curve, and has been in a brace for about a year. The curve is not improving, and the doctor is talking surgery, if the curve gets any worse. (so far, he’s at 39)
Can anyone reccomend a support group / web site that can guide us thru this? I checked Wikipedia and MayoClinic.com, but I would feel much better talking to actual patients (achenu bnei yisroel) that have / are acutally going trhu the process, and what are the side effects of surgury, if it gets to that.
Any ideas?February 4, 2010 5:20 am at 5:20 am #673925
I agree with yank, that a good chiropractor should also be consulted. If, however, the curve is serious (I have no idea what constitutes “serious” scoliosis), then ANOTHER topnotch orthopedist should also be consulted for his or her second opinion, and a third doc, as well, if necessary. Spinal surgery is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a child. I wish your son a refuah shelaima, so he should not require any invasive intervention.February 4, 2010 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #673926
Like oomis1105 said, never be afraid of going for a second or third opinion. A family member had a problem with her gums which did not cause pain but she noticed swelling. She went to a top notch dentist who said the only way to correct the problem is through a surgery in her mouth, and they would need a couple of hours so she would need general anesthesia, and it would have to be done in a hospital. She went for a second opinion to a dentist that was suggested by an Askan, even though the visit was not covered by her insurance. He told her that the problem is not so severe and he could correct it in his office with a regular local anesthesia. When she told him what the other dentist had said, he told her that many doctors are out to make extra money from insurance companies and therefore put patients through procedures that are not necessary.
I am not saying that is the case by you, but never be afraid of a second opinion.February 4, 2010 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #673927tupimMember
You should be careful with advice you get on blogs from well meaning people who have no medical background, education, or expertise.
I was examined at the Mayo Clinic several times over 20 years ago. I have scoliosis; the curve was approx. 42 degrees when last checked (many years ago), today it is probably worse. I never had the surgery, and lead a full, normal life. The surgery is somewhat controversial. This surgery was first performed during the 70’s, so today there are patients who have been monitored over a period of many years, and in some cases it has been found that they developed complications and problems later in life. You can probably find the info on the web, make sure you are on reputable medical sites, not on blogs. There are several factors to consider with regard to the point where the surgery is necessary, the degree of curvature is not the only consideration. The position of the curve in the spine and other factors that a good orthopedist can point out to you while looking at Xrays of your son’s spine, are all looked at before making a final decision. I don’t know where you live but Dr. R. Moskowitz at the Joint Disease in NYC is an excellent Dr. Certainly I would agree with previous posters that a second and even third opinion are always advisable. Wishing you and your family much Hatzlacha!
EDITEDFebruary 4, 2010 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #673928
Thanks, all. We are already on our 3rd opinion, but until this week, there was never talk of surgery being a possiblity. We were under the impression that the brace would solve the problem. Hopefully, I’ll have besuros tovos for you in a few months (his next visit)February 5, 2010 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #673929
Scoliosis cannot be treated by a chiropractor. It is not something that is resolved with someone pinching your big toe or a massage. Severe cases can lead to issues other than cosmetic. In fact if it progresses enough, it can compress the lungs impeding breathing, among other issues.
I have had family members who were treated. One had to have surgery and another was succesfully treated with bracing.
The surgery, like all surgery is very different then it used to be. No longer is there a six month body cast. They already have people up and walking the next day. IT IS MAJOR SURGERY that requires sigificant recovery time and there is pain after.
The important thing is to see the appropriate shaliach, a competent experienced doctor who deals with this regularly.
The smart idea would be to speak to one of the medical referal agencies (There are a number of exceptional jewish agencies) that are available and they can guide you on selecting a doctor as well as helping you with information and getting an appointment. They would likely also have information about support groups.
In my experience, the doctors they referred were excellent doctors and wonderful to deal with. I think the one who did the surgery is by now retired, it was well over a decade ago. The other one we still go to for check ups (he is also a surgeon and, based on what we have seen while waiting in his office, a very busy one who deals with what apppear to be extreme cases as well), and B”H are very happy with his services as well as with the hospital which was excellent.
To BP Totty, if you want to get more info my experience, you can leave me a way to contact you, or I guess ask the moderators to email me however it is done here.
HatzlachaFebruary 7, 2010 12:59 am at 12:59 am #673930
Tupim, for the record, you have NO idea which, if any, of us has a background, expertise, or education in medicine.
Jose, while severe scoliosis should absolutely be treated by those who are trained to do so, a very mild scoliosis DOES respond to good chiropractic care, and it is very clear you do not have too much experience with good chiropractors if you think that it what they do is a big toe pinch and a massage. I come from a long line of chiropractors, and that remark was extremely inaccurate.
My late father O”H, knew more about the workings of the spine and its connection to other conditions of the body than most medical doctors. With Hashem’s help, he was able to give measurable and often permanent pain relief (sometimes without being paid) to patients who had not been helped by endless trips to orthopedists,or by shots and medications. His spinal manipulations (not MASSAGES), were based on sound physiology and anatomy, which he studied for several years in chiropractic school, comparably to going to medical school. If the chiropractors with whom you are acquainted only pinch big toes and give massages, then they are probably quacks.February 7, 2010 3:38 am at 3:38 am #673931
I am as impressed with chiropractors as you are apparently.
But is not the issue here , you yourdelf agreed that severe cases need to be seen by medical doctor. BP was dealing with a case that surgery is being dicussed for. Obviously far beyond the capabilities of a chiropractor which you suggested in your earlier post.February 7, 2010 4:41 am at 4:41 am #673932
“it is very clear you do not have too much experience with good chiropractors if you think that it what they do is a big toe pinch and a massage. I come from a long line of chiropractors, and that remark was extremely inaccurate.”
Oomis, I absolutely laughed out loud at Jose’s description. He obviously is coming from a place of lack of knowledge regarding competent chiropractic, similar to saying MD’s give out white jellybeans and make you stick you tongue out at them. It’s not worth getting offended when someone simply doesn’t have the knowledge, but to counteract the sting, I will tell you I have tremendous respect for the knowledge of expert chiropractors, who provide care for so many in ways that are less invasive and often more effective.February 7, 2010 5:16 am at 5:16 am #673933
Thank you, Bemused, for your reply. The funny thing is I re-thought what I posted originally, and what you read was the “calmer” version. I have spent my entire life listening to unknowledgeable people put down chiropractors, and as I said, I come from a family of them. It was hurtful hearing ignorance being spouted all those years, particularly when my father and other relatives in the field gave so much of themselves to be healers.
My dad never told a patient to avoid traditional medical care (the biggest canard spreasd by the AMA is that chiropractors denounce traditional medicine and boast that THEY can cure anything). He always advised people to seek medical attention and ALSO go for chiropractic treatment where indicated. When he knew someone had tremendous medical bills and no insurance, he either treated him for free or for a greatly reduced fee. There were people who came to me when I sat shiva for him, who were total strangers to me, but wanted to tell me how they painfully hobbled into his office bent over and walked out like menschen. Truly,with Hashem guiding his hands, he was literally “zokeif kefufim.”
Chiropractic treatments cannot help in ALL situations, to be sure, and severe scoliosis is probably one of them, but neither does conventional medicine always have the answers or prove to be efficacious for all conditions. The idea is to try to be openminded.February 7, 2010 5:39 am at 5:39 am #673934
I once had a problem that I knew could be successfully treated by my chiropractor. Unfortunately, I was in terrible pain and my MD was closer. What she did for me was almost worthless, but the pain pills allowed me to get to the chiropractor who was practically a miracle worker.
And important thing to point out is that there are various chiropractic techniques. For the problem I had he needed to see me every week or two. Other people who went to other chiropractors were surprised. Once said it shouldn’t take more than one treatment (obviously she wasn’t familiar with my problem) and another said I should be going much more often.
When I asked my chiropractor about this, he told me the standard protocol would be for me to get treatments three times a week for six months. Instead, with the technique he uses, I didn’t need to see him that often, and I was fully pain free in about six weeks.February 7, 2010 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #673935
While you are so busy getting worked about how effective chiropractors are, and I mentioned the extreme cases of what they do,(And I was using anecdotal and personal experience), you missed the point. You decided to recommend that BP Totty see a chiropractor for a serious case of scoliosis which is clearly inappropriate. Adjustments and subluxation are not the response to scoliosis or related issues. Certainly not where surgery is considered. It is like recommending an aspirin candy to someone who has had deep gash and needs sutures and saying, sometimes placebos work , go to so and so, he has the best tasting aspirin candy.February 7, 2010 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #673936
I’m with you on the fact that chiropractic care isn’t the answer for some conditions, just as care from an MD isn’t the answer for some conditions. However…your continued display of lack of knowledge regarding chiropractic care (which may have been caused by your personal anecdote regarding your big toe- lack of knowledge isn’t shameful), evidenced by comparing chiropractic care to aspirin candy and placebos, instead of comparing it to, say, a root canal procedure or ROM exercises, comes across as silly to the many, many people who feel immensely grateful for the knowledge and expertise of their doctors of chiropractic, after giving up on other doctors.
And haifagirl, if that isn’t a run-on sentence, I don’t know what is one. 🙂February 7, 2010 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #673937
Bemused: Not like me at all. I suppose some of those sentences are a bit long, but they aren’t run-on as far as I can see. However, there are a few typos that got through. Sorry.February 7, 2010 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #673938
haifagirl- I was talking about my own comment! Your comment seems fine! 🙂February 7, 2010 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #673939
Bemused: It looks to me as if you punctuated correctly. It doesn’t look at all like a run-on sentence to me. 🙂February 7, 2010 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #673940
” You decided to recommend that BP Totty see a chiropractor for a serious case of scoliosis which is clearly inappropriate”
No, if you rer-read what I posted you will see that I CLEARLY opined that BPT should consult with BOTH a chiro AND another orthopedist or even two more if necessary, and btw,chiropractic has been shown to be EXTREMELY effective in some types of scoliosis problems, though probably not in this particular case would it be recommended. I am sorry that you may have had some bad experiences with chiropractors, either you or family members. But the funny things is when a MEDICAL doc’s help proves valueless or does not fix the problem, no one go screaming that people should not go to medical docstors. Traditionally the opposite view has been widely held in regard to going to chiropractors. There are good and bad practicioners in every field. There are surgeons with talented hands and there are butchers (ever see a really bad nose job?). There are excellent chiropractors and there are people who should not be practicing in the field. That is all I am saying. A responsible and honest chiropractor will tell his or her patient when the patient needs more traditional medical intervention. But more often than not, they can help where an orthopedist cannot. There is room for both, is all I am saying.February 7, 2010 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #673941
Chiropractors are not like doctors, some people swear by them while others are not into it at all. Your father sounds like a very special person, and is lucky to have been the shaliach for many, but the fact that he “he treated patients for free or for a greatly reduced fee” doesnt have to do with the success rate of chiropractors. Dont take Jose too personally, because there are many pple that feel this way. My mother in law swears by her acupuncturist. She goes to her for a sore throat as well as a backache and after a few sessions is healed. She gets very offended if anyone tells her that they dont believe in acupuncture. As soon as you venture out of “conventional medicine” some pple “believe in it” other do not. Just like vitiams and all the new products at the health food stores, some pple say it’s a craze while others take their Umeboshi twice a day.February 8, 2010 4:43 am at 4:43 am #673942HealthParticipant
Even if you decide to use chiropractic care (as opposed to oomis and others who think-even though I’m trained in conventional medicine -I’d be against it-you can try it. You will know if it works -if the curve becomes smaller.) I personally think you’re reading into the doc’s words too much -all surgeons say between 40 -50 you have to CONSIDER surgery. Bracing does work- if you look at the literature, but what usually happens is that the kids don’t wear it long enough. It should be worn about 95% of the day -a lot of kids take it off because of peer pressure. You have to have a honest convo with your kid and tell him/her that it’s either the brace 24/7 or it’s surgery. As far as second opinions go -my opinion is medicine isn’t a supermarket -you don’t pick and choose. But, how do you know who is right? In my opinion you go to the best. The hospital for special surgery has been ranked the best. They have a group of docs who work under the scoiliosis service. These docs are probably the best in the world or close to it. I would trust them for whatever they say and use them if they would recommend going for the surgery. They have a web site for info.February 8, 2010 4:44 am at 4:44 am #673943
Poster, the “craze” of chiropractic has been around for many, many, MANY decades. Chiropractors ARE doctors, they are doctors of chiropractic medicine. The medical establishment has no respect for the hard work and courses of study that chiropractors must do, in order to become licensed in their field and earn the title of Dr. They do the same anatomy, physiology, biology course that are given in med school, as well as study nutrition, vitamins, etc. and receive extensive training in both spinal manipulation and the use of modalities in addition to hands-on spinal adjustments. I personally have never experienced acupuncture, but if it alleviates pain in someone, with no need for drugs, I am all for it. There is plenty of room for all types of beneficial therapy INCLUDING conventional medicine.
I am not taking Jose or anyone else personally, because they do not know what they are talking about, and that’s ok, there are many times that I express an opinion and do not necessarily know what I am talking about, either, because I am misinformed.February 8, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #673944
Thank you for your offer to respond to me directly. However, the nature of the CR is to keep our “real” self known only to the Mods, and to break that rule would (in my opinion) undermine the premise of a CR where everyone can (within reason) speak their piece freely.
Besides, to respond to me only would be to deny the rest of the memebers the name of practitioners that you have found to be helpful in treating Scoliosis.
If the Mods allow, please post the name of the doctor and hospital you are using so I can make the necessary inquiries, if we have not already checked into this person.
FYI – We have spoken to Shuki Berman, MRA and the Skver’er Rebbe (BP) for referral info, and we are also planning a trip to Philly, to Shriners Hospital.
But another name never hurts, so thanks in advanceFebruary 8, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #673945YW Moderator-80Member
BPTotty is correct
Jose: Please feel free to post the namesFebruary 8, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #673946
Dr. Widman at Hospital for Special Surgery. Very impressive doctor and hospital. More local to BP than Philly.
B”H bracing worked. The brace nowadays as a lot less noticible then it was when I was in 8th-9th grade. Was almost unoticable under the shirt.
I won’t argue with R Shuki, I know him and he gives good advice.
Have you tried ECHO also?
The Doctor who had done surgery was Dr Hoppenfeld at Einstein,but I am pretty sure he has since retired, he actually wrote the book on the procedure, I have seen in a medical school book store.
SOm esites allow private messaging just using the screen names.
Anyway, I was willing to talk to you if yuo had so wanted.February 9, 2010 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #673947
Thanks Jose –
I had Dr. Widmans name, and am half done with a book written by Dr. Neuwirth.
Dr. Hoppenfelf is a new one, so thanks very much.
As far as contacting me directly, its a bit out of the CR box, and did not want other readers thinking that this sort of communication is the norm. No offense, but its just not a good precedent.February 10, 2010 7:07 am at 7:07 am #673948
If Jose’s info can possibly help your son, why do you care so much about a “good precedent for the coffee room”. The coffee room is “MAJOR and IMPORTANT”, but it’s just an entertainment forum.
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