Well, as I sit down this week, and try to clear the murky waters of my business matters out of my head to focus on other, less urgent, matters that are truly important to me (educating myself and others on Scoliosis issues), I ended up with a case of writer’s block. For the first time, ever. It might be all the other aforementioned issues that, despite my best efforts to toss them aside, are still plaguing me. There are many, many discussions out there on current reasearch, bracing, and treatments, there are blogs to read, facebook pages to look at – information on Scoliosis is NOT hard to find. I guess I was looking more for inspiration, not information. I was greatly surprised, then, when I started reading an article on Scoliosis surgery. I usually skip those, as I don’t usually consider surgery as an option for my kids. At least not yet. But, I was reading one blogger’s comments and she said, “Let’s face it – some of us just end up needing surgery.” Isn’t that the truth? And, it’s never been my intention to say that those who elect surgery are “wrong” or “bad” or “misguided”. If they did all the research and still chose surgery, then I applaud them for finding out what was best for them and sticking to it! There’s a lot of pressure out there in the Scoliosis community! Whew!! 🙂
Seriously, though, the article was what I needed because, even if we are personally adamantely opposed to surgery for our two kids, the fact is that they are both very young and we cannot see into the future and what urgent needs may arise for them. If they don’t complain of pain and can fully use their internal organs, then it’s a pretty simple decision. But, if one starts losing lung function, well – it would be a totally different matter. So, it was nice to read an article about promising research in the area of Scoliosis Surgery. You can read it, too, at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110405093654.htm. The basics are that the technique the surgeons are using now (fusion) is much different than the rods of yore. But, the good news is that they are getting a little bit of long-term data – the fusion is not weakening the other parts of the spine (at least over 10 years) and the patients are showing a high degree of comfort. So, this is good news. I want patients to be comfortable, whether it’s in their braces, or post-op. Who knows – someday we may be faced with this option and it’s good to know there is hope at the end of what seems like a very scary tunnel. I know many of you may have already had surgery and I sound like a regular scaredy-cat. I have relatives who can’t understand why I don’t just do what my wonderful Doctor says and not worry about it. I guess I figure that surgery is a huge wild card – and my question ALWAYS is: Will my kids have more or less pain after having surgery? They aren’t in pain now, so the answer is easy. But, as time goes on, the answer may become more difficult. And, who knows how much pain they would be in after surgery? I’ve heard great stories and very tragic ones. But, the good news is that no matter what method of treatment you choose, there is hope. And, for me, to realize that about the prospect of surgery is BIG! But, don’t consider me a convert to the idea any time soon. I remain convinced that non-surgical treatments are by far the best place to start (and remain) until there is an excellent reason to do otherwise. But, it’s always a good thing to educate yourself on the pros and cons of the treatments you don’t choose, so I figure one article that discusses surgery isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Have a great week!