INFO please on Kyphosis, surgery, sources?

Michael MASINTER masinter at ALPHA.ACAST.NOVA.EDU
Mon Sep 19 20:00:38 EST 1994


I don't know if you got my previous reply so I will ignore courtesy and 
post this to the group in light of your limited internet access.

My son had severe congenital kyphosis which became apparent with the onset
of his pre-adolescent growth spurt.  Several of his thoracic and lumbar
vertebrae did not fully segment, remaining fused in front with no discs. 
Thus, they grew in back but not in front, causing the kyphosis. 
 
We discovered the condition right after his eleventh birthday.  He had 
surgery several months later.  The surgery consisted of two procedures.  
In the first, an anterior release, his spine was exposed from a 
chest/abdomen incision and the fused vertebrae were separated (fractured 
deliberately).  The spine was stabilized by removing a rib, breaking it 
into small pieces, and using the pieces to pack the spaces between the 
newly separated vertebrae (where discs would have been).  The incision 
was closed, he was turned onto his stomach, and his spine was exposed 
from just below the neckline to just above the buttocks.  CD rods 
(Cottrell Dubosset) were installed, with hooks and assorted hardware to 
secure them to the spine.  Small pieces of his hip were removed and 
inserted into disc spaces to ensure that the newly stabilized and 
straightened spine would fuse.  The incision was closed.  The entire 
procedure lasted 6.5 hours.  The lead surgeon was Harry Shufflebarger at 
Miami Childrens Hospital; he is one of the American pioneers of CD rod 
Surgery.  

Then 11, my son is now 16.  He has no residual pain.  His recovery was 
uneventful, beginning with standing up the second day and walking the 
third day.  He was hospitalized for seven days after the surgery, 
remained housebound for another week, and gradually resumed regular 
activities.  He rides (and falls off) a bike regularly.  Because his 
spine is fused from T10 to L4, he must bend at the waist, cannot play 
tackle football, skydive, wrestle, or engage in gymnastics.  Otherwise, 
he enjoys a normal, pain free life.

All surgery is frightening.  This is no exception.  But his kyphosis was 
progressive, and ultimately life threatening because of organ 
compaction.  There was never much choice.  One look at his X-rays was all 
it took.

He grew 2.5 inches in half a day.  He is happy and so are we.  Call or 
write if you have questions.  For research, try Medline.

Michael R. Masinter			3305 College Avenue
Nova Southeastern University		Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33314
Shepard Broad Law Center		(305) 452-6151
masinter at alpha.acast.nova.edu






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