INFO please on Kyphosis, surgery, sources?
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
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
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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