Monday, June 18, 2012

Alternatives to Surgery

My last update was about the immediate need for surgery. 

Hasn't happened.

I consulted with an adult scoliosis expert at the same hospital as my EDS specialist.  His conclusions:  I'm too scary to operate on.  I would be in more physical pain with more physical limitations after surgery.  I am flexible enough that there would be a near total curve reduction (as evidenced by a push-pull x-ray series), but the odds are for a lower quality of life. 

My orthopedic specialist thinks the surgeon is too comfortable in his tenured teaching position and wants another opinion.  Me?  If one of the best of the best says, "Eek!" I want to try non-conventional alternatives first.  I won the argument.

At this time I am working with a new orthotic/prosthetic specialist who reevaluated my short leg and changed my shoe situation.  I am spending the next two months, the warmest and my least painful, walking in and adapting to the changes before we determine if this is best.  After a few hours in my new sneakers I already decided I like it if for no other reason than I am  very stable.

I also am seeing a physical therapist who specializes in a technique called Rolfing.  So far I like the results and have even gained about 2 inches of height!  Granted, I shrank almost an inch between the first and second session, but I have experienced minimal back pain (though my back muscles are very tired at the end of the day even if I skip my exercises!).

So, I'm heading into the summer with no surgical scars, new physical therapy technique, new shoe lifts, and a positive attitude.  Let's see where this road takes me!


Emma said...

Do you have more info on 'rolfing' please? Emma x

tandrew said...

Emma -

My best source of information is I found my "rolfer" through my orthopedist - he is the one who suggested I try the technique and provided a reference.

The technique itself is different from anything I've experienced, and I've tried quite a lot! It is like rolling physical therapy, deep muscle massage, and chiropractic into each "adjustment" we made. There is some emotional and intellectual instruction as well as learning and adapting to physical movements. It is not me being worked on but her working with me to correct structural and muscular problems.

My sessions last about an hour and a half. She bases each of her adjustments on where my body is and where it should be. She also works with me emotionally and the overall feeling of the session is similar to meditation sessions with a yogi. My first session the focus was on walking since I, unbeknownst to me, did not walk properly; no swing to my hips, pelvis tucked, lower spine rigid. My next session is in 2 days, and I've been practicing walking properly and doing the small positions and exercises she gave me.