I had scoliosis my entire life, but the pain and discomfort was always manageable. In my 20’s, I did physical therapy a few times, and I was then able to return to normal activities. I am a registered nurse, and I knew that over time working, my back was getting worse. I would end up with intense lower back pain after being on my feet for too long. In 2017, I decided to seek treatment and determine what was wrong with my back.
The physician I saw told me that scoliosis had gotten worse, and that I should do physical therapy and SI joint injections, but they only helped briefly and I knew something else needed to be done. In 2018, I saw another physician who told me that nothing could be done for my back. In 2019, I saw 3 other physicians. I heard a variety of treatment options from “I can’t help you” to “you only need a one or two level fusion”. After every appointment, I walked away more confused and unsure of what to do.
Ultimately, I was able to consult with a spine specialist who recommended surgery, a 2 level disc replacement and a partial fusion to improve my scoliosis. In order to be physically prepared for the surgery, I completed 6 weeks of physical therapy. I had my 2 surgeries in June of 2020, two days apart, and they were beyond successful. I spent almost a week in the hospital, but was up and walking immediately following the surgeries.
My recovery included another 6 weeks of physical therapy. I had some limitations for a few months, but was able to slowly resume most activities over time. My spine went from a 35 degree curve to less than 10 degrees! I have some permanent restrictions, like no heavy lifting, but I was able to easily make adaptations. The best part is I am living my life completely pain free! Suzanne was a guest on our “Get Back To It” Podcast and you can listen to her podcast episode here.