Friday, November 4, 2005

Scoliosis - the early days

We took A to see Dr. Jeffrey Shilt at Baptist Hospital today. His opinion was as follows:

The diagnosis is the same as what we have been given before. His standard of treatment for congenital scoliosis is a bit different from the other doctors, and was actually a little encouraging. He recommended that we not do anything at this point, and bring her back in three months (Feb. 10th). We will do another x-ray (she had one today) to see if her curve has progressed. He likes to see a change of 10 degrees before he does surgery, no matter what the degree of the curve when the process begins. He is in no way trying to get our hopes up that she won't require surgery. That is pretty much a given unless God chooses to intervene. What he is trying to do is to buy her some time. He was very thorough in his explanation of treatment, and did discuss what he would do surgically if/when her curve progresses. He would like to be a little more aggressive in the surgery, but only to the point that she could take it. Basically what that means is this: If he is in there doing fusion surgery, he will try and take out the wedge shaped vertebrae while he's in there to get some correction of curve. (No one up to this point has given us any hope that there would be correction of the curve.) What he means by "if her body can take it" is that he will do as much as he can do, as long as there is no risk of paralysis or significant blood loss. He said he approaches this type of surgery wanting to hit a homerun, meaning total correction of the curve, but knows that he may only get to first or second base.