Hello Retired Mom,
I read about the confusion regarding the complete removal of the disc and the reports. They usually do leave the front outer part of the disc in place, even when they add the cage and bmp, along with the hardware. I had the same questions when I saw the same thing in my post op reports. There are basically two reasons they leave part of the disc in place, first, it helps keep the upper vertebrae from tipping forward, and secondly because in order to remove all of the disc, they would need to go in from the front and the back , and they don't like to go in from the front for the L3-S1 levels because they are too close to the major arteries and veins going through that area and scar tissue or moving them can cause the vessels to bleed, and risk death so a part of the disc is left in place.
I know that these reports can cause far more confusion than they clear up and make us worry more. I also have some thoracic scoliosis but it is not enough to warrant surgery, thankfully, so for now, we don't do anything about it. You don't say where yours is located but one of my surgeons said that most kids have some but not enough to be "treatable". He said if the curve ever got greater then we would have to deal with it but for now, not to let it worry me. They have to list whatever problems they see, even if they are not treatable.
Hope this helps ease your mind some,
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too