How do I choose a scoliosis specialist?
June 5, 2008 7:24 AM   Subscribe

How do I go about choosing an orthopedist to monitor my adult scoliosis? Any personal recommendations in the Chicago area?

I was born with severe scoliosis and am now 33. I haven't had an orthopedist since I was a child and he's since retired. I haven't been good about seeking regular medical care either since I take fairly good care of myself (don't smoke, eat right) and don't have any chronic conditions. Well, yesterday I went to the ER with severe neck pain and X-rays showed I have a degenerative condition in my cervical vertebrae. (Although the Dr. thought my pain was muscular; this was just an aside.) The ER doctor told me to make an appointment with an orthopedist but only gave me a general reference, not to one who specializes in scoliosis. I did some research online and came up with a list of specialists in Chicago. How the heck do I whittle this down? I live WAYYY out in the 'burbs, so none of them are near me.
posted by desjardins to Health & Fitness (2 answers total)
Do you know anything about possible treatment options? Is there anything that you're dead set against, like going through a spinal fusion. If so, I would start calling around to each office and start whittling. If not, you can always ask about a doctor's publications. Some physicians publish regularly and it is a good window into what kinds of treatment options they are in to and how current they are on the latest technology. Papers from the last few years are best.

You have my total sympathy. I had a nasty S-curve that was treated with a spinal fusion. Before my surgery I couldn't carry a purse for more than a few minutes without pain or stand up straight. I was lucky to have people who could take care of me after my surgery, and now my quality of life has improved immensely. I hope you find a treatment that works for you.
posted by Alison at 2:16 PM on June 5, 2008

desjardins, I have had very good experiences with doctors at McHenry County Orthopedics, though not for scoliosis. They have several doctors on staff, but if none of them are scoliosis specialists, I'd be willing to bet they could recommend one.

Good luck!
posted by sugarfish at 3:20 PM on June 5, 2008

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