hi Alan and everyone else

Just a word of thanks for all the interesting stories and valuable advice posted by various participants, esp Alan.

I have been an AS suffered since about 15 years of age, and now, almost 4 decades later, and a lot of history in between, I'm putting my hope on a planned procedure about which I only learned 2 months ago: the Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy.

In this short time I have been unable to establish whether this operation has been performed before in South Africa. Am nonetheless confident that the specialist who will be performing mine is one of the top guns in the field of spinal surgery here.

Have been gathering lots of information about this, and my plan is to write the story down in the hope of assisting en encouraging others with a similar affliction. A six-level osteotomy (lumbar) is planned.

I have several pics (incl of X-rays) and these show the kyphosis clearly. Some older pics also give an idea of loss of height, which has been about 5-6 inches, like in Alan's case.

Despite the disability, pain and frustration... lasting almost a lifetime, I continued playing sports. Until a month ago I still played competitive tennis, and about every third day I cycle between 15 and 20 km. Looking forward to resume both afterwards!

The operation is to take place in less than 2 weeks in Pretoria.

I'd be happy to share my experiences on this forum, though I'll be out of action for some time after the procedure.

Anyone who has been through this, and can offer advice, is more than welcome to email me at vryspraak@gmail.com (the word means free speech in my language).

Best regards

R.A. & A.S. diagnozed 3+ decades ago
Pretoria, South Africa
"A head full of fears has no space for dreams"