View Full Version : Age at time of surgery

02-20-2010, 09:22 PM
I would love to know at what age everyone had their surgeries. And how long of a recovery time did you have?
I am 30 with surgery to be coming soon.

02-20-2010, 09:31 PM
I am 46 years young.... Ha! And, surgery in a week....Yikes!!!!!!

02-20-2010, 09:48 PM
Hi there! I was 34 when I had my fusion. I was out of work for 12 weeks, but felt human again after about 8 weeks. I started feeling "myself" again about 6 months out. It was a long ride, but worth it and would do it again in heart beat! Good luck with your sugery!!


02-20-2010, 09:54 PM
I had the surgery when I was 26. I started back to school at 3 months post-op. It was very difficult going back that soon. I could have used another month to recover. I remember thinking in January that I felt pretty much almost fully recovered (I had my surgery in May).


02-20-2010, 10:22 PM
Hey Jenny,I had my surgery in Aug.2009 and I was 43.I am still recovering but it is getting better.I still wear a brace but this week I get to start weening myself.I am glad I had the surgery.My hip and leg pain is gone.I am just trying to get used to doing things different since I am fused to pelvis.Good luck with your surgery.I hope you have a good outcome.

02-20-2010, 11:18 PM
I am am 28 and was fused T3-L4 one month ago :)

I am lovin it too :D

02-21-2010, 12:10 AM

I was 42 at the time of my surgery, and had a very long recovery.

I've come to believe that age has little to do with recovery. I routinely see 70 and 80 year old patients who have scoliosis fusions, who recover as quickly as teenagers. I think it's more an issue of how fit one is at the time of surgery.


02-21-2010, 07:30 AM
I was 52 and had a long recovery. I started part-time office work a year after surgery but still felt pretty delicate; I made a ton of progress between 18 months and 2 years post-op. I was extremely fit going into surgery and sailed through the actual operation, but I had some nerve damage from the anterior incision which took a long time to resolve.

02-21-2010, 11:46 AM
I was 56. Other than being a little "plump" I was pretty healthy and am strong. I had a long recovery-- although my surgeon said I was doing great. I think a lot of factors come into play for length of recovery... length of fusion, "extras" that are done during surgery, osteopoenia, arthritis, DDD, etc. If that is part of what one considers "fit", then that is a part you have no control over. I just know that the surgery left me extremely weak and I worked very hard with PT (both there -- as in formal PT, at 6 months post-op and again at 11 months post-op, and doing the routine on my own) for a long time to build endurance/stamina so I could return to work. But I don't have a desk job. My arms and legs became very weak from the surgery-- and I tired soooo easily. I'm good to go now-- although I prefer a quiet evening at home after a day's work. :)

I will venture to say that in general, younger people without other problems recover quicker than older people. And people whose fusions aren't as long also recover quicker. There are exceptions to everything, of course.

02-21-2010, 12:32 PM
I would love to know at what age everyone had their surgeries. And how long of a recovery time did you have?
I am 30 with surgery to be coming soon.

I was 46; had PT starting at 8 weeks for 3 months, started exercising at 5 months, went back to work at 8 months. Going back to work whooped my butt at first; I'd come home and take a nap every day. I feel pretty much like my old self (but without the pain now) and I'm at 16 months.

02-21-2010, 01:06 PM
I had surgery at 39 ... and was back playing softball at 7 months.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how much the length of the fusion - and the approach - can affect recovery time. It's not a given, but A/P patients generally take more time to recoup.

Mine was a relatively short segment fusion (T4-L1), and it was done posterior only. It's just impossible to comparemine to SusieBee's or Singer's.

Also, I often wonder is people with extreme corrections aren't more prone to challenges - especially in early recovery. Using Singer's case again (sorry Chris! ;-), going from 70į to 12į is huge: I think the amount of adjustment your body goes through can't be underestimated.


02-21-2010, 01:28 PM
im 27 and was fused from T2-Pelvic..I had surgery Jan 11 and Jan 14 of this year..I can feel and improvement every week that goes by. =) Good luck!

02-21-2010, 01:33 PM
I was 48 when I had my orig surgery and I feel like I haven't stopped recovering. But then I wasn't as lucky and had some complications. Going in again in less than a month for a revision. I went back to work at 5 months. My curve was a large curve too and my approach was A/P and had a long fusion T4 to sacrum. I too feel that the younger people seem to recover like lightning!

loves to skate
02-21-2010, 01:40 PM
OK, I'm the old one here. I had my surgery at age 67. It was a tough recovery for me, but I guess it is for everyone. I was in good physical condition before surgery except that I came down with a very nasty cold 5 weeks before my surgery so I wasn't able to go to the pool to keep up with my water therapy. I probably could have gone back to work part time at 4 or 5 months post-op but thank God I was already retired.:D I was able to go back to roller-skating at 11 months post-op.:)

02-21-2010, 03:17 PM
I was 57, almost 58. I went into surgery very fit. I was fused T4-pelvis. I felt good at 3 months and at 6 months went to Malaysia on a swimming/snorkelling/trekking holiday. I kept my bag at 10 kilos. I'm almost one year and life is back to normal and I'm pain free. I know I've been lucky, I can't believe my good luck, I pinch myself daily to ensure I'm not dreaming. I just hope my luck doesn't run out.

02-21-2010, 05:16 PM
that really scares me! i cant get fit...too much pain every day! i quit the gym, cause i was paying & couldnt exercise anymore! it was a waste of money! before i hernited discs, i went 3-4 times a week!

if recovery depends on how fit one is at the time of surgery, then i would/will be in big trouble!!

i am seeing nyc surgeon march 15th....


02-21-2010, 07:11 PM
Jess- please don't worry about that. You WILL get through it fine. There's enough stress without thinking about things that are beyond our control. As far as I know, there has not been any research showing a correlation and this is just what some people are thinking. There are SO many factors involved in recovery. Take a few deep breaths and don't let this worry you.

02-21-2010, 07:53 PM
I had my surgery T2-pelvis when I was 57--almost a year now. I did do lots of exercise before and have gradually added on lots more in last few months. Everyone is so different it really is hard to compare. Pam's idea about amount of correction may be very true. I always think I'm way slower than others but it was a big correction from 98 down to 35?-- I've already forgotten and the bottom one was basically to zero--that's a lot of change. Janet

loves to skate
02-21-2010, 09:18 PM
that really scares me! i cant get fit...too much pain every day! i quit the gym, cause i was paying & couldnt exercise anymore! it was a waste of money! before i hernited discs, i went 3-4 times a week!

if recovery depends on how fit one is at the time of surgery, then i would/will be in big trouble!!

i am seeing nyc surgeon march 15th....



Physical therapy can do wonders to help you get back on your feet after surgery, no matter what your physical condition. It will be your own grit and determination that will get you there. Can you at least sit and use hand weights to strengthen your arms? You will need your arms to help you to log roll to get out of bed. After 5 weeks of having a bad cold and not going to the pool, I was pretty weak by the time I had my surgery, but I just kept remembering that muscles have memory and I did just fine.

02-22-2010, 12:00 AM
I had my surgery on my 43 Birthday! T3 to L4 I went back to work at 10 1/2 months post op and at a year thought that was as good as it would get. Im happy to say at 2 years post op I could not beleave the improvement.

02-22-2010, 12:31 AM

I had 4 herniated discs back in 2002, and had that crippling sciatica. I know what you mean about trying to exercise while the pain levels are brutal. Its almost impossible. I donít blame you for quitting the gym.

You have had your share of pain. It just gets to the point where the decision making scale slams down, and you do what you have to do. I too waited a long time, (34 years) and eventually had to make that decision. Yes, its very scary, but with the amount of pain your in, the odds are, that you will greatly benefit from surgery.

Like Sally says, It will be your own grit and determination. I would lay out the facts to your surgeon, and see what he says.
I was 49 when I had my surgeries. I did have a long recovery, and was due to the serious nature of my condition. I had stacked corpectomys done on my whole lower spine, which required removal of vertebrae, and custom fitted grafting through my diseased vertrebral bodies. Dr Menmuir pretty much did a total rebuild of my lower spine piece by piece from the front, and put the zig saw puzzle back together. It was a whole lot more than just screws and thatís why he told me that I was going to have to be tough. It was going to be brutal. Its also the reason why I took it so easy with my recovery, and delayed PT for 9 months, and delayed my shoulder surgery. I had many many pieces of bone and graft that had to heal. I needed to know that all the pieces fused.

After many meetings over 2 years, I convinced him I could do it. It wasnít about if he could do it, it was about me, I was going to have to fight. It was my determination that pulled me through. I was scared to death, and still had to be very strong at the same time. It was not a normal scoli surgery, it was a 10, on a 1-10 scale according to him. I was out of time. He saved my life.

It was more about MY attitude, rather that my physical condition.

Can you believe that I shoveled 18 inches of heavy wet snow from 2 driveways this morning. It was probably 30,000# of snow. I wont buy a snowblower as I feel that Im still in physical therapy. I donít think it will ever end. Im also getting pretty buffed out.

I was barely walking in 2002.

02-22-2010, 12:42 AM
Wow Ed, what an incredible story - you are an inspiration and I felt some inner strength growing inside me just reading your story. Thanks for giving me some drive and determination to get through this! :)

02-22-2010, 05:43 AM
You are one tough Mother Ed :)

02-22-2010, 12:09 PM
I was 59 when I had surgery. The first six weeks were rough and challenging, but then things gradually improved. I returned to work at four months with no problem, but my job does not require me doing anything strenuous or taxing. When I last saw my surgeon in January, he commented that I have done very well clinically.

02-22-2010, 02:55 PM

Its good to hear you are doing ok.

Im a success story. It worked. It was like popping a very large balloon on tension.

Everyone has specific issues, different pain levels, and different recovery periods.

Be sure to let us know what Dr Cronen says. If there is any way to get digital copies of your x-rays burned to disc, now is the time. The digitals are great as you can zoom in and the clarity is best. Just tell him you want copies for yourself.

Just remember that you have the right to "think things over" without committing to a date. Its understandable.

02-22-2010, 05:32 PM
I'm actually bringing my x-rays with me from Dr. Moreno's office with me to Dr. Cronen's appointment. I've just tried to attach the x-ray on here so hopefully you will be able to see it.

02-22-2010, 09:38 PM
I was 50 years old last June and my surgery is in 2 1/2 weeks. Now I am getting nervous.