View Full Version : Question for those with thorasic fusion

03-27-2010, 07:57 PM
I had my last Dr. appt before my April 15 surgery this past Friday. Dr. changed my fusion from T5 to now T2-L1. Those who have had this level of fusion could you share with me how flexible you are.
Do you feel you stand and sit very erect? Are you able to move with any of the ease you had prior to surgery. My Dr. says I don't bend where he is fusing now anyway because the curve is so severe. Could you describe for me how you feel your body moves now. Sorry if these seem like crazy questions, it was just a shock to learn I have 3 more vertebrae to fuse. It's getting close and I think I'm just starting to freak a little. Thank you for any feedback you can share. :)

03-28-2010, 12:54 AM
I am fused T2-L1, and while I felt really stiff at first, like I had constant perfect posture all the time - I couldn't slouch if I wanted to! - it's gotten better and now I don't feel stiff at all. It's nice having people comment on my good posture all the time, haha. But you learn to use your body in new ways... you bend more from the hips.

03-28-2010, 10:02 AM
Jess thank you for that feedback, it helps to know life goes, just differently. I can handle that. You sound like you have adjusted well. How long ago was your surgery? Did you have good improvement and once recovered less pain?
Thanks again for sharing. Shari

03-28-2010, 11:41 AM
yes, I had good improvement....I had a 57 degree thoracic curve that is now 18 degrees. my lumbar curve was 45, but it kind of straightened itself out with my operation - it's now 0! if you're interested, i documented my whole surgery experience in pictures...you can view the album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2086081&id=20201376&l=17c74e57e0

i feel great today!

03-28-2010, 03:12 PM
What cool pictures! I haven't gotten my pictures online yet, but in the process. That's my hubby's department. And, I'm keeping him a little busy these days for some reason. I wouldn't know which end of the camera to look through. I'm glad to hear the bending and stiffness does get better. That's nice to hear. I was 95 degree thoracic curve. Had surgery Mar 1st. Right now I'm just trying to get so I can sit up for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

03-28-2010, 04:41 PM
Thanks for the link to pictures. It was good to see what is to come. I'm glad you are doing so well!! Take care and thanks again!

03-28-2010, 05:11 PM
I'm fused T4-pelvis. I have no regrets. I do sit and stand very straight but I don't feel "strange". It just feels normal. I tend not to use the back of a straight chair, like a dining chair for example. Bending low took a while, but I can now put on my joggers, and I even trimmed (roughly) my toenails recently. Improvements seem to keep coming. I am a little awkward at times, especially getting in and out of a car, but it's not something that worries me. I spend my time being glad I had the surgery and being thankful it was available to me!

03-28-2010, 07:34 PM
I'm still in somewhat early recovery and in a brace, but sitting up straight feels very normal. Like Jennifer said, you don't need the back of the chair. My lumbar was the more severe curve and I have been told I will only be able to bend from the hips, but to me, that's a small price to pay to be rid of the pain. Right now, I have to carefully bend my knees to reach anything low (and after 30 years of teaching, those knees are complaining!:) Transitioning from chair to standing, in and out of bed or the car is still painful. I use grabbers to reach things and am even keeping one in the car. I am being esp. careful because of the incomplete hardware. I still need help with laundry and grocery shopping (stuff in and out of the cart) and my husband has to help with the oven or getting things out of low cupboards. But other than that, I can manage pretty well and am even doing Easter dinner. I don't sleep as well as I used to, but energy level during the day is good and an added bonus is my blood pressure is back to normal. No more meds!! (Maybe that's just because I'm not working.) Anyway, just wanted to reassure you even with the limitations I have, it's very manageable at this stage, and you just ask for help when you need it. Good luck to you. I know how hard these weeks before surgery are--your mind goes into overdrive!

03-29-2010, 05:35 PM
Thank you Anne for the feedback. All of you thanks, this helps alot. I'm calm tonight as 4/15/10 gets closer, but tomorrow is a new day with a new worry. :)

03-29-2010, 05:41 PM
I'm fused T10-pelvis so that's a bit lower than yours, however, I'm fine with my flexibility...to be honest it doesn't feel that much more than before my surgery probably because I was so curved/twisted I already couldn't bend so I was used to it. I notice just a small amount of difference between my flexibility before and after...granted, I'm only 12 days out from surgery so who knows how things will change.


03-30-2010, 07:46 PM
Rich - that's what my surgeon has said too. Due to my curves I'm not really bending in the areas he is going fuse. I'll notice some difference but he says it won't be dramatic. Thanks for your feedback. And yeah to you for being 12 days on the other side. Good luck to you in your recovery. Sounds like you are very positive and doing well.

03-30-2010, 09:44 PM
When I first came home from hospital, I was scared to bend, though I was given no restrictions. I used my knees until they were very sore, so at about 2 months post-op, I conceded I might need a grabber. I went and bought one and used it for maybe 2 weeks. Somehow, my knees had become used to the extra work and stopped hurting.

Now, I bend at the hips and use my knees at the same time. There's nothing I can't do now and the realisation has recently hit me, that the long fusion has altered my life very little. I am a little awkward getting in and out of my car, which has a low roof, but I can lean into the bathtub and scrub it, I can shave my legs, put socks and joggers on and I even trimmed my toenails recently. I can lift and carry my 20 month grandaughter, scrub floors, do anything in the garden. All the worries I had pre-op to do with the long fusion, were for nothing.

I know everyone's different but I hope this eases some concerns.

03-30-2010, 09:52 PM
Hi Shari! I had surgery in September of 2009 and I'm fused from T4-L3. That is a large fusion but I move wonderfully. I used to do ballet and yes there will be some moves I won't be able to do but it wasn't my plan to be a prima ballerina. I work out at the gym 6 days a week (kickboxing, spinning, light weights, etc) and have not felt limited in any way. I stretch out my legs and hip flexors and can still stretch certain parts of my back lightly. I feel so much better than I did before surgery. I had scoliosis at approximately 60 degrees. I feel wonderful + try not to worry! All the best!