View Full Version : Sheri's report at 9 months

04-05-2010, 07:53 AM
It's been 9 months. I thought I'd share my experience, especially for other women in my age group because we tend to heal slowly.

At the 6 month checkup I was told the pain I was feeling in my lower right hip area was neuropathy. I had been walking 2-3 miles every day but was surprised by how weak my legs have become. The doc gave me lidocaine patches to alternate with Valtoren cream-- both of them topical only. He also recommended that I start to retrain the nerves by rubbing the area with something satin at first until I could tolerate that and switch to cloths that a increasingly abrassive. He also prescribed Physical Therapy.

For 6 months I had been VERY careful not to bend too much or twist at all. When I started PT, the therapist showed me that I could move more than I thought, but I was quite stiff and weak. I was given exercises and stretches. At my appointments I got massage of that right hip area and heat.

The exercises got progressively harder. At one point, the pain in my lower right back and hip seemed worse. The PT tried ultrasound instead of massage and it made a significant improvement.

It's been a lot of work and requires dedication (more than I think I have some days). I walk 2-3 miles every day, stretch twice a day and do the PT exercises at least once a day. I will admit to skipping something in my routine on a rare day but all in all I've been pretty committed.

Results so far? I have been happily surprised by how much I CAN do now. I don't need the grabbers anymore. The pain in my hip is improving. I have been able to get out and do almost everything, just in moderation. Before surgery I rowed 3000 meters in 30 minutes 3 times a week. I haven't been on a rowing machine yet but the therapist said I could start that again as long as I use good form. Before surgery I could sprint a mile in 12:30 and now I am pushing it do break 15 minutes but that is steadily improving. Before surgery I used to ride my bicycle with my husband a lot. Last night for the first time rode my bicycle !!! I have been afraid of falling, but it was lovely last night and we took the bikes to a flat area so I could try it out. I felt better on the bike than I expected. Now I just have to get used to that darn bike seat again (ha ha!).
One last thing -- my back is now pretty darn straight and the progressive curve has been stopped. I no longer have any sciatica. I got my waist and most of my original height back. Although I've still got a ways to go, I'm very glad I had the surgery.


04-05-2010, 08:24 AM
Sheri, You have given me hope . As you know I am still waiting for a surgical date . I was /am nervous about what the future will hold for me after the surgery.I am certainly not in your physical condition that you were before surgery but it seems that I can get back to where I was and maybe slightly better

You are doing great


04-05-2010, 08:53 AM
Hi sheri - Great to hear you're doing so well. I see you're from Indy, too. Who did your surgery? I've got scoli and am 55 and am contemplating surgery and who to go to.


04-05-2010, 01:07 PM
Sheri -

So glad to see you here again.

I'm a year out and am also sometimes surprised at what I CAN do. Spent the past 4 days with my husband doing house and yard/garden work. The two years prior to surgery I was simply unable to stand yard work. Just too painful. I completely over did it but I was not in complete agony as before.

I applaud your biking efforts! I put my bike on a trainer but have not yet tried it but got the OK from my doc at the last check-up. I'll need saddle sores first before I enjoy riding outside but I must also confess I am just too chicken to fall. My shoes clip on and I am quite out of practice getting out of them! How was it looking back for traffic? I think around here from now on I will drive my car with my bike in it to the W&OD trail and ride there. :)

04-05-2010, 10:24 PM
What great news Julie,

Congrats on a great recovery.


04-06-2010, 08:30 PM

Sounds great and it will keep getting better as time passes. Glad to hear things are fine.

Stay active!

04-07-2010, 08:39 AM
Thanks for the support. This forum is just the best place.

Lisa Ė My doc is Terry Trammel. Heís with Ortho Indy and I think both he and his PA, Diane, are great.

Julie -- Iím glad to hear that at 2 years post op you can handle so much gardening (even if you did overdo). I can only do about 30 minutes at a time, but Iím working toward increasing that.
I was afraid to get back on my bike. My house is on a hill and our driveway is gravel. Before surgery I found that difficult to manage and I was way too scared to try it now. Falling is my worst fear. My husband suggested we take it to a park. There, I didnít have to put up with traffic or gravel because I rode on paved trails. I was surprised that my balance was much better than I thought it would be. True, Iíve been working on core strength and balance lately but I have a long way to go on that. For example, the PT just started me on gentle lunges with raised arms. I canít lunge far at all without struggling for balance. On the bike, however, I felt in control Ė even better than before surgery. Iím guessing that is because Iím not leaning to one side anymore.
As far as looking for traffic, I did notice after surgery that I was REALLY stiff in my neck. I have been working on gentle stretching since January and that has really improved. While riding, I tried looking around a bit. I am more limited than before surgery but not much. Iím going to add a mirror to help.

Ed-- I think keeping active is key. You've helped to inspire me.