View Full Version : Almost 4 wks post op Have Questions...

04-24-2010, 08:46 AM
Hi, I won't sugar coat it...it's been a rough 3.5 wks. I went to ER twice after coming home. First time was for constipation (looked like I was 7 months pregnant!) and second time was for strange shooting pain just under left bottom rib. They wanted me to go to ER to rule out blood clot, which thank God, it was not. I've had many shooting pains all over. My two questions are these: I have been so sick to my stomach the past few days, and thew up last night. Is that normal? and Second Question: When I look in mirror at myself, from the back I am very straight, but from the front I now look curved the other way! My right shoulder used to be higher, now my left shoulder is higher! Is that normal and will it just readjust?

Thank you all in advance for your answers and thoughts. It is so good to have all of you here for wonderful support.


04-24-2010, 09:05 AM
I answered your shoulder height question on the other thread. I think it will even out of the next few months based on how that happened with both my kids.

On throwing up, have they ruled out a continuing ileus? I think it is outrageous that they apparently didn't manage that.

Good luck.

04-24-2010, 09:44 AM
Laura-- shoulder height discrepancies happen to some of us. As with Sharon's daughters, some just correct themselves with a little time. With others, it's a little more work on your part. Your muscles have been holding you up in a certain way for years and they have to be retaught, in a sense. When I went to physical therapy at 6 months post-op (so way behind where you are right now) I was looking a bit lop-sided... One of the things my therapist had me do was look in the mirror and hold my shoulders so they were even-- and he said to practice that at home, a lot. At first it really felt like it had to be crooked-- definitely did NOT feel right, but the mirror didn't lie. Try that some. It may just be a matter of learning where your new "even" is and developing the feel for it. Good luck!

04-24-2010, 11:00 AM
Laura, You have been through so much. I hope the digestive thing clears itself out of your system. I can't imagine being sick on your stomach on top of all the other post-op discomfort. Could it be just a plain old virus that set in or could it be coming from your pain meds? Some people don't tolerate those well.
I noticed my shoulders were slightly uneven (when my husband took a picture for Melissa to show her the brace.) Obviously, I still have a significant curve which I guess accounts for some of it but I need to consciously adjust that one shoulder. Our back muscles are going through so much change and re-configuring and it all just takes time.
Sending you good thoughts and hoping that these rough days pass by quickly!

04-25-2010, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys! I think the nausea was coming from my percocets. I only took 1/4 of one twice yesterday and wasn't nauseas. So, I'm switching off the percs to more of the muscle relaxer, Flexeral, that was prescribed. And if needed will take a perc cut in 1/4s a couple times a day. This whole journey is quite a guessing game, isn't it? Thank goodness we have each other.

04-25-2010, 05:02 PM
I'm sorry you're having problems, but hopefully you have the worst days behind you. I have surgery scheduled with Dr. Lenke and worry that my age might cause me to have more complications than most. I feel fortunate to live only 30 miles from St. Louis in case I have some of the same problems you have had. It sure does seem like a guessing game with laxatives and pain medications trying to take just the right type and the right amount. I keep thinking that I will be happy when I've had the surgery and a month or two post-op behind me. I hope you start having more and more good days.

04-26-2010, 07:12 PM
Hi Karen,
You are lucky you are so close to St. Louis! I have to go back June 16 for a follow up. These plane tickets are adding up quickly! But, I think he's worth it! :) I will be 4 weeks post op this Wednesday, and am doing well. I'm just about where I thought I would be, maybe a little better even. I don't think your age will make your outcome any worse than any one elses's. If you are in good shape, that will make it a little easier for you to get in and out of bed I would think. You have to use a lot of quad muscles and ab/core muscles. When is your surgery? Good luck to you!

04-26-2010, 08:01 PM
Hi, Laura,
I am glad you're doing better. I know that I will have some bumps in the road on the way to recovery. This forum has really helped me realize that there will be upsetting times, but that we're in it for long term. Yes, I'm so lucky to live close to Dr. Lenke. My husband will be able to visit me and come home to take care of our dogs. I can't imagine how hard it is for those with young children at home. We usually take our dogs on vacation with us and I can't imagine being without them for at least a week. I'm sure I'll have enough drugs that I won't worry like I would normally. Well, keep us all posted on your progress.

04-26-2010, 09:23 PM
Wow!!!! Radiogirl!!!! Congrats on your 4 weeks! I am soooo proud of you! You had such a time at first, but I knew you'd come through it. We've leaned on each other and I know for myself you have helped me immensely just listening. You're the best Kid! I value your friendship so much - too bad it's all the way from Cleveland. I will always remember our day in St. Louis together - too bad it was hanging out in x-ray department, lab department, etc. Geesh - remember what all we went through!!! You made it much better just by being there with me......
Congrats again on your 4 weeks!! (Hugs to you!!!!)

PS: I left you a voicemail message on your phone. Sorry it took me forever to get back to you.

04-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Laura and Rita--It's so cool you two found each other! Kind of recuperating together gives you another person who really gets it. Keep healing you two. Janet

04-28-2010, 01:41 AM
Hi Laura,

You have just been physically rearranged, and I think it can take us some time to get used to seeing our new body.:) Plus you are still healing your muscles as well. For the first 3 months of my recovery from T-1 to L-5, I was holding my shoulders up tight and didn't even know it. I looked like my shoulders were next to my ears;).

Then one day they dropped, can't explain it, but it happened.
Give you body time to heal, as in life, things tend to fall back in place,

04-30-2010, 12:34 PM
Many of you are Dr Lenke fans. I now have an appt with Dr Bridwell June 7. I'm currently in Indy and will be travelling to St Louis. Dr Bridwell is in the same practice as Dr Lenke I think. He also is a past pres of the SRS and has a lot of impressive credentials. Why did you all choose Lenke over Bridwell?

04-30-2010, 03:04 PM
One of my best friend's nephew had scoliosis surgery performed by Dr. Lenke when he was in high school. I live about 30 miles from St. Louis, so that affected my decision, too. I really didn't know anything else about Dr. Lenke when I set up an appointment to see him 6 years ago. When he mentioned surgery in December, I went to his web site and read testimonials from his patients. He is on the board of SRS now. I have heard nothing but praise for Dr. Lenke on this forum. I think Dr.Bridwell and Dr. Lenke used to be in the same office, but I'm not certain. I would think that Dr. Bridwell would be excellent, also.

04-30-2010, 06:04 PM
Thanks GolfNut. I thiink Bridwell and Lenke are both in the place. I play golf also; how long did Lenke say you'd be out of commission? Last year I had a lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis (wouldn't fix the scoli at the same time) form L4-S1. I was in a brace for 3 months and then a month of rehab and then I was cleared to play golf. Just curious how scoli surgery would affect it.

04-30-2010, 10:16 PM
Dr. Lenke knows that I play almost daily golf in the summer. He said that I could chip and putt after about 4 months, but that it would be a year before I would play competively, again. Since my surgery is scheduled for Nov., I've decided to wait until next May before even chipping and putting which would be 6 months. I'm not going to even attempt full swings, sand shots, etc. until possibly Feb. of 2012 (if it's approved )and we are able to go to Florida for a few weeks. After I go through the surgery and the long recovery time, I want to be sure I don't rush into anything that would harm the fusion. My friend's nephew is a senior on the University of Illinois' golf team, but his fusion was the upper vertebrae. Stacy Lewis is the celebrity spokesperson for scoliois and is an LPGA professional. I know her lumbar area was not fused. I think the most flexibility of the golf swing is lost when the lumbar is fused, which unfortunately, is part of my fusion. I hate to think that I'll never break 80 again, but it's probably likely with the loss of flexibility and muscles. I'll try to be positive and hopeful and I know that there are certainly worse things in life, but I love to golf .

05-01-2010, 12:13 AM
When I was in St. Louis for surgery, my nurse told me that Dr. Bridwell trained Dr. Lenke, so he must be the more senior of the two. They both have great credentials.

05-01-2010, 08:30 PM
My research took me to Dr. Lenke. I had not heard of Dr. Bridwell until we went for the first appointment. As of April 21st both names are still on the office. I know that Lenke's method of all posterior he has taught to many surgeons all over. Janet

05-01-2010, 09:04 PM

You will be surprised how well you do with your golf after surgery. It might take a while, but you will do ok. I had some days out skiing that really bothered me, but I stuck to it... Thatís the main thing, you will adapt.


I had the same happen to me with shoulder height. I thought my surgeon over corrected, but it eventually leveled out. You are through the hardest part, my first 4 weeks were like watching survivor man. You know that guy starves, freezes, and cannot get comfortable on every program. Instead of going out into the wilderness with a candy bar and a knife, we go home with a candy bar and a bottle of Oxycodone.

05-03-2010, 01:45 AM

I golf, not professionally or every day, but I can do it being fused T-1 to L-5.
When I got my brace off, about 3-4 months post-op, I started to make the swinging motion. It was hard for me at first, didn't get the same distance, but I was out there and playing.

Never give up, somethings take longer than others,:)

05-03-2010, 04:21 AM
Hi Karen
i hope you can play golf after fusion to sacrum...maybe since movement will be from the hips...? it's been awhile since i swung a club, but maybe, IF the motion is from the hips....?:confused:

best of luck

05-03-2010, 07:25 AM
Jess and Shari,
Thanks for your replies about golf after surgery. I know I will be happy just to be out, again, after surgery on a beautiful course with my friends & husband, even if I never play as well . . . but for sure, I will give it 100%.

Ed, I love your sense of humor. I hope you never quit posting. You are also so encouraging to those of us with so many anxieties.

05-03-2010, 07:25 AM
Hey Karen, I know we have talked before about golfing after surgery as I love to play as well. I am at a little over 6 weeks post op and I'm fused to t11 to pelivis which sounds to be quite a bit shorter than you pending fusion. My doc expects I can chip and put by August or september so I'll let you know what it's like. Given the way I feel right now I don't expect it to be a problem at all as I don't feel all that different than I felt pre-op. Definitely less flexible, but not horrible at all, I expect to be able to manage just fine in the golf course.


05-03-2010, 03:42 PM
I'm glad you're recovering quickly and without too much pain. Dr. Lenke said I'd be able to chip and putt after 4 months, so that's all I plan to do next summer. I will probably wait until the following summer to try the full swing. Dr. Lenke told me that he takes golf lessons but never has time to play, but at least he is familiar with what's involved in a golf swing. I don't want to mess up the surgery by doing anything too soon. I know I'll have to be patient with myself and not be too unhappy with higher scores than I'm used to. Let me know how soon you get the okay for full swings. Good luck.

05-03-2010, 05:11 PM
Laura, You have been through so much. I hope the digestive thing clears itself out of your system. I can't imagine being sick on your stomach on top of all the other post-op discomfort. Could it be just a plain old virus that set in or could it be coming from your pain meds? Some people don't tolerate those well.
I noticed my shoulders were slightly uneven (when my husband took a picture for Melissa to show her the brace.) Obviously, I still have a significant curve which I guess accounts for some of it but I need to consciously adjust that one shoulder. Our back muscles are going through so much change and re-configuring and it all just takes time.
Sending you good thoughts and hoping that these rough days pass by quickly!

I am 62 as of 4/24 and am having fusion 6/29 fromt-4 thru illium which IZ think is the sacrum - does it hurt to sit

05-03-2010, 05:56 PM
Susan, at first it's uncomfortable to sit. I wouldn't say painful, but very uncomfortable and would make me feel woozy. At first, I'd sit for five minutes then lie down, then as the weeks passed, the time sitting increased. I can't remember when sitting was no longer a problem but for me, it was probably about 2-3 months. For others it was much earlier.

05-03-2010, 06:25 PM
Susan, I agree completely with Jennifer...the first few weeks after surgery I could not sit for more than a couple minutes at a time. At about 6 weeks for me, seemingly overnight, I was able to sit nearly all day with little problem. I still get tired and sore after a few hours, but not so much that it's a problem.


05-03-2010, 07:07 PM
Man, I guess some things you just have to find out for yourself! You have all been so extremely helpful and articulate about the sitting problem, and I still can't imagine what it's like,

Does it pull in some location, or does it seem to be the pelvic anchors aching? Or what? As for feeling "woozy", could that be low blood pressure? (oo, aaaah, just trying to figure it out. )

This sitting problem is very troubling me as I can't imagine how I could use my PC without sitting - not even using the laptop I'm planning to get.

And without using the computer or some other seated work, I can't picture life as I know it! :D Standing or lying down just doesn't cut it. Of course, it's been so long since I could stand comfortably, that must be one of the reasons.

05-03-2010, 09:29 PM
Hi Back-out, for me, the sitting problem was mainly pain in my lower back, probably the pelvic anchors I would suppose. It was never terribly unbearable pain, just uncomfortable annoying type of pain that made me want to move. I did find that sitting on a high chair at the bar in my kitchen was way more comfortable than being seated at the kitchen table. I ate there for several weeks while my family ate at the table.

You mention using a computer...I've gotten very good at position my laptop on my stomach against my bent knees so that I can use it laying down...doing that right now as a matter of fact!!! I've spent hours and hours working this way!