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titaniumed
06-21-2010, 10:11 PM
The benefits of being fused. Lets review.

There are many benefits of being fused, and I donít believe there is a thread about this here, so thatís why I'm starting this thread. We have bits and pieces here and there, but it would be nice to review and make a list and maybe in the end, we should score.

I think in living with scoliosis for many years, the biggest benefits have to deal with "major pain". There are many other reasons, but this the most important reason. As we get older living with scoliosis, this needs to be addressed.

Whenever we end up getting sick with a cold or a flu, the back pain multiplies. I have had a stomach flu, (lovely subject), and the one thing I donít have anymore is that lower back pain that goes with the whole process.

The passing of my kidney stone took my lower back pain up to a 15,(believe it folks) and now, if that were ever to happen again, I'm sure my back pain would be much lower.

I wont die from a high speed ski crash, it will be from bad mayo.... When in doubt, throw it out! Why does it seem that my problems always seem to be diet related? Maybe some day, I will exercise full discipline in regards to overeating....

Anyway, go ahead and list your benefits of having scoliosis surgery.

Ed

Radiogirl
06-21-2010, 10:40 PM
Good idea Ed, but stay away from the bad mayo, would ya? Aside from the freedom of pain here are just a couple benefits of fusion: I will never be hunched over when I age as so many women do with osteoporosis. Also I am now 2" taller!

foofer
06-22-2010, 12:50 AM
Awww.......this is going to make some of us feel really left out. :(

Pooka1
06-22-2010, 06:59 AM
My number one reason is that fusion very likely saved my daughters lives.

But I think my daughters would say it made them look and feel normal.

Snoopy
06-22-2010, 07:10 AM
The passing of my kidney stone took my lower back pain up to a 15,(believe it folks) and now, if that were ever to happen again, I'm sure my back pain would be much lower.Ed

Ed, I believe your back pain went up to a 15! My daughter's back was fused before she developed kidney stones. She said they hurt more than her spinal fusion. :eek: So I guess the fact she onlly had to deal with the kidney stone pain and no other back pain was a plus, right?

Oh, and I don't have to worry about her dieing from bad mayo--she doesn't like mayo. Whew! What a relief! One less thing to worry about with a teenager!

Mary Lou

titaniumed
06-22-2010, 09:59 AM
Laura
Very good. I wouldnít have thought of the obvious osteoporosis reasoning. Even though at a meeting, I met a lady who waited too long and was denied her surgery....I'm surprised they donít make pedicle screws with larger flanks on the thread form for osteoporotic bone.

Sharon
I almost forgot! How could I forget that my surgeons saved my life!.....Well, I guess we know which one deserves 1st place. I myself was in the same boat. You can live for a long time with scoliosis, its just when you age, the pain seems to increase, and healing is slower.

I know cosmetic reasons rate high for some, they really didnít for me. Guys can hide it easier.

Marylou
Yes, it was a plus. Better to go through any stone pain after fusion. Actually, any abdominal pain for any reason seems to trigger muscles and exasperate scoliotic pain.

I was fortunate that my sciatica was finally cured. I know that some still experience this after their surgeries, and feel for them. That really was an experience with 4 herniations.

Amy
Donít feel left out, I'm doing this for people like you, who are waiting and deciding on surgery. And of course, any surgeon who wants to be reminded why he does his job. We are greatful.

Keep em coming guys, were not done.

Ed

Singer
06-22-2010, 02:47 PM
Okay, benefits:

1. I can shop, browse, and/or amble for hours -- all those things that used to cause lots of pain and occasionally numbness in various extremeties.

2. I can wear form-fitting clothes on both halves of my body -- yeah baby!!!

3. I can walk for miles without getting muscle fatigue.

4. I can sit through a movie, the theatre, the opera -- anything I want -- without having to get up and unkink my back halfway through.

5. I can stand at the kitchen counter and slice, dice and cook to my heart's content.

6. Just this year (3 years post-op) I resumed some light gardening and some of the heavier housework -- we finally fired the cleaning lady (it was nice while it lasted, heh heh!!).

7. Best of all, I no longer worry about my rib cage resting on my pelvis, or how deformed I'm going to get, or whether or not I'm going to have trouble eating or breathing someday.

This is a good exercise, Ed -- thanks!

jrnyc
06-22-2010, 04:10 PM
thanks for doing this thread Ed...great idea...and thanks to all who wrote in...:)

Chris (Singer)...you listed some great reasons...makes me give it serious thought!

jess

LynetteG
06-22-2010, 05:33 PM
I know I won't be sitting in a wheelchair on oxygen at the age of 55 - because the way my spine was progressing - I would have been there at that young age.

I am 2in. taller.

I have my confidence back.

I can stand in the kitchen and cook without pain.

I can walk on my treadmill without pain.

I can walk on the beach for two hours (with my son on his field trip) without pain.

My life has started anew at the ripe age of 44 :)

This is a great thread Ed, thanks for starting this one!

JenM
06-22-2010, 06:28 PM
I believe I was depressed for about 10 years before getting scoliosis surgery on June 8th. I didn't like living the with the deformity. I can now wear tighter tops and can now go swimming in a pool or at a beach with my children!!!!!!!!!! That makes me soooo happy.!! Last year they would always beg me to go to neighborhood parties and wanted to me swim with them, I always had to make an excuse up as to why I couldn't go swimming.

For years, I was embarassed to go to a pool or a beach, even with good friends, because I didn't want everyone staring at my back. I didn't feel comfortable within my own skin. I always like the winter season better because I could wear a nice big sweather and cover up with my coat.

I was always worrying about how I looked standing in front of another person. If I dropped a paper on the floor and work I always had to reposition myself so no one would see my bend down!

This is so strange that I am sharing this all with you and writing it down because before I deciding on getting the surgery I hid the fact to everyone that I had scoliosis. I never talked about it, I always tried to hid it. It feels so much better to get it out in the open. I only started talking to people about it when I made my decision back in November 2009 to have surgery. Now I feel like a million bucks since I did have surgery. I saw what it did to my 80 year old grandma when she died last August. She had 2 100 degree curves and was in a wheel chair. She could barely walk, she breathing was terrible, she looked awful, and she shouldn't have had to live like that. With the technology today. I feel like there is no reason for people with really large curves not to have it fixed.

JenM

JenniferG
06-22-2010, 07:09 PM
Jen, I'm so glad you've been saved from that fate.

As has already been said, the ability to stand for long periods, walk forever, garden, swim, you name it, without pain, has been the major benefit of this surgery for me.

My scoliosis was never going to kill me, but I was getting very scrunched up in the torso and looked like I needed to lose weight, when really, I didn't. The surgery stretched me out 2 inches and I no longer look chunky.

Cosmetically, getting rid of the rib hump was the biggest thrill.

Back-out
06-22-2010, 08:05 PM
As has already been said, the ability to stand for long periods, walk forever, garden, swim, you name it, without pain, has been the major benefit of this surgery for me.
.

I can hardly imagine this! It's been different for so long, I can't even remember being able to stand and/or walk without pain. I just went to a religious service Friday night with my visiting son (Judaism involves a lot of standing prayer) and I toughed it out including an hour long post-service social hour which didn't include chairs for some reason. By the time I got a kind soul to scour one up for me, the damage had been done. My son and I had to cut our evening short and I was unable to get out of bed for almost the entire rest of the weekend.

OTOH - as if I were remembering a movie plot - I recall walking for ten+ hours in Paris when I got there decades ago, and many other similar walking marathons (running too). How lovely it would be to step back in time that way, even in part.

Jennifer, did you have any problems with degenerated disks? Sometimes I worry, on their account, I wouldn't have anything like the same pain relief from the surgery even if successful otherwise.

jrnyc
06-22-2010, 08:44 PM
i think actually the disc relief is easier achieved than the curve relief...at least, from the folks i know who have only had their discs repaired...(they dont have scoli)

jess

golfnut
06-22-2010, 10:38 PM
Ed,
Thanks for starting this thread. I love it! I want to read it over and over and know that I've made the right decision to schedule surgery! I know my future is brighter, even if I have to put my active life style on hold temporarily. Thanks, again, for caring about this forum long after your surgery. It's very unselfish of you to take the time for input. I appreciate it!

lray
06-22-2010, 10:51 PM
I didn't like living the with the deformity. I can now wear tighter tops and can now go swimming in a pool or at a beach with my children!!!!!!!!!! That makes me soooo happy.!! Last year they would always beg me to go to neighborhood parties and wanted to me swim with them, I always had to make an excuse up as to why I couldn't go swimming.

For years, I was embarassed to go to a pool or a beach, even with good friends, because I didn't want everyone staring at my back. I didn't feel comfortable within my own skin. I always like the winter season better because I could wear a nice big sweather and cover up with my coat.

I was always worrying about how I looked standing in front of another person. If I dropped a paper on the floor and work I always had to reposition myself so no one would see my bend down!

This is so strange that I am sharing this all with you and writing it down because before I deciding on getting the surgery I hid the fact to everyone that I had scoliosis. I never talked about it, I always tried to hid it. It feels so much better to get it out in the open.



Reading posts like this makes me realize that I'm not alone in having these same feelings, and it brings tears to my eyes. Thank goodness for this forum! ;)

JenniferG
06-22-2010, 11:14 PM
Jennifer, did you have any problems with degenerated disks? Sometimes I worry, on their account, I wouldn't have anything like the same pain relief from the surgery even if successful otherwise.


I honestly don't know! I had a herniated disc years ago, and my surgery involved laminectomies and osteotomies - does this sound like I had degenerated discs? I had arthritis in my lumbar area, but like magic, that's gone now that I'm fused (no movement possible.)

I can't remember ever being told that I had disc degeneration. Sorry to be so clueless.

Back-out
06-22-2010, 11:18 PM
Personally, I never had trouble using the "S" word especially since thanks to school screenings it's part of current parental patois.

And until the last decade, it was negligible in its effect on my appearance partly because I have a very long waist. (Whoops! Make that, "HAD"). Now all of a sudden, it's a very big word indeed though for me, "KYPHOSIS" is the really ugly sounding - and looking - one.

Face it, humpback is an ugly term. I confess I'm indulging in light reading at night to help me drop off, and after rereading the (fabulous) James Herriot series, I'm delving into -- oh, well, Harry Potter.

I find myself VERY offended by all the hags etc, with "hump-back" she highlights. Guess I can't really see her referring to them as "spinally challenged" (0r whatever) but I still mind. :mad:

jrnyc
06-22-2010, 11:24 PM
hey Jen
herniated disc..or discs plural? that was the start of my degeneration......disc degeneration, i mean...:rolleyes:

if you look at any of your pre-surgery reports from MRI's...or a myleogram, if you had one..even an Xray..it would be mentioned...but you dont have to bother now...since you no longer have to worry about any of it!

so glad for you that you had good results!

jess

titaniumed
06-23-2010, 02:23 AM
Anybody notice that driving now is easier? I guess quite a bit has to do with the ergonomics of the seat, but I feel its easier to sit longer. Heated seats are a must!

I no longer have to stand in the shower, leaning against the wall, boiling my back for 30 minutes for relief.

No more trips to get a massage. That might not be a benefit, I really enjoyed mine. Lets nix this one.

Minimal trips to the Chiro. They keep calling me, asking "Are you ok?" I have mixed feelings about this, they really kept me going all these years.....

Its been about 20 years since I've been to the movies....I have forgotten what they are like? How much is the popcorn now? LOL

I know this might sound bad but, its easier to get out of work.... Does this rate high on the list? You bet it does....

Bad Kitty........

jrnyc
06-23-2010, 02:32 AM
hmmmmm...ED....i actually kinda enjoy boiling my back when nothing else works, when the pain meds have reached a point of no return, so i just stop taking them...a boiling hot shower and sleep....and then deal with it in the morning...and hope no rain is in the forecast again..:(

jess

titaniumed
06-23-2010, 03:31 AM
Jess
Since this thread is about benefits of fusion, I figured Id mention it. Now, for pain relief before fusion, hot water no doubt, is the ticket.

Using hot baths in surgical recovery is very helpful for pain control.

I have not been in my bath tub since May 2008.

Yes, it need cleaning. LOL
Ed

fashionista
06-23-2010, 04:50 AM
I believe I was depressed for about 10 years before getting scoliosis surgery on June 8th. I didn't like living the with the deformity. I can now wear tighter tops and can now go swimming in a pool or at a beach with my children!!!!!!!!!! That makes me soooo happy.!! Last year they would always beg me to go to neighborhood parties and wanted to me swim with them, I always had to make an excuse up as to why I couldn't go swimming.

For years, I was embarassed to go to a pool or a beach, even with good friends, because I didn't want everyone staring at my back. I didn't feel comfortable within my own skin. I always like the winter season better because I could wear a nice big sweather and cover up with my coat.

I was always worrying about how I looked standing in front of another person. If I dropped a paper on the floor and work I always had to reposition myself so no one would see my bend down!

This is so strange that I am sharing this all with you and writing it down because before I deciding on getting the surgery I hid the fact to everyone that I had scoliosis. I never talked about it, I always tried to hid it. It feels so much better to get it out in the open. I only started talking to people about it when I made my decision back in November 2009 to have surgery. Now I feel like a million bucks since I did have surgery. I saw what it did to my 80 year old grandma when she died last August. She had 2 100 degree curves and was in a wheel chair. She could barely walk, she breathing was terrible, she looked awful, and she shouldn't have had to live like that. With the technology today. I feel like there is no reason for people with really large curves not to have it fixed.

JenM

Hi, JenM,,
I totally feel what you are saying..it's like the words from my mouth and my heart. How was your scar? All I want is to have a straight back and able to wear bikini and go to pool. I am the same way when I have to bend down to pick things up and try to hide it.

I do feel that my life would be completely different perspective if I have a straight back and not to try to hide scoliosis...

lray
06-23-2010, 04:13 PM
I know this might sound bad but, its easier to get out of work.... Does this rate high on the list? You bet it does....

Bad Kitty........

LOL Ed! Yes, bad kitty... :p

ADMoul
06-23-2010, 04:45 PM
This is a great thread. I ditto most of what Chris said--being able to stand and cook as long as I want, being able to stand and sing which is a biggie for me, being able to do that slow, wandering- through- stores type of walking and all without pain. That, and having the constant worry about your back out of your life is such a burden lifted. Even though I am not perfect cosmetically, I am so much straighter, ribs are no longer resting on my pelvis, and like Lynette, feel as though I have been given a new lease on life. Right now, we're on our annual vacation at OBX with a group of friends and I can't believe how much has changed in my life since the last time I was here a year ago!

rohrer01
06-23-2010, 08:52 PM
Ed, I'm glad you started this thread, but it makes me sad. :(
I realized as I was reading through all the benefits, that I have lost the ability to do many things I enjoy.

Shopping - I use the "excuse" that I don't like to see what I can't buy. The truth is, it hurts to walk around for a long time. My hubby was taking a long time in the tool section of Wal-Mart and I actually sat down in the middle of the isle. It was embarrassing, but I was soooo tired!

Cooking - I have always loved to cook. I get so achy and tired trying to stand there for long enough to make the food. All I can do when dinner is over is go lay down.

Swimming - I love to swim! But when I tried swimming for exercise, I realized why I can't turn my head to breathe during the crawl stroke. It doesn't move that way!

Driving - I do the board move when I try to look at blind spots. I now have to turn my whole body as though it is already fused... I guess I won't have to re-learn how to check blind spots after surgery!

Playing - I can't hold and play with my grandson the way I used to play with my own children. This saddens me because I'm only 41. My "plan" was to have children young so that I would be young enough to actually enjoy my grandkids. I love to climb trees! I tried it a couple of weeks ago...BIG mistake. What goes up, must come down. The land really hurt my spine! Shhhh... don't tell my family. They get mad at me when I do "stupid" stuff. :eek: I did a "stink-bug-rollover" aka summersault and hurt myself REALLY bad. I'm sure I still couldn't do that after fusion, though.:o

The list could go on... I just never realized how limited I am.

JenniferG
06-24-2010, 12:19 AM
hey Jen
herniated disc..or discs plural? that was the start of my degeneration......disc degeneration, i mean...:rolleyes:

if you look at any of your pre-surgery reports from MRI's...or a myleogram, if you had one..even an Xray..it would be mentioned...but you dont have to bother now...since you no longer have to worry about any of it!

so glad for you that you had good results!

jess

Only the one Jess - that was enough.:eek: I have an elderly friend, a man in his late 70s, who currently has a herniated disc. It's been months and the poor man is still in horrible pain. Oooh it's brought back bad memories for me.

foofer
06-24-2010, 12:41 AM
I'm guessing because I've not had the surgery, but I can imagine a day when the Victoria's Secret catalog comes, as well as the Gaiam catalog, and instead of checking out the back braces and stretching gizmos in Gaiam, I throw it away and order a bikini.:)

mbeckoff
06-24-2010, 12:56 AM
There are some negatives as well you know

I was told that I can never do the following

ride amuse park rides; do white water rafting; go ballooning, in case you crash; roller blade,bungee jumping. There were several other that I cannot remember at the moment . The one that I really will miss is roller coasters but I will not miss the pain in my back more.

Melissa

Back-out
06-24-2010, 01:25 AM
I'm guessing because I've not had the surgery, but I can imagine a day when the Victoria's Secret catalog comes, as well as the Gaiam catalog, and instead of checking out the back braces and stretching gizmos in Gaiam, I throw it away and order a bikini.:)

:D :D

I used to check out motorcycles but now I stop folks and check out their fancy motorized scooters and walkers with perks. It would be nice if that could be reversed, if only to look at cars instead of mobility aids! :)

Davis
06-24-2010, 01:36 AM
Jeez mbeckoff ... not to be able to ride amusement park rides... ever again? Is that something that goes for everyone that has had fusion? Sorry for my ignorance, I'm a bit new.

Snoopy
06-24-2010, 07:21 AM
There are some negatives as well you know

I was told that I can never do the following

ride amuse park rides; do white water rafting; go ballooning, in case you crash; roller blade,bungee jumping. There were several other that I cannot remember at the moment . The one that I really will miss is roller coasters but I will not miss the pain in my back more.

Melissa

Melissa,

Has your doctor said why you can't do all of these things?

Davis, No, what mbeckoff said is not true for everyone. I know some doctors are more cautious than others and sometimes the restrictions and recovery time is very different for teens having this surgery as compared to adults having this surgery. My daughter has a long fusion (and no screws in her back whatsoever) and her doctor okay'd her to ride roller coasters, 4-wheelers, etc. at one year post-op.

Mary Lou

mbeckoff
06-24-2010, 10:10 AM
Jeez mbeckoff ... not to be able to ride amusement park rides... ever again? Is that something that goes for everyone that has had fusion? Sorry for my ignorance, I'm a bit new.


No, this is just what my surgeon told me. I am 51 years old and I guess, have old bones as I am going to have to wear my brace for at least 6 months post op. I , also, have a bone stimulator that I have to wear 4 hours daily. The items that I had to give up I really do not mind as I gladly give them up to get rid of my pain.If only my left side pain would go away!

Melissa

Pooka1
06-24-2010, 12:09 PM
Jeez mbeckoff ... not to be able to ride amusement park rides... ever again? Is that something that goes for everyone that has had fusion? Sorry for my ignorance, I'm a bit new.

You need to ask your surgeon about this for your case.

The only restriction my daughters have is bungee jumping which most folks should avoid anyway as I understand it.

doodie
06-24-2010, 12:23 PM
The obvious first benefit that comes to mind is the pain relief in the lower back. I asked my husband what else I should add and he said, "Isn't that one enough?" Meaning the change in my personality has been that dramatic. (chronic pain can really mess with you!)

Another benefit, though not physical, is the feeling of strength I have, knowing I made a difficult decision to have the surgery in the first place, that I went through it and conquered every challenge that came along during recovery. I am on the other side and I am a different person.

I'll also add sitting comfortably in most chairs. I can sit in a movie theater seat again without fidgeting (I couldn't get through the previews before my back started hurting). Can sit in a pew or a bench - no problems.

Walking to shop or whatever, not a problem! and standing for long periods of time to do anything-not a problem! :-)

Have been able to resume gardening and dance lessons with few problems (of course there are some flexibility issues)

Melissa - I hear what you are saying about your restrictions list - I was not told never to do the things you mentioned but I intend to use caution when attempting those things. I intend to try roller coasters again but will be more selective - only those types that are smoother, usually inverted, feet hanging free with padded upper head and shoulder seating, hydraulic, padded body bar.
As far as white water rafting - its more of a safety issue than one that would hurt your fusion. Takes upper body strength for paddling and 'pulling your weight' in a raft. Class III could be very challenging - and IV+, forget it. And you need agility and flexibility (quickly) should you need to high side the raft etc.

For those of you awaiting surgery or still deciding, caution should always be used in order to protect the unfused vertebrae, especially those at the ends (top and bottom) of the fusion.

Ed, I have used the 'fusion' excuse to get out of a few things...and sure felt guilty about it! While in Indy my sister and I made a freezer of homemade ice cream. I told Laurie I couldn't do the last pull anymore because it was too hard on my back. She insisted we go ahead and she would take the last turn...she cranked it so hard that she broke the metal handle in three pieces! :-) But that sure was some good ice cream, and my conscience only hurt a little as I was eating it! :D

jrnyc
06-24-2010, 01:08 PM
hmmm....i'm really surprised at some of the things folks who are fused are willing to chance...no matter how carefully...i am not judging anyone...every person is different, and what matters to some wont matter at all to others...i realize that...

i dont do alot of the stuff mentioned in the posts...dont have any interest to...especially stuff like roller coasters, etc...as early as age 30 i could no longer handle that kind of stuff...as if some inner ear imbalance or something or other messed with me when i tried those kinds of activities (that i could handle and enjoy when young)...i would get dizzy if i even tried! so obviously it is easy to "give up" things that dont tempt you to begin with...

but there is another reason...
i swear...if i have the fusion...(down to pelvis)...i would not want to risk breaking or otherwise hurting something! i've read too many threads here of patients with fusion who were sweating doctor visits to find out if they broke rods......to me... it soooo wouldnt be worth it...but that is just me...i realize there are some "dare devils" on forum (one with initials T.E. ;)) who could not imagine giving up their thrills...

jess

titaniumed
06-24-2010, 06:20 PM
Well guys, I'm off to Glacier National park on Saturday. Thatís in Montana.
Anyway, I will have more reasons for successful scoliosis surgery after I get there!

And incredible pics from the Many glacier area of the park, which is called the "Switzerland" of America. Itís the jewel of the lower 48 states.

Time for "Oom-pa music, beer, and bears.
http://irafornita.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/near-iceberg-lake-glacier-national-park-montana1.jpg
Ed

rohrer01
06-24-2010, 06:24 PM
Well guys, I'm off to Glacier National park on Saturday. Thatís in Montana.
Anyway, I will have more reasons for successful scoliosis surgery after I get there!

And incredible pics from the Many glacier area of the park, which is called the "Switzerland" of America. Itís the jewel of the lower 48 states.

Time for "Oom-pa music, beer, and bears.
http://irafornita.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/near-iceberg-lake-glacier-national-park-montana1.jpg
Ed

Ed, Ed, Ed of the jungle....Watch out for those treeeeees! :D
Have fun!

TexEx
06-25-2010, 04:29 AM
Great idea for a thread. I look forward to my first visit to the seamstress when she can shorten my pants and they will both be the same length because my hips are now on the same level.

Also, I never realized the number of people who have not seen me in a while who have come up to me and told me how much straighter and taller I look. I was never self concious about how I looked before. Maybe I should have been!

My most important benefit that I have not quite achieved but look forward too and can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel, is getting my life back to "pre scoliosis symptoms" condition. Riding bikes w/the kids, getting through the whole day w/out having someone cook dinnner or take over one of my responsibilities because "mom's back hurts" and just feeling like "me" again!

As far as activities, my doctor told me that I can do anything that I did previously, biking, rollerblading, I even asked about horseback riding and white water rafting because we are going to Colorado in August. He felt that it might be a little too colse to my surgery date, but if I felt up to it I could. Probably to scary and won't, but I guess every doctor is different.

Absolutly more positives than negatives. Only negative, if you want to call them so are learning new ways to do some things due to lack of mobility. But my newly strengthened leg muscles can be turned into a possitive!

mbeckoff
06-25-2010, 08:43 AM
Well, I will have these restrictions and I do not know if it is because of my age ( 51 ) , my bones , ,my long fusion , or if is just my surgeon. So be it. I knew it going into it and I will have to live with it. Hopefully, once I can get rid of the pain on my left side I will feel better about the surgery.

Have a good day everyone

Melissa

jrnyc
06-25-2010, 12:35 PM
Melissa..hope you feel better really soon! is the left side where there was an incision...or do you think the pain is from something else...?

Ed...brrrr..looks very pretty...from the comfort of my living room! have fun...take lots of pretty pix..

jess

Lorraine 1966
06-25-2010, 08:26 PM
I can remember all those years ago my doctor told me not to go horse riding or diving. That was my only limitations.

Golly, the benefits of fusion have been endless for me. I was only 15 so was not at an age where I found that scoliosis was really limiting, only in the fact about being so bent over on my right side, my ribs were twisted like you wouldn't believe, so cosmetically it was a bit of a pain.

Even now with DDD and all the rest I just am so thankful I was able to have the operation as I honestly know I would not be alive today, let alone have two wonderful sons and 2 grand daughters.

Ed, this is just a great subject as it can show people who have not yet had the surgery just exactly how wonderful life is after it, and just how incredibly lucky we all are. There are a few downsides as I have gotten older but I would not have changed a thing, not a thing.

Lorraine.

Pooka1
06-25-2010, 10:10 PM
I can remember all those years ago my doctor told me not to go horse riding or diving. That was my only limitations.

Golly, the benefits of fusion have been endless for me. I was only 15 so was not at an age where I found that scoliosis was really limiting, only in the fact about being so bent over on my right side, my ribs were twisted like you wouldn't believe, so cosmetically it was a bit of a pain.

Even now with DDD and all the rest I just am so thankful I was able to have the operation as I honestly know I would not be alive today, let alone have two wonderful sons and 2 grand daughters.

Ed, this is just a great subject as it can show people who have not yet had the surgery just exactly how wonderful life is after it, and just how incredibly lucky we all are. There are a few downsides as I have gotten older but I would not have changed a thing, not a thing.

Lorraine.

Your posts are a part of what keeps me getting out of bed in the morning, Lorraine. 1,000 thanks yous. :)

naptown78
06-26-2010, 12:55 AM
Wow!
I can walk it seems endlessly...and I love it!
I can stand and talk with a group of people and not have to think of having to sit down!
My torso seems longer after being all short waisted and scrunchy, I feel skinnier.
I don't have to think about my posture, I am soldier- straight
My boobs are bigger ;-) , well they aren't all tucked in anymore, lol
My clothes fit better, yay
I don't dread physical activity like I used to. I actually enjoy it because I don't hurt as much and I can walk!!!!!!

hope404
06-26-2010, 01:21 AM
Great posts...and info.

Thanks everyone !!!!...very encouraging to hear all the blessings the surgery has brought to so many.:)

Snoopy
06-26-2010, 06:26 AM
Well, I will have these restrictions and I do not know if it is because of my age ( 51 ) , my bones , ,my long fusion , or if is just my surgeon. So be it. I knew it going into it and I will have to live with it. Hopefully, once I can get rid of the pain on my left side I will feel better about the surgery.

Have a good day everyone

Melissa

Melissa,

You have a great attitude! It seems the older we get, the more willing we are to deal with restrictions and be grateful for what we DO have. ;)

If my daughter's surgeon had told her at the age of 13 that she couldn't ever ride rollercoasters, etc. for the rest of her life, I would have to say she probably would have wanted to hold off on the surgery and experience as much of life as possible without restrictions. I glad she was able to have both--the surgery at an early age and a normal teenage life.

Thanks for reminding us that we all have some type of limitation and that it is okay.

Mary Lou

titaniumed
09-28-2010, 03:09 AM
Time to bring this one back up again...

Sitting on airplanes for long flights has gotten easier for sure....I still carry a down pillow in a carryon, but that is due to the horrible seat design, and not my back. Imagine that...lol

Crappy motel beds that are hammocked 4 inches are much easier to deal with now...lol

Ed

ddb
09-28-2010, 09:00 AM
Thanks for bring this up again Ed - I can't believe I missed it back in June. Both my DD's have Scoliosis - One fused 2/10, we are close to surgery (11/10) for my eldest. She held out a long time making her decision about surgery. Dr's told her 4 years ago her curves would progress - she didn't want to believe them. After her sisters surgery and recovery I think she noticed the benefits. She is no longer in pain from keeping her body upright and can walk and sit comfortably for hours now.

No doubt the appearence change also factored in:) - teenagers! My youngest is straight, taller, even, painfree, and doesn't fatigue with walking. Has just passed 7 months post op - was released from restrictions at 6.

I hope with all my heart that my oldest will have the same results. She doesn't have constent pain, but is way to achy for a 20 year old. She suffers from severe muscle spasms at the apex of her curve which she wishes to alleviate. She used to show our horse in Dressage, but hasn't riden in years. Went on a trail ride last weekend, and she had a great time. She hopes to be able to ride post surgery, but even if they say no she will go through with it because she can't now comfortably.

As a Mom I hope they have normal lives without pain and deformity from Scoliosis. I'm so thankful they have the opportunity of excellent surgerons and care. I'm also very thankful for this forum and all of you who post - you can't begin to know the peace of mind I've gotten here at times of need!!

Dee

backissues
09-28-2010, 09:48 AM
This has been a great thread to read. I have copied and pasted it in a Word document. I am still in the "considering to have surgery" phase. Just reading about walking and cooking makes me want to schedule the surgery. Entertaining is "painful" because of all the standing.

Thank you all.
Irene

Debra JGL
09-28-2010, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the thread Ed! And have a great vacation. At just 4 weeks post op I can't believe the benefits I'm feeling. I keep saying, for today I feel good, because I know they're may be setbacks along the way but my body feels betters than it has in a long time.
*I knew I was in constant pain of varying levels for many years, but i think i just accepted it and minimized it because it wasn't debilitating or keeping me from doing anything, but man it FEELS SO GOOD to not have throbbing pain in my upper right, lower left back and right hip (it's not just the pain meds talking, because I'm down to 1 overnight)
*I don't need to worry about my lung getting crunched!! (This was my main reason for surgery, because I had mild restrictive lung disease - that the pulm. believed was due to scoli.)
*I can breath at night without getting my arms and legs into a contorted position. I can take nice deep breaths.
*Here's a crazy one that I really haven't heard anyone else talk about. I used to get hoarseness and post nasal drip regularly. The Ear nose and throat doc thought this was due to the top valve of my esophogus not lined up correctly due to scoli. Well in the hospital after surgery my voice was clear and no post nasal drip. Still not positive from the scoli. correction, but one more prob. crossed off the list.
*Yes my ribs are off my waist
*Yes I have a waist!!
*I'm an inch taller, this has been fun

I'm still in the early stages and know there's alot of healing ahead, but I feel very grateful. One thing I might miss is stretching and arching my back - I did a backbend the day before surgery and said goodbye to that, but I 'll take the tradeoff!

Debra JGL
09-28-2010, 06:56 PM
I thought of 2 more.
*Even shoulders, not hips though
*My right arm can reach backwards, there was always a hump in the way before. I'm hoping this is going to help me out with my tennis game.

peachrush7
10-01-2010, 05:26 PM
thank you all for posting this!!!!

as someone who is seriously considering whether or not to go ahead with the surgery, it is really encouraging to read so many of you doing SO WELL years after your fusions.

thanks again, I'm going to show this thread to my husband and say "SEE! people are actually GLAD they had it done!!!" lol:)

ADMoul
10-03-2010, 07:46 PM
I responded to this when it was first posted back in June. Just wanted to add that now that I'm back to my teaching job, I can appreciate my life without back pain even more. I teach elem. and ms orchestra and this week I had a double rehearsal which meant standing for the better part of two hours. I could not have done that a year ago.

jsully
10-04-2010, 08:09 AM
Thanks everyone for reminding me of the benefits. I hope I feel this way soon also. Right now everyone asks me what is wrong with my back when before it was only 50%. I am tired of looking abnormal. I hope I will look normal again soon. I still walk very gaurded and bend over. I will be four months post op in one week from today. I feel less pain in fused areas already but still have difficulty walking I think because my fusion is so long. (Hopefully). As far as restrictions my Dr just told me to avoid "bouncy" activities and this is only to save my L5-S1 disc, the only one I didn't get fused so I can still bend over. I did return to a quite demanding job 3 weeks ago which may contribute to my stiffness and gaurded walking. I also notice my self trying not to do activities to pinch my last disc. Perhaps it would have been better to just have it fused as well. Although, I don't know if I want to give up the ability to bend. Tough choice. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. My husband gets upset because he thinks I only care about how I look. Truthfully, that is correct.....what woman doesn't?
Janet

naptown78
10-04-2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks everyone for reminding me of the benefits. I hope I feel this way soon also. Right now everyone asks me what is wrong with my back when before it was only 50%. I am tired of looking abnormal. I hope I will look normal again soon. I still walk very gaurded and bend over. I will be four months post op in one week from today. I feel less pain in fused areas already but still have difficulty walking I think because my fusion is so long. (Hopefully). As far as restrictions my Dr just told me to avoid "bouncy" activities and this is only to save my L5-S1 disc, the only one I didn't get fused so I can still bend over. I did return to a quite demanding job 3 weeks ago which may contribute to my stiffness and gaurded walking. I also notice my self trying not to do activities to pinch my last disc. Perhaps it would have been better to just have it fused as well. Although, I don't know if I want to give up the ability to bend. Tough choice. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. My husband gets upset because he thinks I only care about how I look. Truthfully, that is correct.....what woman doesn't?
Janet

Janet,
I am fused to the sacrum and I can still bend , although it is from the hips. It is just the first few months that you have bending restrictions and then you slowly ease up on that. Evelyn (confusedmom) can attest to this! We met for lunch and I dropped my keys and I bent right down and picked them up with no thought! I hope you can find a solution for your posture problems. Is it getting any better?

jsully
10-04-2010, 12:48 PM
Janet,
I am fused to the sacrum and I can still bend , although it is from the hips. It is just the first few months that you have bending restrictions and then you slowly ease up on that. Evelyn (confusedmom) can attest to this! We met for lunch and I dropped my keys and I bent right down and picked them up with no thought! I hope you can find a solution for your posture problems. Is it getting any better?

Thanks it has gotten better on some some days. Other days it is hard to straighten out. Today I feel very straight but can't bend very well. I prefer that to being bent over though. I do feel my shoulders starting to get sore (I have been at work since 0530) so I will probabally start leaning soon. I guess I should be happy there is some improvement. It is just SLOW.
Janet

jeneemohler
11-01-2010, 04:17 PM
Wow. I thought I was the only one who had issues standing in the kitchen and cooking. Funny how I can work an 8-10 hour day, yet be in more pain spending one hour cutting, peeling and chopping! If my surgery helps that, I will be a happy camper!!!!!!!!! And the scrunched up, ribs resting on my hip bone, thing drives me crazy. I didn't think I had a chance of losing my muscle pain from sitting or standing for long periods, but maybe I will get lucky. Some of you actually did! I hope I can sleep at night without numerous pillows/props supporting me to alleviate some of the nerve pain. Yahoo!!! Thanks, you guys, for making me feel that this surgery will have far more benefits than disadvantages.

Doodles
11-01-2010, 10:41 PM
I didn't go back through to read all of the other posts, but the standing and chopping caught my eye. Before surgery 10 minutes of that would do me in. Now that is not a problem. So that and just standing for a period of time, I can do much better! Just had to chime in on that. Janet

JenniferG
11-02-2010, 01:26 AM
Me too ;)

My first Christmas post op, (9 months) I was amazed to be able to stand at the kitchen bench all day, feeding the masses. In such contrast to the year before when I was in pain all day.

foofer
11-02-2010, 08:54 AM
Yeah, me too.

And Jenee, yes- I can work all day sewing and selling, along with hauling retail stuff around- putting away, organizing, beautifying, shlepping furniture around...and I'm on automatic pilot - I get home and all I want to do is lie down. Internet activity is increasing and life is decreasing. Not good.

When I chop, I usually sing the "she's choppin' broccoliiii..." song from Sat Night Live- Dana Carvey. I gotta keep singing!

Singer
11-02-2010, 10:37 AM
The biggest thing I noticed is really kind of a little thing: before surgery, I could NOT stand in a book store or a card store and browse -- something about standing still with my head down was impossible after 5 minutes. Now I can browse indefinitely without giving it a thought.

Not to mention the chopping and dicing at the kitchen counter -- I can do that too!

naptown78
11-02-2010, 02:16 PM
There are benefits I realize every day...this past weekend I was able to go trick or treating with my little grandson and be the videographer! I was not able to do that the past couple of years as I couldn't walk upright and my legs hurt so much. In fact, about 3 weeks ago I went to the zoo! and walked all around for at least 2 hours!!! I used to look for the closest, handicapped parking spot available. But not now... I don't even think about that anymore. I thank God every day for my good fortune...and I hope those contemplating surgery will have as good a result as I did (even though it took 2 times to get there).

backissues
11-02-2010, 05:32 PM
Thanks for sharing. The standing and walking is what I am looking forward to more than anything else. I can identify with finding close parking spaces.

I do have a "cane seat" or "sport seat" that I use when I know I'll have to stand. This allows me to sit anywhere anytime.

I can't wait to retire this piece of equipment. Shopping in a department store without pain will be a treat.

titaniumed
04-16-2012, 01:08 AM
Look at this, a bump
Ed

Irina
04-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Can you take long flights after the surgery? I understand you can't right away, but eventually, can you spend 10 - 16 hours sitting on a plane going to Europe from San Francisco?

titaniumed
04-16-2012, 09:02 PM
I flew to Kona, Hawaii which is 5 1/2 hours. Thatís the longest flight I have done post surgery. Before surgery, I would stand for that time in the back of the plane.

After you are healed and have no issues, a flight to Europe sounds possible. Take a pillow, it makes all the difference in the world.

Ed

Confusedmom
04-16-2012, 10:42 PM
Ed,

I'm confused. A bump?

Evelyn

Irina
04-16-2012, 11:18 PM
Hi Ed,

Itís interesting that you liked to stand up before. I can sit for a long time (took a few trips to Europe), but cannot stand still. Walking is fine too as long as I take breaks every hour or so.
My back and hip hurt the most when I cook or clean. If I stand for more than an hour chopping and slicing, I have to lie down. This Saturday we went to Zac Brown concert Ė everyone was standing up, but I could not stand for more than a few minutes. My hip was killing me. I always have back aches, some days are better, some days are worse, but I cannot say that my pains are debilitating. Annoying and frustrating sometimes. What also bothers me is that I feel my ribs sitting on my left hip.

I was wondering if a surgery would change it all or maybe itís not that bad to go under a knife. I am afraid to end up being worse than beforeÖ I am also reading ďRevisionsĒ forum and itís scary how many people need a revision surgery.

Irina.

Mojo's Mom
04-16-2012, 11:52 PM
Hi Ed,

I am afraid to end up being worse than beforeÖ I am also reading ďRevisionsĒ forum and itís scary how many people need a revision surgery.

Irina.

Yes, but you don't read about the many people who DON'T need revision surgery because they are off living their lives! Always important to remember that internet forums tend to show more of the bad and less of the good. This one has the benefit of a number of "regulars" who have gone on with their lives but still stick around to help out the rest of us.

When I was deciding whether or not to have Lasik on my ridiculously near-sighted eyes, I read horror story after horror story on the internet and then just decided to stop reading and get on with it, already. I don't feel any need to go online to talk about my success with Lasik, but you can bet if I'd had something awful happen I'd be squinting at my computer and typing out my grief on some forum or another.

But yeah, I'm also afraid of being worse than before, but hey, at least we'll LOOK so much better! That's worth something!

I'm almost two weeks post-op from my first little deal with the devil, with no guarantees of how it will work out, and no way of knowing if/when/how soon I'll be looking at the Real Deal. To me, it mainly comes down to, "Can I live with what I have right now?" Until the answer is an unequivocal yes, it's hard to jump in the water.

kootenaygal
04-17-2012, 01:01 AM
Thank you...everyone, for your replies. Yes, yes, yes,...all more reasons to have my surgery. I'm looking forward to a more active lifestyle, and more fun times with my Grand-children. No more, will I be saying " Sorry, I don't think I could handle that" !!

I haven't been on here for a while. My news is that my consultation with my surgeon will be in the first part of June. It's been too long of a wait! But he's one of the best. I need to have surgery as soon as it's offered...my pain level is increasing. It's a blessing to talk to others who are going through this, as well. I'll be welcoming your advice & support along the recovery road.
Kootenaygal.

titaniumed
04-17-2012, 10:22 AM
Ed,

I'm confused. A bump?

Evelyn

It is not a tumor.(smiley face)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_(Internet)

Ed

titaniumed
04-17-2012, 10:37 AM
Irina

Yes, the revision section will give us the jitters.....Complications are something we need to know about, and be prepared for.......

I lost my gall bladder, a rare complication of scoliosis surgery....just one of the complications.

When quality of life suffers like it did with me, pain tips the scales of decision.

Iím still alive, another benefit of scoliosis surgery. Almost forgot that one. Hmmm......

I have a very busy day today.

Ed

Irina
04-17-2012, 11:47 AM
Hi Stephanie,

I wish you speedy recovery and good outcome. You're so right about internet tending to bring more of the negative than positive. I am so glad I found this forum where I can talk with people in similar situation.

kootenaygal
04-17-2012, 08:38 PM
Thank you Ed, for starting this thread...and for everyone else who replied.
I will be having surgery this year for my kyphosis & scoliosis...still in the process of more consultations with my surgeon, and more x-rays. I know I'll have so much support from this fabulous support group. It's so nice to view comments, answers to my questions, and to have support during my recovery.
Thanks again...
Kootenaygal

Confusedmom
04-17-2012, 11:03 PM
Thanks Ed. I am so out of it.

Well....I was probably one of THE wishy-washiest people about this surgery. I am 5 weeks out, and while I'm still relatively early in my recovery, I can say that I DO look better. Not perfectly straight, but much straighter and a little taller. I can wear form-fitting shirts. Hurrah!!

golfnut
04-17-2012, 11:05 PM
Evelyn,
Thanks for asking for a clarification of "bump". I didn't know either what Ed was talking about.
This is definitely a good thread for those considering surgery to read.

titaniumed
04-18-2012, 10:08 AM
Koot
Your welcome. I was looking at my old threads the other day and thought I would bump this one for those coming up soon. Tonibunny has a thread on SOS about things you can do with a fused spine. Thatís a good one also.

Evelyn
No worries. Your almost through the hardest part of all of this, things will start getting much better soon. Take your recovery one day at a time....Congratulations.

Karen is proof that golf is a reality after scoliosis surgery.....thank you for posting! We sports minded people can be pretty demanding. Not only do we want a successful surgery but need to continue with our sport. I delayed 34 years mainly due to my skiing.

Ed

djkinkead
04-20-2012, 08:35 PM
One of best part of the surgery is my increased lung capacity (my spine was getting more crooked and starting to rotate and starting to smush my lungs).

The second is that before I knew such a surgery existed for people of our age (50ish)....I thought I would be one of those little old ladies all hunched over looking at the floor whereever I go. That won't be the case now.

I wasn't in much pain before so there is more discomfort now, but knowing this would have led to an early death, it's worth it.

golfnut
04-20-2012, 10:57 PM
I was 60 when I had my surgery and have to agree with everything djkinkead just posted. I thought that even if the surgery would be successful, that I was sacrificing a year of my life during the recovery. I was extremely active pre-op and only had pain if standing for a short period of time. I was playing competitive golf and constantly on the move. The surgery was successful and a tough one, but nothing like I had feared. After the 5 weeks, life started returning close to normal with adaptations. Having this elective surgery is probably the best major decision I've made in my life!

titaniumed
06-02-2012, 01:37 PM
Scoliosis is everywhere! Man-o-man!

Since I talk scoliosis often, I hear about or run into people that have not had the benefits that I have had....you know what saying. Every time this happens, its like being shot though the heart.

Most of these cases are from people that have waited too long......

If you have scoliosis, go to a scoliosis surgeon and get looked at. I know there are many readers out there that are silent and scared to death, but you owe it to yourself to go and at least get looked at.......Iím not saying have surgery, Iím saying get checked out.

Just do it.

Ed

golfnut
06-02-2012, 03:16 PM
I agree with Ed. You can't ignore it forever and it is definitely not wise to wait too long and no longer have options. I have had several local people call me and inquire about the surgery. I think most of them have set up appointments with Dr. Lenke and one was told that she would eventually need surgery, but that she could wait a few year. At least, now she knows her options and has a plan.

I thought about this thread the other day when I was practicing my chipping and putting. I used to quit after 10 minutes because the bent over position of putting hurt my back before my surgery. Now, I have no excuse for not practicing more on my putting! It suddenly dawned on me after about 25 minutes of practicing that my back didn't hurt at all.

susancook
06-02-2012, 05:34 PM
Yes, but you don't read about the many people who DON'T need revision surgery because they are off living their lives! Always important to remember that internet forums tend to show more of the bad and less of the good. This one has the benefit of a number of "regulars" who have gone on with their lives but still stick around to help out the rest of us.

When I was deciding whether or not to have Lasik on my ridiculously near-sighted eyes, I read horror story after horror story on the internet and then just decided to stop reading and get on with it, already. I don't feel any need to go online to talk about my success with Lasik, but you can bet if I'd had something awful happen I'd be squinting at my computer and typing out my grief on some forum or another.

But yeah, I'm also afraid of being worse than before, but hey, at least we'll LOOK so much better! That's worth something!

I'm almost two weeks post-op from my first little deal with the devil, with no guarantees of how it will work out, and no way of knowing if/when/how soon I'll be looking at the Real Deal. To me, it mainly comes down to, "Can I live with what I have right now?" Until the answer is an unequivocal yes, it's hard to jump in the water.

This speaks to me and my quandry re: have surgery or not? I like the last statement about "Can I live w/ what I have right now?". I think that I will probably my pain threshold is too high and that I am tolerating too much pain. I hear all of the wonderful stories of pain relief and stories of being able to cook without pain and I am jealous. Then again, I read the stories of the revisions and the stories of the people that are sorry that they had surgery and I think tht I can just keep taking my pain meds and doing my exercises and ice packs and TENS unit and go on living like I am. My surgeon said that: 80% are better w/ the surgery, 15% the same, 5% worse, 1/200 die. I'm usually an optimist, but I see myself as the 20% not profitting from the surgery and wonder about the death risk, although I'm in good health. I'm not sure how to process all of this information and make a decision. I don't care about looking better although I do lean to the right noticeably, but I'm 65 and I'm past vanity. Thanks for starting this blog. I have enjoyed reading the entries. Susan

Confusedmom
06-02-2012, 10:43 PM
Are you sure about that 1 in 200 number? My surgeon said the chance of dying during scoliosis surgery was less than the chance of getting struck by lightning. Linda, do you know? I think this is a serious concern for people, even though it's highly unlikely.

Lorraine 1966
06-03-2012, 01:07 AM
I can honestly say with absolute truth that I have never, ever regretted having the surgery NEVER EVER. I would not have had any type of life without it, and if I had to make that decision over again I would have it done in a heartbeat. My mother made the decision for me back in 1966 and bless her heart it would not have been easy and I know she was scared as it was all so new back then, but thank goodness she was a glass half full kind of person. I just wish she could still be here to see my other son she missed out on and my beautiful grand children that I would never have had without the operation, she passed away in 1974.

We can fall over in the shower, hit our head and die, walk out the front door and be hit by a car and die, life is for living so grab it with both hands, I will get off the soap box now. xx

Lorraine.

Jenna.KB
06-03-2012, 02:11 PM
Thanks guys for all your comments on this thread.

I've already decided on further corrective surgery due to the increased sizes of my curves and loss of lung capacity but it makes me feel so happy knowing that so many of you feel there are many more positives to having surgery and spelling them out.

I always get annoyed at how restricted I am and how quickly I start hurting after standing, walking, sitting, cooking, dancing etc. All I ever think when I'm on a night out or enjoying a nice walk is why can't I just have one day where I'm not in pain and can do "normal activities" and enjoy a nice walk or night out without being in agony.

I'm counting down to my surgery and can't wait to tell you all what positives I can add to the list :-)

Jenna

Karen Ocker
06-03-2012, 04:02 PM
I had a revision 10 years ago at age 60 and have no pain. I just turned 70. My original surgery was in 1956 and lasted me until 60. No hardware caused loss of correction. One might say "but you needed a revision!" That was the state-of-the art at the time and I got a good 40+ years out of it. Being a practicing nurse-anesthetist at the time I knew, more than most, the dangers involved. I saw what my curves were doing to my health and since had no other co-morbidities such as heart disease/severe diabetes/terminal disease I realized the scoliosis was giving me a slow death. I did not want to suffer the remainder of my life with something correctable and be a burden on my husband or family. Since my normal life expectancy, at the time was > 20 years a knew that I would only get worse.

It takes a lot of courage to go through with such a big procedure but the improved quality of life was well worth it. I hear a lot of fears about complications and bad results. Keep in mind: most persons go happily on with their lives after this surgery.
You will hear more complainers on-line than the majority of successful outcomes.
Doctors who have no experience with scoliosis and are not up-to-date have have no business giving advice and instilling fear in patients.
Persons who have not the surgery and are afraid of the the surgery cannot give surgical advice. They and can instill their fear on others considering surgery.

Did you ever hear someone, who hasn't had kids give advice to a mom with kids?

ADMoul
06-03-2012, 07:45 PM
I don't know if this goes along with this thread or not but am going to share anyway. Was in a shoe store recently being waited on (yes, there are still stores that do that) by a very attractive young woman, probably in her mid-20's. I mentioned something about the fact that I had had extensive back surgery, so I don't buy cheap shoes anymore. She looked at me and said "Yes, I have something called scoliosis, was an athlete in high school and now am having all kinds of pain, tendonitis, etc. etc. and my Dr. thinks I should be in a brace." I almost fell off the chair. It was almost like one of those "meant to be there" things. Anyway, I told her v. briefly about my experience, referred her to this forum and told her to find a Dr. who really knows the condition which is not always easy outside of a major metropolitan area. (A brace at her age, seriously???) She was grateful to the point of tears, writing everything down and saying how she never knew anyone else that had it.

I know exactly how that girl felt and I hope that if nothing else, I might have give her some encouragement. I am now over 2 years post-op and yes, there is significant improvement in that 2nd-3rd year. I truly feel normal. Am working in the gym with a trainer who is aware of my issues and am amazed at what I have been able to do. He's very impressed with how long I can hold planks (which is a great, safe ab strengthener for people with back issues) and I told him it was the hardware that helps! Instead of limiting my life, my surgery has allowed me to live it to the fullest, thanks be to God and a great physician.

Lorraine 1966
06-03-2012, 08:57 PM
Just loving the stories on this, Karen you made me think Wow I still have the same hardware I had 46 years ago. I have followed your journey and can remember very clearly when you had your surgery, cannot believe it was 10 years ago though that seems to have gone so quickly. I truly think that your original fusion lasting for so many years was just amazing, I mean I had the hardware and all you had was the fusion for 40+ years, just wonderful.

Anna I truly believe you were meant to be at that shop at that particular time to give that advice to that sales lady, how great that was.Love your positive attitude Jenna and truly wish you all the very best, you are going to feel fantastic once the initial time of getting over the op is over.

There are so many wonderful people on this forum and Ed can't thank you enough for starting this topic as it is such a great thing to talk about, and is so good to hear so many happy stories about all of us who had the surgery, and all at different times of our lives from Karen in the 1950s myself in the 1960s and so many more up to the present day. Also many many more who have yet to have it just like Jenna, good luck to you all.

Lorraine

titaniumed
12-01-2012, 01:24 AM
A bump just in case any of you going in soon have missed this thread.....

Happy birthday Linda!

Ed

maggie6
12-05-2012, 10:07 PM
Are you sure about that 1 in 200 number? My surgeon said the chance of dying during scoliosis surgery was less than the chance of getting struck by lightning. Linda, do you know? I think this is a serious concern for people, even though it's highly unlikely.

I was told by Dr lenke that out of about 5000 surgeries that he's done hes had only one death. The pt had other health issues

susancook
12-07-2012, 05:56 AM
I was told by Dr lenke that out of about 5000 surgeries that he's done hes had only one death. The pt had other health issues

I will reask the mortality question at my next appointment, but that was the number thath Dr. Hart gave me.
Susan

titaniumed
12-07-2012, 12:08 PM
Hey,hey, hey.....this is a “benefit” thread!

Stop thinking about death and scoliosis surgery.....Sigh....negative thoughts do not help. Think positive!

Worry about things like building your immune system which is so important!

Organic yogurt, spinach, and adding lemon juice to your drinking water, stuff like that.

And don’t forget about leafy greens! LOL (If you work in the vegetable dept at the grocery store, drop that idea)

Ed

susancook
12-07-2012, 09:14 PM
Thanks to everyone who has posted here. I am a big mess now with increased pain, scared of the possible X-ray results of progression in 2 weeks with my next surgeon appt......yet looking forward to doing something for relief. Pain pills do not help much. I will reread the positive notes frequently. I need to understand the benefit.
Susan

naptown78
12-08-2012, 11:21 AM
I just noticed this thread,and it started me thinking. Even though I have had a rough surgical journey with 2 revisions, I would do it again. I know many of you would be surprised at that.

I am a nurse. I remember that prior to my first scoliosis surgery, I would go to work and just the act of bending next to a patient to hang an IV bag, draw some blood or take a BP would set my back in spasms. I had such intense sciatica in one leg that I would get to limping with pain and had to sit down with my knee to my chin until it would die down. I was in tears many times. The pain was progressive starting in my 20's and I lived like this for many years. After my initial unsuccessful surgery, I could not walk even 1/2 a block. I had the rare complication of sagittal imbalance.

I am pain free now. I work a very busy job and the most pain I may feel is an ache in my lower back. I hesitate to even call it pain after the pre-surgery pain and post-op pain I have experienced. There is nothing I can't do now that I wasn't doing prior to surgery. In fact I can do more.

I have met many people in my daily life and with scoliosis, and most are surprised to learn that they have options like I had. A couple have gone on to have successful scoliosis surgery with my surgeon. Bless him.

My back certainly is not perfect and sometimes I feel envious of people without scoliosis. In the whole scheme of things though, I would have rather dealt with this. Could have been worse.

titaniumed
12-08-2012, 02:10 PM
Kristy

Having sciatica at our age presents an extremely difficult scenario....After you experience the pain that it offers, which I consider one of the worst, along with scoliosis and lumbar degeneration, there isnít much choice. It makes the surgical decision for you.

My hospital reports state that I ďfailedĒ conservative measures. I tried pretty hard through the years and spent a fortune. I think that the best thing that I did in that state was swimming in the ocean. That worked the best, and of course cost nothing.....Maybe I could have moved to a warm area and continued swimming but progression was moving along.....having a 70 degree lumbar with degeneration at age 50 just about warrants surgical intervention. The pain doesnít tip the scales of decision, it slams it down. When it feels like a horse kicks you in the hip, and the flame thrower is on your ankle, you know your there. When you cant make it across the parking lot, and are left standing in the pouring rain, you know your there.

We are pain free now....and you might have had to do your revisions, and I lost my gall bladder, but it was sure worth it.

I donít feel envious of people without scoliosis, but have trouble offering sympathy for those non-scoliís in pain.....Iím not the right person for that job. For scoliís and kyphoís itís a different story. I hope Iím not being a sour puss about these feelings......

The tears of pain have ceased.....itís a thing of the past.

We did it.

hdsluckygirl13
11-10-2014, 09:31 PM
Thank you Ed for starting this positive post on scoliosis fusion, and thank you to each and everyone of you that has contributed something positive. I am in the process of scheduling a spinal fusion, and this has helped me so much. I am so blessed.

titaniumed
12-23-2016, 05:10 PM
I actually was looking back at some of the old stuff.....and came across this thread.

It's pretty good reading material....(smiley face)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ed

golfnut
12-23-2016, 10:40 PM
Ed,
I just read through this thread and got a little melancholy seeing names of "friends" from the forum who no longer post. I actually just recently checked back in myself. It was strange to read a post of mine from 2010 before I had surgervand then to read a couple from 2012 after surgery. I wonder how New York City, Jess, is doing. She was practically bedridden but did not want to have surgery.

susancook
12-24-2016, 04:04 AM
Just reread my post. I was toast at that point, and although I may take the PRIZE for having some of the worst postop problems, I am still happy that I had my original surgery. Chronic sciatic pain can ruin your life.

Susan....now known as "Titanium Susan" since I have 5 titanium rods

jackieg412
12-24-2016, 08:29 AM
Susan it is so good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well