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suejeryl
11-24-2004, 03:32 PM
hi, everyone! for those of you here in the u.s., happy thanksgiving (almost)! i have a question for those of you (anywhere) who wore a brace after your surgery...how long did you wear it? what were conditions for beginning the weaning process? how long did that take? just curious....

blairf83
11-24-2004, 11:23 PM
The two people who I've spoke to wore their brace for 3 months post op. Neither were weaned from it- they just stopped wearing it when they were told that they could. Both were given braces because they were to be doing extensive travel pretty quickly after the surgery. It was largely just a measure for support and protection for "just in case" rather than being really essential to healing...

LindaRacine
11-24-2004, 11:53 PM
I wore mine for about 5-1/2 months.

SkiAnn
11-25-2004, 06:34 PM
I am interested in any experiences regarding the TLSO brace as well. I am 3 weeks post-op today, and feel I am on the positive track. Instructions for my brace are simply to wear it whenever I am out of bed. It appears I will wear it under some sort of condition for at least 6 months. My entire lumbar spine was fused and I have been told the lumbar fusions take a little longer to fuse. Have a call into my surgeons office in search of an answer to: Can I remove it to shower (been taking sink baths since surgery? Also; if I could be allowed to get up to use the bathroom during the night if I return straight to bed (without the brace). I remove the brace when I go to bed (which is a welcome event), but so far if I have to use the bathroom during the night, my husband has to wake up and don the brace so I can go. Being Thanksgiving week it will be next week before I hear from anyone I am sure, but will share the outcome.
SkiAnn

suejeryl
11-25-2004, 08:13 PM
hi, skiann! i'll be interested to hear what your surgeon says re: the brace; our wearing instructions are the same: wear it when you're not in bed. my doctor wanted me to shower in my brace--even the nursing staff during rehab couldn't believe that, but it's true. after i shower i go (back) to bed; it takes about 30 minutes for the brace to dry in front of the fan, so i tend now to shower in the pm and battle bed hair in the am! i wipe the inside of my brace with a lysol wipe now and then so it won't smell funky. i put my brace on if i have to go to the bathroom at night; the first couple of weeks or so that i was home my husband helped, but nowi can do it myself. i often sleep in my brace because for some reason i'm just more comfortable in it than out; this is changing as i get stronger, though. my brace fastens over my shoulders and covers my whole body from my collar bone to my neck; i'm tank woman! land's end's elastic-waist twill pants and one of my husband's shirts are my uniform, although i managed to find some cute things to wear at chico's; it was a genuine morale booster to wear some pretty clothes for a change! later...

SkiAnn
11-25-2004, 08:46 PM
Thanks alot Sue for your quick response, hope you don't mind if I pose another question? I have tried to figure out how to be able to don my brace without assistance, but so far no bright ideas. Would it be too much to ask for a quick brief on how you accomplished this formidable task?
Ski

suejeryl
11-25-2004, 09:30 PM
hi there again! well, if your brace is like mine it has one strap over each shoulder that clips in the front, and then it has three velcro straps on each side that are threaded from front to back through metal loops. does that sound familiar? also, my doctor said i could sit up to put the brace on, so i hope yours did, too. if we're on the same page here, then i think the secret is to keep one side of the brace laced together when you take it off at night. if you're right handed, keep the left side together and vice versa; that way, you can slip into it from the undone side and you only have to get three side straps and a shoulder done. the shoulder is easy. for the side (i'm right handed), i hold that little loop thing with my right hand and use my left hand to poke the end of the strap through; i pull the strap forward with my right hand. learn to do it by feel so you won't twist your back! i usually start at the top, but sometimes the gods of fine motor coordination are against me and i start at the bottom or middle instead. if nature is shouting rather than calling, though, get help! :) i think i was at least 4 weeks post-op before i could do this very well, so take it easy....

SkiAnn
11-26-2004, 02:24 PM
Thanks again Sue,
Great instructions, but my brace is different. TLSO model, it is in 2 seperate pieces connected by velcro, the 3 straps come from the back piece and thread through a metal loop for each side down the middle of the front. Unfortunately, my Dr. has'nt allowed me to sit up without it, but have a call to his office so I'm predicting I might find out more first part of next week. Will certainly share my information and experiences as they come along. Thanks so much for your time.
Fondly,
Gayle

suejeryl
11-26-2004, 04:24 PM
hi, gayle! yikes! it sounds like i got the "victoria's secret" version of a post-op brace by comparison, although lacing up the front would be a relief! you will be amazed when you first sit up without your brace...i felt about 10 feet tall and like i was going to snap in two...i'm getting over it, though! i hope your doctor gives you news you can live with comfortably...good luck, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

suejeryl
12-10-2004, 02:18 PM
hi, gayle! just wanted to let you know that i got the ok from my dr. yesterday to start weaning out of my brace; what a great (early) christmas present! my surgery was 11 weeks ago, so in the big scheme of things i wasn't braced all that long. it feels like i'm wearing someone else's body when i'm out! how are you doing getting in and out of your brace by yourself? i'm going to toddle up the stairs and put myself back in mine....

SkiAnn
12-10-2004, 08:38 PM
Good day to you as well,

And it certainly sounds like it was a very good day. You are soo...oo lucky. In fact ~ I was just sitting here dwelling on how uncomfortable this dumb thing is. However, your good news gives me something to look forward to. I am still at 5 1/2 weeks so I know 'that' good news is not on the near horizon; also, Dr. Dzioba always reinterates that he is a real 'mother hen' when it comes to his recovery protocol.....:>(..

When it comes to putting my brace off and on by myself, I'm doing pretty good. (perhaps I had a good instructor.....:>) Thank you very much. My 6 week appointment is Tuesday so I will let you know how everything is coming along. Again, I so understand how elated you are at this new plateau in your recovery and I am truly happy for you.

Gayle