View Full Version : Anyone?

03-24-2011, 01:26 PM
Hello all!

Forgive me if this post dampens the spirits of any pre-op brothers and sisters here in the forum. I just have to ask.
So, my research into all aspects of Scoliosis has been on-going for a while now as I'm sure is or has been the case for the majority of the other 'sufferers'. During my research I seem to have found an abundance of post-op pain stories, long and short-term. The short-term, I expected. The long-term I expected the quantity to be less and I'm now worrying! So, my question is this:
Is there anyone who has had surgery over 5 years ago who has not had some sort of on-going problems? Someone who's rods haven't broken and fusions haven't failed? Someone who has no pain from any bi-product of Adjacent Segment Stenosis or any other post-op problems?
I know that surgery is something that I have to do, save further progression and potentially horrible consequences but, is it time that I resign myself to a life of constant sub-standard comfort that I'm just going to have to 'man-up' and deal with?
I apologise to you all for my whinging as my condition and pain is probably a lot less severe than many of you who have been less vocal about it.

Thank goodness for this site and the support from you wonderful people.


03-24-2011, 02:04 PM
I'm sure many will respond. I have read many success stories!

03-24-2011, 02:31 PM
while i'm only 2 years post-op, i can say that overall my surgery was/is a great success. my back hardly ever bothers me these days, and when it does, it's the sort of pain that can happen to anyone. no problems with my fusion, rods, hardware in general, etc. i'm also physically (and probably mentally too, haha) stronger that i was pre-op...mostly because the extensive recovery -- which made me soooo weak -- motivated me to work out and build up my strength again, and i haven't stopped since. :) my surgeon is amazing.

03-24-2011, 03:54 PM
i think there are many people who are problem free...
of course, TiEd is one of them, but there are many many others!
i wouldn't look in the revision section for them necessarily, but there are some there who are free of trouble 5 years after their revision....
as the previous writer mentioned, patients with successful 1st surgeries are more often the most likely to stop writing to forum after a few years...
i went to advanced search on the top of the page, checked off "posts" and "forums" and typed key words "happy," "happy with surgery," and "happy w/results" and came up with many posts...
perhaps if you do that, you will find names, and could then private message them, or just follow those people for up to 5 years...


03-24-2011, 05:06 PM
I'm only 2.5 years out--would you mind hearing from me? I feel perfectly normal, and most days I wake up and don't even remember that I am fused. For the first year or so, it's the first thing that came to mind when I opened my eyes in the morning because I could 'feel' it. I have a long fusion, T3-L3, and I can do anything I want to do now. So far (knock on wood) I have had no subsequent problems and I hope it stays that way!

I know how you feel worrying about bad outcomes, as I did the same thing. All you can do though is do your research, select the best doctor you can that you can, and then have faith in him enough to trust that you will be ok. My advice is to see as many doctors as you need to before you select the one to do surgery.

03-24-2011, 10:43 PM
I am wondering how long fusion surgery with pedicle screws has been done? I will be interested to know if there are others on the forum who've had pedicle screw fusion surgery say 10 years ago and how they are faring now. In a way, we're an experiment, aren't we? Pioneers, perhaps? ;)

If I make it to 10 years feeling as fit and pain free as I am now, I will be very happy though I shudder at the thought that one day I might have complications.

At a little over 2 years though, I have no pain at all and my back feels strong.

PS I am a bit of a forum-junkie so I'll probably be poking my nose in here for years to come.

03-25-2011, 06:42 AM
If I make it to 10 years feeling as fit and pain free as I am now, I will be very happy though I shudder at the thought that one day I might have complications.

Yes but the baseline you need to measure from is where you would be absent fusion. Would you be better off 10 years from now with or without surgery?

I suggest that is the only way this can be evaluated. Normal is off the table for folks with severe scoliosis. It is then a game of cutting losses. For my two young associates, the surgeon has cut their losses possibly completely.

At a little over 2 years though, I have no pain at all and my back feels strong.

You had a great result there.

PS I am a bit of a forum-junkie so I'll probably be poking my nose in here for years to come.

The only reason newbies come here is because people like you with experience stick around. If the experienced folks left it would be bunnies looking quizzically at bunnies non-stop and getting nowhere fast. Sort of like the Research section writ large.

03-25-2011, 07:55 AM
Bill, I think 90% or more of those with fusion surgery come out great and have no complications, or no major complications, and do what I will likely do - heal up and move on and pretend it never happened. The internet is definitely a grain of salt situation - I was terrified by the doomsday scenario I see frequently on here, but I think the thing is that those who DO have problems are online seeking validation, information, and how to fix it. The bulk of people who have no issues leave after surgery and don't return.

I did not want to have my surgery and yes, it is all about cutting losses down the road. I'm very unhappy with how my body looks now, and hope that indeed this is swelling. I'm frustrated to have lost a fair amount of flexibility. I'm frustrated that I have to log roll for the rest of my life to get up from laying down vice just sitting straight up, in order to try to preserve the L4 and L5 discs. However it beats suffocating to death on my own lung in another 15 years, and maybe I'll end up happy with my body when the swelling is gone (wearing my corset helps b/c it is a waist trainer, so when I take it off I can see my hourglass figure again - not that you are trying to maintain an hourglass Bill! LOL!) - but who knows how long that will take?

We'll see. So far I am a month out and can say that the first two weeks were a complete and total sh*tshow. Pain was poorly managed, and I remember very little of that time period. However, the scar is straight and I am definitely making strides. There are nuances I can point to as improvement - for example, yesterday was the first time post-op that I have felt well enough to shower and then stand in the bathroom and put on my makeup, rather than heading to my bedroom to sit at the vanity table and put on my face. Just small things like that which point to improvement.

Anyhow, I am rambling. I need to have some breakfast.

03-25-2011, 09:00 AM

I got 18 years out of my original surgery, and I think that's relatively common.

Pedicle screws have been in use for scoliosis surgery for at least 15 years, and I think they've commonly been used for the last 10 years or more. I work for surgeons who do an above average number of scoliosis surgeries. I don't have actual numbers, but I'd estimate that at least 95% of these people have no issues. As Hdugger said, the internet magnifies these issues.


Karen Ocker
03-25-2011, 06:34 PM
I am totally pain free and I am older than most.

In my case it took about a year and half of healing before I didn't need a little something for aches---meaning tylenol or aleve.

Take the horror stories and fear mongering with a grain of salt.

I hardly notice any lack of flexibility. I just got used to moving whatever moves---and I am fused to the sacrum.

03-26-2011, 07:24 AM
I'll celebrate my 4th anniversary in about a month, and I don't have any pain complaints. I do have some limitations, but I had some before the surgery too. I don't lift things over about 20 lbs. and since I'm trying to save my L4/L5 vertebrae, I am cautious about following my doctor's orders about twisting, etc. I'd say my surgery was very successful, knowing what I'd be like if I hadn't had it. I can do most of the things I want to do. I am pain free unless I overdo too much, which hasn't happened in eons. I don't take pain pills, if you want to use that as an indicator. I took longer to recover than some, although my surgeon always said I was doing great. I really think it depends on so many facets. Every year I gain more and more ability and less and less recognition of anything in my back other than a little tightness occasionally and knowing the hardware is in there. My back is pretty straight (15) and I enjoy life. What more can you ask for? I am not an athlete, but just a normal, somewhat active (as in running around a lot) person. I was active on the forum for a long time, but not as much this past year... Best wishes.

03-26-2011, 01:38 PM
I personally disagree about feeling awkward posting about my successful surgery. I feel that some don't come back much because they are off doing other things. I know that I don't post often because I'm busy living my life by being more active than I could ever be before surgery. I may be under a year since my surgery but I am happy that I went through it.