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JavaLover
07-18-2011, 08:38 PM
I have an S curve (23 thoracic, 44 lumbar). I'm due for surgery in 3 weeks (fusing T11-L4) and wanted to know what to expect as far as sitting in a classroom. I'm a student and school starts in 5 weeks so I'll have only 2 weeks before classes start again. How long can I expect to be out of school? I planned to take it easy this semester and only take one class. My surgeon says that I'll be able to go back to work 6 weeks after the surgery but what about a 3 hour class (with a 20 minute break in the middle)? How long until that becomes doable?

progress
07-18-2011, 09:49 PM
Hi, I have be trying to start a new post but will reply to yours. I am also booked in for surgery in 3 weeks for a 55 deg thoracolumbar curve. I will be fused T9 to L3 or L4. I am 49 years old. I will write more if this works.
kelly

paula
07-18-2011, 10:03 PM
Progress, do you see at the top of this window where it says "Surgical (First-time)? Click on that, and at the top of that window, you'll see "start new thread" and that's how you can start your own thread. You'll get more replies that way because you'll have your own subject line to start out with.

paula
07-18-2011, 10:08 PM
Javalover-- you don't say how old you are, but that will have some bearing on how quickly you recover. I'm at 6 weeks post op right now, and I think I could handle a class like that, but I'm 52, and was fused from L5 to T4. (I think anyway, there was some discussion about how many to actually do). My guess is that since they are doing few vertebrae, and I'm guessing that you're younger, you'll be able to go back much more quickly. I've heard of high school kids going back after only about 3 weeks, and that would be to full time high school.

LindaRacine
07-18-2011, 10:28 PM
I have an S curve (23 thoracic, 44 lumbar). I'm due for surgery in 3 weeks (fusing T11-L4) and wanted to know what to expect as far as sitting in a classroom. I'm a student and school starts in 5 weeks so I'll have only 2 weeks before classes start again. How long can I expect to be out of school? I planned to take it easy this semester and only take one class. My surgeon says that I'll be able to go back to work 6 weeks after the surgery but what about a 3 hour class (with a 20 minute break in the middle)? How long until that becomes doable?
JavaLover...

How old are you? If you're really over 18 (you're in the adult patient forum), those are pretty small curves to be fusing, especially going to L4. Do you have a lot of pain?

--Linda

JavaLover
07-18-2011, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the response. I'm 33 and healthy except for the scoliosis. I have to quit my job because of this surgery, so I'm glad to know that (assuming everything goes ok) I won't have to give school up too.

JavaLover
07-18-2011, 10:54 PM
They are small curves but as of 2 years ago, I've been experiencing pain. I've tried physical therapy and medication but my lower back at times still feels like it's on fire, especially when I wake up. Sleeping was something I used to love and now I dread it. I don't go to concerts or conventions anymore because of all the standing. And in the past year, I've started to have regular pain in my left knee and foot, so I have cut down on walking (my favorite form of exercise). I feel like my curves have progressed from 2 years ago. Unfortunately, because of lack if insurance (and because I never had any previous pain), the last time I had xrays of my spine was when I was 12 so I have no idea what my curves were before the pain began. I "feel" that it's progressing though because of the pain and because I have to position myself differently now when I sleep. I can feel my ribs poking my mattress when I sleep on my left side. It wasn't like that 2 years ago.

jrnyc
07-18-2011, 11:00 PM
hi javalover
i hope the surgery does all you are hoping for...
i assume your surgeon has told you that there is no guarantee that the surgery will eliminate your pain...?
have all the surgeons you have consulted with recommended the same surgery...?

best of luck...
jess

LindaRacine
07-18-2011, 11:28 PM
They are small curves but as of 2 years ago, I've been experiencing pain. I've tried physical therapy and medication but my lower back at times still feels like it's on fire, especially when I wake up. Sleeping was something I used to love and now I dread it. I don't go to concerts or conventions anymore because of all the standing. And in the past year, I've started to have regular pain in my left knee and foot, so I have cut down on walking (my favorite form of exercise). I feel like my curves have progressed from 2 years ago. Unfortunately, because of lack if insurance (and because I never had any previous pain), the last time I had xrays of my spine was when I was 12 so I have no idea what my curves were before the pain began. I "feel" that it's progressing though because of the pain and because I have to position myself differently now when I sleep. I can feel my ribs poking my mattress when I sleep on my left side. It wasn't like that 2 years ago.
Hi...

Has your surgeon mentioned that you stand a very significant chance of needing to be fused to the sacrum when your spine begins to degenerate (typically in your 50's). Fusing someone who is in their 30's to L4 is a pretty slippery slope. Sometimes (as in when the patient is in a lot of pain), it's the only solution to a problem. But there are often other possibilities. Just be sure you've chosen a surgeon who does a LOT of these surgeries, and knows what s/he's doing. If not, a second opinion, especially one with a well known scoliosis specialist, might be a useful experience.

As Jess mentioned above, there are no guarantees that the surgery will resolve your pain. And, for certain, surgery will cause pain. Hopefully that new pain will be short-term, but sometimes, it's not. In your case, because your curves are smallish, I'd want to know that the surgeon is fairly certain s/he knows what is causing that pain. (Scoliosis itself does not cause pain. It's usually something like a degenerative disc that causes pain.)

Hope we're not overwhelming you. But, those of us who have been around long enough, know that things can and do go wrong. This is a big surgery, and no one should make the decision to undergo it without a lot of research.

Regards,
Linda

Regards,
Linda

JavaLover
07-19-2011, 09:15 AM
Hi...

Has your surgeon mentioned that you stand a very significant chance of needing to be fused to the sacrum when your spine begins to degenerate (typically in your 50's).

Yes, and he said that discs L4 & L5 show some wear & tear already. Though he can't tell me if it was caused by the scoliosis and if having the surgery would slow down degeneration or accelerate it. He also can't tell me if my knee and foot problems will get worse down the line if I don't have the surgery. It's so frustrating not knowing. It just seems like I'm damned if I have the surgery and damned if I don't. I have gotten a 2nd opinion and that surgeon also says I have a chance of needing more surgery in 10-20 years.