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progress
07-19-2011, 08:37 PM
Anyone out there fused from T9 to L4 or thereabouts?
Just wondering what you can still do?
I'm worried about wiping my bottom. I know most flexibility is in the lumbar but will having T1-T8 unfused help at all?
Surgery in 3 weeks for 55 deg thoracolumbar!
Kelly

golfnut
07-19-2011, 08:49 PM
First of all, good luck with your surgery. I purchased a "spine kit" from Dr. Lenke's office that included tongs. I was fused T4-sacrum and needed to use them for quite a long time so that I didn't twist. I still try not to twist but no longer need the tongs. One of the best items in the kit was a sock aide that made putting on socks really easy.

braceyourself
07-19-2011, 08:58 PM
Honestly, I can't bend my back at all, and yet it hasn't stopped me from doing anything. Well... except bending my back. But I love playing competitive volleyball, and I still do that after being fused.

This probably sounds really dumb, but I had no idea before my surgery that I would never be able to bend my back again. I didn't even know what the rods looked like. I thought they might be flexible. I was a little surprised, to say the least, to find out I was wrong. But thankfully, it hasn't been anything worth getting upset about. I can still do everything despite the lack of flexibility.

I hope your surgery goes well, and that your recovery is as fast as possible!

leahdragonfly
07-19-2011, 09:59 PM
Hi there,

I was fused T8-sacrum with pelvic fixation last October. I was always able to wipe myself. There are some things like cutting toenails, shaving my legs and putting on socks that I had to find different ways to do, especially in the 6 months after surgery when I had bending/twisting/lifting restrictions. I can't stoop well to get things out of the back of the dryer or the back of low cupboards, so for those things I kneel. If I drop something on the floor of the car while driving I can't reach it. I continue to regain flexibility, not of the fused area itself of course, but of the rest of my body around the fusion.

You will still have the lowest lumbar vertebrae, which will help a lot.

Good luck,

tata
07-21-2011, 02:01 PM
I got fused T10 to L5 last August, going from 70 to around 30. I'm 37.

It took me a while to go back to do everything I used to and had to work hard, progressively walking, stretching and swimming, but it really pays off being constant on all that. Now, I swim 1h every day and go cycling/hiking every weekend, plus my daily duties (work, familly, etc).

Best of luck with your surgery!

progress
07-21-2011, 10:14 PM
That sounds encouraging. It is funny how suddenly being 'normal' after surgery is more then good enough. How did you stretch? Do you feel very limited in your movements?
Kelly

progress
07-21-2011, 10:16 PM
Thanks, it's great getting feedback.
Kelly

tata
07-24-2011, 02:07 PM
That sounds encouraging. It is funny how suddenly being 'normal' after surgery is more then good enough. How did you stretch? Do you feel very limited in your movements?
Kelly

3 months after surgery, my physiotherapist showed me some stretching exercises for my back, together with others to work out abs and legs. I've done them every single day since them and plan to continue for life. I've found I went back quite a lot if I missed my routine for a couple of weeks, so I'm not letting that happen again!

I'm looking into doing some GPR (global postural reeducation). Any of you has any experience on this after having been fused?

progress
07-24-2011, 08:22 PM
I will have to find out about PT when I'm in hospital. How far can you bend now?
Kelly
Surgery 11th Aug
T9 to either T3 or T4

tonibunny
07-25-2011, 06:34 AM
Hello, I'm fused from T1-L4 and can still touch my toes :-) I do a lot of exercise (cycling and hillwalking) and stretching. I don't have any problems with flexibility at all and don't feel limited in any way. I'm 35 and my curves after surgery are 45 and 35 degrees. I hope this is reassuring for you! :-)

tata
07-26-2011, 12:36 AM
Hello, I'm fused from T1-L4 and can still touch my toes :-) I do a lot of exercise (cycling and hillwalking) and stretching. I don't have any problems with flexibility at all and don't feel limited in any way. I'm 35 and my curves after surgery are 45 and 35 degrees. I hope this is reassuring for you! :-)

Thank you so much for your comment!!! Even though I feel quite alright after 11 months of surgery, I didn't dare to try and bend that much... but you encouraged me to try and I can touch my toes too!!!

Great msg for all of you guys waiting for surgery: it pays off working out your muscles!!!

progress
07-26-2011, 06:49 PM
Very encouraging, I am terrified of coming out of my surgery moving robotically. The surgery is on my mind almost constantly. I go in to hospital for the day before surgery pre-op, two weeks from today. One minute I'm thinking I'm not going to read the posts again in case I find something that really starts worrying me but then I just can't resist.
Kelly

golfnut
07-26-2011, 07:29 PM
Kelly,
You'll do just fine. As you know, you will have restrictions and not feel like a million bucks, but each week post-op gets better and better. It was difficult for me to read posts that weren't what one would want to read prior to surgery, however, I think the majority of the surgeries are totally successful. The first month is not a lot of fun, but it gets better each week. Good luck!

tata
07-27-2011, 12:57 AM
Kelly, I was scared to death prior to surgery. Keeping very busy all the time (especially swimming and stretching every day) helped me not to think and also to be better prepared for post-op.

I found the really bad days in terms of pain are just a couple while in hospital, when I was moved from vein to oral analgesia. Trip back home wasn't happy joy either but after that, it only got better. Best of luck!

Lilysaidwhat
07-28-2011, 07:50 PM
I'm T3-L4 and never had a problem with light twisting to take care of "business". I don't feel like I move robotically and still wear stilettos to work like I did pre-op...although I'm just taller now when I wear them ;)

I go to PT 3 days a week and have been in PT since 3 weeks after surgery. I do a lot of core strengthening and upper body work (rows, weighted rows, etc) and have added lunges and squats as of this week.

As for flexibility I can't really do much front to back pelvic movement, which is disappointing but whatever. I can move my hips side to side fairly well. I can touch my toes and still have more flexibility than most women my age (just this side of 40) but I can not currently lay my hands flat on the floor. I'd like to get there again but my PT says that's stupid since it will just run the risk of bothering my L5. My goal is to get my body mechanics right so that I don't mess up my L5 and lower, because I'll tell you now that I am never going to do this surgery again.

Overall I've gone from 10 pain pills a day pre-op to advil post-op. And I can walk now for miles.