View Full Version : 1 year checkup

12-22-2004, 09:15 AM
Today I visit my surgeon for my 1 year checkup.
I have a few things I need to discuss with him...
Mostly, my ongoing problem with muscle spasams.
At my 3 month checkup, I was put in PT to try to relieve them. After 6 weeks of going 3x a week, I was all but spasam free and feeling very good. But I've had to keep going back to stay loosened up, and lately the spasams have spread from just my left shoulder, to down my left side back and ribs, into the right shoulder, and up into my neck. It's not really pleasant, and all this PT is very time consuming... Plus I just started working a retail job, and in just my first week on the job, my therapist says that I've undone all that has been accomplished in the past 2.5 weeks of therapy. Which is disheartening because I enjoy being physically active...
I'm not sure what to do... It's not like I'm walking around going "Owwwwwww... this hurts" all the time. But it wears on me and I get depressed from it. I'm not sure if I'd be a good candidate for a pain clinic or not... Sometimes I won't even realize how rough of shape I'm in until my mother or my sis points out that my left shoulder is practically pulled up to my ear from spasams....

Also, I'm going to ask about scar revision... My scar bothers some people... Myself included... It's not as bad as it could be, and I might just be vain, but whenever i see my surgeon, it bothers him too that it didn't end up one of those cute little pencil thin scars...

Also, I'm going to ask for the dr. to level with me... What should my long term restrictions be?
I'm back to living a normal life. I ride, I run. I have almost full flexibility because I've worked hard to do so... I stack hay bales, clean horse stalls, move 50 lb bags of horse feed... And I don't feel all *that* bad... but.... I'm 21... And I unfortunately have a lot of life ahead of me...

*sigh* Well, I gotta get changed and head out... Will post back later.

12-22-2004, 10:50 AM
Hi Blair...

I think many adults with normal spines, who do things like stack bales of hay, have back pain. So, it doesn't surprise me at all that you have pain. Have you thought about backing off of all of your lifting activity to see if it resolves the pain?

There certainly could be something wrong, but you may find that you'll always have pain if you continue to lead your idea of an active life. :-)

Good luck with the surgeon.


12-22-2004, 09:15 PM
Nah... Laying off heavy lifting etc isn't an option... I have horses, and heavy lifting is just part of the program until I become wealthy enough to have somebody else care for them for me totally... But as a broke college student, that's not really an option... Plus... I love the physicality of caring for them. If I wasn't going to be able to keep up with the life I love, I probably wouldn't have bothered having the surgery.
My surgeon wasn't comfortable with really giving me restrictions... He kind of gave me one of those "you're in good shape for now, cross that bridge when you come to if" answers...

My poor surgeon... The way my scar looks bothers him just so immensely He stands behind me, fidgeting with the scar, pushing it together with a look of displeasure on his face... for a minute or so at each appointment. Did the same thing today, So I decided to go ahead and ask about scar revision. That made him happy. He actually smiled. Which is rare... Anyway, he thinks I'll be a good candidate for it since the scar is thin and loose.
I don't really want another *surgery* but I'm excited about my scar looking better.
So he gave me a referral. But the guy he referred me to doesn't accept our insurance carrier (that's the first time that has ever happened.. My insurance is accepted just about everywhere). So will be calling my surgeon again tomorrow to see if he can refer us to somebody who does good work and accepts our insurance.

When I had my surgery, they decided to leave most of my lumbar unfused in spite of some minor curvature in order to preserve flexibility...My curve has progressed a little since last time, but not bad enough to worry about...

And... he wants us to go through our GP for pain management stuff... So... Will be working on finding a new GP who is a little more up to date, and going that route...

12-25-2004, 02:19 PM
Hi Blair,
Thank you for that update its important to know how everyone adapts...i am 6 months out, and i would love to ride again. i'm 46 and still take pain meds ..does it hurt after u ride? Did the dr. give any restrictions?

12-25-2004, 06:09 PM
Well, the restrictions my dr gave me was to not ride for a year. I lasted a whole 3 months out of the saddle...
But I'm doing great. No pain when I ride now (I have an American Saddlebred show horse, who can be a little tough to keep up with sometimes. He's a LOT of horse) unless I force my left shoulder to go back really far... But that's getting better since I've been doing PT- it just aggrivates my muscle spasams a lot. It's pretty manageable all in all.
Starting back was tough- and I still tend to kind of guard my back a bit too much as I'm riding, but it was never really painful.

When I graduate from college, I fully intend to try to get myself qualified for the Adult Saddle Seat Equitation national finals...

What sort of riding do you do??????? http://community.webshots.com/user/blairasb (This is me and my horses)

01-21-2005, 12:48 PM

I just got back from seeing the plastic surgeon.

He thinks my scar will be very fixable. Basically, all it will entail is cutting the scar, removing some of the excess tissue, and resuturing it.

I won't be able to ride my horses, work (I work retail, so lots of bending/stretching keeping displays tidy), or working out for probably a week afterward until the stitches come out.

But I am SO happy right now. It's going to be so fantastic to be able to touch my back and not feel a scar an inch wide or to be able to feel the vertibrae so easily, and not have a big dent in my back anymore.