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BendyBill
09-10-2011, 08:54 AM
Hello all,

I haven't been around for a while because I've been finishing off my music degree (got great results!! WOOHOO!) but I'm now out and ready to have the op. I've finally set the dates for my pre-op consultation and for the operation with my surgeon (Dr. Gavin Bowden - John Radcliffe in Oxford, UK) for the 6th October and 8th November, respectively. I'm feeling fairly positive about it all at the moment with the odd lapse of confidence here and there, usually regarding the potential increase in pain post-op compared to the minimal pain I experience now and, most of all, because of the very little there is to know about the long-term effects of Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation (anyone found any good studies?) but, overall, I'm feeling better than I thought I would. Don't you find the ambiguity of scoliosis and surgery the hardest thing to deal with? The research needed to make the 'right' decision seems to be endless!!!

One problem I've been having is that I've been trying to get hold of my surgeon since June with some questions about when he thinks I'll be able to get back to work, which levels I'm getting fused and some other basic things, but he still hasn't replied despite telling me during my last consultation that he'd be available for any questions?! Is this normal?

Hope you're all doing well and thanks for any help you might be able to give!

B x

kennedy
09-10-2011, 09:03 AM
billy good luck with your surgery

BendyBill
09-10-2011, 09:06 AM
Thanks Kara! So glad to see that you are doing well. x

kennedy
09-10-2011, 09:14 AM
your welcome if you have questions about the surgery and recovery feel free to ask

Doreen1
09-10-2011, 09:28 AM
Hi Bill,

Congratz on scheduling your date! From what I've heard about the UK medical program, folks are not always very responsive to patients in a timely manner. My hubby just visited Oxford and absolutely loved it! He was on a project for a client in Banbury and had some free time, so went to Oxford for the day. Our daughter has been saying for years (she's just 11) that she plans to study law, psychology or anthropology at Oxford. We were planning a family trip to Oxford and Paris for springtime; however, my spinal situation has taken priority. I'm sure I'll enjoy the trip so much more after I have surgery.

Warmly,
Doreen

BendyBill
09-10-2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks Doreen. Well, hopefully he'll clear everything up when I go for the pre-op consultation in October!! Oxford is lovely. I don't live there but have a number of friends who went to the Oxford Uni and it's wonderful that your daughter wants to study there - she sounds bright as a button! I'll be recovering at my parents place in Windsor where I grew up so will have lovely walks to take and plenty of my old friends to keep me company! Thanks for the kind words and enjoy Oxford when you eventually make it!

braceyourself
09-10-2011, 12:08 PM
First of all, congratulations on your music degree! I'm in the process of getting my music ed degree. (One of the best fields of study, but that's just my opinion.) : )

I'm glad you were able to get a date. Not knowing what to expecit is probably one of the hardest things about this surgery. I had my surgery in November and was back in school full time right after Christmas break. I went back a little at a time 2 weeks after, but that was pushing it a lot. Hope everything works out for you and you have a successful surgery and recovery, and you can get back to music!! : )

peachrush7
09-10-2011, 03:01 PM
First of all congrats on making your dates! And don't feel bad about those moments of doubt. I'd say we all have them, even those of us who HAD to have the surgery. I was certain I was making the right choice, but I was still terrified about it. Thankfully I only had a month to be terrified. But what I did when I had those scared moments was repeat to myself why I was doing it now. I also tried to focus on the positives, like having a straight back, not having to worry about my curves progressing any more, things like that. Your date isn't too far out, which I think is a blessing. I don't know how people live with that date for a year or more! I'd have lost my mind lol.

I would definitely want to know what plan your surgeon had for your spine, I'd say that is a bit unusual here. But I guess every surgeon is different. Also, my surgeon told me in my pre-op visits he was going to fuse me all the way to S1 and then when I came out of surgery he happily told me I was only fused to L4. So I guess plans change. But it is good to have an idea! =)

Since I was already in pain pre-op I was scared of it getting worse (esp. since my surgeon warned me that could be the case with my leg pain) but so far for me, my pain has greatly decreased in one leg and is completely gone (as of 4-5 months post-op) in the other. I just decided that, worse case scenario, I'd rather be in pain with a straight back than be in pain with a crooked back that will eventually crush my insides.

As you are getting ready, you may find the preparing for surgery page on my blog helpful.

Blessings on your surgery!

JenniferG
09-10-2011, 03:38 PM
Congrats on your degree and your scheduled surgery, Bill! It's frustrating that some surgeons are not as available to their patients as they should. I hope you get your answers soon. I don't think it's too much to ask, though I know our surgeons are busy.

Best of luck! Glad you don't have too long to wait.

Jen

golfnut
09-10-2011, 04:35 PM
Billy,
Congratulations on getting your music degree! It's tough to make the decision to have surgery when you are in minimal pain. I was in minimal pain as well and was terrified of the surgery. I worried daily with "what if" thoughts prior to the surgery. I am happy to say that my recovery has (so far) been smooth with much less pain than I anticipated. Although recovery is no piece of cake, I am thrilled with the results and so happy that I decided to have the surgery. Best of luck and be sure to post after your surgery.

Elisa
09-10-2011, 07:48 PM
That's great about your music degree Bill and I'm wishing you all the best with your upcoming surgeries.

titaniumed
09-10-2011, 08:30 PM
Hi Bill
Congrats on the music degree and your decision.

Since you brought up the CD instrumentation subject, I ordered Dr Cotrel’s book “In the sands of Berck” today.

http://www.spineuniverse.com/professional/newsletters/doctor-yves-paul-cotrel-autobiography

I remember when his system came out back in 1984 and was exited about it. This system was the launching of the pedicle screw used in all the scoli surgeries done today. Before this time, it was Harrington rods and Luque wires.

All the best
Ed

progress
09-10-2011, 09:34 PM
Yes congrats,
I would also like to add, for those considering surgery that the post-op period is quite life changing. I felt a bit sorry for myself that I would be using all my accumulated sick and holiday pay on recovery. I am pleased to say though except for a bad two weeks in hospital, mainly due to a bowel ileus (sleepy bowel), recovery has been dreamlike. I have been enjoying walks and have really slowed down so I am noticing flowers etc that I would have overlooked in the past. I have really enjoyed quality time with family and friends, as well as reading and watching DVDs guilt free. This the holiday I always wanted but I think in holidays you always feel you should be on the go or productive. It sounds like you might be ready for this kind of break too. The area of my back that was concave is still quite numb and gets a bit achy at night but I feel that in time it will pass but may take months. I am now just over 4 weeks post-op and will be ready to return to work at 6 weeks, although my work isn't physical and quite cruisy.
All the best
Kelly
Progress
49 yrs
55 deg thoraculumbar

jrnyc
09-10-2011, 11:21 PM
hi Kelly
i am glad that you had a good experience with surgery...
but i am absolutely shocked that you compare it to a vacation!!

jess

mabeckoff
09-10-2011, 11:55 PM
Glad that you made the decision to schedule surgery. Once I made the date to have surgery, I felt better; like I had a plan going forward. My current surgeon is wonderful about returning calls and emails. My first surgeon did not get back to me in a timely manner at all, but then I had nothing to compare it to. You need to get your questions and concerns answered in a timely manner


Melissa

progress
09-11-2011, 12:04 AM
Yes congrats,
I would also like to add, for those considering surgery that the post-op period is quite life changing. I felt a bit sorry for myself that I would be using all my accumulated sick and holiday pay on recovery. I am pleased to say though except for a bad two weeks in hospital, mainly due to a bowel ileus (sleepy bowel), recovery has been dreamlike. I have been enjoying walks and have really slowed down so I am noticing flowers etc that I would have overlooked in the past. I have really enjoyed quality time with family and friends, as well as reading and watching DVDs guilt free. This the holiday I always wanted but I think in holidays you always feel you should be on the go or productive. It sounds like you might be ready for this kind of break too. The area of my back that was concave is still quite numb and gets a bit achy at night but I feel that in time it will pass but may take months. I am now just over 4 weeks post-op and will be ready to return to work at 6 weeks, although my work isn't physical and quite cruisy.
All the best
Kelly
Progress
49 yrs
55 deg thoraculumbar
Maybe my slowing down says something about what a stress head I have been and I think this major surgery helps us to not sweat the small stuff and appreciate everything. Anyway I hope this feeling lasts. But you can definately view recovery after the first few weeks as a chance for a break as long as you have support. Just go with the flow, use the grabbers, and let the house get a bit untidy.
Kelly

mabeckoff
09-11-2011, 12:17 AM
Maybe my slowing down says something about what a stress head I have been and I think this major surgery helps us to not sweat the small stuff and appreciate everything. Anyway I hope this feeling lasts. But you can definately view recovery after the first few weeks as a chance for a break as long as you have support. Just go with the flow, use the grabbers, and let the house get a bit untidy.
Kelly

Thank you Kelly for putting into words the way I am feeling

Melissa

BendyBill
09-11-2011, 04:34 AM
Katie, thank you and good luck for your degree. I'm so excited and feel endlessly positive about my career and it seems you feel the same way. How fortunate we are. The decision is getting much easier with time and research thank God, but that is not to say I won't start to get gradually more petrified as the surgery looms closer... :eek:


Rebecca, as I'm sure is the case for many, I am the same as you in that the main thing I'm worrying about is progression - that and a loss of ability to maintain some of the more strenuous activities that I hold dear to me (rock climbing, snow boarding, surfing, squash), which could be taken from me whatever my decision. Regardless, I am determined and WILL re-start these activities when my body is ready and when my doctor says I am able.
I have sent a follow-up email to my surgeon's secretary and will hopefully get a reply in the near(ish) future...
And thank you for directing me to your blog, this will be of great help to me and thank you for your blessings.

Karen, I'm so happy you're doing so well. I seem to remember some posts of yours saying you are rather active - would you say that such a successful recovery has something to do with this?

Ed, thanks for directing me to this book - it looks like a very interesting read! Do you know of any studies on the long-term effects of CD instrumentation? Thank you for your help and thank you for all your (1676) posts. They are invaluable.

Kelly, funnily enough I don't think I do need the break because as I type this post I'm in a villa in Spain in the blazing sun surrounded by olive groves, and I'll be here for another week and a half! I'm very much looking forward to spending time relaxing and watching DVDs but the excitement of having time to compose and play the 'cello far outweighs it! I hope I'm not being unrealistic when it comes to these things. Do you think I am?

Jess, my father and I have spoken about my surgery a lot and, although he is scared and has the parental guilt, he has also been telling me that this is a chance to take a load off. One thing he thinks is hugely important and almost certainly makes Kelly and Melissa's vacation-like recovery possible is POSITIVITY. It's effects are insurmountable.

Thanks for all your posts.

B

progress
09-11-2011, 08:51 PM
Wow, relaxing in Spain. No I don't think you are being unrealistic, especially after the first month of recovery. You may actually find your compositions are more creative. This surgery is so far out of the box that I think it has the potential to open up new possibilities in the way you think..or perhaps it's just the after effects of the drugs. At 4 1/2 weeks post-op I'm starting to look forward to getting back into things at work (counsellor/psychologist), but glad I still have another two weeks to be dreamy. Fatigue still comes over me suddenly for no particular reason so it's nice just to be self indulgent for a while and forget about time.
Kelly

jrnyc
09-11-2011, 11:13 PM
i felt really "dreamlike" with a fever of 104 degrees and septecemia,
but i wouldn't recommend it!
i never needed a vacation THAT badly!

jess

progress
09-12-2011, 01:23 AM
Hi Jess,
When did you have the surgery? And how are you now?
I'm still having my moments, just had a little cry because I'm sick of depending on my teenagers and feel I have to ask them politely all the time then wait for hours to have something done when they are ready. I'm also aware that I have had less levels fused than many have had on this forum (T9 to L3) which I think would definately make recovery easier. I also think I have a short memory of those first couple of weeks (survival skill). I still have a way to go, my right side is still quite numb, swollen and sore but I am feeling fairly positive that this will resolve. I think overall it has been easier than expected because I was expecting it to be hell on earth.
Kelly

titaniumed
09-12-2011, 01:36 AM
Long term effects of modern hardware?

No, I do not have any studies in my folders. Basically, the hardware realigns and holds vertebrae together till you fuse. After you are fused, they don’t serve much of a purpose, other than preventing long term bone remodeling over decades of time.

There could be a remote possibility that you will need a revision way down the road, I’m assuming that your surgeon will leave a few levels un-fused down low for mobility. This just seems par for the course, fusing to the sacrum doesn’t happen often with younger folks....

The lowest levels actually have about 20 degrees of articulation for each level.

Hmmm....Watching DVD’s in Spain....I would watch “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” since it was filmed there. Its rated 4th best film ever on IMDB and a favorite of mine.
Many spaghetti westerns were filmed in Spain years ago.
Ed

jrnyc
09-12-2011, 06:27 AM
hi Kelly
i have not had the surgery... yet...
though i started making plans in early 2007, medical issues as well as personal
things interfered, & i postponed the surgery with the surgeon in NYC who has been
following me for years...

at this point, needing fusion to the sacrum (w/pelvic fixation) is
one thing that has stopped me in my tracks....
i also have degenerative disc disease, listhesis, hypokyphosis,
spinal stenosis, and spinal arthritis.

i am so glad that you have had an excellent outcome, though i know you
are still healing...
i hope, once healed completely, that you can do every activity you ever
dreamed of doing....& that you will never need a revision....
i hope you will have the pain free life that you so deserve.

best regards...
jess

Doreen1
09-12-2011, 06:50 AM
Hi Jess,
When did you have the surgery? And how are you now?
just had a little cry because I'm sick of depending on my teenagers and feel I have to ask them politely all the time then wait for hours to have something done when they are ready.
Kelly

Hi Kelly,
I have a funny little story for you. A while ago I had a mini break down because I don't want to be a burden to anyone and usually don't ask for a lot of help... until now. Waiting for surgery has been a very humbling experience for me by needing to ask for help frequently. My hubby and daughter said there is no need to feel bad about asking for help, they are happy to help. So we have a new routine every night since I started taking Forteo (daily injections to build bone density for those who need stronger bones for surgery). 9pm I get settled into bed and either hubby or daughter bring up the Forteo pen (which needs to be refrigerated) to me, I do my thing, and they bring it back downstairs and put back into frig. I've heard patients say they are able to avoid dizziness/nausea by doing the shot in bed at night.

Ok, that's the background for my story. Last night, I'm in bed, have my little needle and alcohol swabs ready, I'm in my jammies waiting patiently. I don't hear anyone coming. I wait a little longer, little longer... how could they forget? :D So I walk toward my daughter's study and hubby's office which happen to be upstairs, just down the hall. I'm standing in the hall, look to my left and see hubby, look to my right and see daughter. I quietly asked, "Can someone bring me Forteo? Anyone? Anyone?" My daughter busts out laughing, "Mom, you are too cute!" She ran downstairs and brought it up and has learned how to do everything in the preparation of the shot except the actual injection (I prefer to do that myself). It's really sweet that she wants to help with the injections. She does the swabbing of the Forteo pen tip and my injection site, attaches the needle, loads the medicine, removes needle caps (I inject and replace needle cap), then she removes capped needle and places in bio-hazard container.

I look forward to being "on the other side" so I can relate to you and others who are now recovering.

Warmly,
Doreen

golfnut
09-12-2011, 01:48 PM
Bill,
Definitely, having a smooth recovery makes me want to be as active as allowed. I also have to
think that being in good physical condition prior to surgery and having a great surgeon attributed to a
smooth recovery. I realize that some people are in too much pain to exercise as much as I did before
surgery.

Kelly,
I know exactly what you meant. During my recovery, I didn't feel guilty watching movies and reading
tons of books. I had seldom taken a nap in the afternoon, but knew it was important for recovery and
enjoyed. However, I don't want that "vacation" ever again.

JenniferG
09-12-2011, 04:11 PM
I have to say that overall, I enjoyed my recovery. (Minus 2 weeks withdrawals from Oxycontin.) I think not having a job to go back to, helped. I was free as a bird. I had all day to do simple little tasks, there was no rush. I didn't have to chase after anybody else. There were no expectations. It was the most peaceful, relaxed time of my adult life. I know not everyone has it so good, but once out of hospital, things went very smoothly for me, apart from the withdrawals, and I think the meds actually relaxed me. I had been an awful sleeper, but I was sleeping 11 - 12 hours a night then 2 - 3 hours during the day. That was heaven to me.

Doreen1
09-12-2011, 04:20 PM
but I was sleeping 11 - 12 hours a night then 2 - 3 hours during the day. That was heaven to me.

Wow! That's sounds wonderful! :)

BendyBill
09-13-2011, 03:35 AM
Ed, just seen that if you do a google study search for 'Cotrel Dubousset' it comes up with a couple of interesting studies. I remember being told by my surgeon that I'm being fused down to L3 but, I have type II scoliosis and thought the lumbar curve was flexible and often corrects itself after the main structural curve is 'fixed'?! Is this right? If so, why do you think my fusion is going so low? Also, with a fusion to L3, is there more of a chance of disk degeneration at L4/5?
My knowledge of spaghetti westerns is minimal so I feel I need to gen up on that during my recovery. I'll be an expert by the time I'm better!!

Karen, good to know. Quick question regarding the exercise thing for you and any others who might be able to help: I did a bit of sight-seeing in Spain yesterday and went for a lovely jaunt around the Alhambra in Granada (beautiful place and well worth a look if you are in the area!!). It was a very long day with a lot of rather incline-ridden stretches and I could feel my back getting tired towards the end of the day. I powered through without too much trouble but, today, my back is so tight and sore! It seems to be tightness in the (very prominent) muscle on the outside of the convex part of my lower compensatory curve. The same place that I get it every time I do exercise! Do lots of people have this? And, does anyone know of any good stretches for it?!!?

As for relaxing during recovery, I need to have a certain degree of work/productive activity. I used to be a bit of a layabout and don't want to get lulled back into that pitfall!!

One more quick question. What is coronal decompensation?

Thanks for all your help!!

B

Coronal decompensation?

BendyBill
09-16-2011, 03:42 PM
Further to my questions in my previous post, I've been wondering if Scoliosis is making me tired?! I seem to be more tired than other people and sleeping more, too. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you think it's just me and how I am/a sleep problem or the tension in the muscles in my back working over time and wearing me out? Any ideas?

B

Doreen1
09-16-2011, 04:01 PM
Hi Billy,

As my situation has worsened dramatically this year (lost 3" in height, ribs compressing into lungs so that it hurts when I breathe, etc.), I find that I am worn out every afternoon. My new daily routine is: upon waking, do PT exercises followed by yoga since I have the most energy in the morning, about 2p laydown in bed on heating pad - sometimes I fall asleep, up out of bed by 4p, make dinner, family walk through neighborhood then bed by 9p for Forteo injection. Quite exciting days I lead. ;)

For me I think there are two major things at play causing my increased lack of energy.
#1 physical changes of progressing curves (muscles and bone contorting into places where they don't belong)
#2 mental exhaustion sorting out details of possibly doing out of state surgery since local surgeon canceled surgery

You're not alone.

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
09-16-2011, 04:47 PM
Bill, before my son had his first scoliosis surgery he'd come home from school around 3:00 in the afternoon and he'd be totally exhausted. I'm pretty sure it had a lot to do with his back muscles being so strained and sore and having to fight all day to keep his body in position. He got exhausted just walking across a parking lot at the very end would wear him out. His curve was very severe though: 110* when he was x-rayed in Portland in January 2011 and it might have been even more in March 2011 b/c he did actually lose an entire inch in height in those two months while we waited for a circle bed (halo traction) to come available.

BendyBill
10-07-2011, 10:30 AM
Hello all!

Spent 9 hours at the Nuffield in Oxford (UK) for my pre-op consultation yesterday and, apart from the delays they were experiencing, everything at my end seems to be in order. My consultant said I'll be fused from T3 to L3 which is slightly more than I thought... bummer. He's toying with the idea of going down to L4 but says it will depend on the flexibility of the compensatory lumbar curve. I expect they will decide this after having a good look at the bending xrays taken yesterday. I'm also going in for an MRI in a couple of weeks. What will this do? Is it just better because it's more detailed?

Also, what should I expect in terms of a loss of flexibility with a fusion T3-L3?

Trying to get a digital copy of my xray and I'll post it as soon as I have it!!

B x

JDM555
10-07-2011, 12:15 PM
Hey Bill. I'm fused down to L3, and flexibility isn't really compromised. It's not something that will change your world. Going down to L4, L5, S1 is where it starts making a difference. Try your hardest to stick to L3. But it really depends on your X-Rays and flexibility. If you must go to L4, make sure those lumbar levels are looking nice and straight so you don't have any asymmetrical loading and cause degeneration. Having 2 discs underneath is risky enough. Idk if you've read my thread, but I'm having revisional, and my first surgeon said I might need to go to L4, but stuck with L3 for flexibility, and my L4 was very unbalanced, so I'm having a revisional and luckily found out my spine is flexible to straighten everything out perfectly without extending it. Cause the less levels under the spine, the more stress they will have, which would cause more surgery down the road. And if you only have 2 levels, you'll be fused to S1 pretty quick. And I see you're only 24, and I bet you're active and what not.

Good to see another 20 something male on the forum lol. Don't see a lot of those around here. Take care and keep us updated.

Also, MRI shows the condition of the discs pretty much. Like if there is any problems or they are degenerating, it's just to make sure everything is in good condition. If there is degeneration in L4, he might have to include it in surgery just because it will continue to degenerate in time, causing you a revisional surgery in the near future. Basically look at this surgery, as fixing the levels that are curved from scoliosis, and after they fuse and become solid, you're now worried about the levels that are above and below those levels. Specifically the lower since you're going pretty low. The less discs, the more problems. It just causes problems with discs when you have a disc or two trying to carrying the stress from the many discs fused above it. So it will cause these discs to wear out over time, which means you have to extend the hardware down to that disc. And if you have only 1 disc, will, same story. So you'll be fused to S1 pretty much after time.

Hopefully your X-Rays show you good news like mine, such as being flexible enough to stay at L3 and still get a solid fixation with your spine.

djkinkead
10-07-2011, 08:12 PM
The MRI does provide a much greater detail than the xrays. My surgeon could tell between the xrays and MRI images that part of my spine had already fused in crooked, so he had to work around the fused bones--he believed in "doing no harm" so my spine isn't as straight as it probably could have been...but I gained about two inches...

I know everyone is providing great advice but the one I really held to and helped was "everyday it will get better"..... well, and the good pain meds help too.

Best wishes and I will be saying prayers for your surgery.

Dollie

BendyBill
10-08-2011, 05:49 AM
Yeah, my consultant was saying that I'd almost certainly have more problems if they had to fuse down to L4 so I'm desperately hoping that won't happen. I think I'm fairly flexible and I keep active so fingers crossed it'll be L3. And, yes! It's definitely good to have another 20something male on here. We are a rare breed.

Dollie, thanks for the advice. My surgeon said something similar to me on Thursday. He said I'll probably feel the worst I have ever felt - like having been hit by a truck - but that after a few days the progress is usually noticeable and that's a great help. Thank you for your prayers!

Overall, I'm feeling rather positive after my pre-op. The only thing I can see going wrong for me now is if the fusion has to go down to L4 but I'm hoping this won't happen...

Ah! One more thing. When I saw the Occupational Therapist, she told me I would have to inject myself in the stomach with some kind of blood thinner for 2 weeks after the operation to prevent DVTs. Is this usual? And I bet you guys didn't get the huge talk and testing for CJD (Mad Cow Disease) :)

Thanks for all your help!

B

titaniumed
10-08-2011, 07:49 AM
Bill

I remember when they were incinerating all the cattle in the UK back in the 90s. It was an alarming situation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy

http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1996Q1/madcow11.html

On the last mad cow scare out here, beef prices doubled. Billions of dollars in sales were created faster than a lightning strike.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I’m sure you have looked at my bending and twisting thread link in my sig. I have adapted and things are fine.

There are not too many of us guys with scoliosis here....If a new male reader needs surgery and needs a new user name, I would recommend “Rod Stewart”.LOL You younger guys were lucky to have missed the “Do you think I’m sexy” era of 30 years ago. They played that song every 10 minutes on radio back then.....the disco era. Those were tough times.
Ed

djkinkead
10-08-2011, 12:43 PM
Not sure your "Occupational Therapist" knew what she was talking about regarding blood thinners.

Not sure about others who had this surgery, but I was forbidden from taking any kind of NSAIDs (Motrin, etc) for one to two months before the surgery as the last thing they want is thinner blood. I believe I have read that on several websites as well preparing people for this surgery.

Actually, now after the surgery, I am not suppose to take any NSAIDs for quite a while as it can inhibit the fusion.

You may want to talk to your surgeon about this....the loss of blood during this surgery is always a big issue. I was lucky at my surgery, with a brand new surgery facility, they were able to recycle 1/2 my blood.

Just a heads-up on this topic.

Dollie

thirdattempt
10-08-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi Bill

This is my first post ... keeping my fingers crossed I will make sense. Just to say that I had my op (fused T3 to L5) at the NOC in Oxford in November 2009. I was in hospital for 2 weeks and can confirm that I had the blood thinning injections every day.

Coming up to 2 years and my recovery has been tough at times and I am still "getting there" but I am a 56 year old biddy - I am sure you will do great and bounce back much quicker.

Best of luck !

Love this forum. Just wish I had found it before I had my op - there are a few things I would have done differently pre-op and lots of things I wouldn't have stressed over so much post-op.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and advice.

Vicky
PS my user name thirdattempt relates to my efforts to join the forum, not how many operations I have had - I need to try and change it !

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 05:01 AM
Hi Vicky,

NIGHTMARE. Having to inject myself in the stomach is not a nice thought because I'm absolutely shocking with needles. I'll be fine with the tubes in me for the op and OK with taking blood but doing it myself??!! The OT said she might be able to find a way around it which would be lovely.

I'm so glad to hear that you're recovering nicely, I have heard on here that it can take rather a long time to feel completely normal again but you seem fairly positive so that's good!

May I just ask what the things are you would have done differently pre and post-op? And who was your surgeon? Bowden/Wilson-McDonald?

Thanks for your message, it's much appreciated.

B

thirdattempt
10-09-2011, 04:26 PM
Hi again Bill

Sorry - I should have explained that I didn't inject myself, a nurse did it and there was never any suggestion I should do it myself. I promise it was only a "little jab" - nothing too awful.

My surgeon is Mr Wilson-Macdonald and he seemed very happy with my recent xrays and CT scan. I am still taking some meds for the pain but he doesn't seem concerned about that. Apparently the fact that I am small and slight doesn't help but I am now back at work full-time and have had two holidays in the US this year so take heart from what everyone says that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am trying to give up the meds but if they are the payoff for being able to do all that I need to do, then so be it. I also go to hydrotherapy sessions at the NOC - when the NHS permits!

I think the main thing I have learned from the forum is that everyone is different and recovery takes it own time and route for all of us. There were many days post-op that I despaired of ever feeling "normal" again but all you can do is take it a day at a time. I'm sure you will have plenty of family and friends on hand to keep your spirits up and of course everyone here will be with you in spirit and providing useful advice and support.

Let me know if I can help with any further info on the practicalities. How long do they think you will be in hospital for?

Vicky

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 05:38 PM
Thanks for your reply, Vicky.

I suppose I'll just have to deal with the DVT shots, although I was told I'd have to do it to myself for up to 2 weeks after my surgery... bizarre.

I've hear brilliant things about Mr. Wilson-Macdonald. I'm under Mr. Bowden and saw his senior registrar who told me I should be back to work after 3 months, back to sport (he said even contact sports!) after 6 and totally back to normal with no restrictions after a year. Not sure if that might be slightly on the optimistic side but I'll try and work towards it. And they said I'd be in hospital for 4-5 days. How long were you in?

What drugs have you been on during your recovery? How have they effected you?

B

Elisa
10-09-2011, 05:45 PM
Contact sports after spinal fusion? Hmm, I don't think that's a good idea Bill. What kind of contact sports were you thinking of getting back into? I have been told absolutely no contact sports for my son, which is fine b/c he's not athletic anyway. I wouldn't risk it at all but then again, I'm keeping my son in a glass case until he's a full year post op, heh.

mabeckoff
10-09-2011, 05:57 PM
I only had a day or two of blood thinners. I , also, question the contact sports. I would be very careful

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 05:57 PM
I did find it a bit odd him saying that too and made my own decision to wait until after the final restrictions are lifted to partake in any contact sports - I'm taking no chances with my recovery. However, once restrictions have been lifted (I'm hoping after a year max) I plan on leading a life rich with adrenaline and excitement. Snowboarding, surfing, kite surfing, rock climbing as well as other things I come across on my travels - and I'll probably end up skydiving at some point too despite the warnings against it. It's just an experience that I think I'd regret not doing, you know?!

How is Elias doing?

B

JDM555
10-09-2011, 06:03 PM
Skydiving is on my list for sure lol. I also don't think contact sports, or even regular sports that involve twisting/bending/running/etc. at 6 months is a smart move. Work at 3 months is fine. I returned to school in the fall I think 4.5 weeks after surgery. It was tough, but doable. So 3 months should be plenty of time. I recommend walking and swimming for some exercise, but nothing that would affect your fusion/hardware. Just take it very easy, and don't bend/twist at all during recovery lol. Good Luck.

Elisa
10-09-2011, 06:05 PM
Those all sound like individual sports and not so much contact sports. When I think contact sports, I think hockey, rugby and American/Canadian football. I wouldn't even let my older son sign up for those sports and he has no spine issues at all but that's b/c I've seen so many serious injuries, especially in hockey, that I just wouldn't give my parental approval on it. The only sport he really wanted to join was football and there's no way I would let him. His cousin signed up for rugby and again I just said no. When he was old enough to sign for himself he'd already decided against those sports which is great. There are people here who have gone back to snowboarding, skiing (Ed) and horseback riding etc. but to my knowledge skydiving and bungy jumping are definitely out.

Elias is doing great. We/I am taking his recovery very slowly. He just started grade ten which is high school here and he's doing pretty well. He does not complain of any pain at all except to say his back feels 'tender'. I'll know more when we see Dr. K at the end of this month. Thanks for asking.

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 06:09 PM
The skydiving has got to happen :)

I swim a fair bit as it is so that's going to be my go-to exercise to ease me back into some vague shape after the down time. And the walks around where my parents live are nice so there's an extra bonus.

Thanks for your concern, mate.

Pooka1
10-09-2011, 06:11 PM
Did your surgeon say no sky diving? I would be surprised if so.

The only restriction my kids have is bungee jumping which apparently nobody should do in terms of potential to harm the back.

Good luck.

Elisa
10-09-2011, 06:16 PM
Did your surgeon say no sky diving? I would be surprised if so.

The only restriction my kids have is bungee jumping which apparently nobody should do in terms of potential to harm the back.

Good luck.
When you jump out of a plane with a parachute, isn't there a moment when you first jump that your spine is pulled upward? I don't know. I do know I'm not signing any waivers for anyone, especially Elias. As far as I know that's not on his wishlist anyway, thank goodness.

Pooka1
10-09-2011, 06:31 PM
When you jump out of a plane with a parachute, isn't there a moment when you first jump that your spine is pulled upward? I don't know. I do know I'm not signing any waivers for anyone, especially Elias. As far as I know that's not on his wishlist anyway, thank goodness.

I don't know. Maybe other parents can chime in on whether sky diving was mentioned as a restriction with fusion.

Pooka1
10-09-2011, 07:12 PM
I think in general, adults might have more restrictions than children.

There are surgeons out there who release kids from the hospital no less with NO restrictions other than their own pain.

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 07:22 PM
I specifically asked my surgeon with regard to skydiving and he said, once my restrictions are lifted by him I can go and do anything I want to. Roller coasters are another thing I have to be able to do!! I'm glad your son isn't effected too much by his limitations!

Pooka, I will have no limitations after I'm fully fused (if all goes as planned!!). Does that make me a child?! If so, my life makes a whole lot more sense :)

I'll definitely be switching off the kamikaze setting for a good year at least.

B

mabeckoff
10-09-2011, 07:23 PM
My first surgeon gave me many restrictions with a smaller fusion than DR Bederman has this year. He basically told me to use common sense and to do what I feel up to

Pooka1
10-09-2011, 07:27 PM
Bendy Bill,

Well you are 24. Young adults tend to group with kids in terms of recovery so I'm not shocked you will have no restrictions after the recovery period. That is the goal of the surgery.

We in my family all forgot the second anniversary of one daughter's surgery recently. My other daughter mentioned recently that she doesn't think about scoliosis any more. Our family has completely moved on from scoliosis. I think you will too along with most patients.

Good luck.

BendyBill
10-09-2011, 07:31 PM
Pooka, that is a wonderful sentiment - one I know I will be looking forward to during my recovery to help me along the way.

Thank you!

B

Elisa
10-09-2011, 10:05 PM
I don't know. Maybe other parents can chime in on whether sky diving was mentioned as a restriction with fusion.
Maybe those with fused spines shouldn't wear a parachute? Yes, I think that's what the restriction was; makes sense now, haha!

Pooka1
10-10-2011, 06:42 AM
I did find it a bit odd him saying that too and made my own decision to wait until after the final restrictions are lifted to partake in any contact sports - I'm taking no chances with my recovery. However, once restrictions have been lifted (I'm hoping after a year max) I plan on leading a life rich with adrenaline and excitement. Snowboarding, surfing, kite surfing, rock climbing as well as other things I come across on my travels - and I'll probably end up skydiving at some point too despite the warnings against it. It's just an experience that I think I'd regret not doing, you know?!


As far as I can tell from our surgeon and the testimonials, after the fusion period (8 months in our cases), some surgeons restrict contact sports and some don't. Clearly they are each working from their own datasets with various degrees of caution built in.

Pooka1
10-10-2011, 06:47 AM
Hi Vicky,

NIGHTMARE. Having to inject myself in the stomach is not a nice thought because I'm absolutely shocking with needles.

I bet you come up to speed very quickly on that. I give my horse shots to preserve his joints and it took only about 3 shots before I was completely comfortable.

Good luck.

thirdattempt
10-10-2011, 03:36 PM
Wow !

You are a real action man, aren't you? I hope you get to fulfil your ambition - sounds like it's a done deal already :) The most adventurous thing I have done post-op is bounce around Monument Valley in a jeep - not very comfortable at times but I was determined to do it and it felt great afterwards. This probably sounds pretty tame to you but if you saw how delicate I was for a while post-op, you'd be impressed too ! LOL

I was in hospital for 2 weeks. Mr Wilson-Macdonald said one week at my pre-op assessment but I had a tough time, losing a lot of blood during the op, and then had pnemonia. At one point they were thinking of transferring me to the JR as I needed more medical nursing than orthopaedic care - they even had the band round my wrist ready - but I must have picked up OK as I stayed put (or maybe there wasn't a bed available - you know how it is!)

I started back at work after 3 months, but only for a few hours twice a week at first and built it up from there. It was a year before I was back full-time and working normally.

I have been taking various strengths of co-codamol and gabapentin. Luckily I didn't have any bowel problems with the codeine which many seem to suffer from. They do make me drowsy at times though and I am looking forward to being able to think more clearly again. I'm not happy about being on them for so long but neither my GP nor Mr W-M seem unduly concerned which is why I didn't start cutting back sooner.

Everyone says to walk as much as you can during your recovery and I agree. As it was winter (remember all that snow in early 2010?), I used to get someone to drive me to a shopping centre where I could do my walking in the warm - the cold made my back muscles spasm and it was unbearable (still isn't great if I get really cold or shiver) so you might want to bear that in mind.

You probably won't have any of these problems - as I said I am small and slight and somehow I get the idea that you aren't - you're certainly much tougher (and fitter) than me anyway ! Just the thought of stepping out of that aeroplane is enough to make my back twinge! LOL

Vicky

BendyBill
10-13-2011, 07:09 AM
Absolute nightmare. Surgery has been cancelled because my surgeon is going off somewhere for November. I'm sure it's for something important but it's a pain in the backside nonetheless!! Potentially a slot free mid December but they dont know if they'll be able to shuffle it around to make it work so it's all completely up in the air. To top it all off, this morning I traveled from London to Oxford to get an MRI done and got there only to be told that the MRI machine was broken.

Why is it when things seem to be going OK, when you finally come to terms with hard times, it all goes bloody wrong!!

GRRRRRRRRRRR

B

Pooka1
10-13-2011, 07:21 AM
Oh wow I'm sorry to hear all that! They should have called you about the MRI to save you the trip.

Hopefully you will get back on schedule. Stay positive.

thirdattempt
10-13-2011, 11:02 AM
Hi Bill

Rotten news about your surgery being delayed. Will keep my fingers crossed that Mr Bowden can re-schedule you for December now that you are "prepared".

No excuse for not letting you know about the scanner being out of action. Maybe the admin people didn't realise you had a journey to make but they should have checked. I would have been annoyed too and I live locally!

Hope you hear from them soon

Vicky

mabeckoff
10-13-2011, 11:12 AM
Sorry to hear about your surgery being cancelled. Hope you can get it rescheduled quickly.

Also, they should have called you about the MRI not working

JDM555
10-13-2011, 12:49 PM
Ahhhh that sucks, I'm sorry to hear that man. I would be pissed! I had my first surgery scheduled on Dec. 12-16 (Don't remember lol), and then they postponed it to the 28th and I was mad, can't imagine another 5 weeks. Hopefully they get you in and you get your surgery asap. Good luck.

BendyBill
10-13-2011, 07:28 PM
Well hopefully everything will be sorted soon. And, Vicky, I'm going to try my hardest to get hold of Mr. Bowden asap but he's not the easiest to pin down, I must say...

Right, I've now had a solid day of moaning so I think it's out of my system :) Thank you all for your support. Onwards and upwards!

B

Pooka1
10-13-2011, 08:02 PM
Well hopefully everything will be sorted soon. And, Vicky, I'm going to try my hardest to get hold of Mr. Bowden asap but he's not the easiest to pin down, I must say...

Right, I've now had a solid day of moaning so I think it's out of my system :) Thank you all for your support. Onwards and upwards!

B

BB, I really love your attitude. I bet you do well. :-)

BendyBill
10-17-2011, 05:13 AM
Has anyone ever had a surgeon who doesn't seem to have any interest in building any kind of personal relationship with you? On two occasions over the past few months I've called up Mr. Bowden's secretary and asked a couple of fairly standard questions (what levels am I having fused/did the bending x-ray change that etc...) and have waited for months to get an answer. I then end up calling more to chase him up and just feel like I'm nagging. When I do speak to his secretary she says "He'll call you in the next couple of days" etc... and when he doesn't call me for months it starts to knock my confidence. He didn't speak to me when I went for my pre-op consultation and I was in the same room as him! If it was me I would have made a quick stop to check that everything was OK, you know? I get that he is a brilliant surgeon and get that he's manically busy but shouldn't there be a slightly more personal relationship?! And I know I'm just another patient but surely it's part of his job to stop me feeling that way?!

Any comments? Am I being over-sensitive?

B

Doreen1
10-17-2011, 07:08 AM
Has anyone ever had a surgeon who doesn't seem to have any interest in building any kind of personal relationship with you? On two occasions over the past few months I've called up Mr. Bowden's secretary and asked a couple of fairly standard questions (what levels am I having fused/did the bending x-ray change that etc...) and have waited for months to get an answer. I then end up calling more to chase him up and just feel like I'm nagging. When I do speak to his secretary she says "He'll call you in the next couple of days" etc... and when he doesn't call me for months it starts to knock my confidence. He didn't speak to me when I went for my pre-op consultation and I was in the same room as him! If it was me I would have made a quick stop to check that everything was OK, you know? I get that he is a brilliant surgeon and get that he's manically busy but shouldn't there be a slightly more personal relationship?! And I know I'm just another patient but surely it's part of his job to stop me feeling that way?!

Any comments? Am I being over-sensitive?

B

Hi Billy,
I've heard that Dr. Bridwell here in the states is an excellent surgeon with less than desirable bedside manners too. As far as not receiving call backs, that is frustrating I am sure. Didn't Vicky (thirdattempt member name on forum) have surgery by Dr. Bowden? Do you know if she had a similar experience? Do you know if this is a case of the doctor not calling you back because he is not getting your messages? Do you have to go through the pre-op tests again since your surgery date was cancelled? Have they locked you down for a new date?

Warmly,
Doreen

BendyBill
10-17-2011, 07:50 AM
Hi Doreen,

I seem to remember that Vicky was under Mr. Wilson-MacDonald. I did inquire as to whether I could transfer to him but he is booked up years in advance!!

I know he is getting my messages because his secretary tells me she has forwarded my messages to him. And that is a very good point about the pre-op consultation - I hadn't even thought about it! I bloody hope not!!!

Not even a hint of a new date on the horizon. I've been calling the booking line and they haven't been able to get hold of Mr. Bowden either. I am feeling rather out of the loop and it's starting to bend me out of shape (pun fully intended) ever so slightly...

Thanks for your help,

B

LindaRacine
10-17-2011, 10:13 AM
Hi Billy...

Surgeons are just like the rest of us. Some of us are friendly and talkative, while others aren't. If you're confident that your chosen surgeon is qualified and experienced, I wouldn't worry all that much about his personality. When I had my first surgeries, I went for the guy who was warm and friendly. Not sure I'd make that same choice today.

With socialized medicine, there's not a huge incentive to work lots of hours. So, it's possible that your surgeon just doesn't have the time to return phone calls. I totally understand why that's shaken your confidence. It's especially concerning in terms of communication after surgery.

Regards,
Linda

thirdattempt
10-17-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Bill

I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing frustrations with the NHS system.

Not sure it was much help but did you see my PM?

Vicky

BendyBill
10-18-2011, 05:30 AM
Hi Linda,

Thanks for your post. You're right about the personality - it doesn't matter if they are nice or not, it's their ability as a surgeon that counts. But I don't want him to be my friend, I want him to answer my questions! I should, however, be more understanding because I'm sure he has more important things to do than answer questions that will not change the outcome of my surgery at all. You're right about it being the post-op care that is the worrying part. Any advice on this?

Just been having a look at your website and reading the 'How to Select a Spine Surgeon' page... "Does the doctor answer all of your questions and provide you with enough information about your condition? Does he or she spend enough time with you? Is the physician reachable? Open-minded? A good listener?".. uh oh... :)

Vicky, thanks for your PM - I have now replied.

B

BendyBill
11-10-2011, 05:44 AM
Hello all!

Finally managed to get a set of the xrays and thought you might like to see them. My surgery date has been postponed again from 13th December to 3rd January so I have another wait to endure! What a nightmare! My surgeon still hasn't replied to my questions so, Vicky, I took your advice and got my GP chivvy. Hopefully it will work!

In the meantime I was wondering if, from the bending xrays I've posted, you guys could give me your opinions on how my lumbar flexibility looks?

Hope you're all well!

B

PS I hope the attachments work!

PPS Hooray! They worked!

rohrer01
11-10-2011, 07:11 AM
Wow! you have bee through a LOT! I don't think it is unreasonable to want to know what they are going to do to you. I talked with another patient of my doctor and he removed a rib from her and didn't tell her he was going to do that. She was upset, but blamed herself for "not knowing". Quite frankly, how can you know if they don't tell you? At least for myself, knowing what is going to happen to me would help me prepare mentally. I think it is the duty of the surgeon to lay out his plan of attack, so to speak. Even if you have to pin him down at the last minute (hopefully not that late in the game), but I'm sure you will have another pre-op appointment since your date got pushed up so far. If he doesn't make eye contact with you or attempt to talk to you, I would say, "Excuse me, but..." You get the idea. In defense of the surgeons,"The best laid plans of mice and men..." sometimes they have to change mid-way when they actually get in there and see how your spine is responding to manipulation. You have two things in your favor: 1. You are young. 2. You are physically fit.

To answer the question about the x-rays. It looks to my totally untrained eye, that you do still have curvature in your mid-lumbar region upon bending, so it looks to me like your compensatory curve has become structural. My guess is that he will fix that, too. I will probably save you problems later on. But I am by no means trained in any of this. I had the same thing happen to me. I had a small compensatory curve (like around 20* somewhere), but it progressed and is now 38* and structural. My single major curve turned into a double major curve. My doctor said that would have to be fixed when the time comes to have surgery.

I wish you all the best on your upcoming surgery and I hope you can pin that doctor down and get some answers! You sound like a nice guy and it's harder for us "nice" or "shy" people to be assertive, but this is your body we are talking about here. I think it would be totally proper for you to insist on answering a few questions before you get into the operating room. Thanks for the updates. I like to read other people experiences. It helps prepare me for when my day comes, so THANK YOU for sharing!

Take Care

titaniumed
11-11-2011, 12:17 AM
Bill
The first thing I noticed is that your iliac crest heights on both sides look even. Once again, you have your youth going for you. You should do well and get a pretty good correction.

Here is my x-ray in 1993, at age 35. They look similar...and you can put them together as a comparison. Things got worse by age 49 and my 40s’ included painful episodes.

I can see why you want to get this fixed.

Hang in there, it will happen soon.
Ed

rohrer01
11-11-2011, 12:47 AM
Ed, your body looked surprisingly straight for how bad your back is in that x-ray.

BendyBill
11-24-2011, 10:00 AM
Ed, you're right they are remarkably even - I hadn't thought to look! And thanks for the photo.

Quick question for you all... I've been offered a headline slot at a pretty nice venue in London which would mean 8 gigs a week (6 days a week with 2 matinee performances) for almost a month on top of rehearsal time. The downside is that it's only 3 months after my operation. Do you think this is doable? They will be fairly active performances and I'm worried I might damage something or just not have the energy to pull it off. On the other hand, it would be a huge shame to turn it down.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

B

Pooka1
11-24-2011, 11:17 AM
Oh hey I think your lumbar is not structural. I think the criteria is to bend out some percentage of it which I think you have. Linda might know. I am not a surgeon but I am betting they tell you it is a single T curve and that is the area that will be fused.

Good luck.

titaniumed
11-24-2011, 01:20 PM
Bill

Its hard to say if you are going to feel good enough to pull the gig off. Of course there is a big difference in exactly what this entails. Are you going to be singing Queen’s “Bohemian rhapsody” through a 200,000 watt pa system? Its been 20 years today since Freddie passed. RIP

Sitting is hard after surgery.....at your age, (playing cello?) you might be able to pull this off and make it happen.

Its Thanksgiving today.....a day we give thanks and eat massive amounts of turkey. I hope I survive. (smiley face)

Ed

BendyBill
11-26-2011, 10:44 AM
Ed

I's a run with a pretty energetic vocal group I'm in. We're working our way up to the the level of the great Freddie Mercury and to the stadium tours but I have a feeling it'll be a while until that happens :)

Cue shameless self-promotion... here is a video of us backstage before a gig performing one of our numbers. The shows in March with have a lot more movement than this and will each be about an hour and a half in length.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnl1W80TwgU&feature=player_embedded

Enjoy!

B

PS Spot the scoli!

Pooka1
11-26-2011, 10:55 AM
That was FABULOUS! I would gladly pay to see a performance! You guys are spectacular!

It is very hard to say how any recovery will go. Although you are an adult, you are young and I think your recovery will be more like a teenager's recovery in terms of speed of healing. Both of my daughters were pretty close to normal at 3 months. It is not crazy to suggest you could do that if you walked miles and miles and miles in your recovery.

Good luck and thank you very much for posting that! What a pleasure to watch!!!

ETA: My daughters had a similar curve to yours... 58* and 57* thoracic curves.

Doreen1
11-26-2011, 11:11 AM
PS Spot the scoli!

How COOL! I couldn't spot the scoli... which one r ya?

Warmly,
Doreen

Elisa
11-26-2011, 12:53 PM
Well that got put on my fb in a hurry; very entertaining! And no, I can't spot the scoli.

BendyBill
11-26-2011, 01:28 PM
I'm the me in the red hoodie. Does anyone else find the signs of their own scoliosis massively obvious when others can't see them?

B

Elisa
11-26-2011, 01:47 PM
I watched it again and still can't spot the scoliosis... take yer shirt off so we can have a closer look, lol.

Okay, you have an awesome voice and am assuming you're the lead singer? If so, maybe you can modify your movements after surgery and concentrate on the singing if it it still too painful for you move around so much. I don't really know, just thinking out loud here as I'd hate for you to give up such a great gig.

Pooka1
11-26-2011, 01:55 PM
Oh hey you might want to make damn sure you aren't getting an anterior fusion. There is at least one testimonial on here about how that compromised a person's singing ability. Ask the surgeon if it is to be entirely posterior.

JenniferG
11-26-2011, 01:59 PM
Loved it Bill, thanks for posting! No, I did not pick the scoli.

I think your recovery will go well, considering your age. Get fit as possible before surgery, I'm sure that will help. Walk miles, as Sharon says, post surgery, and speak to your surgeon about it. If he thinks it might be too much (which I doubt,) is it possible to limit some of the physical antics just a little, especially twisting?

titaniumed
11-26-2011, 02:28 PM
That was fantastic! And I did spot you in the red hoodie. Your shoulders give it away about half way through while you are singing.

It’s a good thing your not the full time drummer! If the audience demanded a drum solo, that could be a problem.....(smiley face)

I think your going to be able to pull this off.....your going to have to! the show must go on!
The first few weeks will hurt, but you will come around in time.

Ed

JDM555
11-26-2011, 02:46 PM
I'm going to throw this out there, but the guy in the red sweater? His left shoulder is slightly lower than his right.



Edit: Nevermind, I guess I missed some posts lol. I was right though.

Awesome performance btw.

Mojo's Mom
11-26-2011, 03:07 PM
Bill, you are AWESOME! Love the performance, love the group...it's so interesting to find out what some of us are about, beyond our scoliosis. I'm not surprised you have a great gig offered. I did not pick out your "bendy" back, either. I'll watch again now that I know which is you. I also was betting on the blue t-shirt, for the same reason that the tall skinnies go with scoliosis so often.

thirdattempt
11-26-2011, 04:35 PM
Bill

I am speechless with admiration! Not only of your contribution to such a fantastic group or your great voice and obvious talent ... but as much as anything because you are prepared to get “out there” and not let your scoli get in the way of living life to the full. Just wish I had been so confident at your age!

I watched that clip twice and promise I didn’t notice "the signs” which to be honest I DID spot when I watched again once I knew you were Mr Hoodie ! As someone said (was it you?) – we think our own problems stand out like a sore thumb for all the world to see when in reality it’s probably only us that sees them. I have a friend who is a nurse and I knew her for over two years before she realised I had a problem, even though, as she puts it, she is “in the business”!

Anyway, I think you are a fantastic guy and am sure you are going to do brilliantly once they stop shifting the date for your operation. I was going to say I hope it won’t spoil your Christmas, but somehow I don’t think it you will let it !

Just off back to youtube to watch some more of those great clips.
Vicky

Doodles
11-26-2011, 05:15 PM
Bill--
That video was truly awesome. My son-in-law in Minneapolis just left a similar group due to family, job, etc. was making it too difficult to continue so I love these kind of groups. I'll have to alert him to your group. Your voice is really wonderful. Janet

loves to skate
11-26-2011, 08:37 PM
Wow, that was an amazing performance. I have never seen anything like that and you have a wonderful voice also. I am sure you will be able to keep up once you are healed. It's not like you are doing cartwheels and such. Movement is good as long as you aren't bending over. Take care.
Sally

BendyBill
12-20-2011, 09:04 PM
2 weeks and counting... Any last minute bits of advice?

B

PS I'll write a proper post tomorrow when I will finally have a spare moment!

titaniumed
12-20-2011, 09:25 PM
Bill

Drink lots of eggnog. (Spiked, of course, it’s the holidays)

Take pictures of you back now. Once your fused, that’s it. I have no pics of my back before my surgeries.

Get a foam topper for your bed. 2-4 inches thick. Have 2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate laying around just in case.

Ed

JDM555
12-20-2011, 10:44 PM
Just relax and enjoy these 2 weeks. They will fly by and you'll be in hospital before you know it. Don't stress or worry, everything will go wonderfully. Keep us updated! I think you should get the foam topper like Ed said, you'll be in a lot of surgical pain, so having that cushion will help when you're in bed. Get prune juice, seriously. I've tried laxatives/stool softeners post-op, and it didn't do a single thing. The pain meds make you constipated. But the prune juice is the best thing I ever got. Take a warm cup in the morning on an empty stomach and you'll be golden. Have a laptop or something so you can lay in bed and do things there instead of sitting in an uncomfortable chair.

Good Luck.

LSKOCH5
12-21-2011, 06:34 AM
Oh my gosh, that video was great, all the talent there, esp your voice. Well done!
BB - you're having your scoli surgery same day as my 14yo Jacob is (t3-L2). He's also a musician - pianist & drummer, they've joked he'll have a drum pad suspended over the hospital bed to make him feel at home lol. Positive expectations that both surgeries will have best outcomes & that you'll both be back to music & life before your activities before you know it. That's quite a list of activities for you - have you kite surfed before? It's on our to do list as we love to see them fly over the waves & calm alike here.
Keep positive & enjoy your Christmas!

BendyBill
12-25-2011, 07:48 PM
Thanks for all the advice! The foam topper arrived a couple of days ago and I'm just trying it out for the first time this second - I can see how it will help. I've been out to buy a load of Magnesium Citrate, prune juice, dried apricots and my mum bought some kind of Aloe Vera based drink which she thinks might help too. Overkill? :)

Time is moving so fast at the moment and I know it'll only get faster over the next week. Going clay pigeon shooting tomorrow at my family friends' farm then taking my girlfriend to the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales for a few days before New Years parties and suddenly the op is there. No time to sort anything out! I spent an hour or two today just putting things in places I'll be able to reach so I don't have to keep on asking my parents! Was there anything you found important that you kept close by or left in a readily accessible place?

TiEd, great idea to take pictures before the op - I would never have remembered to do it!!

John, cheers for the advice. I think you're right that trying to remain relaxed is pretty important at this stage. I think I'm doing OK - perhaps a little frantic with the preparations but that shouldn't do me any harm! I never congratulated you for spotting me in the video - I feel like there should be some kind of prize involved but can't think of anything suitable.

LSKOCH5, thanks a lot! Never kite surfed before but it's on my list and my list always gets checked off!! Send my best wishes to Jacob for his surgery and be sure let us know how his recovery goes.

Had a wonderful Christmas today starting at my local pub this morning and continuing to eat and drink myself into a food and wine coma throughout the day! Now I feel terrible from my full stomach but festive and happy nonetheless! HAPPY DAYS!

Merry Christmas everyone!

B

JDM555
12-26-2011, 02:53 AM
Merry Christmas Buddy. I'm glad you're finally get the surgery. You have it all under control so far. Everything you listed is great. Have fun and enjoy the remaining few days with family and your GF and just enjoy everything. Picture thing was a good idea, I took pre and post op pictures and they are interesting to view. Be warned, your upper body will be stretched lol. I'm very happy you're finally taking care of your scoliosis and getting the surgery. I hope all goes well and you live a very happy and successful life. I've kept you in my prayers. Good luck man, and I can't wait to hear from you from the other side.

leahdragonfly
12-26-2011, 10:35 AM
Hi Bill,

Merry Christmas to you and best of luck with your surgery. I am sure you will come through with flying colors.

I really loved your video, and enjoyed several of your group's others, too. You have an amazing voice! It was fun to see you performing.

Let us know how you're doing,

mabeckoff
12-26-2011, 07:16 PM
Please keep us informed about your surgery

BendyBill
01-01-2012, 01:45 PM
Couple of last minute questions...
Starting to get a little apprehensive - any of you have a method or two to manage the nerves?
Also, are pre meds obligatory or can you choose not to have them? Would you recommend them?

Hope you're all well.

B

loves to skate
01-01-2012, 03:02 PM
Couple of last minute questions...
Starting to get a little apprehensive - any of you have a method or two to manage the nerves?
Also, are pre meds obligatory or can you choose not to have them? Would you recommend them?

Hope you're all well.

B

Bill,
I listened to relaxation tapes and very relaxing music. I also wrote down some of my thoughts and fears and totally put my trust in God. I don't know what you mean by pre meds, but I took Ambien for sleep the last week or two before my surgery.
Best wishes for a good outcome for your surgery.
Sally

JenniferG
01-01-2012, 04:24 PM
If by pre-meds you mean the little relaxation tablet they give you just prior to surgery, I have to say, go for it! I was not overly nervous but had planned on asking for one, on the recommendation of someone else. There was no argument, they brought me the tablet and I went off to sleep. I wasn't aware of going in to OR, the time in the OR before anaesthesia or anything else. I highly recommend it.

golfnut
01-01-2012, 06:35 PM
Bill,
I don't know where I have been, but I just now noticed all of the references to your video and went through the blogs to find it. I would not have been able to pick you out as the one with scoliosis. I loved the creative music of your group. You have a really nice voice. Best wishes for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery.

titaniumed
01-01-2012, 07:46 PM
Bill

Try running.....or a fast walk.

On my final day I felt a feeling of total relaxation almost like a fish who gives up the fight. I felt this way since there was no turning back. Others here have reported this feeling.

Remember that you will be in good hands, these people do this everyday....you will do just fine.

Post when you can, or have a friend or relative post for you.
Ed

rohrer01
01-01-2012, 08:29 PM
Better late than never. I watched your video and..... it's AWESOME!!!!! I could only spot the scoli because I was looking for it. A belated answer to your question about anyone else self-conscious about the deformity but others don't notice: YES. I look at my back in the mirror and see wrinkles and folds where they shouldn't be. My musculature is odd and my right arm hits my body whereas my left arm dangles inches away. No one else notices, but I don't make it a habit to run around with no clothes on either, LOL. I'm guessing you'll be taller when you're all done. I haven't had surgery so I can't really comment on your presurgery jitters. I wish you all the best, though. You have so much talent, it's truly amazing!

Singer
01-02-2012, 07:48 AM
Bill ...I also just watched your video and loved it. You have a wonderful voice and I would never have spotted your curve. Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery. You're young and should do fine.

loves to skate
01-02-2012, 11:04 AM
If by pre-meds you mean the little relaxation tablet they give you just prior to surgery, I have to say, go for it! I was not overly nervous but had planned on asking for one, on the recommendation of someone else. There was no argument, they brought me the tablet and I went off to sleep. I wasn't aware of going in to OR, the time in the OR before anaesthesia or anything else. I highly recommend it.

Why would it even be necessary to ask for something before surgery? I was given light sedation via IV just before I was wheeled off to surgery and don't remember the ride down the corridor and I wanted to see what the operating room looked like. Is that not standard in Australia or the UK?
Sally

JenniferG
01-02-2012, 01:53 PM
I'm not sure. It was the only surgery I've ever had. At that point, I had no IV.

BendyBill
01-02-2012, 05:29 PM
Catch you all on the flip-side

B

LSKOCH5
01-02-2012, 09:03 PM
Best of luck to you Bill! I was thinking about you this afternoon as we are in the final hours beforehand as well. Hope you have a smooth time of it, and look forward to hearing how you did. Six hours til we wake up for the ride to the hospital and Jacob is excited to move forward. All the best,
LeighAnn

BendyBill
01-05-2012, 10:09 AM
Hi guys. Surgery went well - pretty much got me completely straight and only fused from T3-L1. Lost a lot of blood so have had a few transfusions. Day 1 was tough. On Day 2 and things are getting a little easier. Off the morphine pump and on something that I'm drinking from a syringe that tastes like what I imagine cat piss to taste like. Stood up a couple of times but get nauseous and light headed (probably to do with blood). I'll let you know how I'm feeling tomorrow.

B

mabeckoff
01-05-2012, 10:23 AM
Glad to hear that you are on the other side. Take it easy and you will start to feel better soon

jrnyc
01-05-2012, 11:04 AM
congratulations, Bill...
hope your recovery from now on is uneventful and smooth...
please have people with you always, whenever you get up or out of bed....
that dizziness...you don't want to fall anywhere!!


jess

JenniferG
01-05-2012, 03:04 PM
That was quick! Congratulations Bill. I was light headed on Day 2 as well. They gave me another unit of blood and I was fine on Day 3 to walk (though only to the door and back.) Glad you got a great result! I hope the days flow by smoothly and it's not long before you're home. Isn't it good to have it over and done with?!

titaniumed
01-05-2012, 06:56 PM
Bill

You did it. Just try to hang for now, take it slow. Things will improve in time....

Ed

JDM555
01-05-2012, 09:56 PM
Good to hear from you Bill. The first few days are tough from blood loss and anesthesia, but it'll wear off. Good luck with everything and keep us updated.

LSKOCH5
01-06-2012, 06:17 AM
So happy it all went well for you! You were in my thoughts and prayers. Hope your recovery progresses well. Each new step is such a hurdle, but seems to be done without a second thought the next time Are they giving you anything for the nausea? Funny how you two on the same day had the same T3-L1.

BendyBill
01-07-2012, 09:59 AM
Day 4 and things are progressing slowly. Walking without help down the corridor and tried the stairs today which went well. It's gettin in an upright position from bed that is where the pain really goes up and I'm still getting a little woozy when I put back down. Told I could go home today but the pain is still a little too much to bear in a new Place with new obstacles, if you know what I mean?

B

titaniumed
01-07-2012, 11:15 AM
Bill

Don’t leave until you feel you can handle it. You are on oral meds correct? Are you eating?

The woozy feeling is from the meds.....

Hang in there
Ed

JDM555
01-07-2012, 02:52 PM
Yes, I agree with Ed. Don't force yourself to get out of the hospital to hurry home, because it'll be harder to get any help when you get home. Stay another day or two until you feel ready to take care of yourself, don't rush things. Also, I'm wondering if you've been switched to oral meds, the switch is a pain man, give that a day or two as well. Good luck and hope you recover great. Let us know if we can answer any questions or help you in any way.

BendyBill
01-07-2012, 04:20 PM
Yeah, been moved to oral meds now. I'm on Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and some morphine substitute beginning with T. Not eating great at the moment but mostly because the food is appalling here. Still no bowel movements yet either... Hopefully sort that out when I get home tomorrow...

Thanks again for your help - hope you're doing well

B

JDM555
01-07-2012, 04:37 PM
Yeah, been moved to oral meds now. I'm on Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and some morphine substitute beginning with T. Not eating great at the moment but mostly because the food is appalling here. Still no bowel movements yet either... Hopefully sort that out when I get home tomorrow...

Thanks again for your help - hope you're doing well

B

I'm doing great, don't worry about me though hehe, focus on healing. I haven't heard of paracetamol, but morphine/dilaudid/fentanyl seem to be the famous 3 IV meds. But why are you on Ibuprofen this early? That's a NSAID and most surgeons tell patients to avoid taking it until they are completely fused. I would talk to my surgeon and see if there's a substitute or way to avoid taking a NSAID this early.

rohrer01
01-07-2012, 04:38 PM
It's nice to hear that you are on the "other side" and making progress. I'm really surprised that they are letting you take ibuprofen. I've heard that it inhibits the bone graft from forming. I'd ask your doc about that one. Sorry to hear about the food. All of the hospitals that I've been in have actually had pretty decent food considering the reputation that hospitals have for really bad food. LOL When my daughter had her baby, they served us ribeye steak with baked potatoes a very nice salad and a bottle of non-alcoholic "champaign".

JDM555
01-07-2012, 05:05 PM
When my daughter had her baby, they served us ribeye steak with baked potatoes a very nice salad and a bottle of non-alcoholic "champaign".

....Are you serious? I would be in the hospital all the time if they served food like that lol. My food wasn't that great, but then again it's very hard to eat the first few days so I don't remember much. I would of remembered ribeye and champagne.

loves to skate
01-07-2012, 06:44 PM
....Are you serious? I would be in the hospital all the time if they served food like that lol. My food wasn't that great, but then again it's very hard to eat the first few days so I don't remember much. I would of remembered ribeye and champagne.

John, I think you have to have a baby to get that kind of treatment at a hospital these days. Hehe

rohrer01
01-07-2012, 09:42 PM
Yes, it was a celebratory dinner! Actually, I never got that kind of treatment when I had babies, but that was a long time ago. LOL You can also tell I'm not a drinker as I can't spell champagne!

BendyBill
01-09-2012, 03:28 PM
Asked about the Ibuprofen and they said it is only for a the first week as it is good for bone pain so I'm off it after tomorrow. Is does seem a little bizarre nonetheless...

Recovery is going strangely well... I'm not even a week out and today's pain was minimal. I'm taking it easy but mobility is good. I had a walk across the road and through the small grounds of a church opposite my parents place, I'm up and about for meals and tea etc... Had a fairly long shower, had 2 lots of guests for an hour or so each. I feel a little sleepy this evening but in a good way. And I'm only on half doses of Treadamol (1 4x/day rather than 2 4x/day). Should I expect this just to be a good day?

Thanks again for all your help.

B

JenniferG
01-09-2012, 04:07 PM
Wow! That is good news Bill. Some people just seem to have an easy time with pain. It's fascinating how different we all are.

My partner had foot/ankle surgery in October. There were four incisions. They cut and reattached a tendon, did osteotomies, added wedges between bones, stripped his archilles tendon to stretch it, put in two metal plates with screws and sent him home on day 2 with Endone, Tramadol and Panadeine Fort. He didn't even open the boxes. He simply didn't have any pain.

Weird, but lucky!

My advice is that if the pain increases, don't man it out, up your meds immediately, so that it doesn't get out of control. But it's likely you simply won't need it. It's great you're doing so well.

rohrer01
01-09-2012, 11:22 PM
From reading the forums for over a year now, I'd have to say that the younger people (20's and under) always seem to recover really nicely. It's probably because you are young and you don't have other problems that even non-scoli adults get. I'm glad this has been easier than you thought. Maybe keeping your plans / gigs won't be as hard as you thought. :-)

BendyBill
01-10-2012, 01:57 AM
Well, touch wood, everything continues to be this smooth!! I do have a couple of problems, mind you.
Firs of all, as I've seen in the forums a LOT, is that the cold is a nightmare. I left the radiator off in my room upstairs and wend from in front of a cosy fireplace to a cold room and all my back muscles immediately seized up! Painful!!! I suppose I just need to remember to turn on my radiator... Lesson learnt :)

Also, at night time I seem to be sleeping in one position all night and I stiffen up so much so logrolling and pushing myself up is bloody agony. Anyone else have this? Any tips?

One more thing... Is anyone unhappy with their post op body shape? Bizarrely, I look more like I have scoliosis now than I did before. My scoli curves seemed to be fairly even so my torso looked more 'squat' but pretty straight and even. Now It's longer but clearly uneven and I have the 'one arm touching the hip, one arm dangling' thing. Anyone?

Hope you're all well - good to be on the other side!

B

Pooka1
01-10-2012, 05:33 AM
One more thing... Is anyone unhappy with their post op body shape? Bizarrely, I look more like I have scoliosis now than I did before. My scoli curves seemed to be fairly even so my torso looked more 'squat' but pretty straight and even. Now It's longer but clearly uneven and I have the 'one arm touching the hip, one arm dangling' thing. Anyone?

BB, this is common. Don't worry about it. My one kid came out of surgery with a different shoulder higher. She stressed about it but the surgeon said it would come even and it did. It took several weeks though. The other kid came out with a torso lean that took many months to slowly resolve. It is still there but not noticeable to people who don't know what to look for.

Surgeons attempt to balance your straightened spine in all planes. Then your soft tissue has to slowly allow the change over time. It will seem like they overcorrected you because of this.

Give it time. Have you seen the post-op radiographs? They should have them from the front and the side so you can see the balance for yourself. Those will tell the story much more than your outward appearance so soon post-op.

Good luck.

BendyBill
01-10-2012, 04:17 PM
Thanks for your reply, Sharon. Definitely puts my mind at ease!

Another, slightly less pressing question... Did anyone else get the most horrendous nipple chafing post op? I swear it was like they had spent the last half hour Of the operation taking sandpaper to my nipples before wheeling me out of the OR. I noticed when I first got changed and they were completely scabbed over and one is completely numb!!!

B

LindaRacine
01-10-2012, 04:47 PM
OUCH! I can't imagine what they did to result in that. You should mention it to your surgeon.

Doodles
01-10-2012, 09:04 PM
Very glad things are going so well for you so early out! That's great. Congratulations. You must be very relieved. Best wishes for a continued good recovery. Janet

JenniferG
01-11-2012, 12:08 AM
I would like to know the explanation for your scraped nipples!

Doodles
01-11-2012, 01:09 PM
I'd like to know too! I missed that before I wrote my comment above. All I know is that the many hours on your stomach makes your whole front hurt--but that doesn't make sense! Janet

Doreen1
01-11-2012, 02:15 PM
Well, touch wood, everything continues to be this smooth!! I do have a couple of problems, mind you.
Firs of all, as I've seen in the forums a LOT, is that the cold is a nightmare. I left the radiator off in my room upstairs and wend from in front of a cosy fireplace to a cold room and all my back muscles immediately seized up! Painful!!! I suppose I just need to remember to turn on my radiator... Lesson learnt :)

Also, at night time I seem to be sleeping in one position all night and I stiffen up so much so logrolling and pushing myself up is bloody agony. Anyone else have this? Any tips?

One more thing... Is anyone unhappy with their post op body shape? Bizarrely, I look more like I have scoliosis now than I did before. My scoli curves seemed to be fairly even so my torso looked more 'squat' but pretty straight and even. Now It's longer but clearly uneven and I have the 'one arm touching the hip, one arm dangling' thing. Anyone?

Hope you're all well - good to be on the other side!

B

Hi Bill!

Congrats on being on the other side. I, too, have the same hip
issue post op. I really hope it resolves itself. The things I've
found painful post op are shivering, laughing, crying and
sneezing.

Have you tried falling asleep on your side to try and give
your back some relief?

Warmly
Doreen

BendyBill
01-11-2012, 03:48 PM
Hi Doreen. Thank you very much! Jar you noticed any change at all? How does your outward appearance compare to your post op X-rays?

Thanks for your help

B

Doreen1
01-11-2012, 04:01 PM
Hi Doreen. Thank you very much! Jar you noticed any change at all? How does your outward appearance compare to your post op X-rays?

Thanks for your help

B

Pre-op no one could tell I had scoliosis; post-op I am tilted slightly to the left as my left hip protrudes quite a bit now. I wobble a bit when I walk now because one leg is shorter than the other. I talked with Dr. Lenke's office recently and his nurse said this sometimes happens. She said if it doesn't resolve itself, I might have to use a little lift in my left shoe. My post op xrays are practically straight at 10*. You can see the xrays here on the Dec 5 post: http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

Warmly,
Doreen

rohrer01
01-11-2012, 04:40 PM
I'm guessing that the rest of our body "conforms" to our scoliosis at least to some degree. Like was mentioned earlier, it may take some time to conform back. We talked about leg length discrepancy on one thread, don't think it was this one, but not sure. I'd be curious how many of us scoli's have different leg lengths as compared to the rest of the population? That would definitely make you feel like you were walking with a tilt after correction.

rohrer01
01-11-2012, 04:43 PM
Thanks for your reply, Sharon. Definitely puts my mind at ease!

Another, slightly less pressing question... Did anyone else get the most horrendous nipple chafing post op? I swear it was like they had spent the last half hour Of the operation taking sandpaper to my nipples before wheeling me out of the OR. I noticed when I first got changed and they were completely scabbed over and one is completely numb!!!

B

Be glad you're not female. I've read a couple of posts on here from female forum members that had horrible breast bruising. But I don't know what happened to you....? :-(

JenniferG
01-11-2012, 04:52 PM
I have a tilt to the left. My left shoulder is lower than my right. It feels like one leg is shorter, the left one, but when I stand with my feet together and lift my left heel, I even up all the way up to my shoulders. I asked Dr. Askin if I should wear a heel lift and he said no. He was quite emphatic about it and it caught me off guard and I didn't ask why not? When I walk I feel uneven until I sort of consciously pull my left hip further towards the left and miraculously everything kind of evens up and I walk without what I call my "lope."

Small bikkies in the scheme of things. I should say I'm very happy with my outcome.

BendyBill
01-12-2012, 11:40 AM
It's bizarre, as if they've gone in to straighten me up and have over-shot the mark! I've ordered digital copies of the X-rays (Ł18!!) taken a couple of days post-op so am looking forward to having a look at them and getting your opinions.

But, yes - small bikkies, indeed! I know this is not important stood next to the (touch wood) pain free life I'll be leading from now on.

Rohrer, that sounds horrible! It must be a rather vigorous operation to create enough movement to bruise the patient.

B

golfnut
01-12-2012, 01:03 PM
Billy,
It sounds like you're recovering well. I love the different expressions: "small bikkies" and "touch wood". In the US, we say "Knock on wood". Keep up the good work with your recovery.

BendyBill
01-15-2012, 04:17 AM
Is it strange that I'm not having any physio post-op? Do you guys recommend any exercises at all? Currently I'm just walking as much as I can.

Thanks

B

BendyBill
01-15-2012, 04:23 AM
Also... Wow... Sneezing is the worst...

golfnut
01-15-2012, 08:01 AM
I was told to walk as much as possible and I have done that religiously for a year. I was worried about arm muscles atrophying in the early months and begged for some exercises for biceps and triceps. They were exercises I did (and still do) while laying on my back on the bed with light weights (bicep curls, wings, etc.) I was encouraged to walk in the water and move my arms there with the resistance of the water, but I don't know if you have access to an indoor pool. Some people on the forum started physical therapy early in their recovery and I would have welcomed it, but my surgeon felt that most physical therapists aren't familiar enough with this surgery and might cause more harm than good. I have always enjoyed exercising and I want to get back to my presurgery condition, so I am disciplined in working out at home and at the YMCA daily. Good luck with your recovery & don't push yourself too hard in the early months.

Pooka1
01-15-2012, 10:01 AM
Is it strange that I'm not having any physio post-op? Do you guys recommend any exercises at all? Currently I'm just walking as much as I can.

Thanks

B

Not for your age. You group with the teenagers and I think I have only seen one out of many many many testimonials where physio was done post-op. And I'm not convinced that was the surgeon's idea or there was something very unusual in that case or something. I don't really remember.

It seems to be unnecessary. The walking is necessary. It really seemed to speed the recovery of both my daughters. They were back in school full time between 3 and 4 weeks post op. I predict you have a similar trajectory if you do the walking.

Good luck.

JenniferG
01-15-2012, 03:14 PM
It sounds like you're doing great Bill! Agree with Karen and Sharon above, walking seems to be all you require. I'm three years out in March and still walk, currently every day. I asked my surgeon about pt and he said "No." When I told him I'm walking every day, he said, "Now do it twice a day."

Great to hear your smooth progress Bill.

JDM555
01-15-2012, 04:24 PM
Is it strange that I'm not having any physio post-op? Do you guys recommend any exercises at all? Currently I'm just walking as much as I can.

Thanks

B

Hey Bill. It's not strange at all, a lot of the younger patients don't need any PT like stated above. Walking is great, if you want to do extra, in a few months when you're ready, start swimming and doing light cardio, should help. Since you're barely out of surgery, you don't want to worry about exercises or stretches or whatever, you should do many short distance walks throughout the day. Walking a far distance once a day isn't very good, especially this early on. You'll be aching for the next few days, so many short walks.


Also... Wow... Sneezing is the worst...

This made me lol, I feel you man. Sneezing killed me too. It gets better quick though. Just give it a few more weeks and you won't feel it anymore.

titaniumed
01-15-2012, 09:46 PM
Bill

The legs really are connected.....and do so much for the back, and everything else! Walking seems to be the gold standard for scoliosis surgery recovery. Its better to do many shorter walks through the day than one long hike.

The sneezing, coughing, and vomiting is a killer, but as your soft tissues heal and toughen up in time, it wont be a problem.

I’m in Las Vegas. Walking through large casino’s probably isn’t the best physical therapy program.....LOL
Its ok for me now, but immediately after surgery you are very protective of your personal space. I was always afraid the someone would bump into me.

You sound like you are doing well, keep it up.
Same goes for you John....Im so glad you are fixed up now.
Ed

LSKOCH5
01-16-2012, 02:13 PM
Right, Bill & John, no pt for Jacob either until at least 6 weeks post-op. They have him doing simple arm raises (sides & front) & alternating gentle military press (obviously w no weights), but walking 2x day - we're staying put at one mile each time. Coughing was his problem in the beginning - & then the time he was brushing his teeth & without thinking bent his neck to spit - OMGosh, that was awful. Glad you guys seem to be doing so well! Bill, how are you doing on the meds/pain? We finally seem to have a good fix on it w switching from oxycodone to hydrocodone, & will try weaning down a little later this week.

BendyBill
01-20-2012, 05:36 AM
Good to know about the physio! I'm fitting in a lot of walking at the moment - the walks in Windsor are amazing so I'm very lucky!

LSKOCH5, I came off all meds last Friday. I know it seems early but I just didn't need them because I wasn't in any pain. The only time I have any discomfort is when I wake up (and probably what wakes me up). It seems that staying in the same position for a while stiffens me up but all I have to do is get up and move around for a while to settle it down. Does anyone else have this sleeping issue?

That tooth brushing incident sounds horrid!! How is he doing in general? Feeling upbeat? Do send my regards to him.

B

LSKOCH5
01-20-2012, 06:17 AM
Bill you are coming along phenomenally! Great for you! Sleep/staying in one position does seem to stiffen the body, so he is constantly moving. Doing great, as are you. Both of you have a positive mindset on surgery & recuperation & it's doing wonders. Oh - you'd appreciate- had to get him off the drumset 2x yesterday - hated to do it as he was enjoying it so. His surgeon said no drums for 6 weeks, but I think we're going to double check w him.
Best to you Bill, and keep up the great progress!

rohrer01
01-20-2012, 07:38 AM
Bill,
Are you allowed to try out your singing voice? I ask that, as I know it takes a lot of diaphragm and rib movement. Let us know how your progress is going in that area. Really glad to hear your recovery is going so well. You younger folks have age on your side. Best wishes for a continued smooth recovery.

titaniumed
01-20-2012, 08:59 AM
Only 10 days of meds....things are really looking good for you! It seems that the singing gig coming up wont be a problem at all.

This really is good news....it truly is an advantage having surgery in the younger years.

Ed

JDM555
01-20-2012, 01:54 PM
I'm happy to hear you're off meds. But remember, if you have any pain, don't hesitate to take them again. Trying to get through pain by not taking your meds isn't smart. Weaning early is better, because those meds are really addicting. Keep walking and keep us posted on how you're doing. Glad everything is working well for you. Take care.

JDM555
01-24-2012, 10:23 PM
What's going on Bill? How you feeling?

BendyBill
01-25-2012, 05:57 AM
John, everything still going smoothly at my end! Still off pain meds and walking a few miles a day but trying my hardest not to over-do it because I'm feeling so 'normal'!!

Rohrer01, I haven't done any proper singing yet but have been doing a lot of breathing work since the op to loosen my ribs up and get the diaphragm working etc... It has been fairly slow progress because my ribs are still tender when I move them too much but only when I'm breathing in to capacity. I'll let you know my progress when I start again properly!

LSKOCH5, glad to hear your boy is doing so well. Lovely to hear how dedicated he is to the music! Hopefully you'll be peeling him away from the drums continuously for the next few weeks :)

Just got my post op xrays through this morning and thought I'd post them up here. They were taken 3 days after the op - what do you think? Sorry I can't get the lumbar spine any clearer hopefully we'll be able to see more when they take the 6 week xray.

The fusion is T3 to L1. It was going to be T3 to L3/4 but my bending xrays and MRI showed good flexibility in the lumbar curve. When Mr. Bowden opened me up he found a deformed vertabrae near the top that was tapered to one side so had to do some extra work there as well as having to use a hook in that area. Also, I seem to remember him saying that 2 of my vertabrae were already partly fused. Also, you can see that some of my ribs are deformed - would this be a product of the scoliosis or the other way round?

B1191

Hope you're all well!

B

Pooka1
01-25-2012, 06:25 AM
John, everything still going smoothly at my end! Still off pain meds and walking a few miles a day but trying my hardest not to over-do it because I'm feeling so 'normal'!!

I'm glad you feel normal this early out. You do group with the teenagers as I suspected.


The fusion is T3 to L1. It was going to be T3 to L3/4 but my bending xrays and MRI showed good flexibility in the lumbar curve. When Mr. Bowden opened me up he found a deformed vertabrae near the top that was tapered to one side so had to do some extra work there as well as having to use a hook in that area. Also, I seem to remember him saying that 2 of my vertabrae were already partly fused.

Your curve looks like that of my one daughter's. It's very good you bent the lumbar out to prove it was compensatory even though it may have been large. That may be why they stopped your fusion at L1 as they did with my daughter. She also has a bit of a lumbar curve left but the surgeon said it would be stable and indeed I found a long term study on this where 20 years out the lumbar remained stable. Yours will also most likely.


Also, you can see that some of my ribs are deformed - would this be a product of the scoliosis or the other way round?

The rib deformity is due to the scoliosis. In your case, because you had a malformed vertebrae, it is due to congenital scoliosis.

rohrer01
01-25-2012, 06:56 AM
Your "after" x-rays look a LOT better than your "before" x-rays! Like Pooka1 said, if you had malformed vertebrae, then you had congenital scoliosis. This means you were born with the deformity. They can correct the rib deformity in some cases, but since you are a singer, I don't know if I'd ever go that route. I've heard/read that it reduces lung function. I'm glad your recovery is still going smoothly. You are wise to try to deep breathe before all out singing. I was really curious as to how that would work out since you have a very powerful voice that carries well. I know this takes a LOT of diaphragm work and a LOT of lung capacity. (I play the saxophone and it is the same principal if you want to "belt it out" with control/vibrato, etc.) When is your singing gig? Oh, and you said that you "felt" more crooked after your surgery than before it, but were just more squatty through the abdomen before. Well, to me you look pretty darn straight. Your shoulders are pretty even as well. Your head is tilted to one side a little bit. But that was only three days out, so you may have been loopy! I doubt anyone will perceive your body the way that you do. I'm guessing that it's just getting used to your new center of balance. Keep up the good work and I'm so glad things went smoothly for you! It would be really cool if you could post another singing session post-surgery. Hint, hint!

Rohrer01

Reneetina
02-23-2012, 06:22 PM
Hi. Off meds! Congradulations. That is my next goal. Feel well & we are thinking of you. Reneetina

BendyBill
05-30-2012, 11:57 AM
Hello everyone!

It's been rather a long time since I last posted (about 4 months I think) and just to let you know, things are still going very well. My recovery was swift and dare I say, after the stint in hospital, not too hard. I came off all medication 10 days after the operation because I was in little to no discomfort. I carried on walking for the first month, gradually increasing the distance until I felt I could start swimming and after another few weeks I was swimming up to 1500m 4 times a week. I moved back to my flat in London just before the 3 month mark and went straight into rehearsals for a stint of performances that, before the operation, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to do. I had 8 very high energy shows per week for 2 months and no problems at all. I can feel the slight restriction that my rods have had on my flexibility but have noticed that my body is gradually finding ways to compensate. I have had the odd few days before the show where I was being lazy sitting around and not even going for a walk and that was when I noticed very slight discomfort from seizing up a little. Other than that, it's all good! Lovely compliments on how much taller I look, I'm so happy with the way my body has stretched out! My hip sticks out on the right hand side now but that is nothing compared to how I looked before!!

All in all, I'm so happy to have had this operation. Not that I was too bad before but, my quality of life has noticeably improved. I have my 6 month check up on the 12th July and will be sure to let you all know what the doc says.

I hope you are all well. I can't thank you enough for the support you gave me in the run up to the operation and during my recovery.

All the best,
Billy

mabeckoff
05-30-2012, 12:02 PM
Thanks for coming back to the forum and updating yourself. It sounds like life is good for you and that is Great

golfnut
05-30-2012, 03:47 PM
Billy,
It's good to hear from you. It sounds like you're doing great!

JenniferG
05-30-2012, 03:56 PM
Great news! It's always nice to get an update some months down the track. You've certainly done well and I'm glad you're so happy you had the surgery.

rohrer01
05-30-2012, 04:49 PM
That's wonderful news, Billy. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better than before!

titaniumed
05-30-2012, 09:22 PM
Bill

You did it! Not the surgery, the shows! (smiley face)

Glad to hear that things are fine.

Do you have video of any of these last shows? We would love to see those......

Ed

Confusedmom
05-30-2012, 10:26 PM
Congratulations! It's always encouraging to hear from someone who has done so well and thanks for the warning about not getting too sedentary! I'll take that to heart.

Best,
Evelyn

LSKOCH5
06-01-2012, 08:35 PM
Yeah Billy! Great news - have been wondering how you were coming along & if you'd been able to do the performances as planned. Phenomenal! Thanks so much for updating & keep up the great work.