View Full Version : Limitation of long fusion?

03-25-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm 5 weeks out from surgery (T4 to sacrum) and other than being stiff and sore, I think I'm recovering fairly well. I was walking in a strip mall that houses a college campus and noticed a college girl curled up on a bench chatting on the phone when it hit me - I really miss curling up on the couch to read a book or watch tv. The thought made me sob uncontrollably (I'm weaning off OxyContin so again I assume this is normal) but I'm wondering if that curled up into a ball motion is no longer an option for those fused to the sacrum?

03-25-2013, 04:37 PM
While laying on my side, I'm able to bring my knees up into a modified "curl up" position. I certainly wasn't able to do it until several months postop. And yes, the uncontrollable sobbing was a side effect I had too when weaning off the Oxy meds. There was a crazy moment while I was still taking Oxy... I walked into the kitchen and found hubby reaching under the kitchen sink to grab an empty plastic grocery bag. I lost it when I saw oodles and oodles of bags under the sink; I never kept more than a several bags but when my parents stayed to take care of our daughter, the bags just piled up. I freaked, burst into tears and said, "Get rid of the bags! There's too many! They multiplied!" My daughter and hubby laughed at me which sent me into hysterics. Then they realized I was serious and was also not right in my reaction so they quickly removed the bags into the recycle bin in the garage.

It's nice to laugh about it now, but it sure wasn't funny at the time. Hang in there, you'll notice improvement day by day, week by week. A lot of people turn a corner for the better around the 5 to 6 week mark.


03-25-2013, 11:29 PM
Hi Aileens...

I'm fused T4-sacrum as well. How much flexibility you have is based on many things, but it's likely that you'll never be nearly as flexible as you were before. I am incredibly grateful that the surgery that extended my fusion to the sacrum gave me relief from a lot of pain. Nonetheless, when I'm fighting to get a sock on my right foot, or when I'm trying to get up from being on the floor, I get frustrated. Maybe I'll eventually stop caring about the loss of flexibility, but at 2 years, it's still a daily frustration.

At only 5 weeks postop, I want to encourage you not to even try to stretch your limits. You should be following your doctors' instructions which presumably include significant bending, lifting, and twisting limitations.


03-26-2013, 11:53 AM
Doreen, thanks for sharing - it's good to know that I"ll hopefully find some parts of this recovery funny down the road.

Linda, Dr. Rand is my surgeon and I'm very aware of the restrictions - I wouldn't dream of pushing myself yet! I'm just so uncomfortable right now and it was just seeing that girl in the curled up position that used to be my favorite position to hang out and read a book made me very emotional. I know the tradeoff in flexibility will be worth it - I used to be extremely flexible, but I hated to sit for long periods (and I have a desk job) because I could feel my spine collapsing. I am looking forward to feeling better and learning how to get comfortable within my new limitations, but it can't happen soon enough!