View Full Version : In 2014, what improvements do you want for your back & what will make it happen?

12-14-2013, 05:31 PM
I will be almost 10 months out at the beginning of 2014 from a fusion of T3 to sacrum with degenerative and stenotic disc repairs. What do I want and how do I plan to get it?

What I want:
* less thoracic muscular pain
* less sacral tightness
* more endurance
* more strength and ROM in R leg
* increased ability to reach and put on socks and do toilet hygiene
* decreased cervical pain
* have incisional hernia from ALIF repaired

Plan to make it happen:
* physical trainer with assessment at OHSU gym starting January x 3 months, then continuing with gym membership w/ swimming
* continued taking meds: Tramadol and Ibuprofen
* try cervical traction unit
* possibly more consult w/ physical therapy
* follow-up w/ pain management MD as needed
* work on my attitude
* lose 15# so I can have incisional hernia repair done ;+}
* work on my patience
* learn to celebrate how far I have come rather than regret current problems


12-14-2013, 07:21 PM

Funny how we both have had “other” issues during our recoveries, in my case I had a broken arm and shoulder. (Humeral head was shattered like glass, supraspinatus ripped off)

When I went in to see my surgeon at 7 months, my goal had changed. It had to, my right arm didn’t work at all. I had to get the shoulder operation completed and start PT on it. It seems that this should be your new priority, I couldn’t imagine dealing with your incisional hernia and trying to accomplish anything with PT. That must hurt!

Try to think of it as a slight detour, your next new goal. My arm took 6 months of PT.

My second year was an interesting year filled with new goals. The rebuilding of all the soft tissues continued on, and especially had a hard time with skiing. I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do, but finally made it. It took a ton of patience, especially trying to figure out how to put on ski boots without being able to look down or bend all the way down. LOL I laugh about it now, but all the things that seemed impossible, I figured a way around. The gall issue was one more detour, the neck another detour, but got through it all.

After the hernia is repaired and healed, PT should help things out tremendously....


12-14-2013, 07:26 PM
Ti Ed, you are an object study on the power of positive thinking. :-)

12-14-2013, 07:43 PM
Thanks, Ed. Random thoughts....I was thinking that almost nobody that I know that has had a long fusion, escaped without some other issue postop. God must have sensed that I was feeling very self righteous to be doing as well as I was in my early postop period. The surgeon who suggested that I "lose 30# in 3 months" and then he would do surgery was smoking something. I agree that weight loss is extremely important for success in the initial repair and for preventing a reoccurrence, but having a goal of getting to an ideal BMI just to have surgical relief from abdominal pain is ridiculous. I consulted a 2nd surgeon who agreed that while 30#s is ideal, 15#s would be OK. Certainly now, exercise is limited by some discomfort from my hernia. But, I need to exercise to lose weight. Bummer. Not only do I need to lose weight, but I could use an attitude adjustment.
Susan and her menopausal pregnancy

12-15-2013, 05:05 PM
HI Susan and Ed,
You both should write a book. Maybe we all should have a chapter in the book. Nothing is the same for any of us, but we all understand just WHAT IT TAKES! and it does take alot.
My problem was a fracture of the spine 6 days out of surgery. You should have witnessed me trying to make my caregivers understand what happened{DR included in that}. It took alot from me---but it was found and fixed--it just took about 2 years.
Now I am back to treating{with PT} due to shoulder blade issue. I wonder if the fracture had been fixed earlier if I would have this issue keep bothering me???

Susan you have a menopausal baby--I have a broken shoulder wing. I can't call it an angel wing as I am far from that!