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Irina
02-26-2014, 05:33 PM
My one-year anniversary is going to be on March 5/7, but I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hu today. She said that fusion looks very good and all the implants are in place. I donít have any back pain, but I do have some discomfort in my right buttock probably caused by iliac screw and tingling in the big toe of my right foot, which happens only when I am laying down on my back.

Several months ago I noticed some muscle loss on my right lower leg Ė this long bone is more prominent on my right leg than on my left leg. It doesnít cause me any additional pain, in fact, I am getting less and less discomfort every day, but I wanted to make sure that this leg muscle loss is nothing serious.

I asked Dr. Hu about it and she suggested having an MRI. She assured me that itís nothing dangerous and there is no hurry in doing anything about it. It is up to me whether to get an MRI or not, but I should contact them if itís getting worse. I am going to take a wait and see approach because first, I really donít want to go into another however small surgery it might be, and I am starting a new job on Monday. It wonít be a good idea to ask for time off to get an MRI and go for more doctorís appointments right off the bed. I am super excited about my new job and if this leg issue is not dangerous, thatís all I need to know.

The bottom line Ė I am very happy that I have had this surgery. I have no back pain, just occasional tightness and buttock discomfort. I can walk, stand and sit for as long as I want. Before the surgery the longest walk I could take was about half-an-hour and my back was killing me after 5 minutes of standing up. Not anymore! I am also very pleased with the cosmetic result and that I can wear anything I want, feel confident and be able to turn heads at the ripe age of 46!

Looking back and reflecting on nasty complications that I had right after the surgery, I would say that I would do it all over again. Of course, I would prefer not to have that abdominal hematoma that brought me back to the hospital for an emergency surgery, but itís all behind me. First month was a pure hell and honestly, there were a few times when I thought: ďWhat have I done?Ē but when that issue was taken care of, I started improving steadily.

I am writing this mainly for people that are considering having scoliosis surgery. This forum is a great place to get information, ask questions and share your fears. But it could be a scary place too. I remember being horrified after reading some posts of people who were not luckyÖ I feel really sorry for those who didnít have a good outcome and hope that everyone finds a resolution and relief. But, I also think that representation on this or any other medical forum could be skewed. People that are happy with their results move on with their lives and tend to forget about these forums. And people who have problems tend to stick in here and support each other. I belong to the first category and unfortunately donít post as much as I used to because I feel good and life is going on. We are all blessed with having a few regulars here, who are several years out and still take their time to post and support other people. Thank you Ed, Karen, Jennifer and Susan!

So, to the people that are considering surgery Ė please, keep in mind that there are a lot of us who are happy with the outcomes, but we just donít post often anymore. The odds of getting a good outcome are much higher than the odds of getting a bad outcome. Yes, we should all know about risks and complications, but we should make an informed decision based on facts, not on fears. Do your homework, get as much information as you can and best of luck to all who are considering, recovering or are already several years out!

susancook
02-26-2014, 08:08 PM
Congratulations, Irina! I am so happy for you! Your surgery must have been quite a challenge for Dr. Hu since you had scoliosis for so long! What was your scoliosis angle?

Best of luck with your new job! I hope that you find additional relief of your remaining tightness and discomfort in the next year.

Hugs, Susan

Irina
02-26-2014, 11:35 PM
Congratulations, Irina! I am so happy for you! Your surgery must have been quite a challenge for Dr. Hu since you had scoliosis for so long! What was your scoliosis angle?

Best of luck with your new job! I hope that you find additional relief of your remaining tightness and discomfort in the next year.

Hugs, Susan

60 thoracolambar scoliosis with huge rotation corrected to 30, and 75 kyphosis corrected to almost zero. Yes, my case was quite challenging, one of the reasons being that my L4-L5 levels authofused at some weird angle, making it very difficult for my doctor to deal with. Plus many more issues... but it's over.

Good luck with your hurnia surgery, Susan! So, how are you going to call your post-menopausal baby? :-)

titaniumed
02-26-2014, 11:38 PM
Irina

Congratulations on 1 year! Its nice to hear that everything is fine....

You might want to wait on the MRI since your leg issue sounds minor. I say this since we changed insurance policies at work and my cervical MRI co pays were $1800 last April. If you elect to do this, I would make sure you know exactly what your co-pay is BEFORE laying in the machine......You can always pre-negotiate with a cash offer and many will discount quite a bit. It saves all the insurance paperwork.

I felt I was 90% recovered at 1 year. My second year was my fine tuning year in which I pushed my body harder....of course you know your limits now, but still be careful. It seems that these surgeries are a multi year process.....

You know with someone like me you not going to turn my head...... Its going to be the whole body since everything is pretty much fused now.

Maybe thatís a better compliment.....an advantage of full fusion male scoliosis surgery. (smiley face)

Ed

golfnut
03-02-2014, 06:24 AM
Irina,
Congratulations on your one year anniversary. You made a good point that there are many who have successful surgeries and smooth recoveries who don't post for various reasons.
I know that I noted improvements even after my two year anniversary and I had assumed that at one year it was as good as it would get.

leahdragonfly
03-02-2014, 10:52 AM
Hi Irina,

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I am glad to hear you are doing so well.

Enjoy the new job--you must be super busy this time of year.

Best,

PeggyS
03-02-2014, 06:09 PM
Very happy for you, Irina! 😄

JenniferG
03-02-2014, 07:30 PM
Congratulations on your milestone Irina! It sounds like you're doing well and I hope that MRI is never needed. I still think of 1 year as "early days" because improvements continue for at least one or more years. So if you're happy now, you'll be even happier in years to come.

Best wishes with your new job!

springchicken
03-03-2014, 11:26 AM
Congratulations, Irina and thank you so much for continuing to post for us newbies. These posts have really helped answer a lot of my questions along the way and kept me positive when I was feeling frustrated and down on myself. I hope in a year I can also say that I'm very glad I had surgery!

rohrer01
03-03-2014, 04:39 PM
Congrats on feeling so well, Irina! Hey, you've only got a year on me! For some reason, I thought you were older. LOL... I can't see you, so that's not an insult! Ha! I'm glad you can go to work. Like Ed said, make sure you check out your new insurance policy before racking up any medical bills. These new policies aren't as good as they were. It's a bummer, but it's life. You've probably gone over the biggest physical hurdle you'll ever have to endure and you did it! I guess when it's all said and done, the fear is for the future/moment. When it's in the past, fear is no longer relevant.

Take Care!

Irina
03-04-2014, 12:25 AM
Congrats on feeling so well, Irina! Hey, you've only got a year on me! For some reason, I thought you were older. LOL... I can't see you, so that's not an insult! Ha! I'm glad you can go to work. Like Ed said, make sure you check out your new insurance policy before racking up any medical bills. These new policies aren't as good as they were. It's a bummer, but it's life. You've probably gone over the biggest physical hurdle you'll ever have to endure and you did it! I guess when it's all said and done, the fear is for the future/moment. When it's in the past, fear is no longer relevant.

Take Care!

That's funny, rohrer :-) And thank you all for good wishes.

LindaRacine
03-04-2014, 12:05 PM
75 kyphosis corrected to almost zero.

Hi Irina...

Just an FYI.... you don't want zero kyphosis. Normal is 20-45 degrees.

--Linda

Irina
03-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Hi Irina...

Just an FYI.... you don't want zero kyphosis. Normal is 20-45 degrees.

--Linda

May be I misunderstood - I think what Dr. Hu meant is that my kyphosis is absolutely normal now.

susancook
03-05-2014, 10:29 AM
60 thoracolambar scoliosis with huge rotation corrected to 30, and 75 kyphosis corrected to almost zero. Yes, my case was quite challenging, one of the reasons being that my L4-L5 levels authofused at some weird angle, making it very difficult for my doctor to deal with. Plus many more issues... but it's over.

Good luck with your hurnia surgery, Susan! So, how are you going to call your post-menopausal baby? :-)

I will call my post menopausal baby GONE. I am having periodic very sharp pains now.....?labor pains? Ha! I can't wait to get this chapter over and then I can say that I am in my final recovery.

Thanks for the well wishes! I am very nervous about this surgery and recovery where I was not nervous about my spinal surgery. Silly, I know.

Thanks for sharing your info about your surgery. Having a very experienced surgeon was important for you in the repair of your stuck vertebrae. So glad that you are doing so well! And yes, you do look awesome in your new dresses!
I will call you about getting together at my appointment at Stanford.