View Full Version : Almost 5 months post-op

11-05-2016, 11:40 AM
Hi everybody,

I can't believe I have been off the forum for so long. I think I was so engaged in it on a daily basis while I was in the trenches and it saved my life! Once my eye situation healed, it was almost like," What back surgery? I can see again!". I was just in such a bliss-induced euphoria that I was not going to be permanently visually disabled I forgot for a bit about my back.

When you have giant titanium rods and screws, you don't forget very long! I do feel I turned the corner to a basically normal life at 3.5 months. The lack of stamina and feeling exhausted was pretty bad through September but got much better in October. I can do a normal day now. I do still get tired but try to lay down, even for a few minutes in the afternoon. I can tolerate sitting without a pillow, but it still feels very weird. I am trying to hit the gym, but if I don't get to it in the morning, I run out of time and energy!

I saw Dr. Mundis about 3 weeks ago. We got there an hour early because we live over 2.5 hours away. There was an elderly lady in a wheelchair, her back was to me but she was slumped over like a little crumpled person. I thought she must be asleep but her adult daughter then brought her a walker and she stood up. It was the most advanced, severe scoliosis I have seen in person. She could walk but was sideways and humped all the way forward so she could only look straight down. I am convinced I would look exactly the same if I did not have this surgery. My heart broke for her but I also wondered what she thought could be done about it now?

When we got in the room with his main nurse, I asked what they do about the elderly. She said they are seeing lots of patients who had prior work done but it has gone south or want the surgery now at 80! They formed a review group to go over these difficult cases. One of the bazillion things I love about Dr. Mundis is he is always consulting with other spine surgeons, many from other countries. He had a surgeon from Mexico when he finally came in to see me. They were headed to a big conference later that week in Mexico City that Dr. M co-chairs through the Global Spine Foundation. Arkabania and Lenke were speaking at it. Would have loved to be a bug on the wall there!

Back to me, he looked over my whole back. My x-rays look perfect but I feel my posture isn't great. My back is very straight were the rods are, but where it ends at the top I have the tight, vice, bear claw sensation and it makes it very hard to keep my shoulders up straight. They roll forward. I feel like the weight of the metal restricts me. He said this is a common area patients complain about at this stage. He thinks it will continue to improve but PT might help with the posture. He also showed my X-ray before the surgery on the side view and I was humped over there too. I can be very straight in the morning but as the day wears on, my shoulders do tend to hunch up.

He is contacting the neuro-opthamologist who treated me and they are writing a case study about my vision complication, since it is the first documented case. I still can't believe all of that happened.

So I do get the tight gripping feeling at T4 however I have NO pain anywhere else!! Really! I do have other bothersome sensations of stiffness, tightness at the top of the fusion and the bear claw at times but this is all ice cream compared to how I felt the first 10 weeks. I am so beyond happy I had this surgery but it was so very hard. I am not on any meds but he wants me on pre-natal vitamins and said occasional Advil is OK. I see him in 3 months. I can lift up to 25 pounds but I don't do that yet and I am not bending or twisting. I push it though and actually painted my toes this week, very hard to do but I managed!

Thank you for all the support. Kathy, I have thought of you too! So sorry it took me so long to respond. Tonight we are going to a concert and I am hoping my back manages ok. It is nice to have a life again!


11-05-2016, 12:15 PM
Glad everything is resolving.

By the way, since you ended up south of 50* after brace treatment, you would be counted as a bracing "success" in the present hallmark bracing study (BrAIST). Sobering.

11-05-2016, 12:47 PM

You had me worried there with the eye thing.....

Reduction of blood pressure upon general anesthesia can average 26%. Blood flow is another important surgical parameter as you found out.....

But you made it and thatís what counts. Someday, we need to tip a beer together! You are a trooper!

I loved the arm bike for the thoracic bear traps......you can emulate with rotational pedaling arm motion, or use soup cans. This works the paraspinalís in the thoracic.