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plondon
04-07-2005, 03:38 PM
Hi everyone. I am about to go into surgery in my lower back, from T11 or 12 down to my pelvis. Anyone who has had this area fused, please could you tell me a little about the healing process, and also I am concerned with losing flexibility.
Thanks in advance, Piper

Sydney
04-07-2005, 06:59 PM
Piper,

Are you having the anterior and posterior fusions? I am having a posterior fusion from T1 all the way down on April 26th. I then have my anterior fusion on May 3rd. I am curious as well about recovery. I am honestly terrified. The closer it gets the more ready I am to get it over. Where do you live?

Sydney

Theresa
04-07-2005, 08:08 PM
Hi Piper and Sdyney,

I had A/P surgery last April from T2 to the sacrum.

I also had an incision on the left side of the belly so that they could remove discs and also do some fusion and grafting in the front as well as in the back. If you are being fused to the sacrum you will probably notice a difference in how you do things. I can't tell you to much on recovery Piper as my surgery was alot more extensive.

Sdyney, any questions that you have please feel free to ask me or PM me. It's a very long hard surgery with a very long hard recovery. Take one day at a time and before you know it you'll be more like your old self again except straighter. I would say taller as well but if you have discs removed (I had 6 removed) you probably won't notice any height difference.

Sydney
04-07-2005, 08:20 PM
Hi Theresa,

How are you doing now? I thought I read somewhere that you have to go in for another procedure. This will actually be my second and third surgery. I was diagnosed with scoliosis around 11. I had my fusion at 12 in 1987. Last November I started having extreme pain and stiffness. I have tried everything and nothing is working. I have extreme confidence in my surgeon as I have heard nothing but great things about him. He is a revision specialist and is supposed to be one of the best. How long were you in the hospital? Do you work and what kind of work do you do? How long were you off work for? I am really concerned about returning to work for financial reasons. Thanks for answering my questions!

Sydney

LindaRacine
04-07-2005, 08:24 PM
Hi Piper....

Just for the record, I've found that people like yourself, with relatively short fusions, have a quicker recovery and more flexibility than those with longer fusions. (I know that you asked the question correctly, and just wanted to be sure that you understood that Theresa's fusion was much longer than yours will be. :-)

Regards,
Linda

Theresa
04-07-2005, 08:40 PM
Hey Sdyney,

I'm doing fine except for this little thing with my saggital balance being off. I am going in June 2nd to have a single level osteotomy done. The doctor considered doing this during my original surgery but with it taking so long he decided against it. My balance is only off a little. I also had a lot of muscle atrophy. He was hoping that my body would adjust to it. Being fused to the sacrum you don't tolerate being out of balance very well. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. My first day of surgery ended up being 15 hours. The second day (four days later) was 7 to 8 hours. I started back to work full time at 5 months post op. I wanted to go back 2 weeks earlier but the school that I work at wasn't comfortable with that. I am a library aide for an elementary school. Lots of getting up and down. When I first went back I took frequent 5 to 10 minute laying down breaks in the nurse's office or in the lounge. I also had weight restrictions for lifting, pulling, and pushing things. I was also kept off of lunch duty (walking around the cafeteria for 45 minutes) and bus duty. That was only suppose to last a few months, but when my walking didn't improve it was changed for the rest of this school year. PT helped quite a bit. I started that at about 7 months. I needed to use a walker for about 2 months maybe a little longer. I still use a cane now. I think that most people don't need the walker but for just a few days. Hopefully after this next surgery I won't need that cane anymore. :D During all that time I traveled with my husband on some of his business trips. At 4 months post op we flew to Arizona for our daughter's wedding. We had a great time there, did a bus tour of the grand canyon. This time the doctor said I should only be out for 3 months. It's nice meeing you and I hope that I have helped you some.

plondon
04-08-2005, 02:37 PM
Hi everyone, thanks for the info!
I am having a posterior procedure(from t11-sacrum). I just had an anterior fusion done from c5-t1 and it was reletively easy all around.
Sydney- I live in Savannah, Ga., but go to stay with my parents in Maryland when I am having my surgeries done at Johns Hopkins. I am also a little freaked out by the closeness of my next surgery. I am looking forward to getting it over with.
Linda-thank you for clarifying. It sounds like Sydney and I are having a similar procedure.
Theresa- cases like yours really put it into perspective for me. I know in comparison, my healing time will be much easier for me than for alot of people who have this surgery done, and frankly that makes me a little less scared, so thank you.