View Full Version : A couple questions.. just curious

06-19-2005, 08:39 PM
I am not sure if this is mentioned elsewhere. I do know this thread is open to anyone and if you want you can just message me with your response.

#1 - How soon after surgery do they usually say to wait before you can be intimate again?

#2 - Do the rods set off detectors at the airport? And how long until you can fly/take the bus etc?

#3 -My curves go from T-1 to L-5, will I still be able to bend after my spine fuses? (As a lab tech I frequently am required to bend to get my patient's blood.. I was wondering if I should change careers or not.)

What other restrictons are usually given? I know all these questions will probably be answered by my doctor but I seriously value the opinions of everyone on here and would like to be more prepared for what I'm getting into.

Thanks in advance! :D

06-19-2005, 09:11 PM
1- Not sure on the first one

2- Nope. I haven't had any trouble with getting through court house and airport security at all.

3- You can still bend, just not your back. My friend has a fusion that stops at T4 and it took some adjusting, but she is able to bend at the hips perfectly well enough,

06-19-2005, 09:16 PM
YAY! That was my biggest concern. Thanks for the fast reply! :)

06-19-2005, 09:28 PM

According to Michael Neuwirth, in his book The Scoliosis Sourcebook:

"I tell my patients that they can resume sexual activity whenever they feel comfortable doing so. Some patients undoubtedly have sex the first night they go home. Others may wait until their follow-up x-rays show that fusion has completely healed, six months or a year after surgery, before asking when they can start having sex again.

When you resume sexual relations, use your own judgment regarding sexual positions and sexual activities. As long as you feel comfrtable, there are no sexual positions that you cannot enjoy. A woman might find it easier in the beginning to be on top during sex rather than lying underneath with her partner's weight on top. A heterosexual man might also find it more comfortable to have his partner on top so that he won't have to do all the thrusting, which might be painful for him at first. Finally, since those who wear postoperative braces only need to wear them during upright activities, you will not need to keep the brace on during sexual activity -- unless you are upright."

Your implants will not set off metal detectors, if you're ever wanded, the wand does pick up the metal. I've known people who have flown 2-3 days after their surgery. I can't imagine that it's very comfortable however. A friend of mine who had major revision surgery in November, is currently on her second vacation since surgery. She flew from San Francisco to Paris.

Your fusion is going to be very long, so you'll almost certainly feel a loss of flexibility. Once you've recovered and your fusion is well on the way to healing, you should be able to sit or do a knee bend to get down to the patient level. You might want to try putting a yardstick down the back of your pants to see what it might be like.

Since your doctor is suggesting fusion to L5, you might want to be sure that s/he knows about the following study:



06-19-2005, 09:40 PM
(1) Not sure sorry, but I think someone's asked this previously, you might find it if put it into search

(2) As long as it's an English speaking country, there's generally no problems if you do happen to "beep". Depending on the metal mixture (ie what kind of screws, what kind of rods) a person can sometimes beep. In six years of being fused, I've only beeped twice. Once in Sydney airport and once in a nightclub. In Sydney after taking my shoes, glasses, earrings, rings, key's (and no underwire bra so I couldn't blame that lol), I very polietly said I've got rods in my back, turned around to show them the scar and was happpily waved on my way. Some Doc's will give their patients a little card to say they've got metal in them, I've got a little copy of my x-rays or you can take a photo of them to get your doctor to sign them.

For when you can fly/take the bus....., you do read of people who fly to the place for their surgery, and a couple of weeks later fly back home again. I would say, whenever a person can sit reasonably comfortably (perhaps with a pillow etc), with just a few times to get up and stretch.

(3) If there's a will, there's a way, as I like to say. As Blair said you'll probably have to adjust a bit, but you should be able to bend at the hips. You'll work out a way to be able to perform your job, whether you kneel/squat down instead of bending over. Sitting on a little stool to get your patient's blood etc. There's always a way :-)


06-19-2005, 10:41 PM
Hi Carebear,

1. Whenever your comfortable.

2. I do set off the detectors. I don't know why, never did before the surgery. Then of course when they wand me, the wand goes crazy beeping up and down my back. There's alot of people who fly somewhere else to have their surgery and they fly back home a couple of weeks later. I flew a couple of times last year within the first three months. What type of bus are you talking about? I rode on a school bus at 8 months post op and it was not very comfortable.

3. After the first couple of months last year I was able to figure out how to use new techniques to do what you have to do.

06-19-2005, 10:56 PM
I have a great deal more hardware than most people, and don't set off the detectors. I thought that I did, but ever since I started taking off all of my jewelry and my shoes, I have not set any of the detectors off. The only way to know for sure if your implants are what is setting off the detectors, is to go through with no metal on your body (that includes buttons, shoes, jewelry, and hard plastic post-op braces).

Here's a fairly definitive study reference on the subject: