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CajunGirl
07-12-2005, 03:36 PM
I have seen 2 surgeons and both recommeded surgery. My curve is 60 degrees. Both surgeons said that I would be fully recovered in 6 months. I have my surgery scheduled for Oct. 11. Will I truly be recovered in 6 months? We have a family vacation (cruise) scheduled for Memorial week of 2006. Will I be well enough to go on the cruise & enjoy myself? Will I be in a brace or corset? If that's the case, I think I'd be miserable.

What I've been reading on this board about being addicted to pain killers is scaring me. I don't like to take any sort of medication so the thought of having to live on them & become addicted to them is making me horrified. I've been relatively pain-free but have experienced some numbness in my legs.

Thanks!

phaden
07-12-2005, 06:34 PM
Hi CajunGirl:

You don't mention how old you are, and that seems to have a big effect on how easily you recover from surgery. The people who have the procedure done in their teens seem to bounce back incredibly well. My 14 year-old daughter is 10 weeks post-op, and I would be willing to take her now on a cruise, or any sort of trip that didn't require too much physical exertion, and provided opportunities for rest as required. She has somewhat limited stamina, and her back and shoulder muscles get sore if she over-exerts, but other than that she's much the same as she was before surgery. She hasn't used any pain meds in six weeks. Those who have the procedure done as adults seem to have a much tougher time. There are, of course, exceptions to this pattern in both groups, but that seems to be the overall trend.

Cheers - Patricia

LindaRacine
07-12-2005, 07:31 PM
Hi CajunGirl...

While you may have some residual pain from the surgery, even if you're an old lady ;-) you will almost certainly feel well enough to cruise 6 months after your surgery. Most patients that I know about are out of their post-op brace within 3-4 months. The one thing you may need help with would be carrying your luggage.

Best of luck with your surgery and bon voyage!

Regards,
Linda

CajunGirl
07-12-2005, 07:31 PM
Hi CajunGirl:

You don't mention how old you are, and that seems to have a big effect on how easily you recover from surgery. The people who have the procedure done in their teens seem to bounce back incredibly well. My 14 year-old daughter is 10 weeks post-op, and I would be willing to take her now on a cruise, or any sort of trip that didn't require too much physical exertion, and provided opportunities for rest as required. She has somewhat limited stamina, and her back and shoulder muscles get sore if she over-exerts, but other than that she's much the same as she was before surgery. She hasn't used any pain meds in six weeks. Those who have the procedure done as adults seem to have a much tougher time. There are, of course, exceptions to this pattern in both groups, but that seems to be the overall trend.

Cheers - Patricia

I am 38.5 and feel I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. The first surgeon that I saw said that I had the flexibility of teen and thought that would help in my recovery. I'm also very thin - he wasn't sure if that would be a help or hindrance. I delivered 2 children without an epidural or pain medication; but must admit that I had quick deliveries.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I think I'll try to be optimistic.
Angie

HGD24
07-12-2005, 09:28 PM
Angie,
I'm 30 years old and had my surgery on Feb. 1st of this year. I'm now 5 and 1/2 months post-op and feeling really good. I went back to work part-time at the end of April (would have been the beginning of April, but had a small infection to take care of that set me back a couple of weeks) and I was back full-time at the beginning of June.

I stopped taking pain meds alltogether by the middle of April and was only taking them at bedtime through March (took Tylenol the remainder of the day)to insure that I would be comfortable sleeping. I too hated the idea of being on or relying on meds, so I got through the tough parts of recovery (first 4 weeks) by taking them throughout the day and then got off of them as soon as I could. I now take Tylenol usually twice a day. I can usually get through mid-afternoon before any discomfort starts and take 2 then and 2 more around bedtime.

I had some in-home physical and occupational therapy immediately following surgery. The PT helped to get me on the road to recovery more quickly. I just started outpatient PT to relieve stiffness in my lower back that I could not seem to get rid of and I've notice such an amazing differnence in just 4 visits! I am also told by my surgeon the physical therapist that I have amazing flexibility and that it really helped me recover more easily and quickly. Also, I went to the gym for a few months prior to the surgery and I really think that helped too.

I too am thin. 5'0 tall and weighed 105-110 going into surgery. I'm now 5'1 and weigh 95 lbs. Can't seem to get those extra 10 lbs. back yet! The only issue I've had with this is that I can feel some of the hardware when I lay down because there just isn't any fat between the hardware and my skin. Luckily, we bought a new bed that has helped alleviate the problem though.

I am flying from Maine to Oregon this weekend and really feel up to the trip. It won't be as much fun as a cruise, but it's still going to be a lot of travel. I'll let you know how I feel when I get back!

LindaRacine
07-12-2005, 09:49 PM
Hi Angie...

I communicate with a lot of people with scoliosis, and in my experience, it's the people who are thin and fit who seem to have the fastest recoveries. Of the people whom I've seen that fit that category, I can't think of one who didn't have a fast recovery. Unfortunately, people who are thin have a higher incidence of being able to feel the implants, but I think that usually doesn't hinder their short-term recoveries.

Regards,
Linda

CajunGirl
07-13-2005, 07:36 AM
Thanks again for the words of encouragement. Last night I was reading more of Dave Wolpert's book & had a breakdown - reality is setting in!!! The words of encouragement this morning help.

Heidi, I am currently 5' 7.5" tall. At my tallest I was 5' 8.5". I am only 105 lbs. I was told that I could expect to gain maybe 2". I'll be one tall & thin girl. I didn't realize that I'd lose weight but Dave Wolpert's book did mention that. I also read about the issue of feeling the hardware.

I have been exercising 3 times a week for 6 months now. I usually get on the treadmill or eliptical for at least 20 min. each time and also do weight machines. I think I'm going to contact the nurse today to see if there are specific exercises that I should be doing. After reading last night, maybe I should be doing squats to build up my leg/glut strength.

Thanks again. I think these boards & the goal of going on the cruise will get me through the next year.
Angie

spincon58
07-13-2005, 05:24 PM
Hi,
I went on a crusie at 7 months and was rock climbing...so your chances are very high that you will feel up to a family vacation...also I have a little advice..if you feel worried about losing weight after surgery , why don't you try to gain a little before your surgery...drink calorie inriched protein drinks or speak to your doctor or nutrientist...I think if you check the national weight data charts you seem under weight for your height....good luck

momoflacrosse
07-16-2005, 10:11 PM
I am from Canada - near Toronto and have seen 2 of the top adult scoliosis surgeons here and neither is in the slightest bit interested in doing surgery on me - I am 51 and have a 60 degree thoracic curve and 45 lumbar. I also have an upper right rear hump and lower left rib deformities. I live in pain 24/7 and so far the only Dr I have seen that actually admits and seems to care about my pain is an orthopedic physical medicine specialist. He is the only one who hasn't belittled me for taking pain meds - wow isn't that amazing? Anyhow I guess the point of my post is the I think you are indeed fornunate to at least have the choice of having corrective surgery. I am not 100% sure if I would but at this point it would be nice to be given the option.
I wish you much luck with your surgery and hope that everything will work out for you - please keep me up to date I would love to know how you make out.

Nancy

LindaRacine
07-16-2005, 10:28 PM
Hi Nancy...

Have you seen Stephen Lewis?

--Linda

pal
07-18-2005, 02:22 PM
Angie,

I'm 34 years had surgery on March 2nd, out of work for 2 months, started part time on May. From June working full time.

I take Tylenol on need basis on an average taking 4 tablets a week. Also I was 5' 4" before surgery and now 5' 6" weighing 120 pounds. Have some stiffnes on upper back, but then going for OP Physical Therapy twice a week.

Pal