View Full Version : 3 weeks 4 days post-op

08-20-2005, 03:27 PM
Hello everyone. I'm finally three weeks post op! It's amazing how we take the little things in life we do everyday for advantage. I'm so excited now that I can brush my hair all by myself! I have fairly long hair so brushing it and washing it has been quite a challenge. I'm still taking pain medication for the pain I still experience. The steri-strips have almost all fallen off already. :) However, the only thing I am experiencing now besides the pain is a congested cough. I'm coughing up green mucous (sorry for the gross-out) I contacted my GP on this matter because of the pain it is causing me everytime I coughed and the fact that I am coughing so much I would vomit. I'm now taking a decongestant, along with Vicodin. However, have any of you experienced a cough such as this after surgery?? How long did it last? What is it caused by?? Did any of you experience pain in your lungs when you'd inhale?? Oh, another thing... Would a cane be a worthwhile investment?? I can't walk like a normal person, I'm really stiff and I move like a turtle still. And I can't do it without holding onto my husband for support. Hmm.. one more thing while I'm on here do any of you women have any suggestions for easing the discomfort that wearing a bra brings on the incision cite?? My cut is red and irritated along the area of my back where the brastrap sits. Ummm.. well thank you all very much!


08-20-2005, 04:54 PM
Hi :)

I didn't have a cough, sorry about that. I said the same thing to people about moving like a turtle ;) Just take it easy and don't do too much, you can go to the pool to start moving and walking in the water, and take a nice little walk everyday, since you're still early post op. About the bra, I didn't wear any for a long time after the surgery, pain is better left alone.

Take it easy :cool:

08-20-2005, 06:26 PM
I got through my recovery without a cain...but I did have trouble breathing in and out after surgery..I had pain in my lungs and I thought it was from my back..rebound pain..but in reality it was much more serious..It was a blood clot to the lung...if u have unexplained pain see your doctor.

08-20-2005, 06:40 PM

I would definitely recommend against using a cane or a walker, at least without talking to your surgeon first. I've known two people who prescribed a cane for themselves, and who starting walking with a lean.


08-20-2005, 08:08 PM
Hi Linda,

I am trying to figure out why a cane/walker would cause people to lean. Is it because they lean forward to use a walker/cane and their spine is in the fusing process...the spine fuses forward? That really concerns me as I used both after my surgery.


08-20-2005, 08:59 PM
Hi Gail...

Yes, I think it's because they have a tendency to lean to one side (as with a cane), or forward (with a walker). In both cases that I know of, the leaning was obvious.


08-20-2005, 09:50 PM
Hi. After my surgery I remember being very stiff while walking. I wore a brace most of the day and took it off at nighttime. I did not wear a bra, just a t-shirt under the brace. (I'm flat-chested). I never had any sort of cough or pain in my chest while coughing. I did have some creeking sounds coming from my rib/chest area while breathing, but it didn't last and I checked with my doctor when it happened.
I actually used a cane only when I started going out on my own. It was mostly just to alert others in cars that I could not walk fast...I figured I'd make myself out to be worse off than I really was, b/c I was nervous in parking lots, etc.


08-20-2005, 10:11 PM
thanks very much for the advice. I suppose I'll call my surgeon first thing monday morning about this. And I guess I'll live like I was born in the 60's (going braless!)

Oh, by the way, after the surgery my other shoulder seems to be lopsided (like i'm leaning the other way now) however my spine is as straight as a poker face. :D Will that go away or am I doomed to look lopsided forever?

thanks again!

08-20-2005, 11:58 PM
I have seen that mentioned before on here.
There's a good chance it's just your body adjusting (playing a balancing act)
The muscles have to get used to supporting your new spine and bounce back to where they were supposed to be in the first place (silly muscles! :p)

Of course every person is different and if you feel concerned about it, don't be scared to ask your surgeon :)

08-22-2005, 08:08 AM
It's Just Me...Hi. My daughter was 20 when she had her surgery 3 months ago. I kept comparing her to the teenagers having the surgery because she is a college athlete and very active and fit. However we have found her recovery to be more on the adult level. I remember at 3 - 4 weeks expecting a big turning point and it really didn't happen until 6-7 weeks. She was very stiff and sore but didn't use a cane. She just tried to move around the house and go for outings to the store as her body would tolerate. The pool is a good idea. She did start swimming laps in a pool using a kick board and trying to tread water for short times at about 4 weeks. Her Dr. released her to do anything her body would tolerate at 6 weeks (which I don't really understand or agree with) but she went out to a track and tried to jog a few times and ended up in bed for a week. She's now back at college and has the go ahead to play soccer!? She can't imagine getting to that place again. But she is improving slowly. Hang in there, and keep moving as you can. My daughter wore a soft sports bra type of bra until just recently. She has used Mederma on her scar religiously until just recently as well and her scar looks really good. Her right shoulder was a little below her left shoulder pre op and now it is a little higher than than her left. I'm told everything is still shifting. Good Luck.

08-24-2005, 06:23 PM
I never thought of the leaning forward thing as being a result of using a walker which I had for a couple of weeks after surgery. I have noticed that I tend to lean forward a bit when sitting at work at the computer...then again I'm fused to L4 and feel less pressure on my back when I lean forward a bit. If I try to sit up straight, I feel a pulling sensation in my very low back. I'm not sure if I lean forward when walking though...I'll have to see tomorrow as I walk around at work!

08-25-2005, 11:37 AM
Hi Heidi...

The physical therapist should have made certain that you weren't leaning over to use the walker. And, I think there's not much going on in terms of fusion in the first few weeks, so hopefully you're OK.


08-25-2005, 01:26 PM
Thanks Linda. I have noticed today that when standing and walking, I feel better standing straight and feel the pressure if I lean forward at all, so hopefully, that's a good sign.

The height of the walker was fitted by the therapists in the hospital, and I'm pretty sure it was at the right height. My husband is a mechanical engineer and his mom is a nurse and both were really involved in knowing the ins and outs of any equipment I used, so if something didn't look to fit right, I'm sure they would have had it adjusted.

Any leaning I did was pretty minimal. I really only used the walker to walk laps around the first floor of the house a few times a day to get me up and moving around. Other than that, I usually had my husband help me around. I would start to lean when I was getting tired during my laps and usually laid down when I got to that point. So hopefully that bit of leaning didn't do any permanent damage. God I'm paranoid now!

People do mention to me that I stand and sit much straighter than I ever did before...so apparently, I'm the only one who notices the leaning forward while sitting...then again, I notice every little thing these days!