View Full Version : Surgery - Jan 24th... have some questions!

01-11-2006, 02:33 PM
Hey guys,

I've been reading the forum for a few days but this is my first post. To give you some background info I'm a 23 yr old guy, was diagnosed with Scoliosis at 17, watched it progress slowley till last summer when I decided to have the surgery.

Was enjoying the new year until I got a call on the 4th Jan.... they'd got a slot for me much earlier than expected (arrgghh). I'm going in for surgery on the 23rd January, currently my curve is at 53 degree's. I'm about 5ft 8 (soon to be 5ft 10 I hope ;) ), weigh about 65kg.

Basically my questions all revolve around the recovery.... I've been told it'll be a 2 week hospital stay? (1 week - 10 days seems common on this board?). How long did it take people 'on the other side', to feel okay enough to do normal things? I mean like relax and watch tv without pain, drive, travel on their own, fly... etc? I really haven't a clue what I'm letting myself in for...

I've had the 2 week pre-op day, that was Monday, it went okay, I only worried about the blood sampling but in the end that was nothing.

Oh I'm going into Hinchinbrook hospital in Huntingdon (UK), Dr Wojcik is doing my surgery. Anyone else had him or been there?


01-11-2006, 06:11 PM
Hey Oli - I can't comment on how they do things in UK, but I just had surgery on December 13. I was in the hospital for 5 days, and while in the hospital I was able to sit up, and walk around, even tackle some stairs. Each day I was better than the day before, and I was able to do a bit more than before. (The first two days, not so much...)

I am now at home and recovering well there. I walk on a treadmill about 1.5 hours/day, 1/2 in morning, 1/2 hour in afternoon, 1/2 at night. When I first got home from hospital, I mostly stayed in bed, but could get up to use restroom, and would spend a few hours upright in front of the telly, or eating meals with my family. Again, as each day went by I was more mobile, more comfortable, and able to do more and more. I still have bending, twisting and lifting restrictions, but am able to care for myself fully, and will be returning to work on January 23! Hope that helps!

01-12-2006, 07:57 AM
Thanks SpineWhine!, it sounds like you're recovering really well. I found your blog really interesting, did your surgeon mention driving? I've been told I can't drive for 6 months, but I'd hope to be well enough to drive after 2 months.. couldn't bear 6 months at home!

Oh one other question, on what day did you feel well enough to use your PC? i.e. to email/write your blog. I work from home and hoped to be using email again after no more than 10 days or so. Is that realistic?


01-12-2006, 10:12 AM
Hey Oli - to answer your questions, I was typing on my computer about 10 -12 days after my surgery, depending on how I was set up, I could have done it sooner. (Meaning where I sat, where the computer was placed, etc. I have been using a laptop with a breakfast tray over my lap.

As for driving, my surgeon told me 4 weeks post op, as long as I am comfortable, and not taking narcotic pain meds. I indeed did drive at 4 weeks post op, and did a fine job. Although, some turns were difficult, like me steering wheel was very hard to turn, like in tight parking situations.

Hope that helps. Oh, and remember to take deep breaths. Breathing is important!

01-24-2006, 01:57 PM
Thinking of you today, Oli... Hope all goes well... Let us hear from you as soon as you feel able.... ((((hugs)))) JoAnn

02-04-2006, 04:38 AM
Hello everyone, well I'm back home, all in one piece. Got home on Thursday lunchtime, had the surgery on the 24th, so it was 9 days in hospital, plus the night before the surgery.

The surgery went well, pain wasn't too bad and I was standing up on the sunday night, walking this monday. Yesterday was my most active day, the first full one at home, got to the dinner table for each meal, and managed to stand in the bath whilst my mum washed my hair. I think I may have done slightly too much though as I'm feeling fairly uncomfortable at the moment.

I've got my laptop setup on a tilting table above my bed, so hopefully I will be able to keep you all up to date. Going for a sleep now, will write another progress report soon.

Thanks for the support,


02-04-2006, 10:56 AM
Just remember to take one day at a time. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. I had my surgery November 8,10,&14. I flew back from Boston to San Antonio, TX on December 3. It was not an easy flight, but not as bad as I thought. I agree that each day you feel a lot better. I began work again 3 days ago. I am sore today, but made it! Just don't overdo! Linda

Curvy Corky
02-06-2006, 11:00 AM
Hey Oli!

Glad to hear you are home. I hope you have a great recovery.
I too just had surgery, fusion of T12-L4. They did my surgery with the anterior approach, which was on my left side of my ribcage.

How did they do your surgery? Posterior (on back) or Anterior (on front)?
Also what levels did you have fused?

I will tell you this, each person is different so don't base your recovery time on someone else. This is advice I was given by quite a few on this forum. After I got home from the hospital I felt so horrible and was just wondering why I wasn't doing as well as so many people on this forum. I mean I was reading stuff like people getting off the pain meds the first week out, walking a mile a day, etc. And it worried me cause I could barely get out of bed to use the restroom. I am now a month post-op and still in a lot of pain and moving very slow, but I am seeing progress. For me it just seems it is taking longer than most people. I was also in the ICU for 7 days after surgery due to complications with taking out my chest tube. And got a stomach virus when I got home. So maybe those are factors in my slow recovery.

Just stay positive and have positive caring people take care of you. The environment that you are in really makes a difference in your recovery. You truly need loving support and care right now to help your body heal. Get the rest you need and only do what your body will let you do. Don't push yourself because you see that other people are doing more than you, because each person heals differently.

Take care and keep us updated.
Good luck! :)

02-13-2006, 09:20 AM
The length of the fusion is on my notes, which the nurse took away with her today, grrr, I guess for their records. I'm trying to remember, it was a T something to an L something, both lowish numbers, a 2 and a 4 I think, but can't remember which way round.

Can I ask, after surgery did anyone else experience swelling around the lower abdominal region on their left?

Just above my left hip the skin is really swelled and sticks out, this continues round to my left side, where the skin is thick and tender to touch. It doesn't hurt as a rule, but after prodding it a bit it's now hurting a little. I showed the surgeon but he didn't seem to really notice, I've been told it's probably swelling due to the way they bash you around in surgery. From looking at diagrams it's my lower intestine region. Odd thing is on my right I'm totally normal, before the operation both sides were flat and I've never had any problems there before.

As for the recovery, well I'm 3 weeks post op tomorrow. The final piece of my dressing came off today so I'm 'clean' of anything artificial for the first time. I'm taking 2 paracetamol's, four times a day for pain killing. Other than that I'm on iron tablets, which you take to help your blood supply.

I had a bit of a problem last Thursday with constipation, in fact I'd go as far so to say it was more painful that anything else related to the surgery. So advice for anyone having surgery, take whatever you can to ensure you 'go' as often as possible. Going too often might be a bit embarrassing, but I promise it's better than lying in agony for hours with nothing happening.

These last two days my natural energy has returned, which is both a good and bad thing. Good in that I don't get tired by things like walking round the house, bad in that I can't sleep as I simply aren't getting tired enough.

Oh yes only other thing, has anyone else had the misfortune to sneeze after surgery?! It kills! I never imagined sneezing could be so painful!

Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics up soon, so you can all see how my surgery has turned out.


Aged 23, Surgery 24th Jan 06....

02-13-2006, 11:15 AM
Hi Oli...

What you're describing sounds like an incisional hernia. If you click on the Search link above and type in that term, you'll find other discussions on the subject.


02-14-2006, 11:54 PM
Hi Oli,

It's is good to see you are doing well!!! :) I can relate with having to sneeze after surgery. It hurts. It's also something I didn't want to have to do often. I tried my best to stay away from anyone that had a cold or the flu.

If someone came to visit me and I thought they might be sick, I would go around and wipe off everything I thought they touched. I probably looked like an idiot, but it gave me peace of mind.

Speedy Recovery Young Man, :)

02-15-2006, 10:38 AM

If you have a pillow close by when you get the sneeze or cough urge, grab it and hug it tightly. It really makes a big difference.