View Full Version : My Surgery scheduled (really scared)

11-05-2006, 03:31 AM
Hi everyone, i'm Markus, im 16 year old Male, 6'2'', and i just got word a couple days ago about a month after my last checkup with my back doctor, that my surgury for my scoliosis, which is 45 degrees in the upper spine, and 22 in the lowerback (sorry i dont know all the fancy terms) will take place on November 29th 2006, which is 24 days away. I am extremely nervous and scared. I came here looking for answers and maybe some hope, or at least something good to hear. So far what from what i know im getting the 2 hardplastic rods and screws in my back. The doctor said he only wanted to do the upper part of the back and not fix the lower part, since he said the lower is only curved from balancing the upper curve. He said it would be an 8-12 hour surgery, and it was very serious. He told me the chance of something bad happening during the surgery was 2% or less. Although ive heard the pain from the surgery is very very painful, and that the pain from the whole thing would just be very painful altogether. My mom really rubbed it in about how much pain i was gonna be in and just basically has scared me really bad...Im not so much worried about how the surgery will go, its just that im scared about the after surgery, like will i be able to move much? or will i be in lots and lots of pain? Can i get up and walk or not? Can i move my arms? Can i bend? :( there is just so much i wanna know and im scared of knowing and scared of not knowing, but i really do wanna know...Another thing my doctor said which i couldnt beleive was that Scoliosis does not cause pain at all. I dont beleive it lol. Is this really true? Im sorry if this is too long or w/e, or if im asking to many questions, its just im really scared and i need help...so please, anyone...

The Slice
11-05-2006, 06:48 AM
Let me start by saying that I am a middle aged man. I am not trying to be weird, freaky, or anything like that, but if I could I would love to wrap my arms around you and comfort you with a hug. No one can tell you exactly what to expect because there are too many variables. Different procedures, different ways of managing pain, pain tolerance, and reaction to the medication to list just a few. I can assure you that what is scaring you more than anything, is not necessarily the pain, but the not knowing what to expect. Hopefully you have friends who can help you get through this and help you keep your morale up. Take it one day at a time. Don't be shy about expressing your conerns to your surgeon and/or the anesthesiologist about pain management post op. Remember that everyone has a different level of pain tolerance, so the amount or type of medication may vary. Good luck and hang tough.

11-05-2006, 07:26 AM

My 15 y.o. daughter will be 2 years post-op next month. I'll try to answer some of your questions. Pain seems to be one of your biggest fears. Jamie did not have pain before surgery, however, you have to expect pain after surgery. In the hospital, you will have a little button to push that will give you pain meds for a few days. After that, you will be switched to oral (pills) pain meds. My best advice on that is to make sure your mom or dad makes sure you get your pain meds as prescribed. i.e. if you can have them every 4 hours, make sure you get them every 4 hours. The pain should be manageable if you do that, but if you go too long and the pain gets bad, it is very hard to regain control of the pain. The good news about the pain, is that you might not even remember it! Jamie slept through most of her 6 days hospital stay and says she doesn't remember a lot about that time. Jamie was out of bed and walking the halls within a few days, with someone with her of course. Yes, you will be able to move your arms. Bending: you won't be allowed to bend your back for a while, maybe 2-3 months. Your doctor will tell you how long.

I know this is a very scary time for you. Feel free to ask any questions you have. You are not aone in this.

Mary Lou

11-05-2006, 09:57 AM

The waiting and worrying before surgery was harder for my son and our family than anything. My son is now nearly 4 months post op and is doing great. He also had 2 curves and was fused from T3 to L4, which is almost the entire length of his back, in an almost 12 hour surgery. He was up and walking with help within a day after surgery, and even got out of the hospital a day early. He said the pain he had after surgery was not as bad as he thought it would be, and they do keep you very well medicated in the hospital. You should also have some good meds to go home with, too, and I agree that if they say to take them every 4 hours, that's what to do. Have you gone to Spinekids at all? The encouragement that was provided on there helped my son immensely. I wish you the best of luck and many prayers in your surgery and recovery, you will do absolutely fine!! :)

Mom to 3
11-05-2006, 12:17 PM
Markus, I wish you good luck and I will remember to pray for you on the day of your surgery. It will most likely go fine. I have had 2 surgeries a long time ago when the docs werent as good and it went fine. My 11 y/o daughter is about 2 months post-op and her surgery went fine with no complications or anything. There will probaly be some pain after the surgery but you should be on a morphine (or some other med.) drip. Your surgery should be much better than mine because i got the "old" procedure (even tho it wasnt really old at the time) in 1990. My daughter, Anna is totally fine now and acts as tho she never had surgery. She would play sports if you could do it @ 2 months post-op. you will probably try to walk @ 1 orr 2 days post-op (its pretty much when you get out of the ICU). If you can try and ask someone to update us on how your doing during your recovery. Try and stay calm and dont think about it sometimes for the next few weeks. Just try to have as much fun as possible! Again, I wish you good luck!

11-05-2006, 06:42 PM
I know you are scared Markus and I am sure that your mom is just as scared and probably just doesn't know how to work through her own feelings. My daughter will be one year post-op on November 28th, so I remember well how scary the month of November was for us. My daughter was 14 at the time of surgery and she turned 15 about 2 months ago. Elizabeth was fused from T2-T12. The doctor debated going into the lumbar area, but he decided not to as she would have lost quite a bit of her flexibility (which is important to a dancer). She is dancing full-time again this school year and there is not much that she can't do. Those first few weeks after surgery are really not much fun and you will be in some pain, but like the others said, make sure to take your pain meds as scheduled and use lots of pillows to surround yourself and give yourself support.

Talking to others who have gone through this surgery is also a big help. Make sure that your mom talks to the school about when you will be allowed to go back and how much time you will miss. My daughter had a home tutor for a few weeks until she was able to go back to school and sit through the school day. She had an extra set of books at home once she did go back and we kept something for pain in the nurse's office.

Hang in there and please know that you will have many praying for you as the time approaches.


11-06-2006, 09:23 AM
Hi Markus,
My daughter Shelby had posterior fusion surgery June 19 of this summer. Today is her 20 week anniversary. She was 12 when she had the surgery and her curves were 44T (upper) and 64L (lower). Her curves are both now about 10 degrees. She is still fairly restricted in what she can do, her doctor is very conservative. She was fused from T4 to L4. It is better if your upper curve is bigger than your lower curve. In Shelby's case it was the opposite therefore he had to go low into the lumbar area. She had her surgery on a Monday and was home Wednesday evening. She bounced back fairly quickly with only a couple of bad days and nights. It was hard for her to get comfortable in bed since she could not really readjust herself. Other than that she didn't complain too much about pain. She would do it all over again because she was getting pretty crooked and now she is completely straight. She grew 2 inches on the surgery table which made her very happy. Before her surgery she and I were both very worried and if feels so good to be in the recovery phase now. It is amazing what these surgeons can do these days. I know it is very scary but you will be fine and know that there are so many kids and parents out there like you and your parents. Shelby and I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Let us know how your surgery goes. Hang in there and keep asking questions and there will be someone here to answer them for you. This site helped us so much.

Daughter Shelby 13y/o
44T 64L Now 10T 10L
Posterior Fusion June 19, 2006
Fused from T4 to L4

11-07-2006, 01:03 AM
Thank you, all of you! Youve given me so much hope and determination to get through this. I know im not alone now, and i thank you all for your prayers. It means so much.

11-16-2006, 10:45 AM

I had this surgery my freshman year of high-school, I'm 27 now. I don't remember the details, as far as what numbers the vertebrae were or degrees my curves were. But, I can say I have the rods running from right below my neck to just above my waist. I have two sets of rods fused in.

I was sacred to death. I did not want the surgery. It wasn't the pain that worried me, but the idea of having the surgery itself. Don't let it freak you out too much. The surgery is long, and when you come out of it you will be in ICU. They will take excellent care of you. After a little while (maybe a day or two) you'll be moved down to your own room. Do what the doctors and nurses tell you. I was in pain, and turned into a big baby. I refused to eat and ended up making myself extremely sick. I hospital visit that should have been relatively short turned into 10 days for me. All because I wouldn't cooperate with what the doctors and nurses told me to do.

They'll give you a morphine drip (or some other time released pain killer), and a push button when you can request more as needed. The machine is smarter than you are and won't let you o.d. But, use it as needed. Take your pain meds as prescribed. Even if you don't think you need a pill 3-4 hours later, take it anyway. Heading the pain off is easier than getting rid of it when it hits hard.

All in all, go into it with a positive attitude. You'll come through fine. You'll stand a little taller, and your posture will be everyone's envy. :p Let us know how it turns out for you.


11-24-2006, 01:01 PM
i had my suregery june 19 this past summer.
if you wanna talk email me at lroyek@yahoo.com

hope your doing well!

11-26-2006, 03:07 PM
You have every right to be scared. I didn't show it going into my two surgeries almost 21 years ago, but my parents could tell I was scared to death about what was going to happen. There's a long road ahead of you. Trust me, it's worth it in the end.

12-13-2006, 05:21 PM
i was the same way, scared as hell. But u got to learn you need to get it done. I was scared of death and paralyzation. These things can happen. But then again, anything can happen in life. Nothing is promised. Just remember that the odds are with you. good luck

12-14-2006, 05:55 PM
Hi Markus, by now you'll have had your surgery, so I'm thinking of you and hoping that you're feeling comfortable and happy :)

Andy2010 - you must be my scoliosis brother - I had my first ever surgery on exactly the same day as you had surgery, on the 13th of January 1986. I was ten and a half, a year younger than you. Wow, just think, 21 years ago we were two little kids on different sides of the world, going through spinal surgery :D

01-20-2007, 11:12 PM
got this a little late...Hope yr recovery is going well!! Let us know how yr doing!

02-01-2007, 12:17 PM
HEY markus, ya know what... dont worry, bc the post op seems to be your big concern, and my opinion of that is its all up to you. Im not saying its going to be pain-free, but as far as limitations thats what you decide. Your body will tell you when and what its ready to do.. Mostly I have to say its determination, and confidence in myself that got me through it. Staying POSITIVE and looking at the best side of anything that crossed my path. I had my surgery at 13, and as my nurses and doctors say I pretty much jumped out of bed, started walking and never looked back. Life is what you make it, and you can use scoliosis as a crutch and no one will ever call you on it, because it is a serious thing. But you are young, and life is totally what you make it. I played soccer in hs (all-state forward), and managed wrestling and ended up wrestling my senior year. All I have to say is You only live once, so live life, dont hold back, because sometimes things are "once in a lifetime". Here's a quote I love it kind of applies, and doesnt at the same time so yeah... "Regret is worse than rejection, rejection is just a momentary embarressment, but regret can last a lifetime." Give everyday like its your last so you never look back wishing you had done something else. Also if you give your best its not worth regreting because there is nothing you could have changed.
You can play any sports you want to.. you can choose life to be how you want it to be... trust me, no one believes me when I tell them about my rods bc I am so "outgoing" and I never think things through I just live my life, the way I want too.
I hope that helps, p.s. when is your surgery?
-Ali K.