View Full Version : Newbie, with general questions for after surgery

11-12-2007, 10:02 AM
Hiya, im 17 and have just had the operation for my scoliosis. Back at home now after 12 days in hospital. I just feel really down at the moment. i cant go out, or go clubbing, or wear nice clothes. :mad:

I just have some general questions for people who wore a brace after surgery. I had a brace ages ago but didnt really wear it propery beacuse i didnt feel it was working beacuse my back was so flexible it just went back to shape. Im just really annoyed cos i dont feel like i even needed the surgery now. My curve was about 55 degress. But i got no back pain at all, and it was hardly noticible. Now i went through the surgery which was not exacly a nice experiance, and now i have back pain, an unflexible back, and a back brace that has to be worn for 6 months!!

Its been about a month now since i first had the surgery, and i really want to get back to driving. im practically back to normal ive healed pretty fast. but my mum says i have to wait for another month untill we see the surgeion and it says it ok. Has anyone been able to drive with just thier doctors permission??

Also, i got this soft corset thing which i wore before i had my brace fitted which i bought home. and i muuuchhh prefer wearing this. I mean how important is it to wear the back brace 23 hours a day. ive walked around for a little bit without it and i feel fine. i mean isnt it just for protection??

Would be really grateful if anyone could answer these questions. Thanks!! x

11-12-2007, 02:14 PM
Dear Sarah-- that's so exciting that you have your surgery behind you and can concentrate on the recovery! I'm sure you look so much straighter and taller now! :D Yes, the recovery part doesn't happen as quickly as we'd all like it to, but for someone your age it is much much quicker! So try to be patient and realize that it's important to follow your doctor's orders. If you get frustrated or just wonder whether it's something necessary or not, see if you can ask him or his nurse about it. I email my surgeon's nurse about some things, and that works well for both of us.

I would be very hesitant about not wearing the brace. You are very fragile right now and could possibly cause harm to your instrumentation and the fusion process. I had to wear a TSLO(?) type brace for 4 1/2 months--5 if you count the weaning off the brace time. I didn't have to wear it 24 hours/day--just whenever I was standing, sitting or walking. In other words, anytime I wasn't lying down. I usually took a break or two during the day to lie down and take the brace off. They aren't the most comfortable things, are they?!! But you get used to it after awhile. And then it was hard to go without it! The hard brace will protect your back from you accidentally bending when you shouldn't. Sometimes our reflexes to bend or jerk away from something are just too strong...

As far as the things you can do and the clothes you can wear-- that will all happen sooner than you think. You'll have so many more things that will look good on you! Just be patient. Same with driving. I wasn't released to drive until I was almost all the way off pain medication.

Also-- you might find better responses if you try the adolescents/teens under 18 section. You are right at that borderline, but probably those teens would be more into your mindset. Best wishes with your recovery!!!

11-13-2007, 11:14 AM
I am much oldler than you - I was 44 yrs old when I had surgery and I was fused from T4 - L4. My surgeon said I only had to wear my brace when I was walking or traveling for protection for three months. Athree months, my surgeon said to slowly stop wearing it. When you are told to come off your brace, do it slowly, I took it off to quickly and my back was killing me, what your suppose to do is wear it for a few hours less every day for about 1-2 weeks and then stop wearing it. As for driving, I read that we can drive 6 weeks after surgery, I would wait for your doctor's instructions. I know how you feel about being flexiable , I exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week, and I was very flexiable and there is a small difference with working out, mostly doing stomach exercises, but I am getting back to where I was at(my curve was around 48 upper & 58 lower) You will be more flexiable as the months go by. Soon you'll be wearing new clothes to fit your new shape and you'll be happy with your new back.


11-14-2007, 12:39 AM
Hi Sarah...

You really need to follow your surgeon's orders. If you were to drive now, or stop wearing your brace, and you injured yourself, the consequences could be horrible. We're all different, so you can't judge what to do by what the rest of us experienced. Your surgeon could be overly cautious, or s/he could be concerned because of your particular anatomy.

Hang in there. Before you know it, you'll be off restrictions.


11-14-2007, 10:39 AM
hello sarah-

I hope you're coping okay with the shock of being post-op. Welcome to the forum! Please listen to the good advice the members have about following your doctor's orders. I almost felt as though I had nothing in common with your experience, as I am 30 years older and have never had a brace, even post-op. I almost laughed because you have an active social life to get back to and the high point of my day is checking the mark-down racks at Target and Wal-Mart. You will bounce back into your life like a rubber ball if you take it a day at a time and do not hurt self before you recover. Your youth and good attitude will get you there! Hang in there and listen to your doctor! Best wishes....

12-14-2007, 07:23 AM
hiya thanks everyone for you comments really helpful. ive put up some before and after pics on a my other thread if you wanna have a look. Thanks xxx