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kdawn
05-15-2008, 06:09 PM
I just had my 3 month post op visit and things are going quite well. I can now lift 20 lbs. and can bend and twist. It's taking me awhile to get used to the bending, its been so long since I've done it, I still find myself squatting instead. Every week things seem to be getting better and sometimes I forget I just had major surgery. My doctor said I do not need to do PT because I'm so active now, he just gave me some excercises to do at home. I can't believe how lucky I've been, everything seems to have gone so much better than I could have ever hoped for. I hope everyone else who is still recovering is doing good ;) The only thing that is annoying is when it feels like bugs are crawling on my back. I know I look weird sticking my hand down my shirt and jumping around and there is no bug to be found. Does anyone know how long this sensation lasts? and also the pinching sensations? :confused:

trulyaries
05-15-2008, 06:36 PM
I just posted my 3-month checkup - we shared the same surgery day. Glad to hear that you are doing well also. Sounds like you're not as restricted as I am - my doc still wants me to avoid bending/lifting/twisting, and no PT yet, which I would like to be doing. But I think I'm probably much older than you. As far as those "bugs" I don't know what to tell you. The surgery that involved my thoracic area was in 2000, and I still get those sensations in my upper back! :(

Susie*Bee
05-15-2008, 07:50 PM
Wow, Kdawn! It does sound like you're doing spectacular! And I'm really impressed too with what you're released to do. I don't remember how long your fusion is... and it also seems like you're pretty young. My doctor said no bending or twisting-- and when I asked for how long at my 10 month check-up, he said that's how I should always do things--no twisting or bending, period. So maybe it has to do with the length of fusion-- or just the differences in surgeons. I've got 15 levels fused.

Can't help you with the bug problem-- I don't seem to have that one.

Geish
05-15-2008, 10:28 PM
My guess is the "bugs" are the nerves regenerating. I think it feels more like an army of ants biting me. It seems to have lessened a lot for me over the last month, but was happening a lot at 3-4 months post op. I also had a few "electrical shock" moments that lasted for a few weeks starting about a month ago. all of a sudden it was almost like I got hit by a cattle prod. Lasted 10 seconds or so and was gone. They seem to have disappeared as quickly and unexpectedly as the came. No idea what the heck it was.

CHRIS WBS
05-16-2008, 01:53 PM
he said that's how I should always do things--no twisting or bending, period.

Susie, I think your doctor is wisely being very cautious in his efforts to avoid having to extend your fusion to the sacrum in the future. But how do you avoid never twisting or bending again as long as you live? I bend so many times during the course of the day that I just canít imagine what it will be like never being able to bend again.

Chris

kdawn
05-17-2008, 09:29 AM
my fusion was 11 vertebrae, from T5-L3. I'm with Chris that I can't imagine to never be able to bend again. The only problem I have is that I have to be careful with what I do because L4 L5 discs are worn out and I do not want to have them fused yet. My surgeon said as long as I'm careful, no jarring or running, that hopefully we can get them to last for awhile. so there are things that I will not be able to do for a very long time. I thought that the sensations on my back are the nerves trying to heal, but there are so many different sensations, like the bugs, pinching, and itching like crazy!!!!! :eek: I just hope they don't last for years!

Susie*Bee
05-18-2008, 02:55 PM
Chris and kdawn-- maybe I should have said I'm to avoid bending if possible. I am allowed to bend, but from the hip only. And just slightly-- like not big bending. I think it's the repetitious movements on those lower vertebrae-- and with the hips too, that will cause distress and so should be avoided. Since there are alternative ways to do things, I am re-learning to the best of my ability. Part of what I've been working on in PT this last month (and I'm just about over with it :( ) is proper body mechanics for doing some of the regular things I do in a day... especially work related.

I have been watching other people-- and also asking sometimes-- :rolleyes: and observing how others get down to do things at a lower level than their normal reach. To my utter amazement, my husband almost always squats or goes directly down onto his knees (no hands needed!) I never really noticed this before. I, on the other hand, almost always bent over. And I know some of you are sick of hearing this, but I discovered I actually could not squat down AND GET BACK UP with my leg strength. So that is what I'm working on-- and getting a lot better too! Last week at PT we went over two ways of putting things away (or picking them up from) a lower shelf. And I could do them both. Big pat on back for me! :D One way, if there is something for support nearby, is to go down on one knee. The support part is to hang onto something when you go to get back up... So that is progress. The other way would be much more fun if I wore a tutu and ballet slippers, because it reminds me of that... it is to do an arabesque of sorts-- using your hip as the fulcrum, keeping one leg and your torso in a straight line and head forward and chin up... then you bend forward that way. That does not put any extra strain on the vertebrae just above and just below my fusion. Of course, no kids better be behind me in the library or I'll kick 'em! :eek: So that sounds fun, but perhaps not practical in all places. ;)

I guess what I want to say is, if I can relearn how to maneuver so that my parts last longer, then that is what I'll try to do. Squatting, kneeling, arabesque-ing, etc., for a major part of the getting down, with a little bit of gentle bending when needed, will be better than always bending. If you go to any kind of site on body mechanics/back and so on, that is what they'll tell you. Squat, don't bend. Yep, a life long of doing things the wrong way is hard to overcome, but hopefully not impossible.

As for twisting-- that is also a body-mechanics no-no of sorts. Or I think it is. You're supposed to pivot on your feet and turn your whole body, rather than twisting. Besides doing ladder climbing holding onto small objects, picking up boxes (with 15 lb. weights) and then turning and placing them on high and low shelves, I also pushed a big cart down narrow hallways and maneuvered around corners without twisting my body... this is the practical side of PT that I've been working on.

I still may need more surgery down the road for those lower lumbars/sacrum-- but in the meantime I'm doing what I can to possibly stall or stop that time from coming. It's one of the few things that is in my control, and if I don't try, then that's really silly of me. I'm sure all of us can bend to some extent, but my understanding is that it's not good for the areas just adjacent to the fusion, so I'm working on complying with the no bending or twisting restriction that my doctor recommended. I hope I explained this ok... ;)