View Full Version : Surgery Oct. 6th

Nancy Joy
09-11-2008, 06:03 PM
Hi all. I have been reading this forum for a month and find it very helpful. I am scheduled for surgery Oct. 6th at KU Med Center in Kansas City. I am 54 years old and have suffered from the affects of scoliosis for 27 years. Discovered as a teen and was told it would not progress more than its 20 degrees but one of the unfortunate 10 %. I have suffered since my 1st pregnancy. My real question at this point is- was anyone else scheduled for 2 surgeries from the beginning? I am having a posterior surgery on Oct. 6th and on Nov. 10th I will have a 2nd surgery from my abdomen to do more lower fusion. I cannot tell you my degrees, vertebrae, etc. at this time and will know more on that next week. I spend Monday and Tues. at KU for pre- op test,etc. I think I am ready for this and my husband and I are taking the view that hopefully my next 20 years will be better than the last 27. Thanks for replies in advance.:) PS My daughter had the surgery when she was 13 and is excited for me. Wish I were as excited as her!

09-11-2008, 07:39 PM
Hi Nancy Joy! It's good to have you posting on the forum. Your surgery date is coming up quickly! Yes, lots of people have had two procedures, spaced a few days to up to several months apart. I was originally scheduled for both posterior and anterior surgeries, but a month or two prior to my scheduled surgeries my surgeon decided he could do what was needed in just one surgery. Let us know how your appointment goes and what information you get. Best wishes.

09-11-2008, 07:40 PM
Good luck with your October 6th surgery. I'm scheduled for two surgeries in October and this happened from the very beginning of scheduling. The anterior approach will be on October 27th and the posterior will be on October 30th at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. I still have to get on the forum's calendar page and e-mail Susie Bee to add me to her list. My lumbar curve is 53 ; not sure what the thoracic one is but it's less. I know that I have balanced curves, so the problem is not obvious when I have clothes on. I got an additional opinion on my situation from a neurosurgeon yesterday, just to be sure I'm doing the right thing. I'm really glad I talked to him. Even though my orthopedic surgeon is a scoliosis expert, I thought it would be good to hear what another doctor had to say. ( have some friends in the medical field and they keep talking about getting more exercise. Yoga people push exercise also.)
The neurosurgeon said I definitely need the fusion ( from T-4 to sacrum), that my curve will definitely get worse, that I have severe scoliosis that is unstable and that I'm too young (57) to submit to the life of an 85 year old who can only walk 5 blocks of so.He said that exercise will not fix my situation ; while exercise doesn't hurt my condition, it's not going to fix anything either.
Anyway, good luck on your surgery. And again, thanks to everyone who posts. It's good to know we are not alone. ........Stephanie ( Sunny Day)

loves to skate
09-11-2008, 07:43 PM
Hi Nancy Joy,
Welcome to the forum. It is very helpful to be able to talk to other people with somewhat similar problems, even though we are all different to one degree or another. I was scheduled for 2 surgeries right from the start. Posterior first, then 2 weeks later anterior surgery. It seems a lot of people have anterior first, then posterior. I guess it all depends on what needs to be done. In my case, the vertebrae needed to be separated to release the pressure off of the nerves as they were being pinched in several places. Will you be going home in between surgeries? You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sally

09-11-2008, 07:55 PM
Nancy Joy and Stephanie/sunnyday-- I will go ahead and put you both on the thread started awhile ago: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7443 In the first post (where I'll add you) there is also a link to a post that tells you how you can add your surgery dates to the official calendar. If you have questions, let me know. Also PM me or post there with other info you want listed in that thread-- doctor, levels being fused, etc.-- whatever you want. Best wishes to both of you! And all the people with surgeries coming up this fall. I'll be praying for you. Hugs, Susie

Nancy Joy
09-11-2008, 08:10 PM
Thank you all so much for your encouragement and replies. I have read so many of your posts I feel like I know you and this is so helpful. Loves to skate---- that is interesting what you said about the vertebrae needing seperated. I have a large C curve starting from below my shoulder blades that now has 3 vertebrae bulging out within it. I have Doctored for years with this, PT, Cortizone shots, meds for 10 years, - you name it. Finally, this spring my Dr. said that was it, he was getting me back into a specialist because my rib cage is also rotating. I have become so limited. Can't even water walk anymore. I am really frightened by surgery but decided I have to pull my big girl pants up (or a friend says- cowgirl up- rode avidly most of my life) and do this. Not much alternative other than more crippling and I love to be VERY active. I don't know what it is like to be straight and I think that thought is VERY exciting. My husband and family are extremely supportive. Thanks to all for including me in the community!!!

09-11-2008, 09:22 PM
Hi Nancy Joy,

How nice to meet you. I also have surgery scheduled for October, a week after yours, but mine will be only one surgery. Good luck to you, I know what you mean about wishing you could be excited about this. When others tell me that exercise or chiropractic care can 'fix' this, I just want to go through the roof. They mean well, but really have no idea.

Ginger W.
09-11-2008, 10:58 PM
I really REALLY tried to fix my scoliosis with exercise. My most recent blog shows photos of me doing yoga and Pilates like mad, trying to strengthen my core and stop my curves from progressing.

Didn't work.

However, all that exercise got me in great shape before my surgery. So, it's good to do whatever you CAN do NOW so that you'll recover faster.

Best wishes for your surgeries, Nancy Joy! It sounds like you are ready to move forward . . . AND you have a husband who supports you with this important decision. That's great!

Nancy Joy
09-12-2008, 07:59 PM
Ginger- I viewed your blog when I first found this sight and it was so encouraging to me. So nice of you to be so sharing, long with those of you who share before and after pics- now- they do get me excited. What type of excersize do you all recommend most? Squats, walking, light weights? I am so close now that I figure they are going to fix me so surely can stand a couple more weeks of the misery it brings!!! :D

09-13-2008, 07:06 AM
Nancy Joy-- I would have to say (in hindsight) that squats would have been the most beneficial to me. I had to spend a LONG time post-op building up my leg muscles so I could squat. Your arms and your legs are going to be doing most of the work for you post-op. And depending on the length of your fusion, you may be like some of us who are not supposed to bend over, ever, except slightly from the hip. Your legs are going to be what gets you up from sitting positions too, especially once you can start sitting on seats that are lower. Your arms will be needed to push you up as well. You might practice "logrolling" just so you get the hang of it, as that's the way you'll need to get to and from a lying position.

Yes, it does get exciting the closer you get to your surgery date... and a little sobering too. Best wishes!

loves to skate
09-13-2008, 10:25 AM
Hi Nancy Joy,
My Doctor doesn't recommend squats as it is very hard on the knees. The Physical Therapist gave me wall squats to do. With feet shoulder width apart about a foot and 1/2 away from a wall, and back to wall, slide down wall until knees are at 30-45 degrees and hold as long as you can. As your thighs get stronger, you will be able to hold longer. If your knees start to hurt, then stop, and then next time, don't go down as far. If you need to get down on the floor frequently as Susie does with her job, it is better to go down on one knee rather that a full squat. Walking and swimming are also excellent. I hope this helps. Sally

09-13-2008, 06:35 PM
Good point about the squats, Sally. My exerccise squats were on a total gym-- also using one of those exercise balls behind my back-- sounds tricky, but isn't, so is essentially a wall squat with a fluid motion going down. Neither of those is hard on the knees. And yes, I go down on one knee when I need to...

09-15-2008, 10:58 PM
Yes, lots of people have had two procedures, spaced a few days to up to several months apart.

I don't think that is correct "up to several months apart." I don't believe in 3 years here on the forum I have seen ANYONE spaced more then 2 weeks MAX on their a/p surgeries. The norm seems to be 1 week, 2 weeks IF there was a complication from the 1ST surgery. Careful with statements that will worry the newbies more then they already are.

09-16-2008, 06:56 AM
Suzy-- I definitely wouldn't want to alarm anyone! I do remember someone this past year whose surgeries were spaced months apart. David Wolpert says, depending on the surgeon, that if it's not done in one surgery it can be spaced days or weeks apart. I would hope that if someone's surgeon wants a longer period of time between the surgeries that he/she would explain the need for that. I agree that almost all of the ones I've read are less than one week apart.

loves to skate
09-16-2008, 02:06 PM
I don't think that is correct "up to several months apart." I don't believe in 3 years here on the forum I have seen ANYONE spaced more then 2 weeks MAX on their a/p surgeries. The norm seems to be 1 week, 2 weeks IF there was a complication from the 1ST surgery. Careful with statements that will worry the newbies more then they already are.
Hi Suzy, Most a/p surgeries that I have seen on this forum are the anterior surgery first, then the posterior surgery. I think that with the posterior surgery done first with the instrumentation in place that it probably doesn't matter if the anterior surgery is done two or more weeks later. Posterior was done first in my case because my lumbar spine was very unstable. My surgeries were 15 days apart and the anterior part consisted of removing the degenerated discs and replacing them with cages packed with bone and BMP. The purpose of this was to increase the stability of the fusion, not to alter it in any way. I see no reason why that would have to be done within 1 or 2 weeks of the posterior surgery. I think maybe you will worry a newbie more by your statement. Anyway, Nancy Joy, I think your should ask your Dr. what his thinking is regarding the spacing of the surgeries.
Best regards, Sally

09-16-2008, 02:35 PM
I had a posterior revision to the sacrum in May 2007. An anterior procedure was done in February 2008 to reinforce the fusion and add a plate to L5-S1, roughly 8 months later. (My lumbar needed more stabilization than was provided by the posterior approach alone.)

Nancy Joy
09-16-2008, 09:20 PM
I am back. They changed my surgury to Oct. 8th rather than 6th. My curve is 65 degrees and I will be fused from T10 to S1. He said my 2nd surgery would be 4-6 weeks later. It will be anterior fusing on the lowest 3 to have double the stability in that region. That made sense. He is going to be doing a lot of reshaping of vertebrae with the 1st posterior surgery at the same time as the fusing and feels that is major enough for 1 surgery and wants me to have a chance to regain strength. It all made sense. Thanks for the excersize tips and the why for them. I think I can handle the slide down the wall. I have always been so physical and a huge excersize freak. The inability to take walks for much distance and not even water walking anymore is why we are going to "fix" me! I am so ready now to just get started healing!!!! ha! Onto the other threads I have missed. I love your help and all I learn here.

10-05-2008, 06:39 PM
Two days to go and thinking of you Nancy Joy. Hope you are fit and well and "ready" for this operation as you seemed to be earlier. Good luck for an smooth journey and a great result!

10-05-2008, 08:39 PM
Good Luck this week Nancy Joy! What doctor are you using at KU med? I used to see Dr. Asher there. I wish he was still there! I was thinking of getting a second opinion there.

10-05-2008, 08:50 PM
Nancy, I'm not sure how I'd missed your thread till now sorry! All my fingers are crossed for things to go smoothly. I'll be thinking much over you over the coming weeks :)