View Full Version : four weeks post-op

07-26-2004, 02:52 AM
Just like to give an update for those who are keeping track of my progress....Four week recovery goes like this...still waking up in the middle of the night LOL (3;30 now) to either have a snack , bathroom stop and take a pain med....I have been napping less...walking around the house more...I have been able to bend to the floor to pick up items..carefully....trying to cook in small and simple meals...driving to local store but not comfortable doing it.....I have a limp on my right hip, I have a right downward shift when walking...I keep reminding myself to stand straight........When repositioning myself from sitting or standing...very stiff and painful to do....I have burning pain on the left hip...my back is numb all the way down.......some stiches are still poping out of the closed incision...no more sherring shoulder pain...easier to type and needlepoint....Physcial therapy starts this week..will be working on the arms and neck so that driving is more comfortable...When I put my excercise clothes and sneakers on, I feel like I have so much more stamina .....Dr.'s appoinment this week...hopefully will answer more questions and will find out new cobb measurements!!

07-26-2004, 12:26 PM

Glad to hear about the improvement. Just curious here, is your back straight and the hump gone?


07-26-2004, 02:27 PM

I don't understand the bending thing. The doctors in this part of the country tell their patients that there is to be absolutely no bending for 6 mos. In fact, we usually are put in a post-op brace that restricts bending completely (you can't even bend enough to wash your face in a sink).

Also, the fact that you're unbalanced when walking might be a concern.


07-26-2004, 07:17 PM
My back is flat but straight b/c it is still swollen and the muscles are stiff....I was suppose to have a thoroplasty but my surgeon did not preform it during the surgery..I will find out why on thursday...
.As far as the bending is concern...I'm doing what ever my body can handle....I was never told don't do this and don't do that....they basically said go home and do what U can....so the other day I got sick and it was impossible to throw up....I bent slightly and pulled something in the left hip area....who knows...and I'm able to bend with my knees and pick up stuff from the floor....If there is a problem the xray will tetermine this on thursday...as far as not walking straight...i'm leaning towards the right...isn't this something that is usually and has to be learned by physcal therepy?????
I wish I had a brace..it can keep U from unnessary movement...

07-26-2004, 09:19 PM

I remember that Dr. Neuwirth wrote about telling his patients to do what they feel they can handle once they get home, but I sort of assumed he would put limits on bending and lifting. I think most doctors have their patients avoid bending, or have them wear a brace, to improve their outcome statistics. But, maybe Dr. Neuwirth is right. I hope so for your sake. :-) I look forward to your report after you see him on Thursday.


07-26-2004, 10:11 PM
Well Connie I popped on to the site to say hi and to see how you were doing and voila you had already put up a progress report. I am so glad to hear that things seem to be heading in a positive way for you hun. I have a question or suggestion what ever - I use the Duragesic patches for pain control as they last for 3 days and they don't give the ups and downs of the oral meds and I am wondering if they may help you get thru those 3 am problems that you are having ???? May be something to ask your dr about when you see him. I am not trying to be pushy but I have been on meds for pain forever and this is really working well for me. The only issues I do have with them is that being a 50 ish hot woman they don't stick well so I have to use a me fix type of dressing over the patch to keep them on but i do cut out a portion of the dressing where the patch goes to allow it to breathe and if you do end up trying them and they cause itchies under the patch you can try spraying the skin with a steroid type inhaler 1st as it helps lol the joys of needing meds. Anyhow - it is so wonderful to hear things are going well as for those of us who may be following in your footsteps it is good to be able to see how things progress. All the best for continued recovery.

Love and hugs

Nancy ( your crooked Canadian freind )

07-27-2004, 01:07 AM

What's great about knowing your limits; is the body speaks loud and clear.....Lifting is a good clue on how the muscles are healing...I have a gallon of water by my bed...and when it's full..I needed.....to tilt it to fill the glass...and even the glass was heavy....so by the time the gallon is half empty, I can lift it safely and pour.....when you lift an object , say a cassarole of food and it feels way to heavy.I leave it be and ..I don't touch it...same as bending....I only get the objects in a safe way...


This is one issue that I would want to talk to my doctor about...pain meds...as of now I do not believe perocets are working for me...so I will definetly get a RX for duragesic patch...I need to try something else as the pain meds are killing my stomach.....today I sat by the beach club with my mom and sister..I took a pillow with me...I did OK....happy to be out....the sun was hot.....I will stay home today...

07-27-2004, 07:15 AM
Hi Connie

I went back to see the doctor yesterday adn asked him a whole heap of questions and I did forget one thing. I am having a thoracoplasty as well and I forgot to ask where does he take the 1.5 inches of bone away from the rib. Does he take it from the front of the ribs or next to the spine? Do you know b/c I have no idea????

Thanks, Kylie-Ann

07-27-2004, 10:47 AM
Connie, I'm so glad your are feeling a bit better and able to do needlepoint and type a bit more at the pc. If you are like me at all, I had a real turning point at 5 or 6 weeks. I was able to walk more (up and down the driveway) sit for longer periods of time, and sleep thru the night with just 1 percocet before bedtime. My doc had said no lifting over 5 lbs for the first 6 weeks, and no bending also. Maybe it's different with each proceedure. I had also been told that you will feel unbalanced, for years are muscles used to pulling us one direction and then overnight things shift, it takes quite a while before you "feel" straight. At least that is my experience, I'm going on 1 year in Aug. and still feel that I'm a tad unbalanced. Anyway, keep on progressing, hang in there and remember its a 1 step forward, 2 steps backward progression.

07-27-2004, 10:53 AM
After my surgeries I was explicitly instructed: no bending, no twisting, no lifting anything heavier than a quart of milk. It was only much later, once I was supervised by my physical therapist, that I could start doing any of those previously restricted activities. However, I'm sure every surgeon has a different set of discharge orders for his/her patients.

As for the brace issue: I did not have a brace post-op. None of the surgeons with whom I consulted before the surgeries recommended bracing. It may depend on the surgeon (and/or the location of the curve--I know that my surgeon said that bracing would not have made a difference because my curve was thoracic).

Pain management is tricky: I never really felt that I was getting much relief from the Vicodin and it wrought such havoc on my gastrointestinal system that I weaned myself down to taking it just at night about a week after getting home from the hospital. I imagine that your surgeon can make some suggestions about how to better manage your pain.

Kylie-Ann: I think that the "snips" (as I have taken to calling them) from my ribs for the thoracoplasty came from the back, but not too close to the spine--rather, further out, closer to the side of the rib cage.

07-27-2004, 11:49 AM

A thoracoplasty can be done from the front or the back, and where on the rib it's cut depends on the patient and whether it's front or back. Your best bet is talking to your doctor. :-)


07-27-2004, 12:54 PM
Hi again Connie:

I really don't understand why dr's always use percs as we don't need the caffeine or the acetomeniphen they are tough on the stomach for sure, if you get him to try the patches you will be amazed at how great they work and other than maybe a bit of skin irritation there are no biggies to worry about. Let me know what he has to say - ? Another option is Oxy IR or Oxycontin but the patches are the best by far from my experience. Take care and cheers to your continued progress.


07-29-2004, 12:41 AM
Today I started with my first in home care physcial therapy....She brought one of those huge excercise balls......I sat on it carefully LOL and did some pelvic tilts.....She gave me a great neck and shoulder massage to loosen up those spasic muscles..I did some arm presses into the ball...all in all I was surprise how well I did....most of my muscles that are stiff, is because I'm afraid to use them...she (the therepist) is also good for moral support....I mentioned about the swelling and the numbness and the pain...and she explained that I had a BIG BACK surgery ...and to take it easy.....I will report back with more information when I see my surgeon today...

09-03-2004, 10:33 PM

Just in case these updates ,helps anyone I'd be glad to talk about it...so whats happening with me.?..well I've started physcial therapy...I can honestly say..that this is a good and bad thing...It feels good having someone massage and help your back...but after its over and U come home be prepared to feel sore, tired and achie.....I was doing well after surgery(except for the unexpected hospitalzation for the blood clot in the lung) I was driving, running to the mall, cooking, supermarket and riding my bike..I started to take less pain meds...everything started to look great....but lately I have fallen off the trend..I've been in considerable pain...enough where I would cry from frustration..I would take hot showers, lay down..do anything not to take more pain meds..but the pain kept coming...I'm blaming this pain..on !) The physcail theapist and the movement of certain muscles 2) Over activity.........when my body says STOP I need to listen.....and rest..I also understand that I had a huge surgery and that recovery is long..I need to realize that its a 3 step up 2 step down thing.....and I need to take it easy and think this is surgery pain and it will not stay(hopefully)....so thats me at 2 months......

09-04-2004, 10:15 AM

Hang in there. It seems like I go through times where I think I was doing better a few weeks ago. It's probably just from all the different muscles and nerves being cut and healing at different times. I'm still not doing any physical theraphy. The doctor said as long as I am still having improvements on my own, I don't need to go. I'll be 5 months post-op on the 9th and still having iimprovements! I go back to work on Wednesday. Tuesday I have to go in and sign a letter that the Risk Manager has to type up with my restrictions for the principal. I'm exciting and worried at the same time. I'm pretty sure I can handle it. After everything else that we have done this summer! We are leaving Pennsacola, Florida this morning to drive back to Houston. I think tomorrow I did to go to the stores to buy a few new things for work. Theresa

09-06-2004, 06:44 PM
Connie and Theresa, thank you both for sharing your story and continuously updating us on your progress.