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Nancy Joy
10-25-2008, 04:38 PM
Thought I would just start a new one for this discussion we had been having. I got my staples removed yesterday. There were 75. Taking a shower feels wonderful. I mentioned to me Dr. (my regular physician) that I just couldn't believe how well this was all going for me and that my KC Dr. was surprised also. He said it was because I am a "tough old gal" and that he hurt everytime he looked at my xrays over the years. What they will say when it is over- ha! Also- to the skating, skiing, mountain climbing, ball playing- I love to ride and be around horses. We used to breed extensively and still always have some around. I basically have had to give that up for the last 10 years. Dr. said yesterday that horses were probably out of the question now? I was face down and just made a "we'll see" noise. He laughed, knowing me.

Pooka1
10-25-2008, 05:54 PM
Thought I would just start a new one for this discussion we had been having. I got my staples removed yesterday. There were 75. Taking a shower feels wonderful. I mentioned to me Dr. (my regular physician) that I just couldn't believe how well this was all going for me and that my KC Dr. was surprised also. He said it was because I am a "tough old gal" and that he hurt everytime he looked at my xrays over the years. What they will say when it is over- ha! Also- to the skating, skiing, mountain climbing, ball playing- I love to ride and be around horses. We used to breed extensively and still always have some around. I basically have had to give that up for the last 10 years. Dr. said yesterday that horses were probably out of the question now? I was face down and just made a "we'll see" noise. He laughed, knowing me.

My daughter's surgeon said she can ride if she likes after she is off restrictions at 8 months.

She has a posterior fusion (T4-L1).

Nancy Joy
10-25-2008, 05:59 PM
Awesome-my daughter did after 6 weeks- we assured the Dr. she had a very well trained horse. I have been so useless to my hubby for years now and I used to do all the barn work- now, I can sure live without the barn work but to be able to hold, lead, do a little training and ride again would be heaven. I sure think I would be better off now with a stronger spine than many are! When I was doing equine drill team, my hubby would always tell me to sit up straight- that I was leaning. Ha- the lean should be gone and the posture perfect!

Pooka1
10-25-2008, 06:06 PM
I've mentioned a few times here that I think a fusion is likely to be an advantage in dressage at least for the reason you state. :)

loves to skate
10-25-2008, 08:02 PM
I hope you will be able to ride a horse again NancyJoy. I believe life is meant to be lived. I think we are very fortunate to live in a time where Doctors are able to fix our spines. We just have to learn to be more careful than most people and know what our limitations are. Sally

Jimbo
10-26-2008, 07:41 AM
Just curious, what are these staples? Are they an alternative to stitches??

txmarinemom
10-26-2008, 09:55 AM
Just curious, what are these staples? Are they an alternative to stitches??

Yes, Jimbo ... they are an alternative to staples. I know they've been in use since at least '92 in the States (I had them with my first knee surgery), and if I'm not mistaken, I had them when my VP shunt was placed in 1979 (I'll have to check with my Mom and see if she can verify that).

They really do just look like large staples, and they remove them with something that looks pretty similar to a large staple remover - LOL. They're usually used in tandem with some type of internal suture (either dissolvable or non-dissolvable).

Sounds awful, but they're not (they *look* far more freaky than they feel ;-). It's a tad uncomfortable when they take them out, but rarely painful - and like anything else, I think if you can actually SEE them removed, the mind finds them more uncomfortable. In my experience, they aren't nearly as painful on removal as traditional external stitches: It seems your body tends to grow to traditional stitches more in certain places than staples.

Hope this answers your question!

Pam

Qikdraw
10-26-2008, 01:34 PM
Just curious, what are these staples? Are they an alternative to stitches??

As Pam stated they are an alternative to stitches, however they use staples for other things as well. I have some inside me, I was told they are 'bleeder stoppers'. They've been in there since my surgery 25 years ago. In my xray below you can see them if you look close in my right rib cage area.

I don't know if they still use them or not, or if what I remember is what they actually are for. :confused:

Brad

txmarinemom
10-26-2008, 03:41 PM
Brad ... never heard the term "bleeder stoppers" for internal staples. In fact, over 20 or so surgeries, I've never had metal left inside except rods, screws, and x-braces (or just screws for knee/ankle repair) ...

I'll have to look it up and ask around. No idea how stapling could *stop* bleeding when it's a double puncture. Wire mesh ... maybe ...

Pam

Qikdraw
10-26-2008, 04:30 PM
Brad ... never heard the term "bleeder stoppers" for internal staples. In fact, over 20 or so surgeries, I've never had metal left inside except rods, screws, and x-braces (or just screws for knee/ankle repair) ...

I'll have to look it up and ask around. No idea how stapling could *stop* bleeding when it's a double puncture. Wire mesh ... maybe ...

Pam

I always figured the 'staple' just pinched a vein closed. I donno. All I know is small little things that look like staples are there in my xrays. :) I was also told they were made of platinum. I donno if that is true or not, or if I am remembering it right, but I do tell my neighbours if they don't see me for a long time and my wife is wearing platinum jewelry to call the police. :D

If you can find out that would be great. One of the many questions I have remainng from my surgery. :)

Brad

Nancy Joy
10-27-2008, 12:41 AM
well- my experience was quite interesting- I got to look at them with a mirror before they took them out. A beautiful vertical row of metal staples- having them removed was a piece of cake. I think it was probably easier than thread as I have had some of those in the past that almost grew into the skin and were tricky to get scissors under to cut. Doc said he had trouble with one but I wasn't reacting so he just fought it till he got it! I think in the long run the scar could be much prettier~ (if there is such a thing!~) ha!

txmarinemom
10-27-2008, 01:26 AM
Nancy ... they DO leave a nice line ;-). Unfortunately, you also need the internal sutures - that I cannot handle.

Pam

JoAnn5
10-27-2008, 10:17 AM
Hubby told me that all my metal staples from neck to ...gluteous cleavage (to put it politely...lol) looked like a zipper. To me the lower ones were realllllllly irritating. That's such tender skin anyway, i guess. I was glad to have them removed. The removal was just a little pinch, but it sure felt better afterwards. It had been uncomfortable to lie on my back or to sit with them in.

Singer
10-27-2008, 10:38 AM
Interestingly, my long anterior scar, which was stapled, is barely visible at this point -- while my posterior scar, which was steri-stripped, is VERY pronounced.

txmarinemom
10-27-2008, 11:15 AM
... my posterior scar, which was steri-stripped, is VERY pronounced.

Chris, just curious ...

Has your posterior scar always been pronounced, or has it stretched since surgery? I ask because mine has gotten wider in some places over time. Wasn't sure what you meant by "pronounced" (raised, wider, etc.).

Did they also use internal sutures with your posterior closure? If so, dissolvable or non-dissolvable?

My scar, in all likelihood, would have been horrid if they'd used dissolvable stitches on me vs. that one loooooong external stitch. I wish they'd included a photo of it with my surgical pics (and I never thought to get one - funny the pics you wish you'd taken *after*, eh?). Talk about looking like Frankenstein!

Some day I'm going to try to determine why my body reacts to monocryl stitches like it does. A medical researcher friend on here suspects my body lacks some (I believe she said) protein that is needed to break them down. Apparently it's not common because every surgeon I ever tell not to use them looks at me like I have 3 eyeballs ... and I haven't read of anyone on here who has problems with them (or perhaps they do and haven't said).

And I also have one very clean 3" wide stapled closure scar on my knee ... and one really yucky one, but that one's 100% my fault (both were from the same surgery). All I'll say is when they remove the staples, steri-strip you, and tell you not to soak the area ... well, um ... you should listen.

My back was still so numb when they took out The Stitch, I barely felt a thing. For the most part ... there were a few spots I definitely felt where they'd grown in. Then again, maybe the whole thing had grown in and I just had spots with more feeling ... who knows.

I'm still laughing at "gluteous cleavage", JoAnn - LOL! Certainly a way to put it no one could possibly find offensive ;-).

Singer
10-27-2008, 12:08 PM
Pam -- by pronounced I mean it's dark and a bit wide. I have very fair skin, especially on my back, and the scar stands out as being a non-angry shade of red, if that makes sense. About the sutures -- I haven't a clue ! I've had very little problem with itching -- just occasionally and mildly around the front of my torso/hip area where the anterior incision starts, when that (previously numb) area began waking up.