View Full Version : 7 months post op

01-05-2009, 04:40 AM
Hi everyone I was 7 months post op on the 21st December,

I am still getting pain although I can cope with it most of the time I have started to get depression, and snapping at everyone around me, I think its cause I thought at this length of time I would be ok..

The main pain i am getting is roughly middle of my back, just to the left, its a stabbing pain, i think it is where one of the screws is, I saw my surgeon about it back in November and he just said everything was ok, and he doesnt want to see me now till 29th July which is a long time away.

I am getting really down now due to this and sometimes just dont want to get out of bed....

Has anyone else had these types of pain I also have a pain left hand side by the boob....and also the pain goes down my left arm which is very annoying, I find if I put a hot water bottle on my arm it does ease it but then as soon as I take it away I have it back.... its horrible, i dont know if that is anything to do with the op, or weather it is something else, i have had a bad bad cold since the new year woke up with it on the 1st, and it is started to go to my chest.

Sorry this is long, but I dont know what to do now I cant get back to my surgeon.

01-05-2009, 08:51 AM

It's been a while since I visited here.

[I] don't have scoliosis.

I have spondylolisthesis.

That is that I have a displaced vertebra in my lower left spine.

In August of last year, after months of being fobbed off with drugs and exercise programmes that only made things worse, I saw a consultant at the local Spinal Unit.

She gave me hope. A simple surgical procedure, she promised, would free me from pain and restore me to mobility.

To be certain, however, she referred me for an MRI.......

The results of that came through in October - and dashed all my hope.

No simple opertion for me, rather, it's proposed that I undergo Spinal Fusion.

It's a risky procedure - and I know several people who've had it -only to end up worse off than they were.

I'm not without intelligence and so, weighing all in the balance, I've decided to decline the surgery.

As a result, I'm treated as an idiot who doesn't know what's good for her.

I DO know what's good for me - and a long, complicated opertion that has no guarantee of success and, furthermore, carries serious risks doesn't seem like much of an option!

So, I resign myself to a lifetime of pain and remaining housebound.

Forgive me if I sound bitter, but I am sick of being fobbed off.

I've had to go through all manner of beaurocratic hoops just to get my local council to agree to instal a shower, so that I can actually keep myself clean.
I don't drive, don't qualify for a Blue Badge and now I'm told that I don't have entitlement to the Disability Living Allowance.

I can't walk more than 100 yards without agony, I can't stay on top of my housework. Some days, I can't even get dressed without help because the pain is so bad.

Sorry, but I don't feel very hopeful for the futurre.

01-05-2009, 10:10 AM

first of all, I'm sorry you are feeling so bad. If your cold is getting worse, why don't you go to your doctor now, especially if it's involving your chest now. Last winter I had a terrible case of Bronchitis that took 4 rounds of antibiotics to finally get rid of. The coughing caused me so much rib pain I couldn't stand it. Also, maybe your GP can address your arm issue. Maybe it has nothing to do with the spine. You don't know unless you ask, right?

I'd also check to see if you can go back to the spine doctor sooner than July. If things are worse than last time you were there, just call and tell them.

I have had occasional pain on the left side of my upper spine as well. The physical therapist tried to explain to me that the muscles there were contracted for so long and there are having to stretch now, which causes pain. She also said that where the ribs connect to the spine has to adjust and there can be some pain while everything back there 'settles in'. I"m probably not explaining it right, but maybe you get the idea. She has me doing some stretches which seem to help with that pain. Have you done PT?

I hope you get some relief soon and are feeling better.

01-05-2009, 01:53 PM
Hi Angela,
We had our operations really close together:) I have pains similar to yours. I was told the pain that is going around to my front is costocondritus. I agree with Debbei as far as PT. My surgeon just cleared me for it and I started 12/15. So far I haven't noticed any improvement but nothings gotten worse either.

01-05-2009, 02:14 PM
thanks for the replies I got told that PT would be bad for me...they might have changed there minds now. they said that back whne I had my last check-up November.

Might give it a go though if they say it is ok, and see how it goes, every little pain worries me even when it is related to the back...my surgeon said the other option is at 18 months having the hardware taken out which I dont really want not another op, I havent looked up the recovery for that does anyone know?


01-05-2009, 05:54 PM
Hi Angela
I hope you are feeling better in the last few days - did you manage to get in to see your GP?
I'm interested to hear what was the reason you were told PT would be bad for you Angela?

Debbe and Sharshe - would you mind telling us what sort of PT you do - what sort of stretches etc. Many thanks

01-05-2009, 09:19 PM
Hi Angela
I hope you are feeling better in the last few days - did you manage to get in to see your GP?
I'm interested to hear what was the reason you were told PT would be bad for you Angela?

Debbe and Sharshe - would you mind telling us what sort of PT you do - what sort of stretches etc. Many thanks

Hi Louise,

I'm doing all sorts of things that I never dreamed I'd be doing so soon. Lots of arm & leg exercises, but also things that work my back and abdominal muscles. I didn't know that it was possible when you can't do sit ups. She also has me on a few machines including an arm/leg bike, the treadmill that she has me do BACKWARDS (LOL) at a very low speed which is supposed to work your back muscles, and a total gym for leg work. I use those rubber band things that she has me hold onto while she pulls away from me from the sides, and angled, and I lay across the big rubber ball thing and raise one arm and one leg together from each side. So many things I can't even remember. I am feeling much better pain-wise since I started.

Now if only I can get totally off my drugs...but that's a different story :)

01-06-2009, 03:16 AM
Thank you for all the replies, I have to go docs tomorrow about my cold and my chest pain.

I was just told by my surgeon that they dont recomend physio yet, I think its cause I have such small bones that it is taken a while longer to heal, he said up to two years now where as before it was 18 months to fully heal and fuse, weather that is true I dnt know.

I am trying some execises at home only small things that work my back, which physio taught me before I had the op, im not doing the bending ones though, and if it starts to hurt I will stop.

01-06-2009, 11:02 AM
Hey Angela,
Hope things go well at your GP appointment.
The stuff my PT has me doing is very gentle isometrics and strengthening exercises. I use the Therabands for arms pulling down with arms straight and pulling back with elbows bent. Laying on back I lift hands over head using just 1 or 2 lb weights. I too use a big ball but I put it behind me up against a wall and do squats (but your feet have to be way far in front of you as to not get "knee shear"). I use an incumbent bike and only do 1 mile. I have a regular exercise bike at home but my surgeon doesn't want me using that because you bend forward and put more stress on back. I also lay on my back and bring my knees toward chest slowly and alternate knees. Most of the stretches are 2 sets of 10 rep.s. Doesn't sound like much but sure does wear me out. Oops, I forgot to say that you do all of these with spine in neutral position (which is to say since I can't move my back at all, basically suck in your gut).

01-06-2009, 12:18 PM
My son was taught by his PT to do many leg stretches lying on his back (on a soft mat) and using a wall to support his legs during the stretches if necessary. We were told that puts less stress on his back but also helps stretch it out below the fusion a bit. And if your legs are really tight, it can lead to more pain in your back apparently...