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wascaly
02-13-2009, 03:21 PM
Well, here is yet another post-op concern of mine. I simply cannot stand up straight! I thought once I ditched the walker, my posture would improve, but I have to say, it's a real effort to hold up straight. I feel as if the rod is keeping me from really standing tall (so to speak). When I do try to stand tall, I can feel the rod like a stick, preventing me from doing so. When I walk, I have to make a conscious effort to hold my head up or else I will be bent over. This brace comes off in May, but I can't see it ever feeling natural to have good posture, and this scares me. I am a little over 3 months post-op, and I do not want to end up like a bent over old lady because of this. My surgeon doesn't seem to understand why it feels unnatural to stand correctly, and if he doesn't know, well, I don't either! Anyone have similar problems?

LindaRacine
02-14-2009, 12:59 AM
Wascaly....

That's a troubling symptom, as it definitely does not seem normal. If you're really concerned, I'd like to recommend that you get a second opinion.

Regards,
Linda

LynnMarie74
02-18-2009, 02:32 PM
I feel that same way.....5 weeks post op as of today. I feel forced up right yet when I look in a mirror, my shoulders and head/neck seem to be forward. When I try to "straighten" myself out, it feels weird...not so much hurtful, but like you said, the rod is there reminding you not to bend like that. I have my post op in 2 weeks...Im going to add that to my list of questions.....

debbei
02-18-2009, 02:54 PM
Have you worked with a physical therapist on your posture? I have no problem with it myself, standing staight now seems involuntary to me.

LynnMarie74
02-18-2009, 04:56 PM
Have you worked with a physical therapist on your posture? I have no problem with it myself, standing staight now seems involuntary to me.

Debbe, I dont have a PT....yet? It seems that almost everyone on this site who's had the surgery has gone or is going to a PT. Im wondering if my doc will recomend I see one as well. I would LOVE to go as it would give me a purpose a few times a week & also, Im sure they would know how to teach me new "moves" instead of me guessing & risking moving the wrong way. If he doesnt mention it, Im def. going to ask/tell him that I want to see one for help.

Does anyone else (post op) NOT have a Physcial Therapist....seems im the odd man out....

debbei
02-18-2009, 05:06 PM
Lynn,

I was given a RX for PT at my 6 week checkup, so maybe you will be too. I was told specifically NOT to do any PT prior to that point.

wascaly
02-18-2009, 06:44 PM
I had a PT come to the house for several visits, but after I had mastered everthing in his bag of tricks ("graduated," he called it), I have not had any more. I'm going to ask on my next visit (in Mar) if I can see a Sports Medicine doc after this brace comes off. I need to build up my strength, and find out exactly what exercises I can do for my posture.

Yes, when I look in the mirror, I do appear straight, but it really is forced, and it does pull on my thighs. I wonder if they'll come a time when I won't be so conscious of the brace so that I will just stand straight naturally.

So many questions.......

txmarinemom
02-18-2009, 07:33 PM
Does anyone else (post op) NOT have a Physcial Therapist....seems im the odd man out....

LynnMarie, I never had PT after surgery ... it wasn't necessary in my case.

Regards,
Pam

debbei
02-18-2009, 07:36 PM
I had a PT come to the house for several visits, but after I had mastered everthing in his bag of tricks ("graduated," he called it), I have not had any more. I'm going to ask on my next visit (in Mar) if I can see a Sports Medicine doc after this brace comes off. I need to build up my strength, and find out exactly what exercises I can do for my posture.

Yes, when I look in the mirror, I do appear straight, but it really is forced, and it does pull on my thighs. I wonder if they'll come a time when I won't be so conscious of the brace so that I will just stand straight naturally.

So many questions.......

I am sure a PT can help you with stretching and also to show you the exercises you can and cannot do. I love when my PT stretches my legs, it feels WONDERFUL! I really love my sessions and will be disappointed when it's over! I'll just have to work on those things by myself. :)

wendyh
02-19-2009, 08:09 AM
Well, here is yet another post-op concern of mine. I simply cannot stand up straight! I thought once I ditched the walker, my posture would improve, but I have to say, it's a real effort to hold up straight. I feel as if the rod is keeping me from really standing tall (so to speak). When I do try to stand tall, I can feel the rod like a stick, preventing me from doing so. When I walk, I have to make a conscious effort to hold my head up or else I will be bent over. This brace comes off in May, but I can't see it ever feeling natural to have good posture, and this scares me. I am a little over 3 months post-op, and I do not want to end up like a bent over old lady because of this. My surgeon doesn't seem to understand why it feels unnatural to stand correctly, and if he doesn't know, well, I don't either! Anyone have similar problems?

I felt that way initially but was told that it was a feeling/ the adjustment to the hardware. If your xrays look fine and the surgery went well then it is a physical therapy issue and you will be able to work on it when you are released to. I was unable to pull in my stomach muscles and didn't know where to hang my arms while walking. Everything was new. I was almost 2 inches taller and kept feeling as if I had to pull myself straighter. My physical therapist told me that everything would eventually feel normal but we are really getting used to having a new frame. Why would we think it shoud atomatically feel normal? If you'tr anything like me I wanted it to all work perfectly yesterday!

CHRIS WBS
02-19-2009, 10:28 AM
Lynn,

I donít have a physical therapist and Iím eight months post-op. I had physical and occupational therapy when I was in rehab for two weeks following my release from the hospital. But even then my docís nurse was in contact with the rehab to make sure they didnít have me doing any goofy stuff that could jeopardize my fusion to the pelvis. After my release from rehab I was given a prescription from the rehab doctor for out-patient therapy three times a week. I was recovering out of state and I could only find once-a-week therapy sessions for spine patients from the local hospitals. For six weeks I had a therapist who was a spine fusion patient herself work with me on strengthening my weakened left leg. My docís nurse was in touch with me all the time to make sure I was not doing anything risky. They encouraged me to walk more than anything else, and when I saw my surgeon at my three-month checkup and asked him if I should continue with the PT, he said noÖjust walk.

txmarinemom
02-19-2009, 12:40 PM
...They encouraged me to walk more than anything else, and when I saw my surgeon at my three-month checkup and asked him if I should continue with the PT, he said noÖjust walk.

I agree completely ... walking is SO therapeutic for a multitude of reasons.

As someone else pointed out, your body changes radically in a day - everything is rearranged (and you're maybe inches taller, although I gained a measly 1/4" - LOL!) - and walking helps regain body awareness.

It's also the #1 thing you can do to rebuild your stamina (while *overdoing* it is probably the #1 cause of "What the HELL did I do to myself?" temporary setbacks ... so pace yourself ;-).

A big benefit for me is it worked out a weird sciatic nerve pain (it only ran from about mid-lumbar to mid-glute on my right side), I'm sure, caused by my body being cranked around. It was truly what I would describe as a "hitch in my get-along".

Pain meds didn't touch it, but Ī2 weeks of walking made it disappear completely. Although I technically started walking the day of surgery, I began daily solo walks at home 8 days post-op (after a 2 day nap - LOL ... the hospital is no place to rest!). This pain didn't even appear until about Day 8, but recovery was like that for me. For the first couple of weeks at home, I'd be okay one day - and then get some new, weird twinge in an area that hadn't bothered me before. Just my body adjusting.

Another helpful post-op activity is simple periodic daily checks in the mirror ... look yourself over and consciously try to adjust your posture if it looks off. Sometimes you aren't even aware of how you're holding yourself without a visual - and it really can work wonders as you learn to live in your new body!

Regards,
Pam

LynnMarie74
02-19-2009, 06:23 PM
I was unable to pull in my stomach muscles and didn't know where to hang my arms while walking.

....oh my gosh-I have the same issues. Ive been wondering about the lack of stomach muscle control. Im 5 ft 6..maybe a little taller than that & weigh about 130 lbs. Before the surgery, I didnt look (and feel) "thick" as I do now. I was chalking it up to still being bloated from the surgery...but come on, its been 5 weeks today, I dont think thats the case at this point. I weigh the same now but my stomach looks pushed outward and makes me look pregnant which horrifies me. I cant "suck in my stomach" either & it drives me absoluty insane. I look like I gained about 10-15 lbs...maybe more. I too have that weirdness about walking the right way. I always have to think about where my arms are laying and swaying w/the rest of my body. The whole transformation is quite amazing to me, but really a pain(no pun intended) in the butt! :)

Does anyone else have the lack of stomach muscle issue? Did you regain control or is it lost forever??? :eek:

Singer
02-19-2009, 06:31 PM
Wascaly,

I had a weak leg post-op and used a walker for three months, and a cane for a few months after that. I needed physical therapy to strengthen the leg, but also to loosen up and stretch out my hip flexors, quads, glutes and hamstrings, which all shortened while I was relatively immobile. I also needed PT to help me find my new center of balance and strengthen my core so that I could walk and hold myself naturally again. Even though I'm now walking fine (and walking alot), I still have to work to stretch everything out.

Also -- for a few months after surgery, my own perception of how my body looked and felt was nothing like what my body actually looked like in the mirror. I felt like my stomach and my butt stuck out a mile, and that I was swaybacked, when in fact I'd never been straight before, and it felt weird. It took a long time for my body and my mind to get together because the change was so radical.

In all, I had three rounds of PT, which helped me a lot with all these issues. I requested the last one and easily got a script for it from my pain management doctor.