View Full Version : Still in pain 10 months post op

03-31-2009, 11:47 PM
Hi everybody,

I was wondering if anyone else is still in a lot of pain 10 months post-op. I have a lot of tightness in my back all down my spine and find it difficult to take deep breaths. It is so bothersome that I have to lay down to rest my back fairly often. The most pain I would say is in between my shoulder blades and especially whenever I do any kind of movement with my right arm. I still have a residual rib hump that wasn't corrected with the surgery and my scapula sticks out on the right side, so it doesn't glide very well on the rib cage. My surgeon thinks that is part of what's contributing to the pain. I wish that my doctor had decided on the thoracoplasty during the surgery, but he thought that he had gotten a fairly good correction without it. As it turns out, the ribs moved after surgery. One problem that I'm having is that although my surgeon agrees with the movement of the ribs, he says this is about the best correction that I can expect to get...he is okay with the results, but I'm not because of the pain I still have with the hump. I am doing okay with my recovery and working out, but I honestly do not want to live with all this pain. I don't regret the surgery since I definitely needed it. I just regret not having done the thoracoplasty. I left it up to the surgeon and sort of wish I hadn't considering he hadn't done one in two years....I know bad choice. I don't think I would be able to have another surgery for at least a few years down the road so I guess I'll have to deal with the pain for now. I'm not even sure if a thoracoplasty is for me or if it would change anything. Does anyone have any advice for me or experience with this same issue?

04-01-2009, 02:11 AM
Hi Pooh

I'm 14 mos out and had quite a bit of improvement from 10 mos to 14 mos. I too, had the "bear traps' between the shoulders and actually still do but not as bad. I had to do physical therapy due to my broken shoulder, and working out has helped considerably. Of course it helped the shoulder but it was of more benefit to the back. I had to lay down often at 10 months, but you will see that it improves. I'm only napping during the afternoon about once per week now.

You have spared the pain of living with scoliosis into old age by having your surgery. I would not "look back" and think, well we should have done this or that. You have what you have now, and try to be positive and make the best of it. With all the surprises I've had lately, that's all I can do. Never "look forward" to doing another surgery. That's a no no!

It takes some time to retrain all the muscles and soft tissue around the spine. Once again, walking is the norm after these surgeries, but I found that PT with the arms, and arm exercises helped a great deal with the muscles in the back.

I know you can work through this pain period. Sometimes you just have to keep pushing to get what you want or need.
Good luck

04-01-2009, 06:37 AM
It's taken me nearly two years to really feel like myself again. At ten months out I still felt pretty fragile and sore.

04-01-2009, 10:41 AM
I am doing okay with my recovery and working out, but I honestly do not want to live with all this pain.

I’m always amazed when I read about people who are “working out” when it’s not even a year since their surgery. Perhaps you’re overdoing it and this is what is contributing to your pain. You’re not giving your body the time it needs to heal. The only physical therapy that was prescribed for me is walking, and other than occasional achiness from time to time, I am pain free.

04-01-2009, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the replies. Chris, my PT has me running on a treadmill for 20 minutes with a few breaks in between. We also do a lot of pilates on the machine that they have there. She thought I should start exercising and being active at 7 months because I am still young and used to run prior to surgery. I made sure she got the okay from my surgeon before we started running. We started off at 30 sec and slowly worked up from there. I remember when that little run would cause me to get fairly winded. I think it's because my ribs hurt when I try to take deep breaths. It mainly still hurts under the right scapula when I breathe which could be due to the scapula not resting flat on the ribs. I find exercising has helped with the general pain from the surgery especially around the spine, but I just don't know about the right scapular pain. I feel like if I didn't have the hump, then most of my pain would be minimal at this point since my left side feels fairly normal compared to the right side. I guess I should just be patient since I can see from everyone's replies that even people two years out still have residual pain.

Thanks for the comments and anymore advice would be much appreciated.