View Full Version : Surgery Coming Up

05-20-2009, 05:38 PM
:eek: I can't believe that it's only 5 days until my surgery. I am being fused from T-3 or T-4 to my sacrum. I am very nervous about fusing to my pelvis. i have heard about the loss of motion but I don't really understand it. My doctor tells me that I will bend over like a barbie doll or toy soldier, but isn't that how everyone bends over already??? I don't understand this explanation. I'm only 21 and I live alone.

Every time I do something, like the laundary or the dishes I wonder, "what is this going to be like after surgery?" or "how is my surgery going to change this?" I'm so nervous!!!

Has anyone else fused to their pelvis? Can you feel the rods in you when you bend over? I am very active, do you always feel stiff?

Ahh!! I feel like I'm going nuts! :[

05-20-2009, 10:53 PM
Sweetie, willl there be anyone taking care of you when you get home? Listen, the bending will come. You will be taking little steps in getting better. I've had 3 surgeries and I don't know all the names of the vertabraes but I have a scar from my shoulders to my tail bone. It took awhile but I learned to bend at my hips to brush my teeth. If you remember, you probably bend your back and you won't be able to do that anymore. When you stand up after the surgery you will probably try and fall forward to your bed but don't panic. You have to get used to the weight of the rods and hardware but you will get used to it. I know you have a lot of questions and I want to answer any of them you want me too. You will be having a major surgery but you will get better. I only wish I could have been as young as you with I had my first surgery. I was 36 when I had the first and now I am 50 years old. The younger you are the better it is all the way around. My curve was 85% so I had an S-shape spine before.
You take care and I will be praying for you. Write whenever you want to. Dereise......

05-21-2009, 12:51 AM

Its normal to be nervous about your surgeries and everyone gets jumpy before surgery. In my case, being fused all the way down really isn't all that bad at all. Its something you will get used to, I did and have no regrets at all.

Chances are, you will need someone with you when you go home. Your doctor should have asked you about your living and care arrangements post surgery. The nurses will address this and make a determination while you are in the hospital.

You will not be able to drive for about 6-8 weeks, so someone will have to do your food shopping for you and do some cooking.

Who is your surgeon and where are you being operated on?

05-21-2009, 06:09 AM

It is absolutely normal to be nervous about this surgery. We all were.

I'm fused T3 to L3, not quite to the pelvis. Yes it was something to get used to but I did it. At first you feel very stiff (excuse my expression but at first I told my husband that it felt like I was walking around with a stick up my butt :D ). After some time you do get used to the new feelings. Sometimes when I overdo it, I get muscle spasms and that stiff feeling again, but it passes. In the beginning I didn't even think about bending over to brush my teeth, but now it's no problem. I can brush my teeth, wash my face in the sink, and even bend over to kiss my daughter in bed good night. I never thought I'd be able to do those things again.

Other things you will learn how to do differently, by squatting. The grabber is a wonderful tool that they will probably give you in the hospital. To this day, 7 months later, I still use it to do laundry (picking items off the floor).

Like Ed said, you will need someone to get food for you since it will be probably 5 or 6 weeks before you are permitted to drive.

Good luck,

05-21-2009, 09:34 AM
Thank you all for your messages! They certainly helped give me hope. I'm going to be staying at my dad's house for a couple weeks after surgery, but eventually will have to ween myself into being home alone again. I'm still very nervous about my surgery, but at the same time I'm excited to not be in pain anymore. My surgery is at the Scottsdale Osborn Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona by Dr. Duane Pitt.

I still can't belive how fast time flew by. It still feels like I have a couple months to go, but realisticly it's only 4 days!

05-21-2009, 04:55 PM
All the very best Crystal!

I am fused to the pelvis and at first ordinary things were difficult but I'm almost 3 months post-op now and it's getting easier. I shaved my legs yesterday for the first time. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do that. Picking things up off the floor remains difficult but is getting easier. I think time will fix most of our concerns.

Hope everything goes well for you in surgery and throughout your recovery.


05-21-2009, 06:25 PM

Good. Doing recovery alone can be tough, I know , because that's what I did.

I'm going to be honest. The first few weeks are going to be hard, and you will need to be resilient. You have your age going for you, so your recovery will be easier. Just being positive and having the correct attitude will help you tremendously. Adaptability is something that is needed and having the proper mindset will guarantee success.

Squatting will be one of the things you will master! Its so much easier than doing the "tin man". There is a certain amount of movement in the lower back so if a person without a fusion bends over, there will be an arc in their back. That bending really isn't all that much, and you will realize it after you are fused.

Its just a matter of learning all the little quirky moves, and after you learn these moves, its a snap!

The log roll is used till you are fused, the nurses will teach you that in the hospital. After you are fused, you wont necessarily have to do a log roll any more.

I see you were diagnosed about 6 months ago, and yes its quite a bit to absorb with the pain and the operations in such a short period of time. You are fortunate that you will not have to suffer for years and years with debilitating pain. I was dxd in 1974 and so that's been 34 years of pain and thinking about when I was going to have my surgery. The improvements have been outstanding in the last 34 years so no need to worry about that.

One thing I would highly recommend is getting a latex foam topper 2-3 inches thick for the top of your mattress. Sleeping will be difficult in the beginning, and the foam helps tremendously.

You will not be able to feel your rods.

I remember the first time after my surgery that I was completely out of pain after all the years. I actually forgot what that was like and it was quite the moment. I ran around hugging everyone. Even strangers!

If you have any questions at all, definitely ask, there are quite a few of us with years of experience dealing with scoliosis and after all the years of not having a support group and living in the "dark ages" years ago, we like to offer the support that we so desperately needed.


05-22-2009, 12:59 PM
Yes, you will have lot's to learn but that's ok. Just take it easy and don't beat yourself up thinking you should be healing faster. I'm so glad you are so young. That will make all the difference in the world.
Please please let us know how you are when you can. You will be lifted up in our prayers. Love, Dereise.......Yes, make sure they give you a grabber at the hospital. I got one there along with an adjustable cane. Don't be surprised if you get taller. I went up 2 inches. I never had a waist line but do now.

05-22-2009, 08:37 PM
ok everyone, I know this is going to sound stupid but this whole log rolling thing just doesn't work for me at all. I am very coordinated and flexible, but log roll? I get stuck every dam time, then I resort to my own way of arranging myself which I think the Dr. may have a problem with. It doesnt hurt though.....I like to call it a half log roll lol......I try to make sure my back is straight but I really don't even feel like I have been fused from L5-T5......Very strange!!!!!!

06-01-2009, 08:50 PM
Let us know how your surgery went, when you are able. Sending prayers and positive thoughts that you are doing well post surgery :)

06-09-2009, 02:03 AM
Hello everyone,
I had my surgery and I am now fused from t9 to my pelvis. I'm out of the hospital and at home.

I'm in pain all the time! I feel like the pain medicine since I have left is doing nothing. I can't sleep because no matter where I'm laying I can't get comfortable. I feel so down and out right and I don't know what to do.

I'm having pain down my left leg that I didn't have in the hospital. I went back and they said its not a clot, just fluid and I should walk more. I am, but I'm still in pain....if not more

I hate this! I'm in more pain then I was before. It doesn't seem worth it. :[

06-09-2009, 03:45 AM
Oh you poor thing! I don't know what to offer (but I'm sure someone will come along and offer something practical) except to say it's very early days for you and you really need to get your meds adjusted to control the pain. Can you ring your surgeon? If you are home alone, the pain, I'm sure, will seem worse. I hope you have someone caring for you Crystal.

06-09-2009, 08:49 AM
This is such a tough time, did you get the foam for the bed? It helps considerably with sleeping. Try taking hot baths, that's what I did. It helped with the pain. Do not slip and fall, move slow getting in and out.

Do you have nurses coming out to your house every day?

Take a stool softener every day. You don't want to get backed up.

Hang in there, it will get better, it will just take some time.

06-09-2009, 08:54 AM
Your post just makes me sad! I so hope this changes for you. You sound more like I was the first couple weeks which now is basically a blur of pain and little memory. I'm to the pelvis too but it seems you need to have them adjust your pain medication. I agree with Jennifer; I'd call the surgeon's nurse or even your own doctor g.p. to try something different. In the hospital my "drip" was originally duadalin--something like that--it wasn't helping at all as it does for the majority. They switched to morphine which was much better for my pain. Everyone is so different. You need to insist on trying something else. I hope they will give you some relief--you are early in recovery; but this seems too much. Take care and we'll keep our fingers crossed that you find a better solution. Janet

06-09-2009, 12:52 PM
My daughter needed a series of different pillows, differnt shapes and thicknesses, intricately placed and replaced until just right, in order to be comfortable and be able to sleep when she came home from the hospital.

Also, are you sure your pain meds/doses are correct? It sounds like you should be more comfortable than what I take from your writing but it's hard to say.

Good luck.

06-09-2009, 01:40 PM
Try taking hot baths, that's what I did. It helped with the pain. Do not slip and fall, move slow getting in and out.Ed

Check with your doctor before taking a bath. My daughter was allowed to shower at 10 days post-op but not allowed to be in a bathtub or swimming pool at that time frame.

Mary Lou

06-10-2009, 06:43 AM
Sweetie, I along with the others are so sorry for the pain but it will get better. For some reason they wean you off the medication way too soon in my opinion. I was also fused all the way down the spine. You have lots to learn but that will come in time. Don't you give up. I have a mental illness of bipolar and all that goes with that including anxiety and depression but I bounce back even when I want to just give up. You will become stronger from this ordeal but it's going to take a lot of time. I remember taking showers only and they were so wonderful and then the pain meds. and then a nap. Do call your doctor if you aren't sleeping at all. I didn't sleep long at a time but I did get some sleep. Usually I would sleep no longer than 4 hours at a time.
Let us know about the leg pain if it keeps up.
You got some good advice on the bowel movements. I became completely blocked and it was almost as worse as the surgery. I won't go into the details but it was bad. Since the surgery I still have problems with that. I use the little glycerin enemas. They work better than anything and I like that better than taking laxatives.
You take care and do not push yourself. You will take several months to heal. We are all here for you and will be praying for you. God Bless You, Dereise....

06-10-2009, 05:37 PM
Hang in there, it WILL get better but you had a major surgery and it takes time. One day at a time. And don't be upset if you seem to be taking one step forward and two back. Krysi

06-16-2009, 01:33 PM
Yayyy!! My pain has dramatically reduced in the past week. So much to the point where I am taking Oxycodon every 5-6 hours instead of every 4. I met with my surgeon today and he says I can sit up and put my brace on myself now, and I can shower without my brace on (yayyyy!!). I'm also cleared to drive and work, if I have a standing up work station for 4 hours. I'm so excited to start getting back to my life now.

Thank you everyone for your prayers, love and support. It meant a lot to me.

06-16-2009, 02:53 PM
So are you fused to the pelvis? how is your motion? can you move the same as before?

06-17-2009, 07:24 AM
Oh, I am so glad you are having less pain. Please don't take this as negative but I didn't get Oxycodon. I only got Loratab when I got home. I could take 2 7.5 at a time every 4 hours but after that was halved in 1 week I didn't do well at all. So I'm just saying that you may have pain come back when your doctor lessens your meds.. I got addicted to Loratab in just a few weeks but I have an addictive body chemistry.
I wouldn't want to make this any worse on you than you've already been through. I just wanted you to be prepared just in case. None of us are the same and for all we know your pain level will keep going down. God Bless You dear friend, Dereise.............

06-24-2009, 03:47 PM
So are you fused to the pelvis? how is your motion? can you move the same as before?

I am fused to my pelvis from t-8 i believe. I was very stiff after surgery and some of that has left. But I am still very stiff when sitting or standing without my brace on. I like having my brace on now because it is so supportive. I don't know how my motion is because i can't bend. I can lean with my brace on but even that is not easy and uncomfortable