View Full Version : Just a few things I've wondered about

08-16-2009, 06:44 PM
Is it possible to twist the wrong way and pop something out of place? I am not talking like a heavy impact twist (such as a fall, or car crash) but simply laying a certain way in bed, or bending over wrong? Also, I was curious for those who have had the surgery, what are your own personal limitations? For instance, I have seen some people say that they don't lift more than 5-10 lbs (and they have been pre-op for a while), they don't sit for too long, or stand for too long, they don't sit in the car for too long, etc...

I am asking because at my 6 month check-up, my doc told me I had no physical limitations other than playing football or rugby (haha like that would be my case)...and he knows I have a 2.5 year old that I have to take care of, and 2.5 year olds, while they can do most stuff themselves, still have to be lifted sometimes. He told me to just use common sense about picking things up and bending over, which I try and do. When I reach for something on the floor, I squat, then bend over a little bit...but I do lift you know, 10 lbs bags of sugar, carry a gallon of water or milk in each hand into the house, things like that...

Just wanting your imput, how YOU do everyday things in life with the fusions.

08-16-2009, 06:46 PM
Oh, and my daughter is the heaviest thing I can think of that I have lifted...and she is right at 30 pounds, and even then, I squat with my legs and lift her up.

08-16-2009, 10:37 PM
Yes, screws can pull out, but there's no way of knowing whether you'll do something like that. Surgeons don't agree about which post op activities are safe and which aren't. At 6 month post-op, your fusion should be getting pretty solid, so I wouldn't worry too much.


08-16-2009, 10:56 PM
Thank you Linda...yesterday was my 7 month anniversary :] I am just so paranoid about sleeping wrong or something...

08-16-2009, 11:10 PM
I wonder about these things too. I was given no instructions at all when I left hospital and I have been bending and lifting though I do try to listen to my body. I did need to lift my 1 y.o. grandaughter at about 4.5 months, it was a matter of stopping her getting herself hurt or not. But I put her straight back down. I felt the pull in my back. I also carry bags of groceries in from the car since about 3 months, one at a time. Bending I seem to need to do a lot, but I use my knees, mainly. I seem to have become a clutz.

08-17-2009, 01:23 AM
I guess after reading that most adults fuse at about 1 year post, I generally took it easy till that mark. My surgeon told me that I was fused at 6 months, but I still took it easy till the 1 year mark. I guess having a broken shoulder helped me out in regards to taking it easy with my back.

I also had Infuse BMP used for my grafts, which fuses faster, but was still very worried about being fused with reading about pseudos happening to people and such.

Staci, you are only 28 yrs old, and that helps quite a bit with healing time. Chances are, that you are probably fused, and your screws are anchored in quite well. It sounds like you are doing the right thing in lifting with "the squat" motion. Use the legs after you are in a vertical position holding your child, then extend the legs for the lift.

I think you will be fine as long as you stay away from any "twisted sister" concerts. Its a shame when senior citizen twisted sister fans go to a show, and upon yelling "I wanna rock" while extending their fists in the air, need the paramedics to come in and haul them away because they damaged their shoulder. LOL

I was talked into going to a Rod Stewart show years ago, and I couldn't believe how many ambulances were there. They were hauling em off every 5 minutes due to some sort of medical problem. I was fortunate to have left before the "do you think I'm sexy" number came up. I'm sure they were dropping like flies on that song.

It really doesn't take all that much force to throw something out. Just stepping off a curb can really put someone in a world of hurt.

Jen, I was having the bag girls help me out at the grocery store. I would tell them to "keep the bag light" and I had them load the car for me. You ought to be coming along by now, you are almost 6 mos post. I think I felt like I was about 50% recovered at that point.

08-17-2009, 02:50 AM
You ought to be coming along by now, you are almost 6 mos post. I think I felt like I was about 50% recovered at that point.

I hope so Ed, I have my surgeon's appt. on Wednesday and hope to find out for sure that fusion is taking place. I feel fine but I guess you can never tell if fusion is actually happening.

08-17-2009, 10:07 AM
I am 4.5 months post-op and just had a check-up last week. My doctor said it's impossible to tell whether one's fusing simply based on an x-ray; only a CT scan can show whether a fusion is taking/has taken place. Has this been the case for everyone else?

08-17-2009, 11:37 AM
Hi Jess

Yes that's true. Unfortunately Cts emit high doses of radiation, and are not something you want to do unless absolutely necessary.

I'm sure that various studies have been done on fusion rates, and the surgical community uses these to make educated assumptions. The fact that BMPs have been studied for the last 50 years, is proof that psuedos are an issue, especially with older folks. BMPs act as a catalyst.

In my x-rays, my surgeon pointed out the evidence of fusion to me, its the vertical white lines. I do not know if that is solely a BMP thing or not. I could e-mail and ask him if you want.

One thing I've learned recently is the fact that bone does in fact "bleed". Surgeons do "rasp" the bone, probably to clean and prepare the bony surface for fusion. I wonder if the quality of prep is a factor?

I do enjoy reading technical material, unfortunately, these books are very expensive. I do have one book I would like to buy, its just hard to justify. It does explain how serious these surgeries really are.............

http://books.google.com/books?id=-rxTKoOz7A0C&dq=complications+of+pediatric+and+adult+spinal+sur gery&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=1Ar1BEZHZm&sig=GlW68U9Kwzl3q-mmIBCoT-xeWcM&hl=en&ei=EFeDSv3mMp_FmQen6JihDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Were all troopers, you know.
Hope things are well

08-17-2009, 12:41 PM
yes, I definitely do not want another CT scan just to see whether or not I'm fusing! I already had six CT scans due to lung complications post-surgery. no more...or I will soon be glowing in the dark! haha. My doc did use BMP on me...hopefully I will fuse quickly. :)

08-17-2009, 01:00 PM
My surgeon also pointed out white shadowy lines as evidence that I was fused on the x-ray..I know that I FEEL fused, that's for sure.

As far as limitations go, about the only thing I won't do is bend at the waist and reach at the same time....like what you would do to clean out a tub shower. I also still use a sock aid and cannot tie shoes, but I have figured out a way to trim and paint my toenails (it involves many different positions for each toe, LOL). I've also finally gotten to the point where I can get down on the floor to spot-clean the carpet and get back up again.

I am still careful about lifting and probably won't go over 10 pounds, but then again, that's ten percent of my total body weight.

08-17-2009, 09:45 PM
I've seen plenty of 6 mos. post op xrays. While not nearly as obvious as someone who is 2 years post op, you can usually see some fusion.


08-17-2009, 10:57 PM
Here are mine at 4 weeks. If you click on them, they will zoom in. See the white lines? They are probably all white by now.

These are digital x-rays. Big difference in clarity. Always the way to go, having them burn a disc for you.

You cannot see well enough on yours. sorry.

08-17-2009, 11:48 PM
can you tell me if mine looks like it's fusing? (i am 4.5 months post-op) ...i posted recent x-ray pics here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2086081&id=20201376&l=17c74e57e0

Hi Jess...

Unfortunately, it's difficult to see on a light box. It's next to impossible to see on a photo of an xray taken at a distance. Sorry.