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mgs
09-30-2009, 07:32 PM
Or, at least, worried?

I am just over 5 weeks post-op. I had a posterior fusion of T-3 to L-3. Post-op, I had a complication - a pleural effusion. This afternoon, I had a follow-up appt w/my thoracic doc, and he showed me my chest x-ray that had just been taken. I swearthat my spine looks NOTICEABLY less straight than it looks on the printed copy of my x-ray taken during my surgery hospitalization. Could my spine have shifted?????

Also. . .related to the above or not. . .my back hasn't hurt much at all for a couple weeks. Yesterday, I drove a short distance (I had my hair cut, but w/no bending or twisting.) As I was backing out of my parking space, I did have to twist a little bit to see if any car was coming. Today, at the apex of my curve, I have had some pain since I woke up, but now it's acelerated, and I am IN PAIN. I just took 20 mg hydrocodone. I'm hoping it's muscular, not hardware.

I am so scared that my spine is shifting, putting presure against the rods as it tries to go back to where it was. Could it be??

kdsims
09-30-2009, 07:43 PM
Well,I had surgery back in the old days 1984,I have the harrington rod,I still have about a 32 degree curve,atleast thats where Im at now anyway...But my point is that when I turn like that I will be soar a few days from the top of my rod to the bottom.They say my harware is fine,I just have limits to how far I can twist.That is the only time I twist that far around is when driving so just be carfull,if your not feeling better in the morning call the Dr.Better safe than sorry.You should probly ice where it hurts.:)

Shari
10-01-2009, 04:15 AM
Hi MGS,

This is a great question and concern!!! Your doctor is just a phone call away concerning your fears and worries about the shifting of you back. Pick up the phone.

It took me 3 years before I was able to twist to see if on coming traffic was approaching, sometimes I would take my nephew with me to look back for me, now as I loosen up, I can turn usually having to move most of my upper body.

I understand your fears, we just have to adapt and adjust to our newly constraints so soon after surgery. But you will naturally find ways to work out problems. Look what you have just overcome in a hard battle, you'll beat this one as well. Just be patient, and I know how hard that can be.

Best Wishes,
Shari

mgs
10-01-2009, 04:02 PM
I played "call the doctor"/"don't call the doctor" all day. So far, I haven't.

My husband tries to reassure me, saying that he can't imagine how that metal could shift significantly, that it must be just how it looks due to a technical difference in the x-rays.

Has anyone ever heard of losing correction this early? (I realize I'm being paranoid.)

titaniumed
10-01-2009, 04:27 PM
Hi Mgs

The best way to communicate with your surgeon is with e-mail. Phone calls to surgeons and message taking, is too complicated.

You are still VERY early and will have little warnings as you heal. Scar tissue tears and soft tissue readjusting and healing will happen for months.Try not to twist, move slowly.

Chances are you are fine.

Be careful in the car!!!!!
Ed

johnsonbunch
10-09-2009, 11:17 AM
Was your latest xray taken standing? The surgical one was most definitely taken lying down and there would be a difference between the 2 even if they were taken same day.

mgs
10-14-2009, 09:12 PM
I had my first post-op appt on Mon - one day shy of my 7 weeks mark. Dr. Tribus said that my hardware is holding well, which is music to my ears!

I am nearly pain-free as far as the fusion itself goes. However, with all of this squatting, my hips and knees (which have been trouble, thanks to knee injuries, on and off for 10 years) hurt, and the pain is getting worse. . .to the point that, at some times, I am actually hobbling. More worrisome, my lumbar spine, which pre-surg rarely bothered me, is now constantly hurting, somewhat. I am fused to L-3 (from T-3). . .there is significant arthritis in my lumbar spine, but the doctor wanted to leave the lower lumbars alone, since they weren't troubling me then, but with the understanding that they might need to be fused in the coming years. I didn't mention the hips/knees/lower back pain to him. . .I guess I thought that maybe I was just overdoing, and I'd see if it's still an issue in Dec, when I have my next appt.

Anyone else have this experience?

JenniferG
10-14-2009, 10:18 PM
Well, you must be thrilled that everything's in its correct place. As for the knees, I too have knees that object to the constant squatting. Most days it's not too bad and I hope they'll just get used to the constant squatting but if not...I guess I may need knee surgery eventually. What a shame your lower back wasn't giving you an indication of things to come and could have been dealt with in the one surgery. But, there's still hope that it may come good, afterall, it's probably doing more work now and hopefully, it will get used to it.

Cross fingers that happens for you.

debbei
10-15-2009, 07:32 AM
I had my first post-op appt on Mon - one day shy of my 7 weeks mark. Dr. Tribus said that my hardware is holding well, which is music to my ears!

I am nearly pain-free as far as the fusion itself goes. However, with all of this squatting, my hips and knees (which have been trouble, thanks to knee injuries, on and off for 10 years) hurt, and the pain is getting worse. . .to the point that, at some times, I am actually hobbling. More worrisome, my lumbar spine, which pre-surg rarely bothered me, is now constantly hurting, somewhat. I am fused to L-3 (from T-3). . .there is significant arthritis in my lumbar spine, but the doctor wanted to leave the lower lumbars alone, since they weren't troubling me then, but with the understanding that they might need to be fused in the coming years. I didn't mention the hips/knees/lower back pain to him. . .I guess I thought that maybe I was just overdoing, and I'd see if it's still an issue in Dec, when I have my next appt.

Anyone else have this experience?

I"m glad your fusion is holding. Congratulations!! Can't help as far as the lumbar--no experience there. However, as far as the knees & hips--do you have reachers/grabbers? I have 3 now: 1 in the kitchen, one in the laundry room, and a short one in the car (for when I drop something and can't reach down to get it.) I CAN bend down and I do, but heck...when doing laundry, there is no way I'll bend down over and over again to pick up the family's dirty clothes!! Why should I? The grabber does a fabulous job. :) I highly recommend one for saving your joints for when you REALLY need to use them.

Vali
10-15-2009, 08:30 AM
Hi mgs,
Great to hear that all is well - from the hardware point of view. In regards to your aches and pains, do you find that its is worse in the evening? I'm fused from T11 - S1 and find that, at times at the end of the day, i am achy. As for my hips - no troubles there! (knock on wood), but I feel that there may be a problem with my right knee. I only half squat, because my right knee feels as if its going to snap in half or something, so i'm scared to do a full squat. I have an appt with my surgeon on the 29th, i will ask him about this then. Happy recovery:)

loves to skate
10-15-2009, 10:25 AM
Hi all,
There have been numerous threads where squatting has been discussed. My Doctor told me that squatting is not a good thing even for those who do not have bad knees. His suggestion is to go down on one knee. It is much easier to go down and to get up from that position and is not hard on the knees. No squatting ever!!!:D
Sally

JenniferG
10-15-2009, 05:23 PM
Thanks Sally. I've been thinking that squatting's not a good idea. I have a new back but now my knees are wearing out. I think I might take up Debbe's idea and get a few grabbers, even this late in my recovery, to save my knees.

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Thanks Sally. I've been thinking that squatting's not a good idea. I have a new back but now my knees are wearing out. I think I might take up Debbe's idea and get a few grabbers, even this late in my recovery, to save my knees.

Jen,

yes go for them. I use them because....well basically I'm lazy. :D Except for the scenario in the car. No way I can reach the floor while in the driver's seat.

dolores a
10-15-2009, 07:12 PM
I kind of forget about using the grabber thing until this weekend (was doing tons of laundry) I just couldn't stoop down any more after awhile, I was in my bedroom and eyed the grabber, it was a life saver, got all the laundry done! I'm going for a visit to my surgeon tomorrow, I have to ask him about squatting down, I do it all the time -- it does not bother my knees or hips, but I do feel the strain in my back, not a very comfortable feeling at all, especially if I have to reach for something on the floor, which is all the time because I'm always dropping things!

Vali
10-16-2009, 12:15 AM
Thanks Sally,
Its as clear as day, but i never thought of that.:o I love the beach so much and i was wondering how i was going to go about getting my usual dose of Vitamin D (suntan)! I had funny visions - log rolling on the sand etc. I don't know?:)

Wishing
10-18-2009, 05:48 AM
Deaar mgs,

For assistance with driving, I have been using a swivel cushion in the driver's seat which I bought on Amazon. I'm fused T-1 to sacrum and this cushion is a big help in being able to turn to see traffic coming from the side. I wish you the best in your continued recovery.

Shari
10-19-2009, 01:40 AM
What a great idea. It sits on the top of your original seat? Is it just for you butt?

Curious,
Shari