View Full Version : Surgery Scheduled

11-30-2009, 04:32 AM
Hi Everyone, I am rather new to this site...
I am a 29 year old female who is having surgery in February for a 64 degree cervical-thoracic curve and 56 degree thoracic-lumbar curve. I will be fused from C5 to L1-2.
I feel like every story I read about scoliosis surgery has been about teenagers...
I would like to hear some success stories from adults.

11-30-2009, 08:16 AM
Hi Huskymum,
Does this imply you have a husky (dog) or husky voice. I myself have a husky (dog), beautiful creatures, anyway enough about that.
Welcome to the forum. There are lots of fantastic people on here. I had a thoracolumbar curve of 58 degrees now corrected to 5 degrees. My scoliosis was progressing at one degree per month and therefore had to have surgery to stop the progression. I was in a lot of pain previously, but now in no pain and very very happy with the outcome. Sure, recovery tqkes a long time, but it is well worth it. If you have any other questions, just ask, theres a lot of people on here always willing to help.

11-30-2009, 11:22 AM
Hi Mel,


Well, I am certainly not a teenager, and I went thru this surgery last year. Still though, I'm thinking at 29 you should have an easier time of it than a 46 year old (me) did!

You came to the right place. Read as much as you can to be educated and ask any qeustions you might think of.

11-30-2009, 04:10 PM
Welcome Mel.

At 29, I suspect you'll heal more like a teenager than the more "mature aged" like me.

Ask anything that comes into your head with a ? after it. There is a wealth of experience and some very knowledgeable people here who're very willing to help.

When is your surgery scheduled?

11-30-2009, 09:18 PM
Thanks so much all for the replies...

Vali - Yes, I am a Siberian Husky mom! We have 3, ages 5, 4, and 1 and all boys. They are our world and we travel all over the US with them! We go hiking and trailing a lot in the mountains, so as you can imagine, this surgery is really going to dissappoint my boys. But I hope to heal fast and be back to hiking and running with them. Thanks so much for replying to me. This website is fantastic for people who are going through scoliosis surgery! I look forward to talking with you!

Debbei- Thanks so much for replying! What kinds of advice do you have me? How can I mentally prepare myself for this? I am terrified!

Jenniferg - Thanks so much for replying to my post. My surgery is scheduled for the middle of February. I live in Lafayette, Indiana and my surgeon is John Gorup, who is with the Indiana Spine Center and he is fabulous. Everyone I have talked to about him have nothing but wonderful things to say about him, still though, I am so scared and I just want this all to be over with already. Any advice for me that you wish you had known prior to your hospitalization?

12-01-2009, 05:42 AM
Thanks so much all for the replies...

Debbei- Thanks so much for replying! What kinds of advice do you have me? How can I mentally prepare myself for this? I am terrified!


The way I mentally prepared myself was by getting educated. Knowing exactly what was going to happen once I was out seemed to help. Of course, in the beginning, I could barely look at a photo of the surgery without breaking into tears; however, after a while it became a comfort to see those pics and understand the procedure.

This forum helped me tremendously. I spent many sleepless nights reading and searching this forum. I asked all kinds of crazy questions, and received wonderful answers. Sometimes my quesions were kookey and out of left field, sometimes my fears were unfounded....but the people here always gave me straight answers. That really helped.

Good luck,

12-01-2009, 04:16 PM
I agree with Debbe. Knowlege is power they say, and they are right! I had a reply post from Discombobulated which outlined everything that was going to happen before I went to sleep, which was one of the main things bothering me and as I'd never had surgery before, it helped a LOT. Filled me with terror, but I could deal with it, knowing what was going to happen. I'll see if I can dig it out.

The other thing I would recommend and it will depend on your pain and that is to get as fit as you possibly can. The fitness makes you feel strong and that you can deal with anything. I'll go and see if I can dig up that post I mentioned now.

12-01-2009, 04:33 PM
Here is a c & p. Dis. seemed to know exactly what was worrying me and answered all my questions!

"Hi Jen,

Sorry you're having scoli problems, but great to have another Aussie on the boards - Welcome! I see you're on the GC - will you be having the surgery there or in BrisVegas? I have a 2nd revision surgery coming up in December, which will be done in Bris.

I sometimes think that the lead-up to surgery is the toughest part - not know quite what to expect or how to prepare, trying to organise stuff, & having way too much time to mull over nasty possibilities...but, you (we!) WILL make it through, & the success rate of scoli surgery is pretty dang high. You'll see a lot of stories around the forums here about people in a lot of pain, having more than the one scoli surgery, etc., but don't forget that we are a very small number of patients - & people who have hugely improved quality of life & are able to just get on with life after surgery don't have a reason to seek out a support system like people who end up with problems. The surgery is a tough one, no pretending, but it is usually very successful

You asked about recovery, so from my experiences with a lot of surgeries inc. 2 previous spinals....

You'll be asked to fast (no food or drink) for at least several hours before surgery, & may be admitted to hospital the day before surgery. In the lead-up to admission, you'll probably have tests to check how well your lungs are functioning, the exact position of your spine, & so on - happily, these tests are painless. You may be asked to give blood some days or weeks before surgery, since there's a shortage of blood bank stores - it's just easier for the surgeon to have at least some matching blood already if it's needed; they get more from the blood bank if you need, but some people don't need any transfusions at all.

Before surgery, you'll take a shower with special antibacterial soap to minimise risk of infection + you'll get changed into hospital gowns, etc.. They'll wheel you down to the operating theatre on your hospital bed (usually), & various doctors & nurses will come to ask questions. When they're ready, you'll be taken into the theatre, & the anaesthetist will put you out fairly quickly - either using a mask that you breathe a gas in through, or by inserting an IV cannula (needle) into a vein & injecting a liquid. Usually, you have the choice, & if you're nervous about going down, you can ask to be given a mild sedative (tablet or injection) to calm you before you go down there.

Your major hurdles during the first few days after surgery will be pain. It hurts, yes. But there are some quite effective pain meds out there these days, & you'll be getting the "premium cocktail". You'll have a morphine pump for the first couple of days, when you can press a button to deliver a dose whenever needed (with limits, so you can't overdose), as well as other drugs to keep your pain bearable. You'll be quite groggy from anaesthetic & pain meds for a fair while, but honestly, sleeping is the best thing for your body to heal, anyway.

For the first day or two at least, you'll be in Intensive Care, so that your meds & condition can be monitored closely - you'll be assigned a nurse who spends his/her shift pretty much just monitoring you the whole time. First-class treatment! As you get stronger, you'll be transferred into lower-care where you'll still be watched closely, but not have your own nurse constantly.

Within a couple of days of surgery, you'll be able to sit up, do a little walking, etc.. It might seem early, but the sooner you're up & about, the less chance there is of getting lung problems, + movement promotes circulation, etc.. Over the first few days, you'll also be slowly building up from sucking on ice chips, to sips of water, to soft foods like jelly, & finally to full meals.


Some things that you might like to pack would be your own pillow (hospital ones are pretty hard!), & I find something like an MP3 player/iPod/discman (ie. anything that generates music & has earphones) that you can play to keep you distracted. Even though I'm an avid reader, I rarely feel up to reading even magazines post-op - but pack some reading gear in case, if you like. Hospitals do have a TV above each patient's bed, but often you have to pay to use them (per day).

If you usually take any meds, make sure you take them with you - it saves having to hassle nurses to fetch them from the hospital pharmacy & wait for them to arrive; also, that's usually the last thing I'm thinking of doing when I'm drugged up!"


12-02-2009, 01:48 AM
Hi Mel,

Welcome to this awesome forum, and remember there are no dumb questions!!!
All of us here, whether we are pre or post-opp, we were all scared to death before the surgery. But it is true that knowledge is power, but that means you understand, doesn't always take away the fear.

You are young, which in your favor, but it looks like you are going to have a long fusion. I had a long one, but somewhat older than you. The younger you are, seems the shorter you recovery is.

Don't believe what other people may say. Ask your Dr. if he can put you in contact with someone that is a post-opp patient of his close to your age and fusion length. Plus there are several people here that can help you as well.

Welcome again, and keep on posting,

12-05-2009, 01:55 AM
Hi Shari, thanks so much for the advice. I am trying to ask questions as they arise. I am definitely going to ask my spine doctor to put me in contact with someone in my area that has had a similar surgery to mine. That was a great idea so thank you so much. I appreciate so much all the support I am getting on here. I am getting so much support from family, friends, and my co-workers, but it is not the same as everyone on here because none of them have gone or are going to go through a surgery like this. Take care and stay in touch. -mel

12-05-2009, 01:59 AM
Jennifer G-

Thanks so much for that post. That was awesome to hear all the details of what I will be going through over the next weeks. So thanks again. I definitely agree with you about getting fit. I am really active now, with walking, hiking, running. I have 3 Siberian huskies and we take them hiking all the time, unfortunately, I can not lift weights and can hardly stand to do sit-ups or push-ups because of all of my pain, but I just bought a Yoga for Scoliosis DVD that I want to do a few times a week before surgery. But thanks again for helping me out through this. I appreciate the support so much!! Take Care and stay in touch. -Mel

12-13-2009, 10:30 PM
My surgery is scheduled for February, too. The 11th... We are probably going through the same emotions - which range from terror to a strange sense of calmness. I can't believe it's 2 months away! This forum has provided me a wealth of information and emotional support. I think the main thing is to keep a positive outlook. Good luck to you. I'll be thinking of you, as a fellow February patient!

12-14-2009, 04:22 PM
hey mel,

I'm 27 an I'm having my surgery on Jan 11 and 14th..I have two significantly large curves. My top curve is 110 and my lower curve is 90. The doctor told me he hopes to get both curves down to 50..I am thrilled with that!! =) Good luck with your surgery. I am in that stage where I know its coming but I just don't want to think about it..I want to look forward to Christmas and spend it with my family..not worry about having surgery =) I am sure once Christmas is over it will be here before I know it!.