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Thread: bunch of post op questions get ready HA!!

  1. #1
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    Arrow bunch of post op questions get ready HA!!

    Ok so I have a few concerns/questions.

    1. I have been decreasing my meds, but I notice I have been taking them around the same time. If I don't take it around the time I normally do I get this really bad headache..Is this normal??? Anyone else experience this??

    2. When does the feeling coming back around you incisions?? lol I can't feel my back, the side or my tummy around the incisions. Very odd feeling..

    3. When does the swelling go down..right now my stomach an side are still kinda swollen..I'm dying to see if I will have a cute little waist line

    4. Eating...I still don't have an appetite. I eat a banana for breakfast, a bowl of fruit for lunch and whatever is made at supper time i'll eat maybe half of it..I drink like a fish though but I just can't get myself to want to eat really anything.

    5. How long is this fatigue going to last. I swear I sleep all day long. I do my walking around the house but as far as that goes I usually in bed taking naps here and there.

    6. How long did it take you before you went out into the world..I have been itching to go out and do something for the past week, but my mom is nervous..AHHH I'm going nuts being cramped up in this house I wanna go out lol! =)

    7. I keep forgetting to ask my nurse but I always have a low grade fever at night.. 99.9 is sometimes 100 but its just at night. When the nurses check my temp during the day its fine..just wondering if anyone else out there has experienced that.

    ooh geesh I am going to write a book here lol.. If I can think of anymore questions I will write them here lol. Thanks in advance though.

    27 year old female
    Upper Curve 110 degrees
    Lower Curve 90 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Wood at MGH 1/11/10 && 1/14/10
    Fused T2-Pelvis
    Back looks amazing and no more Hump! ^_^

  2. #2
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    1) If you're decreasing the dosage, I wouldn't worry. If you feel that you don't have as much pain and want to decrease more, try pushing your dose out by a shorter period.

    2) This comes back very, very slowly--over months and months. I'm over one year post op, and I still don't have all the feeling back, but it is till getting gradually better.

    3) I think by 3 months the swelling was all gone for me.

    4) It will come back. I think my appetite was back to normal by 3 months--at which time I wished it WASN'T!!!

    5) You're ony a month out, it's probably normal. Remember the meds make you tired. I thik I slept a minimum of 12 hours a day till I was totally off pain meds. In the beginning, I slept even more, counting all the naps.

    6) I was out within a few weeks. My surgery was October 15, and by Novemer I was either walking around the block with my mother, and if the weather was bad we'd walk in the mall with the old people. As added excitement, once in a while we would stop at the grocery store on the way home, then I'd take a nap for a few hours. THat was the extent of my going out for about 2 months.

    7) I can't comment--I never had anything above 98.6, and we checked frequently the first few weeks. Run that one by the nurse or your Dr's office.
    Last edited by debbei; 02-06-2010 at 03:20 PM.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Location
    Ames, Iowa
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    1,250
    #'s 1-4 totally agree with Debbei--has been the same with me. Yeah, that appetite thing came back with a vengeance. #5--I still at this point tire a lot more easily but I'm also a lot older than you. #6--I don't think I had any desire to go anywhere other than my brief walks for almost 2 and a half months. And yes I'd check out the temp thing with nurses--if I had that I don't remember. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2009
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    San Jose, CA
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    Ok so I have a few concerns/questions.

    1. I have been decreasing my meds, but I notice I have been taking them around the same time. If I don't take it around the time I normally do I get this really bad headache..Is this normal??? Anyone else experience this??
    Cutting back on pain meds does a whole lot of wonderful stuff to your body lol. Headaches are one of the things, chills,vomiting,upset stomach, etc. are a few others. Try decreasing very slowly until you feel like you're ready, do not, I repeat, do NOT rush this process because it will suck.

    2. When does the feeling coming back around you incisions?? lol I can't feel my back, the side or my tummy around the incisions. Very odd feeling..
    I know what you mean about "numbness" lol. My lower back feels numb, but it's better than the day I got out of the hospital. Like Debbei said, a few months should do the trick.

    3. When does the swelling go down..right now my stomach an side are still kinda swollen..I'm dying to see if I will have a cute little waist line
    My back was swollen after surgery as well, I'm on my 5th week, and though there is some swelling, it's definitely not as bad as it was, my back looks a lot better now.
    4. Eating...I still don't have an appetite. I eat a banana for breakfast, a bowl of fruit for lunch and whatever is made at supper time i'll eat maybe half of it..I drink like a fish though but I just can't get myself to want to eat really anything.
    No appetite is thanks to the medication! That crap kills your appetite, as soon as I started taking it, I didn't even want to look at food or even eat, but when I started lowering the dosages, I ate better and better. And when I finally stopped, I started actually getting "hungry" which was new for me lol and now I actually eat.
    5. How long is this fatigue going to last. I swear I sleep all day long. I do my walking around the house but as far as that goes I usually in bed taking naps here and there.
    Also medication and the fact you're less than 1 month post-op. You're body needs to rest and heal, you won't be at full energy for another couple of weeks, but you will feel a lot better as time goes on, I promise. I'm off pain meds during the day, I might occasionally have to sleep taking 5mg of oxycodone, but I don't nap and I get 8-9 hours now instead of 10-12 like before lol.

    6. How long did it take you before you went out into the world..I have been itching to go out and do something for the past week, but my mom is nervous..AHHH I'm going nuts being cramped up in this house I wanna go out lol! =)
    Hmmm....I was discharged Monday, I went to church on Sunday. Then the following weekend, I had an engagement party where I wore a suit and was there for 4-5 hours. I walked around the neighborhood a week or two after my surgery as well. At 4 weeks, I was driving my car to the light rail station and walking to campus and going up stairs and going to class/blah blah blah lol. No medication by then either, I stopped taking medication a few days before my school started which was the 27th of Jan. I still went out to the movies and to Church the following Sundays and I wasn't stuck in house for weeks, I guess I felt good enough to go out. Everyone is different, if you feel strong enough, a little car ride with a pillow won't hurt you.
    7. I keep forgetting to ask my nurse but I always have a low grade fever at night.. 99.9 is sometimes 100 but its just at night. When the nurses check my temp during the day its fine..just wondering if anyone else out there has experienced that.
    Hmmm, I can't really answer this one, I didn't have a low grade fever at night. I was always under the 99 mark.

    ooh geesh I am going to write a book here lol.. If I can think of anymore questions I will write them here lol. Thanks in advance though.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
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    Hi Meg--I'm too freshly post-op to answer your questions, but it was good just to read about what you're going through. I, too, had the intubation thing going on without the sedatives--can't believe you had to do that twice! It's all I can do to look at food but am soldiering on because I know that will help everything else. I have had no fevers but everything else I can relate to. Hang in--we'll have to share recovery stories at some point.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDM555 View Post
    Ok so I have a few concerns/questions.


    2. When does the feeling coming back around you incisions?? lol I can't feel my back, the side or my tummy around the incisions. Very odd feeling..
    I know what you mean about "numbness" lol. My lower back feels numb, but it's better than the day I got out of the hospital. Like Debbei said, a few months should do the trick.

    I'm somewhere around 1 year 3 months post op, I still have some numbness in my lower back and a big patch under my left (not right) shoulder blade. I can feel that they are getting slowly, so VERY slowly better a teeny bit at a time. I'm not sure if it ever will go away completely for me, and it isn't a problem for me if it doesn't.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  7. #7
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by debbei View Post
    I'm somewhere around 1 year 3 months post op, I still have some numbness in my lower back and a big patch under my left (not right) shoulder blade. I can feel that they are getting slowly, so VERY slowly better a teeny bit at a time. I'm not sure if it ever will go away completely for me, and it isn't a problem for me if it doesn't.
    Oops Oops, I made a mistake, when you said 3 months for swelling, I thought it was about the numbness.

    Yeah, numbness takes a long time to "fully" get back to normal from what I've read. Couple of years is more like it, but it's not a big deal really, at least not for me or you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    I got my appetite back in two months. I also have numbness in my lower back and also my left leg, from my incesion down to my knee. My doctor prescribed Neurotin for the nervs. But everything is back to normal other then that. Sleep is back to normal, swelling is gone and I don't take naps any longer. Two months was the turning point for me.
    rich

  9. #9
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    May 2009
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    Wow, Rich1752. I'm impressed. That is great to hear how you have progressed. I only wish to be that far. Hope to be soon!!!!

  10. #10
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    Jun 2009
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    Whitinsville, MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich1752 View Post
    from my incesion down to my knee.
    rich
    Why did they cut you all the way down to your knee??

    27 year old female
    Upper Curve 110 degrees
    Lower Curve 90 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Wood at MGH 1/11/10 && 1/14/10
    Fused T2-Pelvis
    Back looks amazing and no more Hump! ^_^

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    1) Like, Debbei, I'd say it shouldn't be an issue as long as you're decreasing the dosage. I'd suggest stretching dosage time before you drop too much (while staying on the same schedule): Your body gets mentally used to dosage regularity before dosage amount, I think.

    2) My surgery was posterior only, however, any incision has the potential to sever nerves that just can't manage to regenerate. My knee (and part of my shin) is still numb from a surgery in '92.

    With regard to my back, at 2 years out (as of yesterday), I still have absolutely no superficial feeling around the top 2/3rds of my posterior incision (I'm fused T4-L1). I can feel deep tissue massage, and some people get quite a bit more sensation back than I did. There also seems (just from anecdotal stuff I've read here) to be a correlation between people who itch like crazy (early on ... the one you can't scratch) and later numbness. Either way, it'll become your new normal.

    3) Again, I was only posterior. The bloating is more of an A/P approach issue.

    4) I woke up hungry: So much for the weight I put on before surgery so I didn't drop below a 00. I carried it around for far longer than I wanted post-op!

    5) Fatigue. Ahhh ...

    If your body says sleep, SLEEP. If you don't listen to it, it will make you pay. I was pushing myself by Day 8 - training for a 5K I said I was going to do pre-op - and I slept a LOT. Strangely, trying to do normal stuff (bathing, drying my hair, dressing in real clothes) would knock me out before I could get the finished product out the front door.

    6) My first "real" outing was dinner out with my neighbor at 2-1/2 weeks post-op. He said I looked grey when I got in the car - and all I'd done was dry my hair ... and feel how nauseating the seat of the car felt on my back!

    The first real outing when I didn't think *once* about puking (after getting ready ... that just wore me *out*) was about 2 months post-op. For much longer than that, outings made me want a nap afterwards ... and I took them.

    It was FAR easier for me to get over "nap guilt" than I initially thought it would be.

    7) Unexplained, continued fever is always a reason to check with your doctor.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  12. #12
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    Meg

    The bloating will take a little bit. You have to realize that they go all the way down to the spine from the front. Its a pretty deep hole. They cut me from my sternum down and around my belly button and down. I think they realized that my belly button was destroyed from too much laughing and wanted to stay away from it. I will probably just pierce it and hang something there. You know, like an Christmas ornament or something.

    Every time someone asks about numbness in the back, I have to check.
    It feels like I am about 95% healed, or 5% numb. Not bad at all. Nerves take a while to heal.

    I dont want to comment on fatigue since Im an old guy. Ha Ha. It took me awhile to break my habit of "cat napping", and actually miss those days. Ive been running my ass off lately! I was fortunate that my recovery was during our economic meltdown (destruction)

    If you leave the house, always be aware of your surroundings. Also in the car as a passenger. Car accidents are not part of scoliosis recovery. You be careful out there.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    i think that's numbness down to the knee..not an incision down to the knee

    also.. i agree...any fever means call the doctor just to check...you dont want any infections! low grade fevers are usually OK..but i think you should check anyway!

    jess
    Last edited by jrnyc; 02-06-2010 at 11:16 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    From my perspective:

    1. I have been decreasing my meds, but I notice I have been taking them around the same time. If I don't take it around the time I normally do I get this really bad headache..Is this normal??? Anyone else experience this??

    The only thing I can think of is perhaps it's a degree of withdrawal? Even if it is, it will ease up with time. So long as you aren't hurting, continue to decrease, but slowly.

    2. When does the feeling coming back around you incisions?? lol I can't feel my back, the side or my tummy around the incisions. Very odd feeling..

    I no longer have numbness along the incision but my right buttock remains semi-numb. But it doesn't matter. I had to check with my hand to see if it's still numb. ]

    3. When does the swelling go down..right now my stomach an side are still kinda swollen..I'm dying to see if I will have a cute little waist line

    I didn't have a lot of swelling once I was no longer constipated!


    4. Eating...I still don't have an appetite. I eat a banana for breakfast, a bowl of fruit for lunch and whatever is made at supper time i'll eat maybe half of it..I drink like a fish though but I just can't get myself to want to eat really anything.

    I didn't finish a meal for at least 6 weeks but then my appetite came back with a vengeance.

    5. How long is this fatigue going to last. I swear I sleep all day long. I do my walking around the house but as far as that goes I usually in bed taking naps here and there.

    I suspect it's the medication Megz. I slept 10 hours at night then up to 3 every day. It was wonderful! I'd previously been insomniac so for me, it was just heaven.

    6. How long did it take you before you went out into the world..I have been itching to go out and do something for the past week, but my mom is nervous..AHHH I'm going nuts being cramped up in this house I wanna go out lol! =)

    Gosh, you know, I can't remember!

    7. I keep forgetting to ask my nurse but I always have a low grade fever at night.. 99.9 is sometimes 100 but its just at night. When the nurses check my temp during the day its fine..just wondering if anyone else out there has experienced that.

    I didn't take my temp once after leaving hospital. As far as I know, I didn't have a raised temperature. But I think the trauma of surgery can cause some very odd things to happen to your body i.e. racing heart, raised temp., breathlessness. If it persists, it might be worth a GP consult. though. Hopefully, it will just normalise.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

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