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Thread: Are spinal fusions wasted money?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by loves to skate View Post
    Hey Linda,
    How come your 70 year old with a 6 level fusion can go skiing three months after her surgery and I'm told not to ski? Must be she is not fused to the sacrum. I'd rather be roller skating.
    Sally
    Hi Sally....

    Different surgeons? This patient was fused to the ilium. I'm not sure she cleared it with the surgeon, but he's pretty liberal in terms of what he lets patients do after surgery. I'm certain that, if it was discussed, he told her not to fall!

    --Linda

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Linda,
    Dr. Rand was more concerned with someone skiing into me from the side; not so much worried about falling, because with roller skating, there is always the danger of falling.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Linda-Sally,
    She is a diehard skier.....I know her addiction. Im sure she took it easy. I would love to ski with her.

    It has to be so hard for a surgeon to tell us we have to quit. Especially if that person is a skier. It was one of my priorities, when discussing surgery with my surgeon.

    I delayed surgery as long as I could for skiing... at the end I couldnít handle the pain anymore. It was enough to drop a horse. I have come to the conclusion after reading here, that my recovery was a slow one, and thatís ok because now, I have no pain at all.

    And your right, we are not allowed to fall. That really makes us aware, extremely defensive, non risk taking skiers. Itís a gamble we have to take.
    Im fine as long as I donít ski faster than my angels can fly.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    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

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Ed, I have fallen once on my skates in the year and 1/2 since my surgery, but my angel let me down easy - no damage done, But where was she when I slipped on wet leaves and fell in my yard? One week's worth of pain from that fall. I do take it easy and only skate backwards when my coach is holding me up.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Neither did either of my kids have a choice.

    The decision was easy for us... no choice.
    Amen! That was our situation as well.

    In fact, our insurance didn't pay as much as they should have to cover the costs--well *less* than the "normal" average.

    Yet our surgeon and everyone else involved took way less than, in my opinion, they deserved.

    How do you put a price on someone giving your child back their life?

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Quote Originally Posted by pmsmom View Post
    Amen! That was our situation as well.

    In fact, our insurance didn't pay as much as they should have to cover the costs--well *less* than the "normal" average.

    Yet our surgeon and everyone else involved took way less than, in my opinion, they deserved.

    How do you put a price on someone giving your child back their life?
    I know! With kids at least, they look and feel normal only a few weeks out. Neither kid really respected the restrictions because they feel normal. It's impossible to convince them when they feel so good so early. Luckily the instrumentation is good enough so that virtually all kids can get away with ignoring the restrictions.

    How this surgery has taken my bent and twisted kids and made them look and feel normal so quickly is easily the most amazing thing that I have witnessed in my life. And while they are not expected to ever need any more back surgery, even if they do several years from now, it is clearly WAY worth it to gain this normality back now and for the next several years. It is everything to a teenager and young adult I think.

    Scoliosis treatment is about cutting losses; normal is no longer on the table for these kids and adults. Surgery now clearly cut their losses given the size and velocity of their curves. Forgoing surgery now for my kids would certainly have increased the losses overall. They are only young once and revision surgery, if they ever need it, will only get better into the future.

    I'm very grateful for this surgery and the surgeons who do it.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    390
    Pooka1/Sharon,

    Your post just edged me closer to saying yes to surgery, even though I know it's different for young women than those at my age. Thinking of it as cutting my losses works for me, as opposed to "fixing it". 10 years ago, my doctor told me I would need surgery at some point, but hopefully closer to 60 than 50 because "the operation brings its own set of problems", so I told him my goal was to never have surgery. Now I'm 55 and hoping to prevent 60 from being the new 80. New motto: Think prevention, not cure.

    Sally! ....I have an appointment with Dr Rand in May. Last November, I was tending to my mom at New England Baptist when she had hip replacement. I asked a phys therapist there if they did scoli operations and she told me about Dr Rand, and I remembered the name from the forum....I wandered over there and asked his assistant if he might have a few minutes to talk to me. He was behind the door and overheard- had her put me in a room and we talked briefly. Very kind man. ....

    BUT...he told you not to ski?! Ever?! Now I'm worried...I'm the worst skiier in the world- 4 year-olds, 80 year-olds, and disabled skiiers on wheelchair skis pass me like I'm standing still, BUT ....I still want to go! Might have to rethink this one.

    Ed, yes, where are all the scolis? I have thought of that a lot. My town has 5800 population; 2% is 116. I just made a list and so far, I can think of 12 of us. I wonder where they procured that #? Question # 2, how long did you wait to ski and what was the first day like? What is it like to ski with your bionic upper body? I know you like to go fast. My angels have to wait for me at the bottom.

    Time to get ready for work. Big Sigh....

    Amy/Foofer
    Amy
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,901
    Quote Originally Posted by foofer View Post
    Pooka1/Sharon,

    Your post just edged me closer to saying yes to surgery, even though I know it's different for young women than those at my age. Thinking of it as cutting my losses works for me, as opposed to "fixing it". 10 years ago, my doctor told me I would need surgery at some point, but hopefully closer to 60 than 50 because "the operation brings its own set of problems", so I told him my goal was to never have surgery. Now I'm 55 and hoping to prevent 60 from being the new 80. New motto: Think prevention, not cure.
    Well I'm not trying to sway anyone but I'm glad it resonated with you.

    I think some of the resistance to surgery in certain cases with kids at least is that it is so artificial and so far from normal. But it's not like normalcy awaits if you just somehow avoid surgery. It's about balancing multiple abnormal states and how best to cut losses. It is rarely, if ever, finding the normal again as that seems to be out of reach of most patients and will remain so until the molecular guys figure out how to prevent it.

    Just my opinion watching the testimonials roll by...
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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