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Thread: Fusion last year; Thoracoplasty this year!

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    46

    Results!

    I don't know if anyone is still following this thread but I'm a little over one week post op and feeling great! I have a little soreness on my right side where the ribs were removed but it is NOTHING compared to the fusion. The cosmetic improvement is HUGE. I'm very shocked! In a good way! If anyone has any questions about it feel free to ask or send me a private message!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Curvy Cakes--I'd definitely like the details on this if you are up to it. Will insurance cover this OK? How long of a surgery? Is breathing OK for you? etc. Recovery time? Thanks and I'm so glad this worked out for you. 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.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Great news! Congratulations!
    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

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    143
    I'm having surgery with Dr. Lonner on June 8th. I asked him about thoracoplasty and he said that most surgeons are moving away from that procedure due to the loss of lung function, but if I opted for it he could do it. I am actually hoping to regain some lung function since I am currently at 50%, although I am unaware of it in my everyday life. With a curve of 85-90 degrees, I do have a prominent rib hump.

    Curvycakes, I'm so glad it all worked out for you! Please keep us posted about your progress. All the best, Joy

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    46

    Thanks everyone!

    Doodles- Of course! As far as I know, insurance covered this procedure. I never had to fill anything out that said I had pain in order for it to go through. Maybe it depends on the type of insurance one has?
    The surgery took around 3 and a half hours. All the same pre-op that I had for the fusion. As soon as I got out of the surgery, I was way more alert and aware as compared to waking up from the fusion. This could be because the fusion was my first major surgery and this was my second? I don't know.

    I was in ICU overnight just as a precaution in terms of lung functions. There was a chance that I could have needed a chest tube, and my surgeon told me about this before surgery, but it turns out I didn't need one. If I had liquid in my lungs (numothorax..spelling?) then they would have had to put the chest tube in for a few days. Luckily this was not the case..that was probably my biggest worry about the surgery, actually. I had two drains in my lower right side (below where the ribs used to be) to drain liquid/blood while I was in the hospital. Taking those out was the WORST part of the whole experience. Gross and painful.

    I have one of those breathing exercise tubes that they gave me last year for my fusion..they just told me to take deep breaths and try to get the ball up to a certain level. It doesn't hurt or anything and I can get it up to the suggested level. Taking deep breaths was okay to do, but the things that were really weird/kind of painful were: laughing, talking a lot in a short amount of time, turning over, hiccups, yawning, and coughing.
    These things are getting better and easier though.

    I had the most precious pain button for 2 days after surgery and then they took me off of that to start on Percocet. I'd say that throughout my whole hospital stay the pain level was around a 2 to 4 without having to rely on the pain meds that much. That shocked me a lot..it was much more comfortable than I expected. Of course, I was totally constipated for a little over a week after surgery from the meds but everything has worked out, haha!

    As for recovery time..I guess it would vary on the person. My surgeon said about a month. I am starting to do little things like take walks and go to the grocery store with family members, and then I take naps for a few hours afterwards.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Thanks, Curvycakes. This gives me something to think about if the rib hump continues to worsen as I'm beginning to think it is. I don't think there's anything to be done to stop it. As you said earlier, the muscles relax more as time goes on which could make it pop up more. Which makes me wonder if massages, hands on physical therapy, and very mild rolfing (also addresses muscles and connective tissue) which I've had the last few months could contribute to it. It has definitely eased my pains but does make me wonder. 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.

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