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Thread: What Happens 8-9 Mos. Postop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    What Happens 8-9 Mos. Postop?


    I talked to a patient today, who was told by a pain management doctor, that spine fusion patients often have a setback at 8-9 months postop. We don't routinely see patients between 6 mos. and a year, so I don't really know if that's true. Do any of you have pain diaries that might affirm this?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Central NJ

    I was having a terribly hard time with muscle spasms during the 8-9 month post-op timeframe. During that time I also started back to work, so at the time I attributed the spasms/pain to the stress of the job, sitting at a desk for longer than I was used to, plus dragging around a computer bag (on wheels, which I still use.)

    It took me 2-3 months to get out of that phase, but I was taking muscle relaxants at night. I wonder if you're onto something?
    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
    May 2008

    Mine are here on this forum. I was in PT for my arm at that time, if anything, things were improving. I drew a recovery chart for my surgeon, and at that time I was about 80% recovered.

    Having to go to work, and dealing with stress, will affect ones recovery. Control your stress, and the outcome will be different.

    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

    My x-rays

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Topeka, KS
    I am surprised I have been lucky enough to get by without too much muscle spasms. I had surgery Mar 1st and, although I'm still dealing with some of the pain, it's way better than it used to be. I just have to be careful at work not to sit too long before I get up and walk around. But, I get busy at the computer and forget about it until I go to stand up and then I can hardly straighten up until after a few steps. I seem to have to force myself to stand straight and tall but I'm working on that too. I don't fancy the thought of any set back, let alone at 8-9 mos postop. Tell me it's not true.....Ha!
    Rita Thompson
    Age 46
    Milwaukee Brace wearer for 3 years in childhood
    Surgery Mar 1st - 95 degree thoracic curve
    Surgery by Dr. Lenke, St. Louis, MO
    Post-surgery curve 25-30 degree

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Maryland, USA
    Linda, thanks for posing this question.

    Right now I'm between my 8th and 9th months post-fusion and am beginning to get concerned. All was going very well. I was walking better and better, doing aquatics, and taking beginning pilates. However, over the past several weeks, I have noticed a weakness in my left leg (my left side was most impacted by the surgery) and sciatic pain down into my heel. When I go to bed, I feel as if I am going to have one of those excruciating spasms in my left leg. Lucky it hasn't actually happened.

    The setback I describe is not what I would call dramatic, but it concerns me nonetheless as it is a change in the wrong direction.

    I'm interested in hearing from others on this topic as well. August 2009 Ladies, are any of your experiencing a setback?


    Karen, 66 years "young"
    Polio at 6
    Diagnosed with scoliosis at school; no treatment
    Lumbar curve in 2005: 40; moderate pain
    Lumbar curve in 2009: 55; pain severe
    Lumbar curve after surgery: 21
    Surgeon - Dr. William Lauerman, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Three surgeries in one week:
    8/24/09 L3 to S1 anterior spinal fusion with Harm cage
    8/28/09 Posterior spinal fusion from T10 to S1 with instrumentation
    9/1/09 Partial revision of instrumentation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Hi Linda!

    I just looked back at my 9 month post and was getting ready to do Thanksgiving for 13 people!

    My theory is that by 8-9 months people are feeling better enough to start doing things they did before and they over do it. They think it is a set back when it just might be doing too much too soon.

    Looking forward to seeing you Sat. at the meeting! Suzy

    T-10 to L-4 2/22/06
    Was 49* Now 8*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Ames, Iowa
    Interesting! I was looking in my journal of every day stuff and in it I had mentioned that I felt like I had gone backwards 3 months. I was about exactly 8.5 months at the time. I decided it was due to the big snow storm we had mid-December but it did last a long time. So there may be something to it. 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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Well, well. I am eight months post-op (one of the August ladies!)...and lately my stamina seems to have taken a nose dive...mostly due to the fact that the strange leg pain I had off and on 3-4 months post-op is back...making it hard to drive and stand. Lifting my right leg (my incision is on the right side) hurts. My PT awhile ago thought it might by my femoral nerve aggravated by all the rearranging of my body. BUT, I have been driving a lot (spring sports, etc. for all my kids) AND I did stop going to PT about a month ago b/c I just didn't have time. SO Suzy might be on to something...maybe we gat a little careless and try to do too much. I am actually trying to get better at doing my PT exercises and get back to my walking on my treadmill.
    Kathy, 43
    Diagnosed as a teen
    Boston brace 2 years
    63 degree lumbar curve
    Surgery August 26, 2009
    Anterior approach fused T12-L4
    now 28 degrees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I don't remember having any problems at 8-9 months. My surgery was in February (2000), and in October/November I was pretty much back into my normal life, working, exercising, etc as before. But I agree with the others - a lot of people probably try to do too much at that point, thinking they're recovered, and they end up faltering a bit in their recovery.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Sydney Australia

    setbacks at 8-9 months

    I had my surgery in Dec 2005 and I'm sure that I had no problems at 8-9 months.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Banff, Alberta
    9 months is when I kept noticing little random improvements to celebrate.
    Age 25 at time of correction
    Sergery March 6th, 2009
    T4 to L4

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Can't say I remember any problems at 8-9 months but I think Suzy might have something there.
    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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