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Thread: heating pad helpful after fusion?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    heating pad helpful after fusion?


    My daughter had fusion surgery almost two weeks ago. Sometimes she complains of a very localized pain in/near her right shoulder. I can't help but think a heating pad might help that (she is also still on oxycontin, oxycodone and we also have valium in case of spasm).

    Seems like I've read somewhere here that heat does sometimes help. Anyone have an experience with this?

    Jill, mom to 14-year-old daughter who had spinal fusion surgery (T3 to L1) June 21, 2010. (Pre-op curves 52T and 30L.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    My daughter hasn't had her surgery yet (scheduled for the end of Aug), but sometimes the heating pad is the only thing that gives her relief from her back pain.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    It's still VERY early in the recover. The heating pad seems like a good idea.

    My one daughter who was very rotated had pain near her right shoulder blade for several weeks after surgery though didn't take meds for it. She was distraught during this time that it was similar to the pain she had developed shortly before surgery and expected it to be resolved by the surgery. It was soft tissue as far as I can tell.

    It finally resolved several weeks out as did her opposite shoulder uneveness, another point of great distress in the post-op period. I think your daughter's pain will resolve also in time.

    Good luck.
    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."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    near Philadelphia
    I found that ice (a cold pack) felt better in the the summer. Once the cold weather hit, it was heating pads all the way.
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I would be careful with the heating pad. Two weeks after surgery, a lot of the skin on her back may still be numb or have reduced sensitivity. She could get burnt without even noticing it. I would make sure to have someone else check the temperature before using it and then don't use it very long! Just my opinion, but I know that my back was still at least numb in a few spots for the first few months. Particularly near my shoulders. I avoided a heating pad for the first 2-3 months. For what its worth, I also had pain near my shoulder blades that lasted longer than any other post surgical pain. It wasn't usually too severe or anything, but it was bothersome at times. I hope she feels better!
    22 year old grad student
    Boston brace from 12-14
    surgery on June 1, 2009 T3 to L2
    Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Grauer
    Thoracic curve 47*
    Thoracolumbar curve 54*

    Surgery Photos

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