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Thread: spinal fusion picture

  1. #1
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    spinal fusion picture

    My 14 year old Lindsey had her spinal fusion Aug 4th. I just find the pictures amazing and a bit scarey how much was fused. This was the X-ray before we left the hospital. When we go for her follow-up next week,I want to get the before x-ray.
    She's doing very well by the way! Every day shes getting stronger and doing more things for herself.

    Jennie

  2. #2
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    Hi Jennie...

    That is a pretty long fusion for a kid. Did the surgeon not discuss the topic with you?

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
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    long fusion

    she was going in for a lumbar spinal fusion, but the dr did not see the X-ray until the day of surgery.I could even tell that in 2 months it had gotten worse. He ended up having to fix top and bottom!
    He is a very well know surgeon for scoliosis and fusions,so i'm ok with that decision. Still shocks me to see the picture though, and her scar! the tape just came off yesterday.

    jennie

  4. #4
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    borngmama: I'm SO glad you posted! My daughter's surgery is scheduled for one week from today. She's also 14. If you have time, and wouldn't mind, could you answer some questions for me?

    1. What were her curves before surgery?
    2. Do you know what her curves are now, after surgery?
    3. How long did the surgery take?
    4. How long was she in the hospital?
    5. What type(s) of pain medications did they have your daughter on and when they switched medications (if they did), when did they do it?
    6. How long were the drainage tubes in place at the incision site?
    7. How long until she was able to take a regular shower?
    8. How bad was her pain after the surgery? How bad is it now?
    9. Any advice for a very nervous mom that's about to go through this in one week?
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  5. #5
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    May 2008
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    glad to help!

    1. What were her curves before surgery?
    2. Do you know what her curves are now, after surgery?
    3. How long did the surgery take?
    4. How long was she in the hospital?
    5. What type(s) of pain medications did they have your daughter on and when they switched medications (if they did), when did they do it?
    6. How long were the drainage tubes in place at the incision site?
    7. How long until she was able to take a regular shower?
    8. How bad was her pain after the surgery? How bad is it now?
    9. Any advice for a very nervous mom that's about to go through this in one week?

    it wasn't that bad! the pain never got more then a 5,and that was only once(1-10) but my daughter is tough! She had morphine for 3 days then percocet,both working very well! after the surgery the dr said her curves were t-40 and l-60. He's not big on measuring exactly i dont think, but he knows what hes doing! she was at miami childrens hospital,and people come from everywhere to see him! not sure what the curves are now,we go back next week for a follow-up.She was in the hospital 6 days.Around the second day,he took out the drain. she never even knew it was there,but it was filled with blood/ fluids! She took a shower on the 3rd day with a lot of help! After the shower she can change into her clothes,make sure it is buttoned up! it is hard getting a nightgown over the head, her arms hurt! lindsey had the operation aug 4th,and shes still taking the percocet about every 4-5 hours. She's also just started walking around without me holding onto her. Practice the log roll before going to the hospital,and sitting up in bed and laying back into bed! i was scared to death!! oh the surgery took 3.5 hours.

    jennie

  6. #6
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    Jan 2010
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    borngmama: Thank you so very much for answering my questions!

    I hope my daughter does as well as yours is doing.

    What are your plans in regards to her school? School started last week out here in AZ and I'm still sorting out how we're going to work with the school about our daughter's assignments while she's in the hospital/at home recovering.

    Oh! I forgot one more question. Has your surgeon given a possible date of when you're daughter will be able to attend school? We have two different notes from our surgeon. The first says 6-8 wks. The second (most recent) says 4-8 wks. But that he wants the final two weeks to be half-days.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  7. #7
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    May 2008
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    school

    Her school starts Sept 9th,thankfully. I heard at first it would be a month out of of school,but i'm sure her recovery will be longer then that!!
    i do want to add one thing. I was very upset when i first saw my daughter in recovery and after,she had NO color to her lips or face. but it was apparently normal! i was the only one worried! and my daughter was not like all the you tube videos,where the kids are smiling on the e-mailing on the computer and all! she was not like this! no smiles at all! just letting you know,it wasnt 'bad' but it was like a major operation. she was sweet the whole time with manners,telling all the nurses good morning, day and night lol but she was not smiley.she slept most of the time.
    what degree and type of scoliosis does your daughter have? what part wil be fused?
    jennie

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by borngmama View Post
    what degree and type of scoliosis does your daughter have? what part wil be fused?
    jennie
    When she was first diagnosed in Nov of last year (due to pain complaints), her curves were: T:21 L:36.

    In 3 months (March 2010), they had progressed to T:36 L:48. It's the progression that has her surgeon most worried (along with the pain complaints).

    I won't know how bad they've progressed until next Sunday or Monday, just prior to surgery.

    During our consult back in March her surgeon had: Posterior spinal fusion from T 3-4 to L 3-4.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by borngmama View Post
    she was going in for a lumbar spinal fusion, but the dr did not see the X-ray until the day of surgery.I could even tell that in 2 months it had gotten worse. He ended up having to fix top and bottom!
    He is a very well know surgeon for scoliosis and fusions,so i'm ok with that decision. Still shocks me to see the picture though, and her scar! the tape just came off yesterday.

    jennie
    Still on travel but wanted to respond... I am sitting in a dark Korean gaming room (ETA: in the U.S.) to access the internet and can barely see the keyboard which has Korean and English characers.

    Excellent that your daughter is doing so well! And that is a beautiful result!

    Gryffindor's daughter and my one daughter (and my other daughter towards the end) had extremely fast-moving curves. I think in cases like that, someone should be studying if the normal surgery trigger angle should be relaxed downward if it would mean shorter fusions.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 08-17-2010 at 09:01 AM.
    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."

  10. #10
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    Borngmama: Wow, those x-rays are amazing. I'm so glad your daughter is doing better all the time. My 14-year-old turned a major corner at about week 6 post surgery. She had her surgery this summer, so did not miss school and has not missed a beat upon returning to school last week. She is tired, sure, but doing so well. These kids are amazingly resilient!

    Gryffindor - one bit of advice I would offer you, and this came from another mom on this forum, although I can't for the life of me remember who:

    Take a notebook to the hospital and take good notes, especially during your dismissal discussions. We came home with our daughter and three narcotics and we were really nervous about dosing all those meds. The notes came in handy. We took this a step further and actually made a chart when we got home, so we could both see it and keep track of the doses. This might just be me, but I was very stressed about these high-power drugs. And because I was also pretty sleep-deprived (nights in the hospital are not conducive to sleep) I was afraid of making a mistake!

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

  11. #11
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    Fingers Crossed: That's an excellent idea!

    I already have a binder that I've put together with everything relating to her scoliosis, including all of the school stuff. That binder is going to be stuffed full by the time we leave SLC.
    Mother to 14 yo Cheyenne. Surgery 8/23/10 Shriners, SLC.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Gryffindor's daughter and my one daughter (and my other daughter towards the end) had extremely fast-moving curves. I think in cases like that, someone should be studying if the normal surgery trigger angle should be relaxed downward if it would mean shorter fusions.
    DD ia having T-3 -> L-3 fused in Nov. Although both kids have the same curve my youngest was fused T-11 -> L-3 last Feb. Youngest curve progressed faster, oldest he said it would be better to go higher. She has been watched since 2006, and stayed in the 40's until this year.

    Oldest is 3 1/2 years older - but Dr said higher fusion so she wouldn't progress with kyphosis.

    Dee
    Dee - Mother of two daughters, both with scoliosis KateScoliKid (16yo) 52* Lumbar curve
    Fusion Surgery 2/9/10 T-11->L-3 @CHKD Norfolk VA
    Jes (20yo) T 3 -> L 3 w/ Kyphosis

  13. #13
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    Mine was very fast moving as well. It took two and a half years of waiting back then for me to have my operation and by then the curve was thoracic as well as lumbar. It just took off, but then that was a pretty long time to wait though.

    I read these posts every day on the forum and just really hope that your dear children just do so very well and I get really excited when they come through the operation with flying colors. They certainly are resilient, but then mums are too.


    Lorraine.
    Last edited by Lorraine 1966; 08-18-2010 at 02:30 AM.
    Operated on in 1966, harrington rods inserted from T4 to L3, here in Australia. Fusion of the said vertebrae as well. Problems for the last 14 years with pain.
    Something I feel deeply,"Life is like money,you can spend it anyway you wish, but can only spend it once.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorraine 1966 View Post
    Mine was very fast moving as well. It took two and a half years of waiting back then for me to have my operation and by then the curve was thoracic as well as lumbar. It just took off, but then that was a pretty long time to wait though.

    I read these posts every day on the forum and just really hope that your dear children just do so very well and I get really excited when they come through the operation with flying colors. They certainly are resilient, but then mums are too.


    Lorraine.
    This issue of earlier fusions for fast curves may have been studied, I don't know. Maybe it doesn't help to fuse earlier or maybe it does.

    By the way, I've mentioned this to you before in PMs but there is something about you and your posts that just clicks with me. You have a good perspective and provide valuable input because of it. Thanks for your input.
    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."

  15. #15
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    May 2010
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    I believe my daughter's was a fairly fast moving T curve. Went from mid-30s to low 50s in 8 months. She was diagnosed in the 30s, after her pediatrician noticed the scoliosis at her annual well-check.

    Lorraine, I always appreciate your comments and insight as well -- and have often thought that thanks in part to you and the many other "pioneers" in these kinds of surgeries, scoliosis patients now can expect such wonderful outcomes.

    I am amazed, everyday, at how well my daughter is doing (she is 7.5 weeks post-op). She can't lift more than 15 pounds, still, and can't play contact sports (soccer) until this spring, but she is running everyday (2-3 miles!) with the cross country team. And she only needs to take a dose of tylenol now and again.
    Jill, mom to 14-year-old daughter who had spinal fusion surgery (T3 to L1) June 21, 2010. (Pre-op curves 52T and 30L.)

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