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Thread: Typical Post-Up Process?

  1. #1
    JamieAnn Guest

    Typical Post-Op Process?

    Hi Everyone,

    I had my first post-up appointment today with my surgeon. He was so happy with the way everything went - great correction and he was able to fuse one less vertebrae. He said I look like I'm standing up straight and said I would likely continue to get "straighter" as the compensatory curve decreases. I had some concerns about my wound last week but they said it is healing well now, which was great news.

    I explained my on-going hip and tailbone pain and he gave me muscle relaxers to try. I am hoping that works because sleeping has been tough the past few nights. Otherwise my back feels good - stiff of course, but I'm not taking a lot of pain killers by any means.

    He wants to see me in January for xrays. I thought that was a little long - 4 months post op. Don't people normally get xrays much sooner?

    Of course I left there forgetting to ask a few questions so I'll have to call in a few weeks. I hadn't even asked him when I will be ok for physical therapy, etc, as I want to get working on straightening out my shoulders.

    Thanks everyone! Will keep you all posted!
    Last edited by JamieAnn; 10-16-2010 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    JamieAnn,
    I'm glad you got a good report. It sounds like you are doing well!
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I went back 10 days post op for a incision check, 6 weeks post op, and then 4 months later.

    Sounds like you're doing great! Do you have your corrected curve numbers?
    __________________________________________
    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

  4. #4
    JamieAnn Guest
    Thanks Debbe! That's the thing - since I won't have xrays until 4 months post op, I won't know my correct curves . I was hoping to know that sooner, just out of curiosity!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    JamieAnn

    For 2 weeks, you sound like you are doing quite well! You are going to have surgical pains for awhile, they should work themselves out.

    On the PT question, many surgeons just want their patients to take it easy, and walk. No lifting, no bending, no twisting, no falling. Just walk.

    Walking stimulates the soft tissues and muscles in your back, improves blood oxygen circulation which helps the fusion process, and helps with staying regular, which is very important.

    Its most logical to believe that the most important time period in the healing fusion process is immediately after having your surgery. You donít want to be jolting or stressing things right now. Just walk. The worst thing you can do is stay in bed. Its funny how I was warned about this, but I couldnít sleep! LOL

    My shoulders actually reversed where my left side was higher right after my surgeries. I was told that they would eventually settle in and they did in time.

    Funny how after my shoulder surgery, my shoulder surgeon wanted me in PT right away to keep the shoulder from freezing up. That is not the case with scoliosis, most surgeons really want patients to take it easy so the long (12 month) fusion process gets off to a good start.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    225
    Okay, now I want to jump in and ask about these post-op limitations. I had been reading the no bending, twisting or lifting stuff, but then I read Dr. Neuwirth's book and he states there that he puts no specific limitation on his patients post-operatively. And when I had my consult with Dr. O'Brien, he said the same, and remarked that the hardware was very strong and that pain would let me know where my limits were. But he said that anything I could do comfortably, within reason, was fine.

    So does this vary from surgeon to surgeon, or what?
    Stephanie, age 56
    Diagnosed age 8
    Milwaukee brace 9 years, no further treatment, symptom free and clueless until my 40s that curves could progress.
    Thoracolumbar curve 39 degrees at age 17
    Now somewhere around 58 degrees thoracic, 70 degrees thoracolumbar
    Surgeon Dr. Michael S. O'Brien, Baylor's Southwest Scoliosis Center, Dallas TX
    Bilateral laminectomies at L3 to L4, L4 to L5 and L5 to S1 on April 4, 2012
    Foramenotomies L3 through S1 in August 2014

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    JamieAnn-you're doing great! I had to stay in St Louis at a hotel for a week after being released from the hospital. On my 9th day post op I had an incision check and they took x-rays. So I had x-rays fairly soon. I go back to see Dr. Bridwell Oct 25th which will be 8weeks post op. I don't know if I will have more x-rays then to see how the fusion is going or not.

    About limitations, I was told no bending, twisting or lifting more than 5-10 lbs until my next appointment. I was told to walk, walk and walk. Dr B wanted me walking a mile a day by the end of the first month post op; 2 miles by the end of the 2nd month and 3 miles per day by the end of the 3rd month and continue 3 miles per day indefinitely. He said good for your spine, good for your Cardio and gastro systems. This second month I am adding 1/4 mile per week to get to 2 miles by the end of Oct. So this week I am doing 1 1/2 miles per day. It's been easier since they started allowing me to walk on the treadmill. Good luck with your recovery!
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    I wasn't given any limitations either. Just walk, walk, walk. I was never told to have physiotherapy and I never have. I saw my surgeon at 6 weeks when x-rays were done, then 3 months, 6 months and 12 months, when I was released.

    I didn't bend, lift or twist, until about 3 months, simply because I'd read it here.

    I didn't log roll after the first day. Surgeon had a handle attached to the side of the hospital bed and I pulled myself up with that. At home, I steadied myself on the bedside table when I got out of bed.

    When I told him at 6 weeks that I was walking every day, he said, "Now do it twice a day."

    It seems to have done the trick. That, and a life-time's worth of good luck.
    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

  9. #9
    JamieAnn Guest
    Thanks so much everyone! It's so odd how every surgeon seems to have their own take on what you can/cannot/should do after surgery. The nurse told me no bending/lifting/twisting, but the surgeon didn't say anything at all. My problem is that I didn't even think to ask - I was too focused on discussing my hip pain. I will continue to keep walking!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    80
    Hey JamieAnn,

    Looks like you're doing pretty good, as am I. To everyone, JamieAnn and myself had the surgery on the same day! Around 3 wks post op now. My doc said to walk walk walk and take it easy. He said to start some weights @ 6 months post op. My first post op appt is in a few days. Gd luck to the both of us on an excellent recovery

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