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Thread: Last visit with the doctor before surgery on Oct. 26th...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112

    Last visit with the doctor before surgery on Oct. 26th...

    Just saw Dr. Geck for our final consultation. I don't think I've ever met a more confident, calm, PATIENT surgeon, and although I'm still terrified, I'm slightly less so now. He said he'd decided to fuse from T11 to S1 with no pelvic fixation, using cobalt-chromium rods and titanium screws (I think of it as "getting chromed" ... nice!).

    It's all going to be done posteriorly, with the lumbar portion entirely open since he has to realign the the listhesis and do an interbody fusion where the disc is flat. The proximal end will be mostly minimally invasive but also posterior, so I'll end up with a 7 cm lumbar incision and maybe a 4 cm one at T11-12. That doesn't sound so bad at all!

    He answered most of my questions before I could even ask them, so I ended up with very few - mostly about flexibility afterward, when my son could come see me after surgery, what type of pain medication they use (Dilaudid), when I can get up & walk. Went over complications and consent forms. Now all I have to do is go to the hospital for the pre-op testing, and I'll be all set .... WHERE'S THE XANAX! Aaaaah!

    No, seriously, I'm okay!
    Last edited by BadKitty; 10-20-2010 at 04:00 PM.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246
    Good luck on the 26th! We'll be thinking of you and sending good karma!
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, Lisa! I need all the good karma I can get!
    Last edited by BadKitty; 10-20-2010 at 06:49 PM.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    You sound really good Kitty! This is the hardest time and you're getting through it well. Best wishes on the 26th!
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Good luck on the 26th. It sounds like you're ready. It's normal to be nervous! I'm already not sleeping at night.
    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/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    @ Jennifer - Thank you! I think I'm in denial ... the best way to get through it so far. I'll do all my falling apart after they knock me out!

    @ Karen - Me, nervous? Naaahhhyyeeeaaahhh. What's "sleep"?

    Thanks for your support, ladies! It's hard to believe the time is almost here.
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    974
    Best wishes, Juliet! It's great to have a confident, calm surgeon!!

    Evelyn
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    It sure is, Evelyn ... especially if you're as nervous as I am. One of us has to be calm, and it's probably not going to be me. He knew I had to get this done in October, so he canceled a clinical day to fit me in .... what a great guy!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    390
    Juliet,

    Looking forward to hearing from you from the other side. I'm a little jealous...

    Some time you can tell us why you are a "Bad Kitty"

    (Just trying to distract you.)

    All the best to you.
    Amy
    58 yrs old, diagnosed at 31, never braced
    Measured T-64, L-65 in 2009
    Measured T-57, L-56 in 2010, different doc
    2 lumbar levels spondylolisthesis
    Exercising to correct

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thank you, Amy! My decision was easy after I found out (1) my back was going downhill fast, and at my age it won't get any better, and (2) I found the right doctor. Once I made up mind, it was a given, and the only thing that has me worried is the period of helplessness and pain. I hate helplessness! And I'm not too crazy about pain either.

    Now I'm just looking forward to being able to do things I haven't been able to do - from cleaning floors to going to the mall to riding roller coasters. Yes! My doctor said there's no reason I can't still go wild on Millenium Force once I'm healed. Absolutely amazing.

    "BadKitty" is in memory of my bad kitty, Toby - who was actually a wonderful kitty with a mind of his own (if you get my drift).

    Good luck with your decision! It was the hardest part for me (so far).
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    38
    Good luck on the 26th! You'll be in our thoughts and prayers!
    Sandie
    Fusion is scheduled for November 4, 2010
    T10 - S1

  12. #12
    backissues Guest
    Wishing you both the best. My surgery isn't until Dec. 7. I'll be thinking about you on your special dates, which occur before mine. Keep us all posted. I love to read the "on the other side" postings.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, Sandie! I'm counting on those prayers.

    @ Backissues - I'll be posting as soon as I can manage.I wonder if the hospital has wireless? Hmmmmm .... Well, if not I'll try to keep a journal and fill everyone in on the adventure. See ya!
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    74
    Good luck to you Juliet. I hope to meet up with you at Brack. I am glad to hear you are having the shorter surgery. I wish I could say the same, but know the longer procedure is what I need to do. I will be titanium. I met with the anesthesiologist today. After he went through the list of possible complications, I asked him if he had any good news. He laughed and said I can look forward to having a straighter back. We have to have humor during these times!! Sleep is an unknown concept at this time! See ya soon.
    Chris, Austin, TX
    age:58
    80 degree thoracic/36 degree lumbar curves
    Surgery 8/2/10, Anterior Cervical Decompression/Fusion
    C4/5, C5/6, C6/7
    New Surgery date 10/25/2010, T-2 to Pelvis, posterior
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine and Scoliosis Center

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    112
    Thanks, Chris! And good luck to you, too. That's what keeps me feeling optimistic, the thought of being straighter and without pain all the time (eventually!). And most of all, putting a stop to the degenerative process that the scoliosis set into motion. Maybe I'll even be a couple of inches or so taller!

    It has to be rough on you, having two surgeries in such a short period of time. You're tough! Hang in there, okay? We'll both be on the other side, and things can only get better after that.

    What to do about insomnia: Stay up REALLY LATE. The perfect opportunity to finish that book you've been trying to read. (I can't sleep either!)
    Juliet, age 57
    37˚ lumbar and 35˚ thoracic with rotation
    Diagnosed at age 11 and untreated.
    Total degeneration of disc at L4-5, spondylolisthesis at L4, L5 sacralized.
    Surgery on 10/26/10
    Dr. Matthew Geck, Seton Spine & Scoliosis, Center, Austin, TX.
    University Medical Center @ Brackenridge Hospital.
    Posterior fusion of T11-S1, part minimally invasive; TLIF at L4-5.

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