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Thread: New to forum - had my surgery August 23, 2010

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Chelsea, MI
    Posts
    53

    New to forum - had my surgery August 23, 2010

    Hi Everyone,
    I've been following the forum on and off for more than a year - had a very hard time getting the okay to post and finally just gave up. I recently was able to get in touch w/ golfnut who encouraged me to try again - now it's working. If there are others out there who have tried and tried and given up, now is the time to try again!
    I had successful surgery w/ Dr. Lenke in August. You all must know that there are many of us out there who are learning from your posts, even though we have not been able to post ourselves. I was able to prepare for surgery by searching for posts that dealt w/ my questions (re traveling, etc). I was also able to get to know Shari@msu from her blog., meet w/ her, and benefit from her encouragement and wisdom.
    I was diagnosed w/ scoliosis when I was 12, and had a fusion when I was 14 that didn't involve any hardware, but two tibial grafts, one attached to each curve. In the last few years (I am 57 now), it was clear that my curves were progressing (thoracic 91, lumbar 86). I had a very good quality of life and was very active, but did feel the results of lumber stenosis w/ leg weakness after being on my feet for about 20 minutes. Thankfully, my local orthopedic specialist referred me to Dr Lenke, and I took the leap about 15 weeks ago. My fusion is from T1 to sacrum, and my curves are now in the 50's. A remarkable outcome considering that Dr. Lenke had to essentially cut apart the fusion I already had, and start over. I am happy to say that I feel 100% recovered by now, and can stay on my feet as long as I like w/out feeling like I'm about to collapse!
    I know that the decision to have surgery can be agonizing. The preparation is nerve- wracking. The surgery itself is extremely challenging. But it's nice to know that there are those of us for whom it was absolutely worth it all!!
    I am looking forward to being able to communicate w/ you all now - but maybe I will be able to answer some of the questions I was hoping to ask a few months ago!
    The link to my blog was posted by golfnut a few days ago (Nancy's surgery blog), and I'll try to put the link in here as well. If you are anticipating surgery, you may enjoy reading what my day to day experience was like - my husband was quite good at describing his ordeal as well!
    Cheers to all,
    Nancy

    http://nancyssurgery.blogspot.com/[/URL]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    wow, I am so glad I checked the forum one last time before I went to bed tonight! I am having the full fusion (probably T1-Sacrum) on December 27th. I have good days and very scared days as I approach this huge challenge, and I really needed to hear something encouraging tonight. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Like you said, for those of us facing the surgery, it is very helpful to hear from those of you on the other side, doing well.

    blessings!
    Rebecca
    Age: 28
    Dx w/ scoli @ age 12 S curves T-40* L-42*
    wore night bending brace as teenager
    Curves changed to 50's plus or minus
    herniated disc L2-3, Discectomy October 2007
    fusion L2-3 November 2008
    Revision L2-3 Fusion, Removal of hardware August 2009
    Curves measuring 52 T&L September 2010
    Fused T4-L4, all posterior December 27th 2010
    gained almost two inches in height

    Before and After Exterior
    Before and After X-rays
    My blog: http://herscoliosisjourney.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    791
    Glad that you are doing so well. I wish I felt as good as you

    Melissa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,117
    Welcome

    You sound very upbeat which is needed when the going gets rough. It was nice reading your post....You must be thrilled!

    I presume that the tibial grafting and strut grafting days are over with....it would be interesting to see your Pre Lenke x-rays. Of course, the post Lenke x-rays would be welcome also. Can I ask who did your original surgery and where did it happen? I can see why your local guy would send you off to Dr Lenke.....

    Take it easy....you might feel good, but have a while to go with your healing. Keep walking.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    Welcome to the forum nanlo...

    and Happy Birthday, TiEd

    jess

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    918
    Someone else posted your blog the other day Nancy and I went back to read it but couldn't for the life of me find it again and now here you are. Arggg, why do I have to work every Sunday!? I'll look forward to reading it all when I get back later on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Chelsea, MI
    Posts
    53

    thanks

    Thanks for the welcome...
    I am attempting to attach my before and after xrays - if I fail, I'll get help! They are in my blog, however. My original surgery in 1967 was w/ Dr DePalma in Philadelphia. This was back in the day when I had to be in a body cast for 6 months while my spine fused. I'm happy that those days are over.
    Thanks for the encouragement to take it easy - it's a balancing act - learning how much is too much, and when to take a rest. I say that I FEEL 100% recovered, but I do have to take life a lot slower, which is not a bad thing. All physical movement is very controlled - still use the reacher at times, but can finally go down on one knee to reach things on the floor.
    I wish everyone recovering from surgery peace and healing. All those anticipating surgery, peace and confidence!
    Cheers,
    Nancy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    189
    Nancy, you are truly an inspiration to those who are contemplating this surgery. You had some very severe curves. It's great that you are doing so well only a few months after. Welcome to the forum!
    Laurie
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    265
    Wow Nancy. What an inspiration you are!!

    I am a little nervous about my surgery, the recovery, and the permanence of the change, but YOU made me feel so much better about it. I have always been a very positive person, and feel like my glass is half full. But this has been a challenge for me for some unknown reason... You are amazing with your attitude and your determination. I cannot believe how quickly you progressed. Everyone with upcoming surgeries should read your blog. It is wonderful, easy reading, and quite entertainingl I had to chuckle at your husband's creative writing and sense of humor!

    I'm glad you joined our forum, and I look forward to hearing how you are doing.
    Jenee'-52
    Bend, Oregon

    Braced 3 years in high school
    Lumbar 70'+ Thoracic 70'+
    I had 3" shrinkage in 6 months...

    Surgery Jan 10, 2011
    9 hours
    T3 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Both curves now 35'

    Possible revison for Flatback Syndrome
    Non-fusion
    Loose/broken hardware-awaiting CT results

    Here is the link to my before and after pics..
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt......&highlight=

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    918
    I really enjoyed reading your blog Nancy, thanks for sharing and I'm so glad you are feeling so well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    Nancy wow your cuvres was really severe
    your story was really great
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    918
    Nancy, was the measurement of your curve(s)? I think I missed it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Nancy,
    I knew everyone would enjoy your blog. I'm so glad you tried again to post. After receiving personal emails from you and several others on the forum, I am so much less fearful than weeks ago. Instead of worrying about how close my surgery date is, I'm focusing on the months after surgery, such as, possibly driving by March, seeing my teacher friends when walking at my former school before and after the kids are there, reconnecting with friends from years ago by taking time to do so, etc. Today I was thinking that one month from now, I'll be 1 week post op. It will be a challenging time, but at least the surgery would be over. I'm just trying to have a positive attitude that my surgery will be successful and that it's the best decision for my future. If I only had pain now, the decision for surgery wouldn't have been so difficult. I am thankful for one of the best surgeons in the country who is 25 miles from my home. I am also thankful for the forum and my new friends. It's weird how you can feel close to people you've never met. Nancy, you mentioned that you had the feeling "I'm going to do great" going into the surgery. That is my new motto! It's so much better than the "What if . . .?"
    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/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Chelsea, MI
    Posts
    53
    My curves used to be 91 thoracic, 86 lumbar...
    now both in the 50s. My before and after photos are in the blog!
    http://nancyssurgery.blogspot.org
    Age 58
    Surgery w/ Dr Lenke August 23, 2010
    original curves 91 thoracic, 86 lumbar
    fused T1 to sacrum, new curves 50 and 45

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    918
    Hmm, that link doesn't take us to a pic. You might want to check it again Nancy.

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