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Thread: 5 weeks post op.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los angeles
    Posts
    122

    5 weeks post op.

    Hi guys,
    For those of you with t2 s1 fusions and large curves, please tell me... When is this going to get better??? I'm so depress! The pain and discomfort is so great and does not subside!!! I don't want to get out and I can't do anything other than sit around. My poor boyfriend is getting so tired of my complains...
    I can feel everything! Even with this brace!! My whole spine, the rods, everything is so tight! Now, I can even touch it because is so sensitive... Even my shirt makes me uncomfortable. Ahh, At bedtime my legs starting to cramp up and hurt.
    Please, tell me when is this going to go away!! If ever!!!???
    Is my spine going to be like this forever?? My stomach sticks out because of it... I don't have control of my body.
    Another question, how do you guys drive?? The position of my spine does not let me sit normally in a chair, because of how my belly sticks out...
    I don't understand how I ever gonna feel normal again.
    I also have shortness of breath, which I think is due to anemia...
    I don't know how to deal with this!
    Sorry for the rant!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Pilar-- I remember thinking how long my healing took... everyone is different, and you are in the very early stages of recovery. My fusion isn't quite as long as yours T2-L4, and my curve wasn't a big one, but my major curve was 52º with two roughly 30º curves above and below it. You've been through major reconstruction of your spine and with many people it takes a long time to adjust and recover from it. Try to look at the progress you've made so far and enjoy that... and know that you'll continue to make progress. I have gotten better each year and now feel really really good. I did a post a long time ago about the difference between the turtles and the hares amongst those of us who have our surgeries. Try not to be disheartened.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    It's a b**ch, I know, but it gets better. It really does! But it does take time.
    Chris
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    31
    HI, please don't be discouraged . I am T1-S1 and pelvic fusion. It takes longer for some. I am 16 weeks post op so I know the feeling. I had quite a terrible post op and did not get to go home for 3 1/2 weeks. I am still on pain meds and donot drive (head rotation problems) . I am having part of my rod removed above T1 that is causing pain. Belly does go down and than breathing is better. If it wasn't for my neck I would be further along . Arms ,legs and balance much improved. Pain that I had pre p is gone. As for the hardware areas ,there is bruising that you can't see after all that movement and that gets better also .
    Don't ever worry abot venting I have done it myself and everyone here understands Donna
    51 yo
    dx 13 never braced
    DJD and osteoporosis ,Fx ribs 10/09(from osteo) downhill since,vertebral slippage w/ nerve damage and rotation
    Surgery 08/09/10 T1-S1 decomp,fusion w/ instrumentaion
    Sacral/pelvic fixation + 4 osteotomies and dura repair
    C 20 degrees to 4 degrees
    T 57 degrees to 15 degrees
    L 38 degrees to 5 degrees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,973
    Hi Pilar

    Non-scolis will get tired of hearing about our complaints after awhile. I learned not to say anything and just wait till maybe someone would ask how I was doing.....I guess you cant blame them. That’s why we are here, we understand exactly what you are going through.

    It does get better! The one thing that I had to do was take hot baths all the time for pain. 4-5 hot baths per day for 3 months! And yes, I was STIFF. I wondered how I was going to do this or that, but I eventually figured things out and you will too. Or just ask here.

    Recovery after getting hit by a freight train is quite a process. It’s a day by day thing, you take any improvement you can get and you relish it. It seemed to come in steps for me, these little bumps of improvement and you just continue holding your head up and moving forward. We don’t have a choice, we only have one shot, and you make the best of it.

    The swelling will go down eventually, so you will be able to sit normally. Driving, you shouldn’t do if you are on meds, and quitting meds should be one of your goals.... it will also help with your bowels and your breathing.

    I was warned about laying around on the couch all day. That is a no-no. You need to keep moving and walking. Its tough, but we have no choice. You should be breathing DEEPLY and often, it will prevent problems. Drink 10 glasses of water every day. Water and walking helps the bowels. Chew gum also.

    You will get there. Try not to get depressed, when that happened to me, I immediately did an about face and continued marching to the beat. Know in your own mind that everything always works out....It just does.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    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
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Some great replies here. I can't add anything more except to say, I feel your anguish and hope it's not long before you start feeling much better. You will!
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    It takes time Pilar. I don't remember how long it was till I could sit in a normal chair without extra pillows. I used to carry a small pillow around with me in a bag once I started going out--I couldn't be comfortable otherwise! Now I can sit anywhere (usually) although certain types of chairs, with bars horizontal across the back are still terribly uncomfortable.

    As far as the tightness, that takes lots of time. I know it feels like you're a robot right now, but over time it will get much much better. The worse of the tightness for me was when I came off the pain meds, because then I felt everything.

    What happened with your intestinal complication? I assume since you're home it all worked out ok, right?

    ((Hugs)) and just know that things will improve bit by bit.....you might not realize it day to day, but it will happen.
    __________________________________________
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los angeles
    Posts
    122
    Thank you so much for your advise guys!!! It means the world to me!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    28
    Pilar, I am amazed you are on a computer at 5 weeks! I got 'fused' L5-T10. I didn't even get on a computer till after week 8. I had so much pain, then depression kicks in. Now I was back in emergency due to pain 2 days after being home, and then back to ER 6 weeks after surgery due to water on the lungs. After that, the pain of the lungs clearing was so bad, and my nerves got stretched across my abdomen due to the XLIF so talk about whammies! My fusion is not as extensive as yours but I can say by week 9 (and I counted the days) I felt a bit better, and more able. Not completely out of pain, or even to the point of feeling super good, but I knew truly that it will just get better from now on out.I still have a nerve issue in my leg (which was there prior to surgery) but we are working on that. Sooooo, to get thru' the muddle think of every day and pick out one thing, even if it is only one thing that is better than yesterday. And, thank God for that one miracle even insignificant. Finding the good things that are happening each day helps get thru' pain. I also found out that every surgery can have depression as a side effect. My nurse friend got me started on St. John's Wort. But the catch is it takes a few weeks to kick in. Didn't matter I took it anyway and am still. Recognizing that it is there is important. Having a great circle of friends got me thru' the painful times.
    XLIF 7 discs replaced L5-T10 lateral PEEK implants, pedicle/facet screws, rib resection
    Pre-surgical: 40 d lumbar-thoracic, sponylolisthesis, kyphosis, all discs ruptured, stenosis
    Post-surgical:12 d, 1" taller
    Surgery: 8/27/2010 Dr. W Smith, Las Vegas University Medical Center
    53 yrs old

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    there are meds that work faster...for depression!
    doctor can tell you which ones, and which are easier to go off later...

    please worry about you, Pilar...those around you need to understand....
    major major surgery...requires time...T I M E !!
    you have been rearranged!
    bet you any amount of money that when all is said and done, you will look and feel great...the weight can come back on later...

    best regards..
    jess

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Red face

    Pilar,
    I am fused T4-sacrum also. I remember that at first I was very very stiff and in pain for a long time. It was strange to sit in a chair or drive because of the newly created lordosis. I had to use pillows behind my back for a couple of months.
    Now I feel great. Remember as others have said, that you are still very very early in your recovery. No, you will not feel like this forever. The stiffness and pain does resolve but it takes time and patience. Improvements come in baby steps. Keep in mind your spine is continually healing for a couple of years at least. Try not to think of this process as a negative but as a positive...you have a new straight spine!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

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