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Thread: 2 questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177

    2 questions

    Hey everyone!

    I'm 8 weeks post op and doing very well. I have two random questions for you.

    1. when did you start driving post-op, and were you completely off your meds? I am only taking hydrocodone 1 every 6 hours, but I am not sure if it's a good idea to be driving while taking it. The problem is if I wait, I won't be able to drive for another few months, I don't think I'm quite ready to get off all meds altogether. I have a lot of residual nerve pain that will take some time to heal (judging from my previous surgeries). I don't need to drive very much, but it would be nice to be able to run to the grocery store 5 mins down the road for basic necessities at this point. Anyway, just looking for advice.

    2. when is it okay to stop doing the "log roll" to get out of bed? I've accidentally caught myself a few times sitting up the normal way and it didn't hurt. But I don't want to do it before I should. I know that's a weird question but I just figured I'd ask the experts lol

    Thanks so much for all your kind words and support! You all have been an encouragement to me through this journey, and I appreciate you all SO much!
    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/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,973
    Peach

    When I asked my surgeon that question about driving he responded with “Don’t drive on meds”. He was pretty blunt about it, there was no discussing the matter.

    I was battling constipation, and figured that it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I had built up such an immunity and the pain was still there, so I quit. After I quit, and started jamming nutrients, I improved quickly. Yes, the pain increased, but after 2 days it dropped pretty fast. That was at 6 weeks. I also felt that I wanted to purge all the toxins from my system and drank many glasses of water each day.

    My first time sitting up out of bed was around 9 months. It just happened, and was a positive event. I had no idea that I could even do that again! If you have done that at 8 weeks, it sounds like you are doing well. I wouldn’t make a habit of sitting up, and it would probably be best to still take it easy and continue to log roll since it exerts less force. Healing happens quickly in the first 8 weeks, but many books will say that it takes a full year for a full healing to occur.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I didn't drive until 3 months. I had been off my meds for a few weeks but had unexplained dizziness, otherwise I might have driven sooner.

    My surgeon wasn't big on log rolling. I only did it once that I can remember. He had a bar affixed to the right side of my hospital bed and I pulled myself up using my right arm. (He had the overhead bar taken down so I couldn't use it.) Once home I used the bed-side chest for leverage. I didn't have any trouble getting in or out of bed.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    I drove short distances on meds but I wouldn't do it again. I didn't realize how much they affected me until I got off of them and saw the difference in my level of alertness and my reaction time.

    I still log roll in and out of bed because I want to protect the fusion and reduce the wear and tear on the unfused portion of my back for as long as I can. It's second-nature now; I don't even think about it anymore. I was told by Boachie and my physical therapist that it was really important to maintain good biomechanics for the rest of my life.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    I have driven short distances at 6 weeks post op, however, I have not taken pain meds. In 2 weeks. The constipation and hemorrhoids were worse than any back pain I've had. I probably will log roll thevrest of my life. It doesn't bother me, so I figure it protects the back more than just sitting up.
    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
    JamieAnn Guest
    Why would sitting up be bad for your back though? Isn't sitting up a good use of your abdominal muscles?

    I started sitting up around 8 weeks, too. I'm about 5 months post op now and really noticing how weak my muscles are, particular my abs. So, I would imagine sitting up is another way to help get them back in working order.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Well, since I'm fused to the sacrum, maybe it wouldn't make any difference if I sat up the normal way when I am several months post op. I will ask. I have wondered what kind of ab exercises I will eventually be allowed to do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    I need to try this again. I still log roll--it's all I know. I don't think I can do it the other way. Once I tried to remember how I used to get into bed & I couldn't figure it out. But I don't think I could just sit up. Maybe I should start--maybe that's where I left my abs. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    thanks for all the replies!

    as far as driving goes, I think I'm going to set a goal to be off the hydrocodone by the end of march. my back pain is so minimal, i am only taking the hydrocodone for the severe nerve pain that is from my disc that herniated 4 years ago. I've had surgery 4 times in 4 years, and so that poor nerve has never gotten a chance to truly heal. my dr was very stern about me walking as much as possible, and his view is if i need the meds to keep moving, then take them. i am not constipated at all, i eat a ton of fiber to balance out the side effects. i couldn't handle the oxycodone though, man that was horrible! i'd rather be off the meds at least during the day if i'm going to drive any where, so i'm glad i asked. now i have a goal! no meds = driving! =)

    i don't mind log rolling, i don't have a hard time getting in or out of bed. i just have woken up and sat up before i really realized what i was doing and then i freaked out because i didn't know i would ever be able to move like that again, and i was scared i was going to mess something up! i'm going to keep log rolling for a while, but it's good to know sitting up occasionally the old way won't kill me!
    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/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by JamieAnn View Post
    Why would sitting up be bad for your back though? Isn't sitting up a good use of your abdominal muscles?

    I started sitting up around 8 weeks, too. I'm about 5 months post op now and really noticing how weak my muscles are, particular my abs. So, I would imagine sitting up is another way to help get them back in working order.

    I think because you are not fused at that point, and it's putting pressure on the spine.

    I log rolled for at least one full year, because it felt most comfortable. Just sitting up before I was fully fused, I felt that 'broken bone' pain in my spine.

    I get up normally now.
    __________________________________________
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    200
    In a similar vein to the logrolling question, how long did you continue to get into your car in a modified way...e.g. back up to the car seat, sit down, swing your feet and your body around at the same time to be forward facing.
    Kathy
    46 yrs at surgery, now 50
    71 degree thoracolumbar curve corrected to 34 degrees
    8/2/2010 surgery with Dr. Lenke

    posterior T9 to sacrum with pelvic fixation

    4 osteotomies and 1 cage
    http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...athK_08022010/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    189
    Peach,

    I still get in my car the way you described at 5 months postop. I have a sports car and it isn't easy! I have always loved to drive but since the surgery it has become a little stressful since I can't twist and turn like I used to and I get so nervous when I make lane changes or back out in parking lots. My surgeon suggested laying a garbage bag on the seat which makes it easier to twist at the hips.

    As for the logrolling, I still do that because I'm afraid to put too much stress on my lower back.

    My surgeon also just said NO VACUUMING. Oooops, now I know...glad that I didn't hurt myself. Sigh, I feel so useless sometimes!
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by KathK View Post
    In a similar vein to the logrolling question, how long did you continue to get into your car in a modified way...e.g. back up to the car seat, sit down, swing your feet and your body around at the same time to be forward facing.
    I still do this and probably always will...similarly when I sit myself at a booth in a restaurant. I still logroll too, it just feels better on my back, less pulling on the muscles. I am very protective after 2 surgeries...
    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Lowcountry, SC
    Posts
    15
    Hi Peachrush! To answer your questions, I took narcotic-based meds for the better part of 3 months, then I took ibuprofin and/or acetominiphen for another month or two after that.

    I started driving again about 3 months post op, I believe. I probably could have started sooner, but I left for my freshman year of college at 5 weeks post op & didn't have access to a car until I came home for fall break, so my timing is as much a matter of circumstance as of recovery.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    I am almost 100% positive I was told by both my surgeon and my physical therapist that I should log roll indefinitely... it is automatic now, so I don't even think about. My only problem comes if I'm on the "wrong" side of the bed! But I usually just call "dibs" if we're in a hotel or something, saying I need "my side"! Ha ha. Depending on what kind of car (or booth in a restaurant) I'm getting into, I sometimes need to sit and then swivel around. I'm approaching 4 years... but I've got my two lower lumbars that are in jeopardy to protect, as well as the whole shebang (T2-L4) that already got fused. No point in messing around.
    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

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