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Thread: Any ideas what's wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311

    Any ideas what's wrong?

    Today is the first day that I tackled a mall, and a discomfort that I had noticed before was more of a problem. High thoracic - pretty much between my shoulder blades - there is a feeling of heaviness. I can only describe it as a feeling that a 5 lb sandbag had been attached to my spine, in that area, and that heaviness was making the verts/muscles above that area uncomfortable - it takes effort to keep my neck up straight.
    This feeling of heaviness and cervical discomfort made it difficult to walk about and enjoy my shopping day, I gave up after an hour and a half. Eventually, I gave up and took an oxycodone, so that I could enjoy lunch out.
    Last evening, as my husband and I were leaving for a party, he said he thought it looked like I was pitching forward - a bit - again. After the surgeon corrected my sagittal imbalance in Feb, my posture was great.
    I am wondering if this could be due to muscle weakness, or maybe the area above my fusion is now becoming a problem, and/or my sagittal imbalance is for some reason coming back, or ???
    I admit, this has me a little on edge. Any thoughts?
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    By the end of the day I have heaviness/neck pain in my upper thoracic area - I think I am a day behind you for recovery.

    I've not ventured out for as long as you - but find the pain is relieved when I lay down in bed. I am not pitching forward at all but feel as if I am - it's because I used to have to put so much effort into standing upright (which I did, daily)!

    My guess is that this is one more of those freaky adjustments to make and that as time goes by the pain/discomfort will subside.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Red face

    Hi mgs
    When I went back to my one year checkup , I too mentioned to my doc that I had some neck weakness, and "between the shoulder blades" pain at times. He and his nurse told me it is very common , and that it is very important to strengthen the upper back muscles, along with my neck muscles. Possibly you overdid your activity? Maybe you can look into some gradual exercise for that area...good luck ;-)))
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Hope this is purely muscular mgs. Let us know how it goes. You're doing a lot for someone who's been through the mill backwards...take good care.
    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
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311
    ". . .through the mill backwards". . .I LOVE it!!. . .may I borrow it?

    You all are probably totally right. . .I quite possibly am overdoing my activity a bit. . .probably because I forget that I'm under 2 mos post-op, and think of myself as 19 mos post-op. Maybe I'll ask for a PT session, just to get advice as to what I can safely do to strengthen those muscles (I don't want to do anything to put at risk the fusion of the 3 levels that didn't fuse the first time).
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    Whenever I do too much I get the same issue, always have post-op. I found that PT strengthening of the upper body helped a bit, but when I am extra tired (even several months out) it still happens to some degree.

    Way to go on mall-ing! Try not to overdo it! In the words of Red Green... I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together.
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    I had a slight forward lean happening at about 2-3 months out. I attribute that to the muscle rebuilding, and was one time I forced myself to walk like a model. I walked the cat walk. Like a fused Chippendale dancer. Ye-ha!


    Fierce
    Well, How did it go at Twin? you ok?

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    haha, Ed, I so know what you mean about the cat walk walk. That is a pretty accurate description I'd say.

    Surgery went well, the hospital stay was pretty awful, but recovery is going well.
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Quote Originally Posted by mgs View Post
    ". . .through the mill backwards". . .I LOVE it!!. . .may I borrow it?

    You all are probably totally right. . .I quite possibly am overdoing my activity a bit. . .probably because I forget that I'm under 2 mos post-op, and think of myself as 19 mos post-op. Maybe I'll ask for a PT session, just to get advice as to what I can safely do to strengthen those muscles (I don't want to do anything to put at risk the fusion of the 3 levels that didn't fuse the first time).



    How are you doing now mgs?
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311
    I think that I have the dumbest answer in the world. . ."I'm not sure". (Thank you for asking!)

    There are a few pains that have caught my attention - ones that I did not experience after my first, and most aggressive, surgery - that make me wonder. . .But, I trust that if these discomforts are truly early indicators of problems, then Dr. Tribus can take care of them, down the road.

    I took it extra easy for the last week, and went back to the gym today. I did 30 mins on the treadmill, then about 45 mins in the warm water pool, then sat in the whirlpool (they have the windows there shaded like I sometimes see in Japanese decor, and have some aromatherapy going on - I was the only one in there - it was WONDERFUL!) then got a shower, dried my hair. . .and walked out into the pouring rain. I've decided to (try to) spend this week just doing this routine, see how it goes, and try not to overthink my concerns.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    In those early days, pains come and go, mostly without knowing why. I am sure you will know if something feels "not right." Take it easy and give your body time to heal, though walking's good. Your back has taken a beating and it's possible (though I could be very wrong) that it might need a little longer than others who've only had the one surgery.
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    122
    I have been having the very same as you described in my thoracic area. I have alot of problems and pain, but when you described that, I knew it was the same. It does feels like a heavy sandbag or something. I have been having a very hard time standing walking upright now as well. The heaviness starts burning too. I am about 6 mos post op and I started having the heavy feeling. If you find out what is causing it please post.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    152
    Im 6 months post op and I have the same feeling you describe too.
    Ive said to my hubby when we are out walking that it feels as if im wearing a back pack, it makes it feel such hard work to be on my feet sometimes.

    Im now experiencing a 'digging' pain under my right shoulder blade near to the area I had my costoplasty, this worries me a little.
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    122

    bluestone

    You are 6 mos post op from what type of surgery? You must have had 2 ? One in March 2010?
    The digging also is a familiar feeling . I have it like a dagger in my mid low back where the rod ends.

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