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Thread: A curious question.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arizona
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    64

    A curious question.

    Curious!!!!!!
    I'm asking if anyone else out there has had the following experience. The last 2 or 3 weeks since my surgery my joints seem to crack and pop like never before. I am quite active, but cautious considering my condition. What really concerns me~ sometimes, in spite of trying to use proper body mechanics I feel like I feel it happening in the tailbone and middle back areas. This may be my imagination, because, I am so afraid I might dislodge some of the hardware. Thanks for any input~
    Gayle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    166
    My lower back pops a lot more than it used to before surgery... It didn't really start doing it until I was pretty well healed and stopped being so stiff/cautious and nervous about proper body mechanics though...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    216
    My back popping sounds started in October..1 yr. 8 months post- op. Hmm? Where is Linda Racine when we need her? I know she will have an explanation. We are only accepting good news today...so keep that in mind when you reply. HA!


    Gail

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
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    Arizona
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    thanks guys`

    Thanks alot for your quick responses. Your replies give me some peace of mind. Like everyone else, after one goes through this surgery and recovery proess, its not on the top of my priority list to repeat because of careless behavior.
    Gayle

  5. #5
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Hi...

    Sorry I wasn't here earlier. I know that I've spoiled you into thinking I'm always available. ;-) (Actually, I have a good excuse. I was visiting a patient from out-of-town who had her surgery at UCSF on Thursday.)

    While I've heard the same complaint of noise from patients before, I've never heard a doctor talk about this. So, I'm just guessing. Just like when you crack your knuckles, I believe that the noise comes from nitrogen gas being released from the joint space. If you're getting cracking from within the fusion area, I suspect that means you're getting movement there, which would be a problem since the joint won't fuse unless it can't move.

    When I had my surgery, I was told to severely limit the movement of my back. The only exercise I was allowed for the first 6 mos. was walking. It seems that lately I've been hearing that some doctors are saying thta there shouldn't be a lot of limits. I don't have a clue if that's a good strategy or not.

    Regards,
    Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arizona
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    Thanks

    Linda,

    To the rescue again! What would we do without you! Perhaps you are right, you have really got us spoiled....:>) See my surgeon Tuesday, will pose the question to him, let you all know what I find out. Thanks so much.

    The only real movement without my brace is in bed at night, I turn on to my side (as little as possible), try to adhere to the log rolling method they taught me in rehab. Anyone have any suggestions on this technique of subject.

    Gayle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Hi Gayle...

    I don't know if it's the same thing, but for the past 2-3 years, when I first get in bed, I lay on my back until my back muscles have relaxed. (OUCH!) Then, when I turn to my side, it's uncomfortable until I move my hips a little. At that time, I get a lot of cracking in my lower back, below my fusion. It actually feels like it's my S-I joints. I worry that I'm making trouble for myself in the future, but I really can't get comfortable until I make that adjustment.

    I'll definitely be curious to hear what your doctor says.

    Regards,
    Linda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Posts
    114
    hi, gayle...your popping question is timely; i noticed just last week that when i take a deep breath (which isn't all that easy or often), my spine occasionally pops between my shoulder blades! i'm fused from t3 to s1, so i didn't expect any noise back there, so i suppose the joints above t3 are the culprits. when i was x-ray'd thursday all looked fine and dandy. i'm looking forward to hearing what your dr. says about your progress...
    Sue


    Milwaukee Brace from ages 8 - 16
    T36 degrees/L56 degrees Pre-Op
    Fused T3 - S1
    Surgery done Sept. 15, 2004
    Dr. Robert G. Viere
    North Texas Spine Care @ Baylor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    166
    Another thing it could be is your ribs popping. I'm fused from T2 to L1, and frequently get that sort of popping... Somebody I spoke to suggested it could be ribs moving in and out of alignment.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    544
    I just asked my physical therapist that same question! I didn't start getting the popping noises until I started physical therapy. He said that it was a good sign. He said that with my muscles and stuff starting to loosen up and the swelling going down that you start to get more room for things to move around. He said (in my case) things have been so jammed together that as I get more room inside things are rubbing against each other causing the popping sounds. As the swellling goes down and the muscles loosen up more I should hear less of the noise. I wasn't allowed to do any type of stretching or exercising (besides daily moving around) except walking until a month ago which was 7 months post op.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    64

    Dr's response to curious ?

    Hi Guys,
    I would like to thank everyone for your input. Had my 6 week appointment with my surgeon and his answer was: The popping and cracking is caused by the structural changes in my frame. My surgery changed my physical center of gravity and the popping and cracking is the joints response to these changes. He was not concerned and said there was no set time on how long it could last. My x-ray showed that all the hardware is in place and everything looks fine. His answer put my mind at ease, and since my surgery experience I trust him explicitly.
    Gayle

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    That's great news...thanks for sharing.

    Gail

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