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Thread: 5 1/2 Month Check-Up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704

    5 1/2 Month Check-Up

    Many of you on the forum know the agony I went through for 13 months waiting for my surgery date with issues of fear and mostly doubt about the decision to have surgery. In my mind at the time, I was giving up a life that I loved of playing golf, tap dancing, working in the yard, riding my bike, exercising with friends at the Y, etc. for one that was going to involve a long recovery and full of uncertainties. To top it off, I really wasn't in a lot of pain, especially when i was active. (However, standing for a long period of time was tough, as well as certain activities, such as, raking leaves) I can honestly say that I haven't regretted having the surgery for a single day. Fortunately, my recovery has been smooth and I feel like I'm getting more of my muscle tone back. I am walking 5-6 miles a day and using the Y pool once or twice a week. Physical therapy will start in July when I'm 6 months post-op. Without encouragement from friends from this forum that I was making a good choice for my future, I may have not taken the plunge. Fortunately, Dr. Lenke told me that my prognosis was not good if I didn't have the surgery in the next few years, so I knew I had to make a choice that was in my best interest for my future. Not only do I feel great with just an occasional ache here and there that lasts a few minutes, I look so much better. I've had two ex-boyfriends tell me that I look 10-15 years younger since the surgery. (and I thought I was hiding the scoliosis with loose fitting tops!)
    I've rambled on too long. My advice to those waiting for surgery is to get in the best physical shape possible and choose the best surgeon for scoliosis even if it means leaving your state. Also, have a positive attitude with reasonable expectations during recovery. I expected to feel lousy for the first month, so it wasn't a disappointment.
    My check up yesterday went well. I've been given permission to chip and putt, so I'm off for a 7:00 am tee time with my friends.
    Thanks for being my support group!
    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/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    17

    timely comments

    I am scheduled to have my surgery on July 12th. I am a frequent reader of this forum and want to thank everyone for their willingness to share their experiences. Staying connected to all of you has allowed me to be better informed of the varied aspects of making the decision to go forward with surgery as well as the ups and downs of recovery. Karen, I am happy that your recovery has gone so well and I can only hope that I too can be walking 5-6 miles a day at 5mos post op! A good goal for me! Thanks again for your post.
    Nan
    Surgery July 12th
    University of Utah
    Michael Daubs MD

  3. #3
    backissues Guest
    Karen,
    Great news!! I'm so happy that your recovery is going so well. Having a new body shape is the bonus in all of this besides having the mechanics fixed and the pain removed.

    I'm also happy to hear you will be starting golf and know how much you miss it. Last Sunday, I walked the beach pain free for the first time in many many years. Like you with golf, I enjoy the beach a great deal.

    Hopefully, it is all good from now on.

    Enjoy the summer!!

    Irene

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    What a great post Karen! Lovely to hear you haven't had a moment of regret.

    "My advice to those waiting for surgery is to get in the best physical shape possible and choose the best surgeon for scoliosis"

    That would be my best advice as well. For those who can't exercise because of pain, try to keep the weight off and eat healthily.
    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
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    I forgot to mention that the tall, slender, and straight LaurieAnne (from the forum) was sweet enough to wait around after our appointments which were way behind schedule anyway so that we could meet. You'll have to check out her amazing before and after pictures from one of her recent posts. Laurie Anne: It was nice to meet you and your mother!
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Karen,
    I am so happy for you. It is great when you can get back to doing the things you love to do. Take care, Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    265
    WOOOO HOOOO!!!!

    You are truly like my soul sister. And we've never even met! I felt that right from the beginning when we were both awaiting our surgeries. Such similar surgeries and recoveries, and so close to the same time. I am so glad you are doing so well. I never doubted it! I, too, have never regretted the surgery. I find myself doing so much better than I imagined, and the "limitations" not so limiting as I thought. Here's to a toast to you, and all you other friends who are on this forum, helping others get through this thing called scoliosis. Cheers!!
    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=

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    Jenee',
    I feel the same way, soul sister. As you know, there are others who haven't had the smooth recovery that we are enjoying so far, and while we aren't boasting about it, I feel those waiting for surgery need to know that some of us do not have complications. Cheers to you, as well! Thanks!
    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/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Karen,

    Just catching up with the posts here, and so glad to see you are still doing well!!! Love your post and am following your advice. I have been working out a lot, lost a few pounds and plan to keep it up.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again for being an inspiration. And, wow, I saw that your curve is down to 25 degrees!

    Smiles,
    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    I forgot to mention that the tall, slender, and straight LaurieAnne (from the forum) was sweet enough to wait around after our appointments which were way behind schedule anyway so that we could meet. You'll have to check out her amazing before and after pictures from one of her recent posts. Laurie Anne: It was nice to meet you and your mother!
    Hi Karen,

    It was GREAT to meet you too! I'm so impressed with Dr. Lenke's handywork We are so fortunate to have a top surgeon in our backyard! They are always running behind but for good reason and it's worth the wait. I'm so glad you are doing so well! My back pain has improved some as my PT referred me to a medical massage specialist who does myofacial release therapy. I have only had one session so far but it made quite a difference on my lower left side. I'm hoping to get similar results on the right side and on rib pain too. Only down-side is cost and insurance doesn't cover but if it works it's worth it! I was so impressed to hear that you are able to walk 4-5 miles per day...WOW! I hope I will be able to do that soon. Right now I tank out between 1.5-2 as the pain gets too intense. I will keep trying though..lol. Take care and keep in touch!
    Laurie Anne
    Age 30
    Pre-Op Curves T68, L80, Kyphosis 48 degrees
    Post-Op Curves both around 10 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke & Dr. Kelly 12/13/10
    Gained 2.5 inches now 5'9
    PRE-OP Photos: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...urieScoliosis/
    5 Mos Post Op: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...s%20Post%20Op/
    1-Year Post Op: http://s1080.photobucket.com/albums/...r%20Post%20Op/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Congratulations! I still remember the 1st time I just tried to swing a club. I'm very happy for you...

    Swing away,
    Shari

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704

    Setting it straight with # of miles

    In my post, I said that I walk 5-6 miles a day, however, I am using a pedometer that keeps track of the entire day counting steps while I'm walking the dogs, walking in the grocery store, walking in the house, walking on the golf course, etc. When I go for my daily major walk, it's about 3 miles. I walk a little further ir it's on the golf course, but there are lots of stops while people hit their balls.
    For you golfers out there: I have putted a few times, but yesterday was the first day I chipped. Yikes! I told my husband I must have had oxygen deprivation during surgery because I forgot how to chip! I guess I was trying to stand up tall and straight and it just doesn't work that way. I was probably not keeping my head still either. It got better after a few holes.
    Thanks, everyone, for your replies.
    Karen

    Shari,
    We made reservations for FL for a few weeks of golf in late Feb. I am taking a lesson before we leave if Dr. Lenke gives me permission in Jan. because I know it will be a different swing. How's your golf game after recovery? I remember reading one of your posts last year about having a good game (I think it was yours)
    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/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105

    Cool

    Good memory Golfnut... It did take me a little while, but my swing in the last 2 years is as good if not better than pre-op. Of course not every time I go out, but on a good day I'm very happy. Good shootin' in FL.

    Shari

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