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Thread: The Date Is Set!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    95

    The Date Is Set!

    Hello all,

    I haven't been around for a while because I've been finishing off my music degree (got great results!! WOOHOO!) but I'm now out and ready to have the op. I've finally set the dates for my pre-op consultation and for the operation with my surgeon (Dr. Gavin Bowden - John Radcliffe in Oxford, UK) for the 6th October and 8th November, respectively. I'm feeling fairly positive about it all at the moment with the odd lapse of confidence here and there, usually regarding the potential increase in pain post-op compared to the minimal pain I experience now and, most of all, because of the very little there is to know about the long-term effects of Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation (anyone found any good studies?) but, overall, I'm feeling better than I thought I would. Don't you find the ambiguity of scoliosis and surgery the hardest thing to deal with? The research needed to make the 'right' decision seems to be endless!!!

    One problem I've been having is that I've been trying to get hold of my surgeon since June with some questions about when he thinks I'll be able to get back to work, which levels I'm getting fused and some other basic things, but he still hasn't replied despite telling me during my last consultation that he'd be available for any questions?! Is this normal?

    Hope you're all doing well and thanks for any help you might be able to give!

    B x
    Billy
    24 year old male from UK
    60 degree thoratic curve
    Around 40 degree correctional lumbar curve
    Fused T3-L1 on 3rd Jan 2012

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    billy good luck with your surgery
    Last edited by kennedy; 10-17-2011 at 05:23 PM.
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks Kara! So glad to see that you are doing well. x
    Billy
    24 year old male from UK
    60 degree thoratic curve
    Around 40 degree correctional lumbar curve
    Fused T3-L1 on 3rd Jan 2012

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    your welcome if you have questions about the surgery and recovery feel free to ask
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    Hi Bill,

    Congratz on scheduling your date! From what I've heard about the UK medical program, folks are not always very responsive to patients in a timely manner. My hubby just visited Oxford and absolutely loved it! He was on a project for a client in Banbury and had some free time, so went to Oxford for the day. Our daughter has been saying for years (she's just 11) that she plans to study law, psychology or anthropology at Oxford. We were planning a family trip to Oxford and Paris for springtime; however, my spinal situation has taken priority. I'm sure I'll enjoy the trip so much more after I have surgery.

    Warmly,
    Doreen
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

    http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    95
    Thanks Doreen. Well, hopefully he'll clear everything up when I go for the pre-op consultation in October!! Oxford is lovely. I don't live there but have a number of friends who went to the Oxford Uni and it's wonderful that your daughter wants to study there - she sounds bright as a button! I'll be recovering at my parents place in Windsor where I grew up so will have lovely walks to take and plenty of my old friends to keep me company! Thanks for the kind words and enjoy Oxford when you eventually make it!
    Billy
    24 year old male from UK
    60 degree thoratic curve
    Around 40 degree correctional lumbar curve
    Fused T3-L1 on 3rd Jan 2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    68
    First of all, congratulations on your music degree! I'm in the process of getting my music ed degree. (One of the best fields of study, but that's just my opinion.) : )

    I'm glad you were able to get a date. Not knowing what to expecit is probably one of the hardest things about this surgery. I had my surgery in November and was back in school full time right after Christmas break. I went back a little at a time 2 weeks after, but that was pushing it a lot. Hope everything works out for you and you have a successful surgery and recovery, and you can get back to music!! : )
    Katie

    My blog: http://scoliosis-braceyourself.blogspot.com/
    My video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NG9hMohsU0

    5 Boston back braces
    Spinal fusion- Nov. 17, 2009, senior year of high school
    52 and 57 degrees pre-surgery, 22 and 20 degrees post-surgery
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Shriners Children's Hospital, Chicago
    Back into volleyball and music as a senior in college!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    First of all congrats on making your dates! And don't feel bad about those moments of doubt. I'd say we all have them, even those of us who HAD to have the surgery. I was certain I was making the right choice, but I was still terrified about it. Thankfully I only had a month to be terrified. But what I did when I had those scared moments was repeat to myself why I was doing it now. I also tried to focus on the positives, like having a straight back, not having to worry about my curves progressing any more, things like that. Your date isn't too far out, which I think is a blessing. I don't know how people live with that date for a year or more! I'd have lost my mind lol.

    I would definitely want to know what plan your surgeon had for your spine, I'd say that is a bit unusual here. But I guess every surgeon is different. Also, my surgeon told me in my pre-op visits he was going to fuse me all the way to S1 and then when I came out of surgery he happily told me I was only fused to L4. So I guess plans change. But it is good to have an idea! =)

    Since I was already in pain pre-op I was scared of it getting worse (esp. since my surgeon warned me that could be the case with my leg pain) but so far for me, my pain has greatly decreased in one leg and is completely gone (as of 4-5 months post-op) in the other. I just decided that, worse case scenario, I'd rather be in pain with a straight back than be in pain with a crooked back that will eventually crush my insides.

    As you are getting ready, you may find the preparing for surgery page on my blog helpful.

    Blessings on your surgery!
    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/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Congrats on your degree and your scheduled surgery, Bill! It's frustrating that some surgeons are not as available to their patients as they should. I hope you get your answers soon. I don't think it's too much to ask, though I know our surgeons are busy.

    Best of luck! Glad you don't have too long to wait.

    Jen
    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
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Billy,
    Congratulations on getting your music degree! It's tough to make the decision to have surgery when you are in minimal pain. I was in minimal pain as well and was terrified of the surgery. I worried daily with "what if" thoughts prior to the surgery. I am happy to say that my recovery has (so far) been smooth with much less pain than I anticipated. Although recovery is no piece of cake, I am thrilled with the results and so happy that I decided to have the surgery. Best of luck and be sure to post after your surgery.
    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/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    918
    That's great about your music degree Bill and I'm wishing you all the best with your upcoming surgeries.
    Son 14 y/o diagnosed January 20th. 2011 with 110* Curve
    Halo Traction & 1st. surgery on March 22nd. 2011
    Spinal Fusion on April 19th. 2011

    Dr. Krajbich @ Shriners Childrens Hospital, Portland Oregon



    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-Before
    http://tinyurl.com/Elias-After

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,548
    Hi Bill
    Congrats on the music degree and your decision.

    Since you brought up the CD instrumentation subject, I ordered Dr Cotrel’s book “In the sands of Berck” today.

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/profess...-autobiography

    I remember when his system came out back in 1984 and was exited about it. This system was the launching of the pedicle screw used in all the scoli surgeries done today. Before this time, it was Harrington rods and Luque wires.

    All the best
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    44

    Post-op joy

    Yes congrats,
    I would also like to add, for those considering surgery that the post-op period is quite life changing. I felt a bit sorry for myself that I would be using all my accumulated sick and holiday pay on recovery. I am pleased to say though except for a bad two weeks in hospital, mainly due to a bowel ileus (sleepy bowel), recovery has been dreamlike. I have been enjoying walks and have really slowed down so I am noticing flowers etc that I would have overlooked in the past. I have really enjoyed quality time with family and friends, as well as reading and watching DVDs guilt free. This the holiday I always wanted but I think in holidays you always feel you should be on the go or productive. It sounds like you might be ready for this kind of break too. The area of my back that was concave is still quite numb and gets a bit achy at night but I feel that in time it will pass but may take months. I am now just over 4 weeks post-op and will be ready to return to work at 6 weeks, although my work isn't physical and quite cruisy.
    All the best
    Kelly
    Progress
    49 yrs
    55 deg thoraculumbar

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Kelly
    i am glad that you had a good experience with surgery...
    but i am absolutely shocked that you compare it to a vacation!!

    jess

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Glad that you made the decision to schedule surgery. Once I made the date to have surgery, I felt better; like I had a plan going forward. My current surgeon is wonderful about returning calls and emails. My first surgeon did not get back to me in a timely manner at all, but then I had nothing to compare it to. You need to get your questions and concerns answered in a timely manner


    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

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