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Thread: Surgery with Dr. Lenke

  1. #406
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Doreen--
    Your x-rays look just great! I can't believe how well you are doing at just 3 months! Wonderful. 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.

  2. #407
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535

    What Exactly is "Normal" Postop?

    Thanks, everyone!
    I'm wondering what people consider "feeling normal" once they are post op? For me, I wasn't feeling normal for years preop so I'm curious to know when I will feel a new normalcy with my body? Because my upper thighs are still numb (the left thigh more so than the right) I feel as if my steps are not solid when I walk. I know for a fact my gait is much slower because my daughter tells me how slow I walk now. A good portion of my chest is still numb along with my glutes and middle of my back.

    I forgot to mention, I think Dr. Lenke may have "crossed some wires" because if someone touches the hair on top of my head, I feel it in my back! LOL!

    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/

  3. #408
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329
    Doreen, it took me about a year before I felt like I walked the way I did before my surgery. I emailed Lindy (Dr. Boachie's nurse) a few times concerned that I walk with a bit of a swagger and that I could not walk fast. Her response was that I shouldn't try to walk any faster then I am, and that I have to get used to my new back, straight posture, etc. I'm 14 months post-op and I am walking like I did pre-surgery. It takes time.... you'll get there. Take care, Lynn
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  4. #409
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Hello, Doreen.

    I obviously don't have the answers to your questions, as I have not had surgery. I do not feel a sense of normalcy in my body right now, either. You are walking farther than I can. I stiffen up at about 2-1/2 miles, so it seems you are doing great!

    I must apologize. I've been kind of out of the loop for awhile due to some personal issues of my own. I wanted to say how sorry I am about your mom. I lost my dad in March and we were very close, too. Your mom was able to be there for you in your hour of need. That's very important to a mom, as you yourself know. So she was able to do this last "big" thing for you as I'm sure you would also do for your own child/ren regardless of how you yourself felt. So you always have that comfort with you.

    I was looking at all of your before and after photos and x-rays, including your 12 week ones. I must say that I noticed something that gave me encouragement. You are by no means a "heavy" woman. But if you look at your befores, even in the x-rays, you can see what the scoliosis has done to your skin by mushing it all together giving you folds and creases that are now completely GONE in your after photos and x-rays. Many women are self-conscious about these skin creases, I think mostly due to advertizing false conceptions of what a woman's body should look like.

    The only reason I even bring this up is because I am an extremely thin woman, 5'7" and about 117#. When I look in the mirror at my back, I can see that I have these skin folds around and near my rib humps as well. The first time I noticed it, I was in shock simply because of my already overly thin state. Now when I see photos of the before and afters, I am totally amazed. I don't want you to think I'm implying in any way that this phenomenon is unique to you, because I've seen it on other people as well. I also know that we don't have a surgery this dangerous for cosmetic reasons, but it is a perk. You look so amazing! I hope this isn't coming off as shallow, since I'm aware that beauty comes from within and I know you were just as beautiful before as you are after. I'm just amazed at the difference is all.

    If I'm not coming off as my usual self, it's because I'm having a hard time gathering my thoughts and typing them out. I just had an unrelated surgery on Friday. This was actually a wake-up call to me as to why I'm not ready for scoliosis surgery. They had a hard time getting my pain under control because of my tolerance to opiod medications. There's an excellent reason right there to get OFF of them if at all possible, which I already knew. I don't like being on them anyway because even though they keep my scoli pain down, how will I respond to anesthesia and pain control AFTER? I could ramble on and on about this, but it gave me a new perspective on things. My pain still isn't well controlled and my tummy is having a hard time coming to life again.

    I just want to thank you for sharing this whole thing with us and wish you the very best. I'm falling asleep, so I'd better go. Keep up the good work and I hope your recovery continues to be smooth and you are strong.

    Sincerely,
    Rohrer01

  5. #410
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535

    I Did It!!!

    I stopped taking pain meds!!!!! I talked with Dr. Lenke's physical therapist yesterday (who I'll meet in May) and she is sending me some exercises that I can incorporate with my daily walking. She said walking is so crucial during the first year to help with fusion. She also said that patients who regularly exercised preop are always eager to resume some sort of exercise in addition to walking. I'm excited to see what she sends me.

    Evelyn, I'm scheduled to see Dr. Lenke May 16 but we'll arrive on the 15th. That will be great if you are in town at the same time. Keep me posted.

    Rohrer01 - Thank you for your condolences. For years I thought I was getting "fat" because of the rolls I'd see on my back despite my weight not increasing. It really messed with my mind because no matter how hard I worked out, the rolls of fat became more prominent. Little did I know that my collapsing spine was the culprit. Praying for your recovery. :-)

    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. #411
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Doreen
    are you only 3 months out..that is what it looks like by your surgery date in your signature....
    is it not too early to be "normal" yet...?
    major surgery causes so many changes in the body....it takes a while to get back to any kind of normal...
    if you break a bone, any doctor tells you it takes at least a year to really knit back...
    so imagine how long your poor spine will take, and the rest of your body!

    congratulations on getting off meds...
    please take one if you hit a bad day, or the weather gets funky....
    please do not try to "tough it out"
    it costs the body too much....

    jess

  7. #412
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Congratulations on getting off your pain meds. I still took Tylenol after I got off the heavy stuff and started feeling so much better. If you are like me and enjoy exercising, you might expect more than what Janet will give you. At least, I felt like I could gain strength withbnew exercises in areas that i didn't hit with walking and I knew that Janet was conservative so that I didn't do anything that would detrimental.
    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/

  8. #413
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535

    International Travel

    Since our trip to Paris this spring was postponed because of my surgery/recovery, we are planning the trip for the end of the year. For those who are postop, has anyone traveled on a long flight ~9 hours? How was that experience?

    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/

  9. #414
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Doreen,

    We flew to Seattle from Providence, RI at about 8 months post-op, and although it wasn't 9 hours, it still was a long flight with a layover in Chicago. I had no problems what-so-ever. My doctor told me to take an aspirin before getting on the flight to prevent blood clots and to get up and move around as much as possible. You might be flying at night and might even sleep most of the time. You should be fine. Have a great trip and don't worry.
    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.

  10. #415
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    201

    Flying

    Paris?? Sweet!!! I'd be interested to hear about this as well. We are traveling to DC in April and it will be my first trip on a plane since my surgery. Although the flight is only an hour and a half, I wonder about the seat. Our next long trip will be when I'm 2 years post op and I'm sure by then I'll be completely back to normal.
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

  11. #416
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535

    Oh no

    Surrounded by tornadoes

    Hard to get down to basement fast

    Leak in basement hubby on plane heading home from Seattle

    Sheesh
    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/

  12. #417
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Doreen1 View Post
    Surrounded by tornadoes

    Hard to get down to basement fast

    Leak in basement hubby on plane heading home from Seattle

    Sheesh
    Hope everything is OK

    Will keep you in my prayers
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  13. #418
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535

    Silly Question

    Will I ever be able to wear high heels again?

    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/

  14. #419
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    I have been wearing high heels for some time now and I am a lot older than you. No problem!
    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/

  15. #420
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    200
    Karen,
    As always, I smile in amazement at your accomplishments...tap dancing, golf and heels, too! Can I ask how high the heels are? I've been ""strutting" my 1.5 inchers (Hahah) but feeling pretty envious of those in higher heels.
    Kathy
    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/

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