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Thread: How long before you can "sit" normal? Also a question about socks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213

    How long before you can "sit" normal? Also a question about socks

    Hi Everyone,

    Well, it's been almost seven weeks post surgery and yesterday my husband drove me to church for the first time (I would have gone last week, but dropping off sister at airport).

    ANYWAY, the chairs at church are lightly padded, so I didn't bring my "pillow" in with me (I am still using a pillow for my back for sitting in chairs, cars, etc). I tried to sit back and lean against the cushion but could only do it for a short time before it became uncomfortable...so I spent most of the service just sitting "erect" in my chair which lead to one aching back by the end of the service. Went home, took my scheduled pain dosage and slept for 1.5 hours.

    I realize I am not a big person--and my legs aren't long enough to get the bottom of my back up to the back of the chair, but pre-surgery wasn't a problem (I guess I slouched in the chairs).

    How long post-op was it before you could just sit and lean back normally in a normal chair? BTW, I am fused both top and bottom....so there isn't much give anywhere.

    Also, for others fused like me, can you get your socks on by yourself...well, after you are totally fused, or do you still need the sock tool forever after?

    Enquiring minds want to know what others can do!
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
    Posts
    329
    "I realize I am not a big person--and my legs aren't long enough to get the bottom of my back up to the back of the chair, but pre-surgery wasn't a problem (I guess I slouched in the chairs)".
    __________________________________________________

    I had my surgery to the sacrum last December, and I have the same issues. While I'm not in pain, I cannot sit in a chair without a pillow behind my lumbar area. I find it very uncomfortable even sitting on a living room sofa or cushioned chair, unless I put a small pillow behind me. Since there is no flexibility, it effects my neck if I'm sitting straight back on a high chair. I always bring my pillow on the bus commuting to work, to restaurants, to friends homes, the car, everywhere. It really gets better, it's a big adjustment. As far as the socks, well, that's a challenge. You're only seven weeks so I'm not sure if you can do this yet but I kneel on one knee and put the sock on the other foot. Now stockings/tights, that's a whole other story! I either sit on a very low chair (similar to a child's chair) or I sit on a toilet seat since that's low and bend forward to put them on. We do get creative! It does get better. 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)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    I think I was about 6 months post op when I no longer needed the sock aide. I was pretty fast with it so didn't really rush into not using it. I still am not very comfortable leaning back in any chair or even in the car without a pillow behind my back. When we go out to eat, I may lean back temporarily, but am actually just as comfortable sitting erect. (now 9 months post op)
    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/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,958
    I'm 8 months postop, and still need to use the sock tool. Not sure I'll ever be able to put socks on without it.

    I wasn't truly comfortable sitting in most chairs until I was about 6 months postop.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I probably carried a pillow around for 4-5 months. Maybe even a little longer!! I can't remember exactly when I could sit normally, but it was probably less than a year. I'm almost 3 years post-op,, and there are a few cars where my spine doesn't fit without pillows. My husband's Honda Element and another friend's car (can't remember make/model.) The problem with those cars is the head rest pitches me forward, and then my spine can't fit into the back of the seat.

    I fit perfectly in my 2004 honda odysey, and just about everywhere else!!
    Last edited by debbei; 10-13-2011 at 05:43 AM.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213
    Stockings and tights, eh? Ha!!!! I think I have one or two pairs probably rotting in a drawer somewhere. At this point I am so glad that all of my business suits have pants and not skirts. Maybe I am a bit of feminist at heart--what I bring to the workplace are my brain cells, not eye candy in the form of skirts...

    Sorry, that just struck me as so funny Lynn, when you mentioned stockings and tights...they are just so off my radar and even more so now.

    Thank you to everyone on the update on how you are able to sit (or not sit) without wonderful pillows--I am feeling normal now.... :-)
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    99
    Sock aid?! How does that work??

    B
    Billy
    32 year old male from UK
    Fused at 25yrs
    62 degree thoratic curve
    45 degree lumbar curve
    Fused T3-L1 on 3rd Jan 2012

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    10
    Hi all

    Hope I am replying in the right place.

    My experiences nearly 2 years on. I never got on with the sock aid at all! I used to get my biggest socks, lay them on the carpet, wiggle my toes into the very top and then push my foot into the sock while it was clinging to the carpet - does that make sense? I got really good at that - it was some time until I was able to start lifting my leg up or crouching down to get them on. If i needed to wear "smart" socks, someone would have to help me !

    Being thin (and short) I have found it difficult to sit in chairs with hard backs for years anyway and always used a cushion in the car for comfort. Post-op I used cushions/pillows all the time and while it isn't such a problem now, I still use one for my chair at work, in cars, when going out to eat, etc. My favourite cushion has travelled to the US from the UK twice this year and been invaluable. It might look silly to others, but who cares - we have to endure enough, we might as well get comfort where we can! And I certainly needed it bouncing around Monument Valley in a jeep LOL

    I agree - it's nice to be in a place where we feel normal !

    Vicky

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdattempt View Post
    Post-op I used cushions/pillows all the time and while it isn't such a problem now, I still use one for my chair at work, in cars, when going out to eat, etc. My favourite cushion has travelled to the US from the UK twice this year and been invaluable.
    Vicky
    Hi Vicky,

    What size pillow are you talking about: bed pillow, sofa throw pillow, etc.?

    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/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    10
    Hi Doreen

    My 'old faithful' cushion is about 14x14 and quite soft/squidgey. It is a throw cushion from my sofa (or was!) I do wonder if it acts something like a child's "comfort blanket" now - having that bit of home comfort with me LOL Seriously - it's just good to know that when I get on a plane, into a strange car, restaurant chair or whatever, it won't hurt my back. I also have a problem with the screws at the top of my fusion so this particularly applies to any high-backed seat - like on a plane or in a car. I have come close to losing it a time or two (by getting up and walking out without thinking) but thankfully managed to retrieve it each time - including from a taxi cab one time! It has become something of a joke with my friends, as you can imagine

    Immediately post-op I used pillows and cushions of every description including one of those V shaped ones. My first 3 months weren't good and anything that helped was precious.

    I have been following the story of your on/of/on op and am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for you in the run up to your scheduled date.


    Vicky

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213
    Sock Aid for Bendy Bill:

    It works pretty good with like an ankle sock--it's shaped like 1/2 of a tube with a rope attached to both sides of half the tube. You thread your sock up the tube and then you lower it to the floor and you push your foot through the sock on th

    Here's a youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us0bcyyoAaE


    Pillows...right now I am bought a bunch of regular bed/sleep pillows and have them everywhere in house and the car. My science experiment will be this: I am going to cut up some memory foam (the solid, good quality you order to top your bed) into pillow size and throw them into pillow cases. I am hoping this will make for a bit flatter pillow that isn't so "huge" looking as a regular bed pillow. I could even alter the pillow case to the size of the memory foam so it doesn't look so silly.

    Anyway, that's my future experiment (waiting for new memory foam I will use on current bed and will cut up the smaller piece I have on my bed now).
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdattempt View Post
    Hi Doreen

    My 'old faithful' cushion is about 14x14 and quite soft/squidgey. It is a throw cushion from my sofa (or was!) I do wonder if it acts something like a child's "comfort blanket" now - having that bit of home comfort with me LOL Seriously - it's just good to know that when I get on a plane, into a strange car, restaurant chair or whatever, it won't hurt my back. I also have a problem with the screws at the top of my fusion so this particularly applies to any high-backed seat - like on a plane or in a car. I have come close to losing it a time or two (by getting up and walking out without thinking) but thankfully managed to retrieve it each time - including from a taxi cab one time! It has become something of a joke with my friends, as you can imagine

    Immediately post-op I used pillows and cushions of every description including one of those V shaped ones. My first 3 months weren't good and anything that helped was precious.

    I have been following the story of your on/of/on op and am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for you in the run up to your scheduled date.


    Vicky
    Even though I'm not yet post-op, sitting is very difficult for me in two areas: ribs pressing in to pelvis and tailbone area. During Sunday's Bible study, I decided to sit on our friends' dining room chair because it was firmer than their cushy couch. While the stiff back of the chair was okay, when I tried standing up 1 hour later, oh my gosh, I could barely do it. Jeremy had to pull me up into a standing position because my tailbone/bum area hurt so badly despite there being a cushioned seat on the chair. Has anyone had a sitting issue pre-op?

    Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts, Vicky.

    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/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    201
    Omigosh, I have the same issue!! Then I read somewhere recently that most cars have the head rests pitched more forward to help reduce whiplash in the event of an accident. I will be in the market for a new car soon and will have to make sure the headrest is comfortable. I guess my upper back was rounded before my surgery which kept my head slightly forward.

    I guess I will have to become a pillow toter as well.
    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!)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Marina63 View Post
    Omigosh, I have the same issue!! Then I read somewhere recently that most cars have the head rests pitched more forward to help reduce whiplash in the event of an accident. I will be in the market for a new car soon and will have to make sure the headrest is comfortable. I guess my upper back was rounded before my surgery which kept my head slightly forward.

    I guess I will have to become a pillow toter as well.
    Yep, if I want to sit in one of 'those' cars with the stinky headrest, I need a little pillow behind my back. When I drive with my husband in his 2008 Honda Element, he took the headrest from the passenger side and reversed it. I'm fine that way.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    201
    Reversing the head rest !!?!?! Brilliant! I need to try that.
    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!)

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