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Thread: It's officially scheduled...but not until Jan.2012

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    South Jersey
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    It's officially scheduled...but not until Jan.2012

    I have 3 months to get ready, mentally - physically - and emotionally - but it's official. I am scheduled for the biggest surgery of my life - my third and hopefully last surgery on my back. It will be 1 hospitalization: 2 surgeries one week apart - the first will be on Jan.24,2012 and the second will be on Jan.31,2012. The doctor will first remove my L5-S1 disc anteriorly (after the vascular surgeon gains access to the area) and replace it with a metal cage spacer and bone protein with the intention of fusing it (and hopefully decreasing, if not eliminating, the majority of my pain). I will remain in ICU 2-3 days depending on how well i do post-op. He will take standing xrays of me once out of ICU to determine how well my Flatback has been corrected - if that portion of the surgery corrects it and i'm standing straight, then he will not need to perform any osteotomies. If not, then he will perform then in surgery 2, one week later. This is when he will remove my hardware (hooks and Harrington rods), fusing L1-S1 and into the pelvis. Again, ICU for a few days and then hopefully up and walking by day 2-3.

    Most likely, i will need some kind of post-op rehab (something i did not have with my 2 previous spinal fusions in '93 and '95) - i will either be going to an inpatient rehab facility for a week or having some home therapy (OT/PT) for a few weeks - he thinks this will be a good idea for me since i have two young children at home (2-1/2 yrs and 4-1/2 yrs) and i will need to be as strong as possible once i return home...kinda hard to explain to a 2 and 4 yr old why Mommy can't pick you up or play dress up or do all the things she used to do (atleast temporarily anyway) - if i decide to go to a rehab facility, it will be hard being on the "other side" (ie: rehab patient vs. rehab therapist...i'm an OT and i'm usually the one "rehab-ing" my patients!) But i think either way, rehab will be a good idea - i keep telling myself that my kids (and husband) deserve 100% of me...so as scary as these surgeries will be, i owe it to myself AND them to get a chance at a better quality of life...and i'm just hoping and praying that these surgeries will do that for me.

    So, with that, it's settled - - Jan.24 and Jan.31 it is then! I'm nervous and relieved all at the same time - nervous for the obvious reasons but relieved that now i have a date (goal) in sight - i have alot of pre-op testing and blood donations to do in the coming months and i will look to all of you for support when the months turn to weeks and eventually turn to days and hours before the big day....i give it all to Him and hope that in the end, the decision to have surgery (again!) was the right one.

    Anxious and waiting, but hopeful none-the-less,

    Michele
    Last edited by jerseyot; 10-21-2011 at 09:24 PM.
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Michele

    Great news! My rack was built on January 31st, thatís a good day! (smiley face)

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
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    Ed, that IS great news!!! I look forward to comparing "racks!" - Haha (smiley face) Thanks for boost - it made me smile!
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    Hi...

    Congratulations.

    I'm really shocked that you'll be in ICU at all for a 1 level anterior fusion. Do you know why he's planning that? Most of the patients I see who have one level anterior fusions in preparation for a second stage, are up, walking around, and in little if no pain.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Congratulations on setting the date. It's totally nerve-wracking but the wait's the worst part, at least it was for me. Wishing you great success and a smooth recovery.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
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    Jennifer, thank you for the well wishes. I am thinking that the wait really will be the hardest part (as will the times when i lie awake and start thinking!)

    Linda, i think my dr mentioned it so that i knew what the progression would be...surgery...ICU...regular room...surgery...ICU...regular room...etc - i don't think he is planning any specific length of time in ICU - he just mentioned it as he was explaining the timeline (which of course would be dependent upon how well i do post-op). I do need to mention that with my 2nd posterior spinal fusion in '95, i had difficulty with anesthesia - 'difficulty' is really an understatement though. During that operation, I woke up in the middle of the surgery, felt EVERYTHING, couldn't move or scream or do anything to signal that i was awake. My vitals went haywhire and i needed to be re-intubated while in recovery as a result (which again, i felt and was aware of) - as a result of what happened, my time in ICU folllowing that surgery doubled when compared to the first surgery...he is aware of what happened and what a traumatic impact it had on me (and still does) and was explaining that during and after each surgery, i will be monitored very closely. Today they call it "awareness." Whatever it was, i don't ever want to experience anything like that again...so that might be why he mentioned it.
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
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    2,224
    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyot View Post
    Jennifer, thank you for the well wishes. I am thinking that the wait really will be the hardest part (as will the times when i lie awake and start thinking!)

    Linda, i think my dr mentioned it so that i knew what the progression would be...surgery...ICU...regular room...surgery...ICU...regular room...etc - i don't think he is planning any specific length of time in ICU - he just mentioned it as he was explaining the timeline (which of course would be dependent upon how well i do post-op). I do need to mention that with my 2nd posterior spinal fusion in '95, i had difficulty with anesthesia - 'difficulty' is really an understatement though. During that operation, I woke up in the middle of the surgery, felt EVERYTHING, couldn't move or scream or do anything to signal that i was awake. My vitals went haywhire and i needed to be re-intubated while in recovery as a result (which again, i felt and was aware of) - as a result of what happened, my time in ICU folllowing that surgery doubled when compared to the first surgery...he is aware of what happened and what a traumatic impact it had on me (and still does) and was explaining that during and after each surgery, i will be monitored very closely. Today they call it "awareness." Whatever it was, i don't ever want to experience anything like that again...so that might be why he mentioned it.
    You poor thing. What a horrible experience I certainly wish you all the best going forward. Where are you having it done? I used to live in central NJ. Where are you?
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyot View Post
    JDuring that operation, I woke up in the middle of the surgery, felt EVERYTHING, couldn't move or scream or do anything to signal that i was awake.
    Yikes, not sure I would have the courage to sign up for another surgery after something like that. Hopefully, nothing like that will happen this time.

    I also had to be re-intubated while awake after my first scoliosis surgeries. Truly scary for a few seconds.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    good luck with your surgery
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Yikes, not sure I would have the courage to sign up for another surgery after something like that. Hopefully, nothing like that will happen this time.

    I also had to be re-intubated while awake after my first scoliosis surgeries. Truly scary for a few seconds.

    --Linda
    I'm not sure courage has anything to do with my decision to undergo a third back surgery - it's pretty much pain-driven for me at this point. I don't have any other options. I had sinus surgery in May of this year (a walk in the park compared to my past back surgeries!) - when i explained to the anesthesiologist what happened before, she assured me that medicine and anesthesia have come a LOOOOONG way since 1995 when this happened to me - and that now there are special monitors that alert them if the patient is starting to regain consciousness and so forth. Made me feel ALOT better. So yeah, i'm pretty nervous about having to undergo another surgery but the odds of that happening again are pretty low from what she said. Thank goodness!
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    congratulations on making the decision...
    even pain driven, i think it is still tough!

    i hope this is the last surgery you EVER need on your spine!!
    you have been thru so much, you really do deserve a break!!
    that thing with waking up and not being able to move, speak, etc...they made a movie about that not too long ago...pretty horrifying to all who watched the movie,
    so can only imagine what you must have gone thru...the complete total terror!
    but i have read the same things...that there are monitors hooked up so it cannot happen again, as the doctors watching would see the signs of the patient starting to become aware and they would know how to handle it...

    best of luck with everything...
    it sounds like a positive way to begin the new year

    jess

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