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Thread: Things that are Done Differently Post-Op

  1. #1
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    Things that are Done Differently Post-Op

    I read a lot of comments where people mentioned that they can do most of everything they did before, but differently. Things like squatting to pick things off the floor, tying shoe lases, legs shaving, walking dogs, etc.

    I wanted to start a thread where we can talk about things that are done differently post-op and keep it all in one place. If you found a creative way of doing something that you thought youíd never be able to do anymore, can you please share it with me?

    Also, itís embarrassing to ask personal questions on a public forumÖ but does it mean that if youíre fused to the sacrum, you canít move in bed at all? Can you move your hips? I am afraid to be like a sack of potatoes in bed (you know what I mean). If anyone feels comfortable talking about this, please PM me. Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    My answers pertain to me. It may be different for others.

    Putting socks on: Sit, hoist foot onto your knee, put sock on, done.
    Picking small item off floor: Either squat, or if squatting is a problem for the knees, spread legs apart and swoop down, giraffe-like, and hope nobody's watching.
    Shaving legs: Initially, until you regain some flexibility, attach wooden spoon handle to shaver. Good if you have a stool to prop your foot onto, too.
    Putting jeans on: With one hand dangle jeans so that you can put one foot in, while leaning against, or holding with your other hand, the door frame. Repeat with other side. I find since fusion, I can't lift my knees up very high like I once could, so I dangle the jeans low.
    In bed: Fusion has made no difference. Yes, you can move your hips, no problem.

    For me, getting into jeans or shaving my legs is the most difficult, but it's still definitely do-able.
    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

  3. #3
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    Thanks for asking all of my questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    I read a lot of comments where people mentioned that they can do most of everything they did before, but differently. Things like squatting to pick things off the floor, tying shoe lases, legs shaving, walking dogs, etc.

    I wanted to start a thread where we can talk about things that are done differently post-op and keep it all in one place. If you found a creative way of doing something that you thought youíd never be able to do anymore, can you please share it with me?

    Also, itís embarrassing to ask personal questions on a public forumÖ but does it mean that if youíre fused to the sacrum, you canít move in bed at all? Can you move your hips? I am afraid to be like a sack of potatoes in bed (you know what I mean). If anyone feels comfortable talking about this, please PM me. Many thanks!
    Irina: Thanks so much for asking many of the same questions that I have! Sounds like you will have your surgery before I do [I'm not scheduled, but will see what happens in January with my return visit to Dr. Hart]. I worked in OB GYN for 23 years, so I feel really comfortable just asking the sex question. I asked Dr. H at the last visit, "How do women with a fusion to the pelvis have sex?" He got this startled look on his face and said, "There isn't a problem" or something like that and then changed the subject. It is difficult for me to imagine that there won't be a change in what we are able to do, but I thought that it was humorous that he just brushed it off. I look forward to seeing what other women say.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  4. #4
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    On the subject of sex and recovery, what you think might be bad, could be good.....Watch this video and you will understand. (smiley face)

    I wouldnít try to anticipate whatís going to be good or bad. Recovery can be tough, but things change and hopefully it all comes out good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP2h1gJcsHU

    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

  5. #5
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    Ed,

    I loved this! Thanks!

    Tamena

  6. #6
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    Ed, you are so down to earth! Susan PS: I hit the link that you had provided....but was worried what I might find since we were talking about sex....fooled me!
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  7. #7
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    Ed, you are a hoot! Only you!!! Thanks for being so active on the forum.
    Heidi
    Scheduled for surgery with Dr. Lenke Oct. 2012
    53*T 71*L
    Surgery 10/05/2012 T4-pelvis
    Correction: looks perfect! Will find out how perfect at future appointments

  8. #8
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    Good one, Ed!
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  9. #9
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    That's good!

  10. #10
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    Ed, we always appreciate your humor, as well as your good advice.
    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
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    reno,nevada
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    Thx guys

    Words of wisdom, courtesy of Archie Campbell and Hee Haw. Irina, we grew up watching this program years ago....Between that and the Benny Hill show, Iíve realized that humor is essential. Itís a release.

    Now that I really think about it, the only challenges that really stand out for me now, are all related to skiing. Putting on ski boots is quite a challenge with a full fusion. I get it done.

    This really is the small stuff. Its ending up pain free or with a decent reduction in pain that really matters....An improvement over the deep dull aches, and the high probability of major pain events of living with scoliosis is all we truly need. Those that have experienced major pain will understand this. Karen Ockerís complication here recently kind of rang the bell for me, but I know that if I have to go back in, Iím prepared. I wont let these things wear on me, its not a daily worry in other words. Its kind of like falling out of the airplane....Thatís bad. No, thatís good.

    I would like to be more active here, but my eyes have been my biggest problem and Iím struggling with reading after work. Its time for new glasses again. I will buy 2 pairs of readers since they are cheap, wait a few weeks and then pinch for the progressiveís.

    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

  12. #12
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
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    I can't stoop down anymore

    Here are things I can't do or have difficulty with after fusion T8-sacrum:

    Looking for things under the bed. I have to lay down completely on the floor on my belly to do this. Oh wait, that's what the kids are for!

    Getting things out of low cabinets that are in the back. I can't stoop down to look, I have to kneel and reach. Or I just call the kids to do it...

    Picking stuff up off the floor. I am still on bending restrictions until I reach 12 months post-revision, so I am constantly annoyed by getting stuff off the floor. The grabbers are never where I need them, and I don't have any at work. So I squat, but some days my knees don't like it. I have a lot of pets (chickens/dogs/etc) and their water dishes are all at ground level. I do a lot of squatting to change these every day. My job as a nurse also requires lots of awkward positions and I am finding new ways to deal with these demands. It would probably be better if I had a less physically-demanding job, but alas, that's not what I do.

    Cutting my toenails. I have tried, but at this point while still restricted from bending it is pretty impossible. So pedicures every month it is.

    Getting in and out of a tent while camping. I end up crawling on my hands and knees, and it is very awkward.

    Picking stuff up off the floor of the car. If I drop my glasses, phone or anything else while driving, I have to pull over, get out and squat down to get them.

    Cleaning the tub. Just not possible anymore. Maybe after I am off activity restrictions.

    Giving my kids bedtime kisses. I have to lay down on their beds for this. No quick bending down for that last kiss. They know it now and sit up for it.

    These are just the things that come to mind that I have to do differently. Most of it is not insurmountable, but it is annoying/frustrating at times. I am happy to have much less back pain, but I have to say I don't love being fused.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  13. #13
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    Cleaning the tub and add the toilet

    "Cleaning the tub. Just not possible anymore. Maybe after I am off activity restrictions" from Gayle

    Just between us and the forum, I think that cleaning the tub and the toilet should be a lifetime restriction for you. That's what kids and husbands should do. ;+] Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  14. #14
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    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Jennifer,
    Are you fused to the sacrum? I cannot move my hips in bed without propping myself up on my feet and elbows (think table), and sort of sliding over and plopping down. Maybe this will change, as I'm only 6 months.

    Other things: Ditto what everyone else said. Plus, difficult to do laundry and load/unload bottom rack of dishes. Putting soap in is a real bear. Also, I still can't sit all day at a computer, which was necessary for my prior work. I'm 2-3 hours, tops. No sitting in comfy chairs, either. Also, I can't walk fast enough to work up a sweat or keep up with my husband. No more exercise walks with my friends. (I'm planning to grow out of that one, though!!) Driving is funky. I have to lean my seat back awkwardly. Pets. I can't pick up my cats off the floor. I tried to see under my bathroom sink the other day because of a plumbing issue. That was just not going to happen.

    Will these things go away and return to "normal" when I am a year or more post-op? I hope so!! But it's hard to say. I'd love to hear from others fused TO SACRUM who are more than a year post-op.

    Thanks, Irina, for starting this!

    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.

  15. #15
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    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    Evelyn, give it time. My fusion is the same as yours, T4-S1 with pelvic fixation. I can do all those things. Some are a little awkward, but all are doable. Moving my hips isn't a problem. You had a huge correction, from 80 to 16. Mine was 68 to 22. So you probably have a bigger change to get used to and probably more healing. Another year it might be entirely different. My flexibility improved over 2-3 years.
    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

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