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Thread: The I'm Happy I Had Surgery Sticky Thread

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    I'm glad I had it done. It was a long and tough recovery and I continued to improve for 3 full years. I was down to 4'-9" and shrinking rapidly -- but now I'm glad to be a towering 4'-11 and 1/2" !!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    152
    Date of surgery-3/11/2010
    Surgery lasted 10 hours
    In hospital for 8 days.
    Fused T2-L4 with a thoraplasty

    I am very pleased I had this surgery, I would be much worse off if I hadnt-it was progressing.
    I feel straight, my rib hump has gone and I am enjoying clothes in the same way I did when I was a teenager.I can finally sit on a bench and any other flat back chairs.
    Now im 13mths post op I can feel myself getting better week by week-I still have pain but its usually if ive been overdoing things.
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    189
    Date of surgery: 10/1/10
    Age: 50
    Surgeon: Dr Munish Gupta @ UC Davis Med Center
    Fused T2-L3 with thoracoplasty
    Days in hospital: 19
    Complications: Pleural effusion, anemia, frozen shoulder

    It has taken me over a full year to recover to where I can say that I'm happy that I had the surgery. I'm still stiff here and there and most of my discomfort occurs below my fusion. My spine is straight, my back is flat, and my surgeon is happy with the results too. Before my surgery I could not sit at my computer for much longer than 1/2 hour before my back would really begin to hurt. My heating pad was becoming a common companion! I can't even recall the last time I used my heating pad...I love the feel of sitting against a chair and feeling the back of it on both sides of my back at the same time! Wow! I can also ride on my husband's motorcycle all day if I want to and not have pain after just a short time.

    I know that my body is still healing and I will only keep feeling better.
    Laurie
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    778
    Here's my daughter's experience:

    Date of surgery: December 7, 2004
    Diagnosed at age 12 (Scoliosis 36* and Kyphosis 79*)
    Grade II Spondylolisthesis untreated
    Surgery at the age of 13
    Surgery was done by Dr. Lee Segal
    Fused from T3-L2 with Osteotomies at T6-T7 level, T7-T8 level and T8-T9 level; no pedicle screws were used
    Days in hospital: 6

    Has junctional Kyphosis following surgery.

    Jamie has always been happy she had the surgery. Is she happy about the junctional Kyphosis? No, but when her surgeon offered to extend her fusion she said no. Thankfully, it hasn't progressed. She is a confident 20 year old young lady who enjoys life to the fullest without an real restrictions.
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    44

    Progress

    I had the surgery on the 11th August 2011. It's easy to forget what it was like a fortnight before and become impatient, but every now and then I do something that makes me realise how far I have come, like starting to spontaneously run across the road before I slow myself down to be careful. I must say yesterday at Xmas I hardly thought about it. I wore one of those fitted around the waste floral 50's style dresses and felt balanced. I would never have wore something like that for the past few years because of my uneven hips, and once when I tried I was in a lot of pain with kind of cramping muscles down my right side. I remember having to unzip my back zipper as soon as I got in the car to relieve it. This doesn't happen anymore so a lot of shifting has occurred in the muscles of my right side. Overall I only had some discomfort before surgery and some nerve impingement, as well as a collapsing feeling in my torso. Because I wasn't in severe pain before surgery I have felt worse after surgery, although the nerve impingement has gone. The discomfort is decreasing, whereas I feel without the surgery the discomfort would have increased, and looking at my Xray, it was evident and Dr Cree said I was facing strife. My left side has felt pretty perfect since surgery, all the soreness and numbness has been on the right previously concave side. I've been over the sheer exhaustion for a few weeks now. I am starting to see an end in sight for the remaining discomfort that comes and goes. I'm not sure how much, if any, of the soreness and numbness I have experienced has come from the bone harvest from my iliac crest on the right side. That was done through the same central incision. I am bending a bit more easily and naturally but I am still a little restricted and don't feel like vacuuming, but that could be becoming an excuse now because I was raging around the shopping centre with a full shopping trolley the few days before Xmas, though it did make me a bit sore. I get out of bed normally but do feel a bit restricted and awkward moving around in bed (if you know what I mean, but that is improving). My boyfriend admitted to me today prior to surgery he was avoiding looking at my waist area because I was suddenly looking bent and twisted. Weird when in the past I considered myself to have a good figure. Overall I'm glad I had the surgery. I remember thinking in hospital, would hate to be older going through this, but the bowel ileus was a big culprit that delayed my recovery. I would recommend only eating very lightly for first few days after surgery. I was ravenous immediately and I don't think eating what I liked for the first couple of days helped. I'm glad this is behind me and I had Dr Cree who has the reputation as one of the top if not the top, scoli surgeons in Australia.
    Progress 1 hr Nth of Sydney, Australia
    49 yrs
    55 deg thorocolumbar
    Fused T9 to L3, Aug 11th 2011

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    68
    One of the best things (although hard) that's ever happened to me.
    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!

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    My surgeon - Dr John Grauer, Yale
    Age 38 at surgery
    T3-L4
    Hospital stay: 4 days (2 SICU/2 ortho floor)
    Length of surgery: 6 hrs

    I had so much pain pre-op that I had to think before getting out of bed, standing up from a chair, going anywhere, etc.

    Although I still have soreness and pain in some places, the pain is so much less. I can walk for miles (and I am not a walker - I hate hiking! Maybe I should say, I CAN SHOP FOR MILES) where previously I couldn't.

    It was September before I ever thought I was glad I had the surgery. Seven months. I went to work, then went and waited on line because we had tickets for Colbert Report. I stood on line outside for 1.5 hours, then stood in the green room just as long, watched the show being taped, then walked 5 blocks to dinner and took a train home. Pre-op, that would not have been possible for me, not in the least.

    I miss dancing like I used to. I miss a lot of things about the way my body used to move. I don't miss the pain. I don't miss worrying if this was in my future.

    All in all, my experience was positive and I pray to whatever is out there that I never have to do it again.
    Last edited by Lilysaidwhat; 12-30-2011 at 09:27 PM.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    I am almost 2 years post-op and there are times when I still can't believe how much better my life is because of my surgery. I do not feel limited in any way and can stand and teach, cook, sing and do pretty much whatever I want without back pain. No, I do not have perfect cosmetic results, nor do I care. I am healthy and pain-free and it is amazing the change that occurs both physically and mentally once you are released from chronic pain. People have told me they can even see it in my face and outlook on life. It was not an easy process, but looking back on my recovery, I was very fortunate in a lot of ways. My husband calls me the poster child for spinal fusion surgery. I don't know that I'd go that far but am very glad I had it done and am incredibly grateful to have found the right surgeon.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    I, too, am very happy I had my surgery. The surgery was successful as it stabilized my curves from any further progression, its main goal-- and actually my curves are barely there anymore-- main curve is just 15. (x-ray links are in my signature). I have some limitations, but did before the surgery anyway, because of the aches and pain. Now I can do almost everything I want to do. (Note the word WANT.) Some people change their desires when their abilities change... I am still under a BLT restriction because of my lower lumbars (since they are not fused), but can lift about 25 lbs. I am so pleased with how well my surgeon did. And I can't stress enough how each year has brought more ability and energy... My posture is terrific and I look good and feel pretty darn good, too, almost all of the time. I do not take any pain meds. I am so glad I had my surgery!
    Last edited by Susie*Bee; 12-31-2011 at 02:01 PM.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Banff, Alberta
    Posts
    31

    Cool Very happy I did the surgery and that this thread is here!

    Date: March 6, 2009
    Surgeon: Dr Ganesh Swamy, Calgary, Alberta
    Fused: T4 to L4
    Curves: both 55 degrees (20 post-op)
    Age: 25
    Approx Recovery: Felt good at 1 yr, Felt recovered at 2 yrs
    Gave Birth 2 yrs Post-Op

    I was in a lot of pain pre-op. I am a snowboarder and generally do not like to take life slow, pain or no pain. At the end of the day when I laid in bed I would shake uncontrollably as my body ‘relaxed’ into a flat on my back position. I could go on and on about the pre-op bad stuff but ...Post-Op, almost pain free!

    And aside from the pain issues I feel so confident due to the visual correction of my humps and posture. Before if I was facing you head on, my waist would be pointed about 45 degrees to the side. It was hard to dress my curves but now I can show off my real curves! lol

    While preggers for my gal Avery, I had many other pregnant friends and acquaintances and I had no back pain compared to them and gave birth naturally without pain killers (I wanted them, it just happened too fast and therefore it was too late for the pain killers.) Didn’t even notice back pain at all during labour.

    I had to fight for the chance to have my operation. It was worth it! Just wish I could have had it sooner!
    Last edited by chello_ns; 01-23-2012 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Added degree of curve as requested
    Age 25 at time of correction
    Sergery March 6th, 2009
    T4 to L4

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Is it okay to ask what your pre-op and post-op curves were?

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    774

    Im very pleased with my outcome.

    Surgery Date: June 23, 2008
    Age at time of surgery: 59
    Procedure: Posterior fusion T4 to sacrum with pelvic fixation, including laminectomies and osteotemies (12 hours in surgery)
    Nearly 80 degree stiff thoracolumbar curve corrected to 35 degrees
    Surgeon: Purnendu Gupta/University of Chicago Medical Center

    I did not experience pain from my scoliosis until I reached age 56. By then I could feel the collapse. Standing for any length of time was impossible. I found myself leaning on objects for support. Now I can stand indefinitely. I returned to work as a paralegal four months following my surgery, and I am still working full time. I have experienced no problems following my surgery nearly four years ago. Ideally, I should have had this fixed at least 10 years sooner.

    My best advice for those exploring surgery is to select a top-notch surgeon with a lot of experience in adult scoliosis. You may have to travel to a large metropolitan area where you can have access to such surgeons who are generally affiliated with major teaching hospitals. But its worth it. This is your life. I live near Chicago and have noted through this forum and a support group Ive attended that people who have had their surgeries by some of the top doctors in Chicago do not report incidences of broken rods or sagittal imbalance.

    I experienced my first fall over the weekend since my surgery. I slipped on black ice on my driveway and tumbled half-way down. Have lots of bumps and bruises but my back is fine.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carmel/Indianapolis
    Posts
    246

    Happy I had surgery

    Im very happy I had my surgery. I had a prior surgery in Indy (home of the Superbowl!!) for spondylolisthesis by Dr Sasso. Fused L4-S1. That went very well and corrected that problem. A year and a half later I wanted my scoliosis fixed and Dr Bridwell in St Louis at Wash U did that surgery. I was 56 at the time. I'm fused T3-L1. No problems or complications. No pain. I am 17 months post op and have played golf 3 times recently, I work out with a trainer once a week and on my own other days. I feel great. Although Dr Bridwell still has me on some restrictions, I can basically do everything. Very happy and wish I had known they could fix this when I was younger!
    Age 56
    Wore a Milwaukee Brace for 3 years in hs
    Fused L4-S1 for high grade spondylolisthesis Jan '09 in Indy
    Thoracic 68
    Surgery Aug 31, 2010 T3 to L1
    Dr Bridwell St Louis
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...1&d=1289881696

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177

    Best Decision I Ever Made

    Surgery facts:
    Age 28 at time of surgery
    Pre-op: Double major curves measuring 52 T&L in September 2010
    Fused T4-L4, all posterior December 27th 2010
    Surgeon: Dr. Joseph Flynn, Orlando FL
    gained almost two inches in height
    Post-op curves measuring below 15 degrees, both T&L


    See my sig below for before and after photos!

    ---I am very glad I had the surgery when I did.

    My scoliosis was progressing, and causing me pain. I had a nerve that had become impinged in the apex of my curve by a herniated disc, and 3 smaller surgeries had not been able to fix the problem.

    I was continuing to become more hunched, and I had pain that radiated down both of my legs. My surgeon predicted that if I waited, I would absolutely reach 60 degree curves by the time I was 38. Since surgery seemed very likely at some point in my future, I decided I'd rather have it now and hoped that it would in the very least reduce some of my pain. My surgeon did not think that my nerve pain would be that reduced, as I had been experiencing the debilitating pain for 3 years at that point, but he did think having the surgery would keep it from getting worse.

    I am very happy with my results. Not only is my spine pretty much straight (less than 15 degrees both T & L), I have no rib hump, and my shoulders are no longer hunched and crooked. The biggest plus is that the pain in my right leg disappeared around 3 months post op, and the pain in my left leg is down to a 1-3 level, depending on my activity. Before the surgery it was a constant 7-8, sometimes worse if I was active.

    I feel more stable, I can stand for hours, walk for hours, and can bend to reach things off the floor even with my long fusion. I feel like the surgery gave me the keys to a new life. I do have challenges, and I am definitely not pain free, but I am %100 better off than I was before the surgery.

    Instead of worrying about when I would need to have the surgery, or if it would interfere with my desire to raise children, I am now able to focus on work, family, fun, and trying to adopt. I feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders to have it done.

    I know I may need to have further surgery down the road (hopefully not for 30 years!) to fuse my lowest vertebra. But even if I do, I will NOT regret having the surgery now. It has changed my life for the better, and I am very thankful that I was able to come out of it so well. I would do it all over again.
    Last edited by peachrush7; 02-08-2012 at 06:43 PM.
    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/

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    140

    Very happy with my results

    Surgery Date: March 16, 2010
    Age at time of surgery: 41
    Surgeon: Dr. Christopher Good
    Fused: T10- Sacrum with pelvic fixation

    I couldn't be happier with my results. I'm back to golfing and about anything else I want with absolutely no pain or discomfort.

    Rich
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar 65 degrees
    A/P Fusion T10-Pelvis by Dr. Christopher Good
    Virginia Spine Institute, Reston, VA 3/17/10, 3/18/10
    Post-Surgery Lumbar 19 degrees, and 2" in height

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