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Thread: JERSEYOT UPDATE: I broke my back - in hospital

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Well my fiends and family....ALOT and I do mean A-L-O-T has happened since the last post I made way back in early March. I don't even know how happened but I'll do my best to describe what I know. I was doinh well, fairly well Physically and surgically aside from several weeks of stomach issues (see my "Tummy Troubles" entry before this post). So here's whats been going on. I was about 2 weeks away from discharge from my home PT and was making slow,steady progress. On the weekend of 3/24, I started experiencing pain in my lower back but it wasn't that "good pain" or "healing pain" that I have spoken of previously. Something was off, it hurt and it getting worse with each passing day. But Sunday, I was barely able to stand up and it felt like I was being stabbed with every movement I made. By mondayday, it was decided that I was just going to get the X-ray and show up at my surgeons office with my Dad, which is exactly what we did.

    The surgeon saw that I was in excruciating pain, and said "your X-rays look great. I don't see anything out of place. It's probably just a bad muscle spasm." Little consolation as I lay there sobbing in pain. My Dad suggested a cortisone injection and the doctor agreed - he said to call him Friday to let him know how I was doing. Well, I made it til Wednesday before calling him back and telling it was so bad I literally could not walk and that the pain was in bearable. Actually now that i think aboutmitmChad called because i s Was crying from the pain to talk. He said come to the ER, I'll admit you, we'll get our pain under control and get a CT scan just to make sure it wasn't more than a muscle spasm. Well, it was deffinitely more,than a muscle spasm. He walked into my room at 6:50am the following morning after being admitted and said: "we'll, you have a broken back at the T12 level (1 level,above where my fusion starts)" He went on to say I have two options: "a clam shell back brace for 3 months or another extensive surgery to extend the fusion." and that was about it - I spent a week at Cooper on IV pain and muscle relaxant meds and on April 4th, was transferred to Magee Rehab Hospital. My PT is one of the brightest most experienced therapists I've ever come across - and aside from that he's a nice guy and makes me laugh even when what were doing hurts. My OT is great too and the care I am getting here is romp notch incredible. I have a minimum of 3 hours of therapy a day: PT, OT, Recreation therapy, art therapy and even horticultural group twice a week. I was told I'd be here about 4 weeks so I'd that's still true, I've completed two weeks thus far. It's hard work - its extremely painful to have a broken back (and this brace is not helping) on top of what I was 8-9 weeks post-op healing from. I am getting the physical, mental, emotional and psychological counseling that I need and I am so incredibly grateful. I am currently in a wheelchair but that is NOT permenemt (I'm not steady enough to walk so if I want to get around in my room I scoot around in my w/c - i can walk about 20-30' (which when i first got, here I couldn't even stand and walk 3-4') with assistance and a rolling walker and my standing tolerabout has gotten alot better about 3-5' which is a big improvement. I NEED to be here - IT has taken me 2 weeks to really believe that - but I really do need to be here so that I come home, I'll be home for good. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Skype. I miss my babies and husband and am blessed that mug parents are STILL able to help out. they've put their lives on hold back,home in Savannah to be here with us taking care of the kids and everything's you can think, imagine or dream of. So with that I will update when possible.to be honest, I didn't bother updating anyone on here because I didn't really think anybody cared. Now that I do I all try to be better at updating.

    I DO have a discharge date of MAY 4th. - just 4 days before my baby girls 3rd birthday. At that point I will have been here for exactly one month. I'm exactly where I need to be, I'm wokprki g my tail off Amd I dont give,excuses, I give it my all! No one can tell me AOW this T12 fracture happened-----and if they know they're too scared of a lawsuit to tell me. I'm not interested in that and my goal,is,Amd a,ways has been to live a happier slightly less painful life. and that's what I'm trying tod do!
    Last edited by jerseyot; 04-22-2012 at 07:13 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. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    WOW! This has been such an ordeal for you! So you didn't have any surgery to help the fracture, just a brace? Is the brace enough support to allow this fracture to heal? It seems like so long. I think of my son's broken hand and he had to wear a cast for six weeks. BUT the spine is a HUGE difference, since you have to constantly be moving, even with a brace. You still have to breathe, which I'm sure is also painful. Are they keeping your pain under control there? I hope so. My mom "escaped" from a place like that. I'm glad you are agreeable and making the best use of the services they have to offer. I'm so sorry you have to be away from your babies. They will probably just remember it as a vacation with grandma and grandpa! I'm so glad you have them there for you. You are silly, of course we CARE!!!! Everyone here are strangers in a sense, but there's a common bond between us all. You are still an encouragement to us all even though you've had this setback. It's uplifting to see that you are doing this and are determined to be strong again, even though you don't feel like it most of the time right now. You will heal. Please don't give up and keep up the hard work.

    Here's a weird question. Being an OT yourself, isn't it kind of weird being on the receiving end?

    Wishes for Wellness and GOOD HEALTH,
    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Michele--
    OMG--this has been unbelievable. I read every word you wrote and am amazed at your perserverance to get through this and heal. Those little ones are a huge motivator I'm sure. Positive thoughts and prayers for the healing to continue for you. 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.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Hi Michele...

    Sorry that your recovery has been so difficult. Hope things start getting easier soon.

    By the way, I think you have an error in your signature. It doesn't make sense that you had ALIFs at L4-5 and L5-S1 AND PLIFs at those levels as well. (They're both interbody fusions, and there's no reason to have 2 types of interbody fusion at the same level.) I suspect that you mean that you had PSF at L1-S1.

    Regards,
    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. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Thanks for pointing out my "error" - after all isn't that what we're all here for?!?! To point out each others errors!??? Honestly. To be clear, it's not an "error" - I have a post op report spelling out line by line what was done. I'm sorry if it "doesn't make sense" to you, but THAT is exactly what was done. Forgive me but I don't like feeling like I have to defend my statements? As it was explained to me basically a 360* fusion at those levels which improves fusion rates given my history of non-fusion in the entire lumbar area. You "suspect" wrong - I did not have a PSF at those levels according to my dr.

    Things like this are why I haven't posted. If you don't believe I had an ALIF and PLIF at the same levels, look at my signature pictures.

    To everyone else, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support, kind emails and PM's. Im going on week 3 at Magee, the inpatient acute rehab hospital and the staff and therapists are outstanding. My discharge date is just 4 days before my daughters 3rd Birthday. So happy to have something to look forward to.


    C
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Michele...

    Sorry that your recovery has been so difficult. Hope things start getting easier soon.

    By the way, I think you have an error in your signature. It doesn't make sense that you had ALIFs at L4-5 and L5-S1 AND PLIFs at those levels as well. (They're both interbody fusions, and there's no reason to have 2 types of interbody fusion at the same level.) I suspect that you mean that you had PSF at L1-S1.

    Regards,
    Linda
    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

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Michele
    WOW those are some looooong looking screws in that side view X ray....
    i cannot imagine how much pain came with the healing....
    i am so sorry for all you have been going thru...
    it seems so rotten and unfair that you broke your back after going thru
    such a huge major surgery...it is great that you are only focused on getting
    better and not driving yourself crazy trying to figure out how it happened...
    the only thing is to keep it from happening again...
    and to get better....it does sound like hard work...all the PT, OT, etc....
    i hope it does the job!!

    thoughts and prayers for your healing and recovery....
    jess

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Jerseyot,

    Linda's comment made me curious. I'm not doubting you at all, since I know NOTHING and I mean NOTHING about these abbreviated spinal fusion procedures. But I typed in ALIF PLIF in google and came up with one choice that said ALIF PLIF 360* fusion. It appears that this is done a LOT. When I clicked on it, there was case after case of people having it done. From my understanding of a brief look on the web, one is done anteriorly and the other posteriorly, so it makes sense that they would want to cover all the bases with you. Please don't be too dismayed and leave the forum. Your contributions are very valuable. I think Linda made an honest mistake. She works at a spine center but is not a surgeon. You don't have to defend yourself. Just heal. I hope your day goes well!

    Sincerely,
    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Jerseyot,

    Linda's comment made me curious. I'm not doubting you at all, since I know NOTHING and I mean NOTHING about these abbreviated spinal fusion procedures. But I typed in ALIF PLIF in google and came up with one choice that said ALIF PLIF 360* fusion. It appears that this is done a LOT. When I clicked on it, there was case after case of people having it done. From my understanding of a brief look on the web, one is done anteriorly and the other posteriorly, so it makes sense that they would want to cover all the bases with you. Please don't be too dismayed and leave the forum. Your contributions are very valuable. I think Linda made an honest mistake. She works at a spine center but is not a surgeon. You don't have to defend yourself. Just heal. I hope your day goes well!

    Sincerely,
    Rohrer01
    ALIFs and PLIFs at the same level?? Don't think so, but I obviously don't know everything.

    I am really sorry that I've upset you Michele. That was not my intention. Do you find it curious that there is no mention of a posterior spinal fusion from L1-S1?

    --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. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    360 Fusion Surgery (Anterior and Posterior)

    Fusion Surgery Description: Fusion surgery a spinal surgery for low back pain or lumbar pain that requires the surgeon to stabilize both the front and back of the spine. Fusion surgery is only considered once all conservative measures have failed to provide significant back pain or neck pain relief. The front, or anterior, procedure is often performed first. This is the same as an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). After this procedure is completed and bandages are placed over the operative area, the patient is gently rolled over for the second part of the surgery. This is the same as a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLF). Pedicle screws and rods may be placed during the posterior portion of the surgery.


    Now that I feel I have adequately explained myself, please don't bother responding to "clarify" - I will now say that YES, I agree, you do NOT know know everything and the fact that I'm laying here in an astute care rehab facility feeling like maybe to prove myself to you completely ticks me off. You're a "moderator" not to be confused with a "doctor" and the way in which you come across sometimes is just incredible...it is to me anyway - and maybe im the only one who feels this way, but for some reason i have a sneaking i'm not alone. There IS an inter body posterior fusion from L1-S1 and in anterior AND posterior. So your "I don't think so" comment is just so uncalled for, unprofessional and quite honestly, insulting! I know how to read and I know what I was told so YES as confusing it is for you to understand, I had an ALIF, PLIF AND FSUION DOWN THRU AND INTO MY SACRUM.

    I'll PM and answer people who really care but with all I've been through in these last 6-8 months: 2 enormous surgeries, months always from my kids, a broken back anc now a months + in an acute rehab unit, I just expected a little more from the "moderator." it's not me being overly sensitive or taking things the wrong way - you just lack appropriate people skills, including empathy, support and your "know it all" attitude. Doubt I'll be back but for those of you who havE REALLY CARED (andnunknow who u are), thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    ALIFs and PLIFs at the same level?? Don't think so, but I obviously don't know everything.

    I am really sorry that I've upset you Michele. That was not my intention. Do you find it curious that there is no mention of a posterior spinal fusion from L1-S1?

    --Linda
    ALIF And PLIF
    Last edited by jerseyot; 04-23-2012 at 03:55 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

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyot View Post
    360 Fusion Surgery (Anterior and Posterior)

    Fusion Surgery Description: Fusion surgery a spinal surgery for low back pain or lumbar pain that requires the surgeon to stabilize both the front and back of the spine. Fusion surgery is only considered once all conservative measures have failed to provide significant back pain or neck pain relief. The front, or anterior, procedure is often performed first. This is the same as an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). After this procedure is completed and bandages are placed over the operative area, the patient is gently rolled over for the second part of the surgery. This is the same as a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLF). Pedicle screws and rods may be placed during the posterior portion of the surgery.


    Now that I feel I have adequately explained myself, please don't bother responding to "clarify" - I will now say that YES, I agree, you do NOT know know everything and the fact that I'm laying here in an astute care rehab facility feeling like maybe to prove myself to you completely ticks me off. You're a "moderator" not to be confused with a "doctor" and the way in which you come across sometimes is just incredible...it is to me anyway - and maybe im the only one who feels this way, but for some reason i have a sneaking i'm not alone. There IS an inter body posterior fusion from L1-S1 and in anterior AND posterior. So your "I don't think so" comment is just so uncalled for, unprofessional and quite honestly, insulting! I know how to read and I know what I was told so YES as confusing it is for you to understand, I had an ALIF, PLIF AND FSUION DOWN THRU AND INTO MY SACRUM.

    I'll PM and answer people who really care but with all I've been through in these last 6-8 months: 2 enormous surgeries, months always from my kids, a broken back anc now a months + in an acute rehab unit, I just expected a little more from the "moderator." it's not me being overly sensitive or taking things the wrong way - you just lack appropriate people skills, including empathy, support and your "know it all" attitude. Doubt I'll be back but for those of you who havE REALLY CARED (andnunknow who u are), thank you!



    ALIF And PLIF
    Think what you will. I never said anything without the best of intentions. Guess I can't help my personality flaws any more than you can.
    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.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    It should be noted that PLIFs and PLFs are not the same thing. The website from which this quote:

    Fusion surgery a spinal surgery for low back pain or lumbar pain that requires the surgeon to stabilize both the front and back of the spine. Fusion surgery is only considered once all conservative measures have failed to provide significant back pain or neck pain relief. The front, or anterior, procedure is often performed first. This is the same as an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). After this procedure is completed and bandages are placed over the operative area, the patient is gently rolled over for the second part of the surgery. This is the same as a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLF). Pedicle screws and rods may be placed during the posterior portion of the surgery.


    was taken, is in error. I believe they added the word "interbody" by mistake. I have sent a query to Texas Back Institute and will report back if they respond. PLF is short for posterior lumbar fusion, and refers to fusing the back of the spine. PLIF is short for posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and refers to fusing the front part of the spine from a posterior approach.
    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.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    What a shocking experience you've been through. When I first read that you'd broken your back, my first thought was "how?" But as you say, it's really not that important at the moment. The most important thing is that you heal and get back to your girls and family. Resuming normal life is your goal and I hope the rest of your recovery goes smoothly. When you are able, please keep us up to date because as has been said, your experience is very valuable to the forum. Best of luck, Michele!
    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

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Michele: I just read all of your blog and just wanted to say that I wish you the best and fastest recovery possible. You must have felt very frustrated that it sounds like you were initially blown off when you said that you were in such max pain. Glad that you were finally believed and that you are now at a healing place that is taking such good care of you. Never underestimate the power and caring of the people that are on this blog. I don't know you as a person, but as a fellow scoliosis person who has walked some of the same miles that I have, I feel for you and would help you if I could. I was touched by your comment that you said that you wondered if anyone cared. From the comments posted, you have LOTS of people that care genuinely for and about you. I would bring you flowers and a latte right now if you were near me, I wish that I could.

    Thanks for sharing your recovery and I hope that you continue to heal. It must be awful to be away from your kids. Sounds like you are putting alot of effort into rehab and that is generally the measure of how much you get out of it.

    Take care of yourself and remember that there are so many people that are dealing with scoliosis that care about you and how you are doing.
    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. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Michelle,

    I feel for you so much . You have gone though some rough times and I hope that you continue in your progress.

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Just wishing you continued better days with the rehab. The giant set back has to be so discouraging but it sounds like you are fighting hard to get back to a better place with the p.t. Hang in there! Good luck. 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.

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