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Thread: Please reply!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    59

    Please reply!!

    Cmon guys!
    I asked if any of you are still in pain after your fusion but none have you have replied?
    On Jan 16 2012 I had my first surgery where my ortho took out part of my old rod and 2 screws. He had to saw them out because they didn't screw in. Weird huh! So he went thru my side and removed another rib. So He did 2 incisions on my side then one on my back that is about 7 inches long. He added 18 screws and two rods down to my sacrum. Then a week later he went thru my front and solidified it all. So 2 surgeries,4 incisions, 2 screws and a rib removed,18 new screws and 2 rods added. I am on my fifth month and still need pain pills. My ortho told me to see my primary care physician from here on out to get my pain meds. I think that is a little odd he is just dropping me. So I was wondering if anyone can relate.
    Am I really the only one or is it normal. I am scared and kinda depressed over it. I thought I would feel better then I do. I am only 31 hers old and my family doesn't seem to understand that this surgery took a toll on me. They think I'm "fixed" and should be 100% again. I miss those days when I could go go go! Now I am down a lot of the day. It hurts to move and I was wondering if anyone else has the same issues with the new hardware. I really would appreciate some comfort.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    I just hurt listening to all of your screws and hours of surgery! You are an amazing woman! I have a gentle hug for you and a lot of compassion. Your body went through a lot, so that might explain some of it, so maybe it just takes time. Tell you family to ease up and love you more....I said so! I think that people didn't respond because they didn't know what advice to give you. Know that we really do care here. Sorry that you aren't back to your old self. Must be frustrating. Sending warm thoughts your way. 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Sorry Annabeller, I didn't see your earlier question. It's impossible to compare recoveries really because we are all so different. I don't think it's at all unusual to still need painkillers at 5 months. You've had a lot of work done and it may take a year or more to be fully back to normal. I was off painkillers at around 3months but I only had the one incision and didn't have a rib removed, which is something that causes pain for a long time, I believe. I hope others who had 2 or more incisions and rib removal, will come on and give you some reassurance. It's natural to want to get back to normal quickly after having been through this huge surgery. But it really can be a lengthy recovery for some. My surgeon forewarned me about this. He said it would take 12 months, maybe 2 years, to fully recover. Are you able to walk each day? I know it sounds silly, but I think the exercise, the movement, is good for you and promotes healing. Just my thoughts.

    Good luck!
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    after all that surgery, cutting, hardware you suffered thru,
    to me, it sounds kind of cold of the doctor to have that attitude....
    it is my suggestion that you find a pain doctor for your needs, rather than a
    GP, who might not be the best person to handle what you are going thru...

    hope you feel better soon...
    jess

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    I think it's common practice for surgeons to transfer the narcotic prescriptions to either primary care physicians or pain specialists at about 3 months postop. Surgeons offices are just not equipped to handle all the details of getting patients through withdrawal.

    --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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Annabelle,
    I haven't had spine surgery, so I can't relate to what the recovery period is. I've heard some say it can take up to two years. At your age, I wouldn't foresee that. It isn't unusual at all for the spine surgeons to hand your pain care off to another doctor. It's my understanding that they usually only handle that end of it for six to eight weeks. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong. That doesn't mean your surgery is a failure or that your doctor is dropping you. They just prefer to hand over your case to someone better suited for long term pain management. I agree with Jess about seeing a pain doctor. Although I have an excellent GP that cares for all my pain meds. Don't give up hope that you'll never get better. You've been through a LOT. Gentle (((hugs))).
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    3,535
    Annabeller

    I’m so sorry that this is taking so long but major surgery takes a while to recover from....it just does. I quit my meds quickly because I don’t do well at all on them, but I also had pain spells out for about a year.... a see-saw recovery.

    I have to agree with Jen about the exercise. There were times that I had to “push past the pain”. Maybe it was the determination, the will that I had, that worked so well for me. I did keep walking even if it was a short distance. It wasn’t easy, but I never gave up. My surgeon did not want me staying in bed all the time, I had that stern warning from him. He was serious, he had my attention, and he wanted me walking often. (outdoors) How was I going to ski if I was having problems walking 50 feet?

    You were in a bad situation and really needed to have your revision done....I don’t think you had any choice in the matter.

    I had some problems and thought I had an incisional hernia since I have a huge scar right down the front of me. When Dr M sent me over to my vascular surgeon, he told me that it was way too early to be going back in again....It seems that 12 months is a sort of benchmark, and if there is something wrong that they do like to wait things out....I did have something wrong and it turned out that these golf ball sized gall stones formed, and I lost my gall bladder. Through all of this, the gall bladder attacks, and the scoli recovery, I never gave up.

    I always knew that eventually everything would get fixed.....I also was told that it wasn’t going to be easy.....

    Try to hang in there and keep your head up. Your going to get through all of this.

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Hi--
    I had always had a very high pain tolerance but after surgery it took me a long long time to get past pain. I was referred to my primary doctor for pain pills after about 6 months. So, I'm almost embarrassed to say I was on hydrocodone for a bit more than a year. Weaning down so so slowly. Maybe I did it wrong at the start but as soon as I dropped a pill or even a half I had a lot of pain. During that time since I was on the pain pills I could still walk and started more exercising, etc. etc. so I was doing really well. Just couldn't do it w/o the pain pills. The best part was that I slept like a baby and had always had trouble sleeping. I miss them for that part.
    I still have flare-ups usually hip/leg if I've overdone about every 4 months or so. Each time I get concerned and each time it gets better.
    Sorry I haven't been responding to anyone on here lately. My 4th--and final--daughter got married Saturday. Yahoo--I'm out of the wedding business. (We had #3 daughter last June.) But then as always when it's all over and we all had a wonderful time it's bittersweet and I feel sad it's all done! Well, a little bit. 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Question Pain months after surgery?

    It was a good 18 months before I didn't need something-that something being tylenol 8 hours or Aleve.
    Jess's suggestion of a pain doc is good to fine-tune your needs and to taper off safely.

    This surgery involves a lot of repositioning of nerves, joints and muscles. The body will object until it gets used to the new, healthier alignment.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    59
    Thank you guys! You are awesome. Ya I guess I am being to hard on myself. I need to walk more after reading what you guys are saying. My Doctor really didnt put a emphasis on walking. So I will start doing that now. I really appreciate all the support. I hope you are all healing well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Sorry Annabeller, I didn't see your earlier question. It's impossible to compare recoveries really because we are all so different. I don't think it's at all unusual to still need painkillers at 5 months. You've had a lot of work done and it may take a year or more to be fully back to normal. I was off painkillers at around 3months but I only had the one incision and didn't have a rib removed, which is something that causes pain for a long time, I believe. I hope others who had 2 or more incisions and rib removal, will come on and give you some reassurance. It's natural to want to get back to normal quickly after having been through this huge surgery. But it really can be a lengthy recovery for some. My surgeon forewarned me about this. He said it would take 12 months, maybe 2 years, to fully recover. Are you able to walk each day? I know it sounds silly, but I think the exercise, the movement, is good for you and promotes healing. Just my thoughts.

    Good luck!
    Wow you have been through so much!
    Honestly at 5mths I was in a lot of pain,please don't feel your alone.

    I am 19mths post op and still in pain, I was told at the my age of 44 this recovery can take 2yrs. You have a way to go yet and you certainly shouldn't be on the go go go just yet.

    My parents also think I'm 'fixed' I think they just don't understand the enormity of having something like this done. It's a common scenario trust me.

    Listen to your body-everyone's recovery is different according to how much work they had done so please don't feel that you shouldn't be having pain still and take the pain meds if you need them-I still take pain meds because I need them, that's what they are for. X

    Sorry I ment to quote this on your post-it's late here and I'm ready for sleep!
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    59
    Well I went to my primary care Dr. and he didn't think it was odd at all that I needed 2 percocets a day still. I have been walking everyday now since reading that you guys were. I am 5 months post op now and have a hernia from one of the surgeries going thru my lower tummy. So I am meeting with a surgeon July 9th to set up surgery to get rid of the ugly pooch I have. Thanks for you support. I love you all!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Sorry to hear about the hernia, I wonder if that's not responsible for some of your pain. It will be good to have that surgery over and done with and you can concentrate on that healthy walking and healing. Very glad to hear you're walking. I still walk at over 3 years post op.
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    I didn't see your earlier post, but wish I would have. I posted almost the same question myself (on first time forum) because I am still in pain at almost four months and my doc's office said most people are off by three. Like you, I'm taking about two pain pills a day. (Today only 1.5, yay!) My surgeon's office is still prescribing for me and actually said I am not taking an unreasonable amount. So, I am able to go without, but I take them so I can stay active--walking farther, driving, going to kids' sporting events, etc. BTW, it's legal to drive on prescription pain meds as long as you are not "impaired." I, too, feel like a turtle, especially when I hear from friends who say: "Wow, I bet that recovery was rough. Aren't you glad it's over?" They don't get it, but I don't want to whine (at least to them) all the time. I'll save that for you guys!
    XO,
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Hi Annabeller:

    You KNOW I know how you feel. You and I could write paragraphs In a book side by side about what it's REALLY like to go through something like this. I too am still on pain meds (as well as antidepressants now for the constant pain). I am soooooo not the me i once was, nor the wife or mother I was. I had high hopes (but not to be mistaken with realistic onesfoment his this surgey and up until this complete T12 fracture, things WERE going well. Now, not so much.

    I saw my family dr this week who explained to me that there is a big difference between addiction and habituation when it comes to narcotic pain relievers. He knows me and he KNOWS that's not what I'm there for. My meds dont work for me anymore and I certainly don't wake up and think "I gotta take my meds." I'm kinda pissed at them--they don't work and I need something different, something that WILL work to help me function with less pain and more smiles. He understands that what I've been thru not many can relate. He actually gave me a hug and said "WE will get thru this Michele, I promise" as I left with tears in my eyes.

    I saw my surgeon Friday (2wks early) due to the pain my husband feels he's just wasting time wiatng to do the inevitable (another surgery). It definitely sold have healed by now, no question, but it hasn't and I have to prepare for the possibility (and shut-feeling) that it will happen. So Annabeller, a resounding YES from me. I know EXACTLY yow you feel and I too thought I'd be much further along and feeling a lot better than I am. But such is not the case. Hang in there and email anytime ((((gentle hugs to you))))
    Last edited by jerseyot; 07-01-2012 at 06:16 AM.
    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

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