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Thread: What is the point of post-surgical restrictions really?

  1. #16
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    You didn't sound harsh!

    Quote Originally Posted by leahdragonfly View Post
    Sorry if I sounded harsh in my first post to you.
    I'm not a very compliant person, and I REALLY needed some tough words! I really appreciate you giving them to me. Really!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpineTime View Post
    I haven't had surgery, and I've wondered about this. Maybe this is a dumb question, but while you're under the restrictions, how do you manage things like brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or washing your face at a sink without bending forward at all? I can't wash my hands without bending at our bathroom sinks. I just tried it at the kitchen sink and I think I could do it, just barely.
    Brushing teeth: use two cups. One to rinse your mouth and the other to spit the toothpaste in.

    Washing hands: Try to find a sink in your house that's tall enough. If not possible, try squatting at your hips/knees just a little to get to the right height.

    Washing face: Use a washcloth and bring it up to you. Actually, I usually just do it in the shower in the morning and use a face wipe at night so I don't have to lean over the sink.

    If you are being fused to the sacrum these things might be an issue even after restrictions are lifted. It's just difficult to bend over sinks. Also while eating I often have to bring my plate or bowl up to my chest or I spill all over myself.
    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.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Brushing teeth: use two cups. One to rinse your mouth and the other to spit the toothpaste in.

    Washing hands: Try to find a sink in your house that's tall enough. If not possible, try squatting at your hips/knees just a little to get to the right height.

    Washing face: Use a washcloth and bring it up to you. Actually, I usually just do it in the shower in the morning and use a face wipe at night so I don't have to lean over the sink.

    If you are being fused to the sacrum these things might be an issue even after restrictions are lifted. It's just difficult to bend over sinks. Also while eating I often have to bring my plate or bowl up to my chest or I spill all over myself.
    Thank you for the tips! I don't remember this being talked about here, but I really wondered because I lean way over the sink when I brush my teeth, and when I wash my face too. If I don't, I manage to get water everywhere. Actually, my back hurts so much I've gotten in the habit of leaning/slumping onto the counter because it hurts less than standing. I would be fused to the sacrum, so I'm glad you mentioned it might continue to be an issue. Good to know. As far as eating, I can easily spill things on myself as it is now, so that will be nothing new. LOL.

    Does anyone else have ways of doing these things they'd like to share?
    Age 44 (now 48). "Mild" curve (and pain) at age 16.
    No x-ray, brace or followup as a teen.
    Told curve wouldn't progress or need treatment.
    Chiropractor said I had a 22-degree TL curve, at age 20.
    Non-SRS surgeon said curve is 46 to 51 degrees, at age 44.
    SRS surgeon thinks curve is 42-degrees thoracic, 39-degrees lumbar, age 44.
    Also have bilateral pars defect at L5.
    Considering surgery due to pain.

  4. #19
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    Re: brushing teeth - somebody (I think Ed) said that he brushes his teeth in the shower and it sounds like another good idea to me.

    I started taking off makeup in the shower and like it much better than doing it over the sink even now, before the surgery. I also put a magnifying mirror with built-in light on the high dresser and use it to put make up on instead of leaning towards the mirror in my bathroom.

  5. #20
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    illinois
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    Yes all doctors write different restrictions,but do your best to follow them. I reached for a tissue 6 days after the 1st surgery and fractured through the vertabrae above the fusion, so things do happen!
    I also can suggest a water bottle as it is next to impossible to drink from a fountain when you are out some where. I also have to stand to eat and raise the plate to me as I am not able to bend forward.I am one who is left with a difficult time sitting and really wiggle in the car and have learned how to almost stand there also. My other suggestion is to always have 2 of everything in the shower as you will drop things that you need.
    Jackie

  6. #21
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    Jackie,

    If it's Ok to ask - why can't you bend forward? I was under an impression that people should be able to bend from the hips after all is well and healed. No???

  7. #22
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    I use a cup to spit into when I brush my teeth also. (smile) Also, when I put on my make up, I use a hand mirror (one of those that's about 8"?) and just alternate hands when I apply my eyeliner and mascara. There's no way I could lean forward to the bathroom mirror. Sometimes when I'm visiting other's bathrooms I need to remember to scope out where their TP is located because some are in hard to get to places without twisting... so sometimes I grab my TP before sitting down. I'll try to think of any other tidbits and add if I think of some.
    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

  8. #23
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Different for Everyone

    I must be different. I use my sink for washing my face, brushing my teeth, putting on makeup etc. I bend slightly forward, just bending one of my knees into the vanity for support. I don't find it difficult at all. As far as bending, I can pick up things on the floor...I just tend to squat down to protect my back. I tie my shoes by bringing my foot up to my opposite knee. As for the original question on this thread, it is very important to follow restrictions for the first few months. I wore a brace after all my surgeries which helps. But even after that, I practice common sense back protection. I have too much time and money invested in my back and don't intend to go back in that operating room again!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  9. #24
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    Yacolt, WA
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    Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. Keep them coming as I am writing them down!
    Susan...becoming less afraid
    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

  10. #25
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    Oct 2008
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    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    I'm another who has no trouble bending forward over the basin to clean teeth, apply makeup etc. I just bend from the hips.
    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

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    I'm another who has no trouble bending forward over the basin to clean teeth, apply makeup etc. I just bend from the hips.
    I do the same. I also lean on one had to support myself.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  12. #27
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    There was definitely an improvement after my first year with almost everything. I truly forget that I am fused the majority of the time, which means, life is good!
    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/

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    Okay, I agree with everything everyone has said about following doctors' orders. But, just an FYI, Dr. Lenke told me at 5 WEEKS post-op that I could begin to lift restrictions. I have since often wondered if he forgot how far along I was (or wasn't) when he said that. But that's what he said. Also, the booklet they give all the patients at Barnes says the BLT restrictions are for four months--not one year.

    However, having said all that, I am constantly worried that I screwed up something in the S1 area early on. I was on the phone one day and, not thinking, started to sit down on my bed by hiking my leg up like I would have before surgery. Ouch!!! Not long after that I started experiencing the hip/butt/leg pain that I still have at 9-months postop. Moral of the story: I wish I had been more careful!!

    Evelyn
    Some doctors are a lot less strict about restrictions, especially with current implants, which are fairly secure. For the most part, most centers seem to lift all restrictions somewhere between 3 and 6 months, though they may extend that restriction in some patients that are at higher risk.
    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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  14. #29
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    I believe that people think they bend from the waist, they don't actually do that. I've never seen a picture or xrays of anyone who claims they bend at the waist, so I can't be certain. If they do, they would have to have some unusual anatomy.

    Here's an xray of what the skeleton looks like in flexion:

    http://static.spineuniverse.com/site...postopflex.jpg
    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.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    There was definitely an improvement after my first year with almost everything. I truly forget that I am fused the majority of the time, which means, life is good!
    This is it! The main goal.....forgetting your fused.....

    that and the golf swing, of course. (smiley face)

    Congratulations Karen

    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

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