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Thread: Question for people fused to sacrum, more than a year post-op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966

    Question for people fused to sacrum, more than a year post-op

    Hi all,

    I am coming up on 10 months now and doing fairly well in general. Only major complaint at this point is hip/sacrum area pain with exercise, which I think is from my pelvic fixation. But, I was wondering if those of you who are ahead of me could ahead some light on a few things.

    Does it ever get comfortable doing these things, and if so, when did it become comfortable for you? And I'm talking actually comfortable here, not just absence of pain. Most of these things are not painful for me now, but just really uncomfortable.

    -Rolling onto your slide and sleeping in that position
    -Driving
    -Sitting on a cushy chair or sofa
    -Sitting in a bath tub
    -Pushing a cart full of groceries
    -Loading the bottom rack of the dishwasher
    -Vacuuming

    There's more, but I can't think of them right now. Also, I don't want this to be misinterpreted as complaining. I can live with things the way they are, just curious if they might improve.

    Thanks!!!
    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Evelyn, it sounds like things are gradually improving for you and for this reason, I suspect that by your 2nd anniversary, few of these things will be much of an issue for you. Going through your list (at 4 years out in March):

    Rolling on my side and sleeping in that position is pretty much how I sleep every night. I was always a side sleeper and that hasn't changed. I have no problems or discomfort rolling back and forth in bed.

    Driving: No problems as long as I have my small cushion behind the middle of my back. Of course, my inability to safely use mirrors means I have to turn my whole body in my seat, when I look over my shoulder to reverse. (I never did feel safe using mirrors. The problem is with judging distances in the mirror, I'm hopeless at it.)

    Haven't had much experience in a cushy sofa, ours is quite firm. I think I'd have to sit right back in the seat and have that cushion in the middle of my back.

    I'm not a fan of the bath and haven't had a single bath since surgery. The reason is, leaning back on the hard surface would be very uncomfortable due to screws very close to the surface at the top of my scar. I still don't like the feeling of leaning against something hard, at the top of my back. I guess if I enjoyed baths, I'd find something soft to lean on.

    Pushing trolleys full of groceries isn't a problem.

    The bottom rack of the dishwasher is ok but if I'm pushing into the back of the dishwasher for more than a few seconds, it's a little difficult.

    Vacuuming isn't a problem.
    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
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    70

    Hi

    Hi Evelyn, Wed.Jan.9 is one year since #3 surgery last year, I am fused from T3 to S1, and it is very uncomfortable doing things like puting on socks, slacks, driveing (I need a pillow for my back so my head wont hit the head rest) sitting in a chair that is not stright up, shopping cart,what I hate the most is not taking care of my toe nails, cutting and polish (I am a hairdresser so I always did my feet),dishwasher is hard to do,making my bed is very hard, I can't bend over well, so they are hard things to do, but not having the pain and able to stand upright is the best thing. I will be 70 in March, so good luck. It will never be easy. Lu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    816
    I have been fused to sacrum for 4 years now--some things never get easy--but it does get better. I think we learn to do things differently. I can do a lot of household things--it takes longer and it cases me to get creative,but I can get things done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,704
    Evelyn,
    Things definitely got better for me during my 2nd year. For the first year, I never rolled to my side when sleeping. It just wasn't comfortable. I felt like my lungs were crushing. Now, I can sleep just fine on either side. I also can put shoes and socks on without the aide. It's now easy for me to tie my tennis shoes and it was not at a year. All of my bows were on the sides. I know you will notice gradual improvements during your second year as you get permission for more stretching exercises. Make sure you see Janet at your 1 year appointment and get a few more exercises to do. I also started physical therapy after a year which seemed to help. At a year, I tried to take a bath and had to lean back. I usually take a shower, but I can now sit on the floor without leaning back so if I decide to take a jacuzzi bath, it's enjoyable. Things will improve!!!
    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/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    Thanks all!!! This is very helpful. Good to know some of these remaining issues may improve over time.

    Best,
    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.

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