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Thread: Not so sure about this second surgery...

  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Not so sure about this second surgery...

    Hey!

    So, I was wondering if anyone has ran in to a similar situation...

    I had my thoracic fused when I was 10, and now i'm 20. I was really in to horseback riding as a child so the surgeon left my lumbar un-fused so I could still have some flexibility for when I rode. Well now i've ran in to aching pain that i've been dealing with for a good 2+ years that's preventing me from sleeping. Everyone's told me it's because I am riding and running (two of the worst things you can do for your back). They've also told me I will need my lumbar fused because the riding has taken a toll on my lower spine. My mom had her spine fused a long time ago without instrumentation and she is now fearing that my instrumentation is causing the problem. So she is also against another surgery, so we will keep playing with the alternatives for a bit.

    So i'm curious if anyone has had a full spinal fusion? Is there anyone that has had the full spinal fusion and horseback rides? Or is there anyone that has had there thoracic fused and horseback rides, if so, do you experience pain?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    There are a bunch of us with full fusions....but we are much older.

    I personally have not ridden a horse after my surgeries. I donít think it would be too much of a problem except the fact that a fall would not be a good thing. I do snow ski when the snow flyís we have had a bad winter this season.

    Welcome to the forum..

    Every once in a while we get hit with spam as you can see....just ignore it.

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Indianapolis area
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    Jessie,

    Horseback riding and running were the two things my spine doctor back when I was 11 told me not to do. Also, after my fusion T4-sacrum, my new doc said to avoid activities that involve lots of vibration or jarring.

    If your surgery doesn't go all the way to the sacrum it may not be that uncomfortable for you (after you heal). But unfortunately I think you will need to look for new hobbies to protect what is left of your lumbar. Like to swim? It's too bad we are faced with these choices, but new hobbies will be preferable to a lifetime of pain and/or disability.

    Seek out some opinions from other surgeons, and you will learn a little more along the way.

    Best wishes,
    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.

  4. #4
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    NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessiez92 View Post
    Or is there anyone that has had there thoracic fused and horseback rides, if so, do you experience pain?

    Thanks guys
    Hi. Both my daughters are fused T4-L1 and were released to ride eight months after surgery if they wanted.

    The issue of pain in your lumbar may not be due to riding with a T fusion. Do you have a double major curve pattern or a thoracolumbar curve pattern? I have noticed that many surgeons will not fuse a structural lumbar on child to preserve flexibility as long a possible.

    Where does your fusion end? If below about L3 then it is known that your unfused lumbar discs will be under great strain and it will not be surprising to a surgeon whether or not you ride that you are having pain as far as I can tell.

    As for instrumented versus uninstrumented fusions, the issue is where the fusion ends on the spine, not the presence/absence of instrumentation. The spine is fused in both cases and operates as one mass. That is the key variable, not instrumentation. You can have the instrumentation removed at this point and you would still have the lumbar pain. It is irrelevant.

    Have you talked with a surgeon lately?

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 04-07-2013 at 06:59 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    VA
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    Thanks!

    Thanks guys! I'm fused T7-T11, and T4-L2 posteriorly and anteriorly (i'm just getting this info. from my mother). She also had her thoracic fused when she was a teenager due to scoliosis, but has no metal instrumentation, as back then they took chips of bone from your hips and other places and put it in between the vertebrae. I forgot to mention my mother doesn't ride anymore, she doesn't have pain, she is just fearful she'll end up hurting herself.

    I had to wait 2 years before I could ride again, but i'm hearing now that it is a shorter wait period, as everything is changing.

    I don't know what kind of curve I had, or what it was called... I just know that it was S-shaped.

    There's no way I can change what I am doing, I love it too much. I'm going to keep trying the alternatives though as in Physical Therapy, and Chiro until I can't take the pain anymore. I will be starting swimming this summer and I am hoping that will help and also keep my mind off the other things I want to do that are causing the pain.

    Thanks for all your advice! No, I haven't talked with my surgeon yet. I had my surgery at the Childrens Hospital of DE ten years ago, and now i'm too old to go back. However, as soon as I graduate in May my mom and I will be sitting down with an actual surgeon somewhere!
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    Last edited by Jessiez92; 04-09-2013 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Why mom doesn't ride...

  6. #6
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    Pa
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    I just noticed this thread. I am fused from T3 through S1 (into my pelvis). I ride and show all the time. The only difference now is that I need a mounting block to get on. I found that my balance is a lot better than what it was. I didn't realize that I had that problem until after my fusion, when I went riding, it seemed as if I wasn't working as hard as I used to. Make sense? On a similar note, skiing also became easier with the balance. But try getting up after falling is a whole different issue! Krysi

  7. #7
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    Willington, CT
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    Horseback riding is really stressful on the lumbar area, even for non-scoliosis people, and with a thoracic fusion, you are more vulnerable in the lumbar. I am all in favor of alternative treatments, but I think it's important to understand exactly what's causing the lumbar pain. If more discs have broken down, you may get away with bracing for a while, but as you continue to ride, you could be in for a worse ride. Or you could be having muscular issues that may not have anything to do with the scoliosis. Get a GOOD personal trainer who specializes in spinal stabilization. I used to be one. as well as a scoliosis patient. Now "medically retired," but I know how important that piece is. I had clients with back issues who rode and I worked special programs for them. But again, it's important to know what's causing the problem in order to know what would work.
    Fused T10-S1 and C5-7
    Adult Onset at 25, with first surgery at 38
    Six total surgeries, including one for staph infection
    Found relief from pain without pills

  8. #8
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    Jan 2013
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    Willington, CT
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    Also, most of my back and neck are fused. I don't ride, but I do lots of other things. There is life after fusion surgery. That said, you're young. Unless they tell you there is a serious neurological impact, try everything else first. Surgery is not the cure. It just puts you back in the ballgame for now.
    Fused T10-S1 and C5-7
    Adult Onset at 25, with first surgery at 38
    Six total surgeries, including one for staph infection
    Found relief from pain without pills

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