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Thread: Tight Back

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    79
    Hi, Marina!

    Asheville! Great! Who did your surgery? I had no luck finding a surgeon here. I wound up at Duke as an emergency. Did you have to go the pain management route?

    Nice to know there's someone else from the the most beautiful place in the world!

    Wendy
    Wendy
    Fusion T6 to S2 with Dr. Carlos Bagley,
    Duke Spine Center
    Surgery Date June 21, 2013

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    200

    Asheville

    Wendy, I left Asheville in 1985. I live in Atlanta now. Dr. Timothy Yoon at Emory did my surgery.

    Are you from Asheville?

    No, I didn't need to deal with pain management. I was very lucky in that I got off all pain meds by week 7 post surgery. Not sure if it was because I was ready or that I had to go back to work for health insurance. Whatever the case, I was fine and now two and half years post op, feel almost back to normal. If it weren't for the tightness and off and on sharp shooting pains, I would be 100%. Usually not a big deal. I've tried everything but nothing works. I don't want to take any medication for it. The only thing that I've been told that would work is gabapentin. I want to get rid of it, not mask it.

    Take care!
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    964
    I am coming up on 2 years postop and I still feel like I am wearing a metal corset all the time. The weird thing is, it doesn't really bother me much now that I am used to it. And in some ways, I actually like it. (Like, I don't feel like I am hunched over and can't stand up straight anymore, and if this is what's keeping me upright, I'm okay with it.) That said, once in a while I get the muscle spasms that are somewhat painful. Then I know it's time to stretch and exercise. I have this nagging feeling that if I was in better shape--lifted weights, etc.--the tightness would be less. I wonder if it is related to muscle atrophy, because it sure feels like I am all skin, bones and metal back there. (Just to clarify, I'm not in terrible shape, but just do moderate exercise like walking and aqua aerobics.)

    Evelyn
    age 41
    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. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    I am coming up on 2 years postop and I still feel like I am wearing a metal corset all the time. The weird thing is, it doesn't really bother me much now that I am used to it. And in some ways, I actually like it. (Like, I don't feel like I am hunched over and can't stand up straight anymore, and if this is what's keeping me upright, I'm okay with it.) That said, once in a while I get the muscle spasms that are somewhat painful. Then I know it's time to stretch and exercise. I have this nagging feeling that if I was in better shape--lifted weights, etc.--the tightness would be less. I wonder if it is related to muscle atrophy, because it sure feels like I am all skin, bones and metal back there. (Just to clarify, I'm not in terrible shape, but just do moderate exercise like walking and aqua aerobics.)

    Evelyn
    On a good day this is exactly how I feel and I'm just over 3 years post op.
    I've been keeping a pain diary and I feel as though I'm still improving-very small improvements though but I am doing more than I was say 6mths ago. The corset feeling you describe is my main problem-do you feel as though you have pressure in your back? On a bad day though I have pain and I did put that down to some protruding screws but as time goes by I'm not so sure they are the culprit. They did impinge but that's getting less now. My surgeon has offered to remove my hardware and he's also suggested injections but I'm putting both off......for now. I'm still staying positive that I'm getting used to the pressure or things are still improving.

    I only walk and find that if I don't I feel stiff and uncomfortable but if I walk for too long the pressure builds up too much. I like you wonder if being fitter would help but I couldnt imagine using weights, I feel as though I have no muscles in the centre of my back at all and my surgeon said I have zero fat there. I've asked him about muscle atrophy but he just shrugged it off, I wish it didn't feel as though all I had there is hardware.
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    99

    Lifting weights

    Quote Originally Posted by Confusedmom View Post
    I am coming up on 2 years postop and I still feel like I am wearing a metal corset all the time. The weird thing is, it doesn't really bother me much now that I am used to it. And in some ways, I actually like it. (Like, I don't feel like I am hunched over and can't stand up straight anymore, and if this is what's keeping me upright, I'm okay with it.) That said, once in a while I get the muscle spasms that are somewhat painful. Then I know it's time to stretch and exercise. I have this nagging feeling that if I was in better shape--lifted weights, etc.--the tightness would be less. I wonder if it is related to muscle atrophy, because it sure feels like I am all skin, bones and metal back there. (Just to clarify, I'm not in terrible shape, but just do moderate exercise like walking and aqua aerobics.)

    Evelyn
    Hi Evelyn,
    Based on my own experience, I am a huge believer in using light weights and doing activities/exercises that engage the back muscles. I am not talking about heavy weight lifting. I started off with simple arm raises with no weights in hand and then eventually started to use soup cans and 3lb hand weights. I now have added weight machines and when I started with those, I used really low settings like 10 or 15 lbs at first. Now I do the pulldown and rowing machines at 40 lbs with no intention of going higher because then it starts to create shoulder issues for me (probably because of my 30 degree curve yet). There is still some tightness there and my back muscles sometimes feel "ropey" to me, but it is still so much better as compared to when I don't do weights on a regular basis. I have that corset feeling too and I think that it will always remain as a constant reminder of my surgery.

    Whatever you do, Just be sure to start slowly. It probably will help that you do aqua aerobics and are already engaging those muscles more than you realize.
    Take care...
    Donna
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,493
    Evelyn,
    I still look somewhat hollowed out between my shoulder blades, but I think I'm getting a little muscle back using light weights (5 lb. max.) and stretch bands and some of the machines at the Y to help that area. Janet (Dr. Lenke's PT) told me not to lift weights out to the sides while standing or overhead. I think it's to protect my neck. When I laid on my back at exercise classes, even at 2 years, it felt like I was laying on a 2 by 4 board. Now, it is much more comfortable at 3 years and probably because of the exercises.
    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 63
    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/

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    Evelyn,
    I still look somewhat hollowed out between my shoulder blades, but I think I'm getting a little muscle back using light weights (5 lb. max.) and stretch bands and some of the machines at the Y to help that area. Janet (Dr. Lenke's PT) told me not to lift weights out to the sides while standing or overhead. I think it's to protect my neck. When I laid on my back at exercise classes, even at 2 years, it felt like I was laying on a 2 by 4 board. Now, it is much more comfortable at 3 years and probably because of the exercises.

    I also have a significant hollowed out area between my shoulderblades and this is where all my pressure pain is. I don't excercise because I'm scared of ending up in more pain but I'm wondering should I go give it a go anyway?
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,493
    I am a big believer in exercising (and always was) , especially after this major surgery when my muscles so quickly atrophied. However, Dr. Lenke only allowed me to do specific exercises that his physical therapist approved. Periodically, I was able to add to my workouts with additional exercises that she gave me. Dr. Lenke stressed that most physical therapists "don't realize the magnitude of this surgery and can cause more harm than good." I worry about some who start physical therapy early in their recovery. I was only allowed to walk and do some exercises with light weights while lying on my back on the bed for the first several months. My point is that exercise is going to improve your muscle tone and strength, but that one needs to find out the do's and don'ts after having surgery so you don't do anything harmful when exercising.
    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 63
    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/

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    2,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    I am very happy with the outcome of my surgery, but curious about one thing. My back gets tight in the middle sometimes, like someone is holding me with strong hands. It is not bad and if I have to live with this feeling for the rest of my life, that is totally fine. But I wanted to ask people who are several years out of the surgery Ė does this tight back feeling ever go away?
    Irina......Not today, thatís for sure...... Do you feel the front and storm moving in today?

    This always happens when the winter storms approach.

    Tomorrow, I will be ok......

    This was an easy winter for west coast scolis. California will catch on fire here soon with the drought thatís happening. Itís the worst in 100 years.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 39...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P 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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