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Thread: Hello, from a newcomer! Question regarding sitting after surgery.

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99
    Hi all!

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Ed! I've enjoyed reading your posts through all this-always positive and funny. Those "bear traps" do not sound fun. I'm fused pretty low so my thoracic hasn't been bothering me too much (not yet anyways). But I do believe the cold weather flares things up in general.

    Thanks Irina and Susan, too, for your messages. Irina, a standing desk sounds great. Ive talked to my boss about this before. I can bring it up, but since I'm only in the office once or twice a week (when I go in) I'm not sure if it will happen. Luckily I can kind of move my lap top around and maybe stand at a counter if I have to.

    Susan, that must have been the best feeling (being able to sit without thought)! It sounds like you're doing well one year postop. In general, I'm just tired of thinking about everything so much. I look forward to the day I'm not "thinking" about my back.

    I was going to also pose a "physical therapy" question to everyone, but I will do that now in a separate thread...
    Surgery Jan 6, 2014 at 38 yrs
    Posterior Fusion T10-L4, osteotomy 1 lev.
    Pre op-Thoracolumbar Curve-50 degrees

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99

    Could I hurt myself sitting?

    I spend my days propped up but reclined on the couch, standing up and working on a computer, and walking frequently in between. I still rarely sit. I thought since I will probably have to go into work in a few weeks (only one day a week, but a long commute on train) that I should practice sitting.

    It is not only merely uncomfortable, sometimes it can end up being excruciating. I have to lie flat for a long while afterwards. Just recently, I tried to sit for about 10 minutes and I had a shooting nerve pain and it felt as if my back split in two. I almost laughed at how crazy it felt. I'm lying down now and feel fine. I have been able to sit longer but usually not at night.

    I know it will take a long time to sit comfortably but I'm not sure if practicing will set back my recovery?
    Surgery Jan 6, 2014 at 38 yrs
    Posterior Fusion T10-L4, osteotomy 1 lev.
    Pre op-Thoracolumbar Curve-50 degrees

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213

    Surprised at surgeon's okay for repetitive exercises

    Hello,

    Haven't been on forum for a while due to travel for work. I'm about 2.5 years post surgery--top to bottom fusion.

    I had every plan to get an elliptical machine but my surgeon said absolutely not: no repetitive motion that would affect the fusion of the bones. It takes a couple years for fusion!

    Just wanted to relay a different doctor's take on it--and he is pretty well known in this industry.

    Regarding pillows. For my car I used a memory foam pillow for my back. I've used various pillows for sitting on the couch, chair, my office chair still has back pillow. It's getting better where I don't absolutely have something that confirms to how my back curves now, but there are some chairs that have too curvy of a back that I could never use. You can't expect to sit for very long for quite a while: besides, its good for you to get up and walk around. It's good for your body, good for your eyes, etc.

    Best wishes in your recovery!
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99
    Thanks for your message!

    I actually stopped the elliptical because I felt like it was too jarring to my soft tissue. Just started PT which seems already to have been a very good idea. My physical therapist agreed that the elliptical might be too irritating at this point. Very interesting that your surgeon said no altogether! I do trust my surgeon as he too is top in the field, but at the same time, such disparate advice makes you wonder. I'll stick to walking for now.

    I'm hoping sitting will get easier as I continue PT...
    Surgery Jan 6, 2014 at 38 yrs
    Posterior Fusion T10-L4, osteotomy 1 lev.
    Pre op-Thoracolumbar Curve-50 degrees

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Welcome Springchicken.
    Just wanted to say that for me, it was well over a year before I could sit for extended periods of time without pain, but I was 30 years your senior at the time of my surgery. Ha ha! Also, my surgeon did not recommend PT until six months, but he did let me swim at three months in addition to walking.
    You will do fine and patience is definitely the ticket. Best wishes.
    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.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,245
    It will take time but you should be fine. As others have said,patience is the key

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    62
    Wow, Olivia, I am so impressed with how well you are doing! Everyone on the forum advised me to take it easy too, but I know it's hard. Sitting was and is still one of the most difficult things about my recovery. But I have a few tricks that are helping. (1) I lay down instead of sit, whenever possible. If you're working from home, you could try laying on the floor/bed/couch/whatever. It might be hard with the laptop, but maybe you could try using some kind of "breakfast in bed" type tray? I propped my head up on a memory foam pillow, and kept the rest of my body completely flat. I've also had good luck with the ipad on a little stand on the bed next to me. Maybe you could get a cordless keyboard to put on your lap, and view the screen sitting on the bed next to you. (2) I purchased a wedge-shaped donut cushion. And I no longer "sit" on a chair, I "perch." I keep my knees lowever than my hips, and I adjust my chair as high as I can and tilt the seat forward. I never lean back, except when I have visitors, because otherwise I think my body language makes them uncomfortable Perching and tilting forward keeps all the pressure on the bottoms of my thighs and off my spine. Of course I was unable to do any of this for a few months after surgery. It was only after PT loosened up my hip flexors that made it possible.

    Sitting is crummy. But, ha ha, I used to not be able to stand, and only had pain relief when I sat! Now it's the opposite.

    I went back to work at 4.5 months, and I think it was too early even though my dr recommended it. That, and doing too much pre-Xmas prep work, set my recovery back by about 2 months. Here's the best advice someone on the forum gave me: find something really great on Netflicks, get hooked on it, and spend a couple months chilling! Although I wish I'd never started watching Walking Dead. Gave me nightmares!

    Best of luck,
    Megan
    Surgery June 18 by Dr. Errico at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases at age 41.
    Fused T10-Pelvis.
    "Ask me about my brand new lordosis!"

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99
    Hi Megan,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your note and your encouragement. I've found that sitting IS finally getting easier, though of course still have a ways to go. I perch a lot, too! Seems to be the best way for me. I have long legs, too, so I sit on a pillow so I'm not too low.

    I'm hooked on Mad Men at the moment-tv distractions are always good.

    I am going to write you another message on another thread, Megan...had a question.


    Thanks!
    Surgery Jan 6, 2014 at 38 yrs
    Posterior Fusion T10-L4, osteotomy 1 lev.
    Pre op-Thoracolumbar Curve-50 degrees

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    570
    Quote Originally Posted by springchicken View Post
    Hi Megan,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your note and your encouragement. I've found that sitting IS finally getting easier, though of course still have a ways to go. I perch a lot, too! Seems to be the best way for me. I have long legs, too, so I sit on a pillow so I'm not too low.

    I'm hooked on Mad Men at the moment-tv distractions are always good.

    I am going to write you another message on another thread, Megan...had a question.


    Thanks!
    Mad Men is such a good show! Enjoy your freedom while you can. I can't remember if you work and plan to return to work, but I am looking back at my 4 - 5 months postop as a wonderful time now. I took a nice and long brake from work and just took care of myself. Those were good days.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

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