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Thread: Feeling better but...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    21

    Feeling better but...

    Hi everyone. I don't post here much but I do follow a lot. I have ended up being fused from T3-S1 with the last surgery being September 5 & 6 of 2013. I am also on Forteo daily injections and Lyrica for pain.

    While I'm not sure if my fusion would be considered "major" or not but to me it is after only being fused from T3-T7 for 25 years and now having the full fusion done because of a lower curve. Anyway, I was wondering to those of you who have a significant fusion length if you could enlighten me on when/if you have resigned yourself to the fact that you may never "feel" normal again. By that I mean not feeling like you're stiff, can't relax, have issues driving because you can't get comfortable, etc.

    I feel as though I'm at a plateau of sorts. Like yes, I have regained the ability of some things but not totally with all things. I have made adjustments in my life as far as bending my legs and not at my waist (what's a waist???), and what-not. I use my grabbers all the time (vertically challenged LOL). I also sit on the floor for a lot of things, i.e. organizing cupboards, looking for things in cupboards, switching the laundry from washer to dryer (front loading machines). I just was wondering if anyone else felt like they're "stuck" in position and going no-where fast.

    I hope I don't offend anyone in this post. To me, when I had the minor fusion, it was as though nothing stopped me. Now I'm like "whoa, slow down Chris, you can't move like that anymore".

    Chris
    fused from T3-S1 with T11 being removed and replaced by a filler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Christyne View Post
    Hi everyone. I don't post here much but I do follow a lot. I have ended up being fused from T3-S1 with the last surgery being September 5 & 6 of 2013. I am also on Forteo daily injections and Lyrica for pain.

    While I'm not sure if my fusion would be considered "major" or not but to me it is after only being fused from T3-T7 for 25 years and now having the full fusion done because of a lower curve. Anyway, I was wondering to those of you who have a significant fusion length if you could enlighten me on when/if you have resigned yourself to the fact that you may never "feel" normal again. By that I mean not feeling like you're stiff, can't relax, have issues driving because you can't get comfortable, etc.

    I feel as though I'm at a plateau of sorts. Like yes, I have regained the ability of some things but not totally with all things. I have made adjustments in my life as far as bending my legs and not at my waist (what's a waist???), and what-not. I use my grabbers all the time (vertically challenged LOL). I also sit on the floor for a lot of things, i.e. organizing cupboards, looking for things in cupboards, switching the laundry from washer to dryer (front loading machines). I just was wondering if anyone else felt like they're "stuck" in position and going no-where fast.

    I hope I don't offend anyone in this post. To me, when I had the minor fusion, it was as though nothing stopped me. Now I'm like "whoa, slow down Chris, you can't move like that anymore".

    Chris
    fused from T3-S1 with T11 being removed and replaced by a filler
    First of all, we all heal and feel better/normal at vastly different rates. You're not yet a year out and there are many members here who were still wondering if life would ever go back to normal at that point. For most of us, it does, eventually.

    Secondly, for some of us, it's a matter of getting used to physical restrictions. Some say they feel like they're carrying around a backpack for the first year or so.

    To promote a feeling of well being, exercise is important. Just walking will do the trick. As you get used to it, you can get faster and faster and soon that feeling of being fit, will overcome some of the feelings you're currently having regarding stiffness.

    From my own experience, you eventually stop feeling stiff. The timeline is different for everyone. For me it was by about the 5th month.

    Can you tell us the degree of pain you're having? On a scale of 1 - 10 perhaps?
    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
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Many of us have felt improvements in flexibility and fewer aches after the second year. I don't feel like there is anything I can't do with some minor modifications.
    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/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    I am still hoping for improvement and it is good to hear that it may be down the road. A friend of mine said that this may be "the new normal". If it is, so be it, but I would like a little less sacral tighter by and L thoracic pain. Hope......
    Susan
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    21
    Thanks everyone. I think I just needed some encouragement and "it's going to be ok" from all of you scoliosis sufferers. My problem is okay, I got the surgeries done, now let's hurry up and heal. I'm old-schooled and want to get back to doing what I've done all my life.

    Last night my husband, son and I worked together in the yard and I really felt good about doing it and helping out. After mowing I walked around the yard doing odds and ends and ended up in the garden working there. Again, it felt good to do stuff and help out.

    Although my recovery road has been very slow, I would encourage anyone to seek the answers they're looking for and never give up. I feel very blessed to have all of you in my life (my own little safe-haven) and know we can become better with everyone's support.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Francicsco Bay Area
    Posts
    127

    hardware removal after sacrum surgery

    I saw a well-known scoliosis surgeon the other day and they said that it was possible to have the hardware removed after you had been fused to the sacrum. You just have to wait two years. Maybe this would help some of you to get rid of that board/plank/ tight feeling down there. I had a hardware removal after my original T2-L3 surgeries, and it helped relieve the tight feeling as well as a burning that was caused from the metal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    I just had part of my hardware removed but my surgeon said to remove it all would be another major surgery with major risks. It does make you think---- do I want to go through that again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    And, removal of implants will not give anyone additional flexibility. Implant removal is usually done because the implants are irritating the surrounding tissue.
    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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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Francicsco Bay Area
    Posts
    127
    Everyone is effected differently by their Scoliosis surgeries so we can't say that having this or that surgery will be the same for everyone. We can only speak generally. Actually, in my case having hardware removal did give me back a bit of flexibility and my surgeon and I were both happy about that. Plus having the hardware out made me more comfortable in my body, which was worth a LOT to me. However, I don't know about hardware removal in the sacrum area because I have not been fused there.

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