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Thread: Hey I need your opinion please !?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Seymour, TN

    Hey I need your opinion please !?!

    I really need your help. I had surgery several years ago on August 20, 2001. I had perfect recovery. Truth be told I wanted to be right back where I was before the surgery. So, I pushed myself very hard. When I got back and was allowed to play sports again. It was very hard. I'm not as good as I was before. I had to readapt to having the rods in my spine and I plain and simple look funny now when I play soccer and basketball. I'm a junior in high school right now. I am on the varsity team in both soccer and basketball with a lot of hard work. But, I know next year is different. We have many more talented players coming up and I dont believe I can allow myself to play and push myself that hard.
    I want to have surgery this spring to remove the rods from my back. My parents already said no way, but my doctor says it is alright. The only risk is infection from surgery. I really want to be able to live life without an excuse. "oh, I cant play that hard because I might get hurt because I have metal rods in my back." I'm honestly sick of it and I want to be the way I was before.
    So if anyone has any opinion. Please I would greatly appreciate it if you would reply. Thank you.
    -Ali 67 degree curve, 32 and 28 minor curve; now 14,12, and 12 curve. 3 and a half years post surgery.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    You might not like my opinion (or thoughts as I like to call them), but anywayz, here goes.

    One thing that did come to mind from reading "oh, I cant play that hard because I might get hurt because I have metal rods in my back." I'm honestly sick of it and I want to be the way I was before.", is that you are aware aren't you that you can never quite go back to the way you were before, you'll still be fused; solid and stiff (flexibility depending on how long your fusion is), the only difference being is that there will no longer be rods being a part of the fusion.

    Since the "post Harrington rods" days, a spinal fusion is very, very difficult to break (after the year mark, when it has fused) from getting hurt or other trauma. Being three and a half years post surgery, your doctor would have a very good idea of your fusion's fusion rate.

    As one doc told me one day "life's all about knowing your limits, and only you will know what your body can do, and with a fusion there is very little you can't do, life is what you make of it".

    My parents for a long time after my fusion (i'm five and a half years post op ), mollycoddled me and told me "you can't do that, you've got rods in your back, you might break them". But as time went on, they came to realise, that I knew my limits, had no plans to sky-dive or bungee jump, and was aware of how much my body could do and that I had learnt to adapt things that I couldn't quite do the same way, to almost the same way as I could before.

    Some of the things I have done, haven't been the smartest things for my back, I'll be the first to admit (going on a flying fox off a platform into water being one of them), but I have given them a go, and know that I can do it, but just not to do it every day.

    Other things I have done over the years include, soccer, white water rafting, abseiling (rapel), sailing, netball, fencing, canoeing

    People whom I know, or see me for the first time, do not even have the slightest clue that I have had spinal fusion surgery, unless they see the scar, and some of my closest friends don't remember I have rods in there. A lot of the time i don't even remember that the rods are there...................

    I know that further along the track (many years I hope :-) that I may (along with other fusionees) will have the possibility of disk dengeneration above and below the fusion as well as other various problems. But as I see it, that's awhile away yet, and in no way is it going to stop me from experiencing what I want to do in life.

    The choice to have rods removed is a personal one, but as I like to say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Whoops, had a bit more to add, but can't work out how to edit it

    I think every person whose ever had a fusion can understand your frustrations about having a fusion, and the adaptatations that you often have to undertake to various things. You know the fusion has to be done.......have no regrets having it done................but wish you could be exactly the same flexibility wise etc as you were before.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I tend to agree with Alison...
    Since your back will be equally stiff with or without your rods, I personally wouldn't bother with having them removed... You can kind of think of it like this: Your rods supported your back bones while they fused. Now you're fused, and your back bones kind of support the rod.
    It is frustrating to not be able to do things just exactly like you did before your op...

    Dec 15th, 2003 @ age of 20
    Posterior Fusion and CD Horizon instrumentation T2-L1.
    Surgery by Dr. Herkowitz- Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, Michigan
    Excellent correction of 52 degree single left thoracolumbar curve. Slight curve remains in unfused lumbar region but seems stable.
    February 5, 2005- Failed Scar Revision Surgery
    September 17, 2005- 2nd Failed Scar Revision.

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