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Thread: Scared but scheduled for T4-pelvis Fusion Oct 2015

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50
    Hey nybw51mr42 I was wondering...
    You said you felt comfortable with Dr. Lenke...your second visit I think. How much time did he spend with you? How long did you wait? Did you get additional X-rays taken? Do you know how far out he's scheduling surgery? I'm sorry for all the questions. I'm very excited to meet him and move forward with surgery, at least that's how I feel at the moment! Any info you could give would be most appreciated!

    Ed, I read the link you shared about Orthopedic stem cell use...FASCINATING!!

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
    Hey nybw51mr42 I was wondering...
    You said you felt comfortable with Dr. Lenke...your second visit I think. How much time did he spend with you? How long did you wait? Did you get additional X-rays taken? Do you know how far out he's scheduling surgery? I'm sorry for all the questions. I'm very excited to meet him and move forward with surgery, at least that's how I feel at the moment! Any info you could give would be most appreciated!

    Ed, I read the link you shared about Orthopedic stem cell use...FASCINATING!!
    No problem with the questions.

    - He spent about 20-30 minutes with me, but would have gone longer if I had any more questions
    - Mmmm maybe 20-30 minutes also? I wouldn't worry about these, because he has patients fly all over to see him so he takes his time with each person.
    - Yes, additional xrays taken. Very quick though. He has some huge machine that does a full body xray in 5 seconds.
    - He was scheduling surgeries out in January for when I saw him last week.

    Any other questions just ask!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    I never felt like Dr. Lenke rushed me, however, I always typed up all of my questions prior to the appointment to make the best use of my time with him and mainly so I didn't forget to ask him something. I had several appointments that were a longer wait than I would have tolerated for most doctors, but I always felt he was more than worth the wait!
    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. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50

    Scared but scheduled for T4-pelvis fusion Jan 2016

    I've stayed away from the forum for a bit, probably because I was trying to keep my head in the sand as long as possible...

    On 11/4, I had my appointment with Dr. Lenke, along with his fellow and NUMEROUS med students! He agreed with my first doctor on the need for surgery and length of fusion. (Many years ago, my original surgeon was a fellow of Dr. Lenke's and he remembered him well!) Dr. Lenke can do everything necessary in a one-day posterior surgery as opposed to the two-day procedure originally planned. Great news! Can I just say how relieved I am that I cancelled the original surgeries!!!

    Unfortunately, I also found out that I'm going to need neck surgery down the road. I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm not worried about it at this point.

    I felt very comfortable with Dr. Lenke. He was very serious/professional, but also very kind. When I asked him how to best prepare for surgery, he told me to make it a point to exercise...to do whatever I could tolerate. I've been doing yoga regularly and I try to walk or ride a bike when I'm able. When I asked my last doctor, he said "don't start smoking". I didn't find that very helpful.

    While I'm thrilled that I get to spend the holidays with my kids, anxiety/fear is returning. My husband and I will be heading back to NYC in a couple of weeks for pre-op testing and an appointment to discuss the surgery in more detail. I was looking forward to shopping and seeing the sights until I realized the first day would be spent at the hospital getting a total spine MRI and thoracic & lumbar CT. The next day will include flexibility X-rays, lab work, an EKG followed by the meeting with Dr. Lenke.

    Dr. Lenke told me this surgery isn't for sissies. I don't know how you all got through it. I think I'm a sissy...

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Nancy,
    That's good news that you won't have to wait too long to have the surgery. I made myself about half crazy since I scheduled the surgery with Dr. Lenke a year in advance. I wasn't in a lot of pain, however, the stress of worrying about it was awful. I don't know if Dr. Lenke has changed his web page, but I found it helpful to read the testimonials of other patients of his. I also looked at their before and after pictures. While being scared to death, I also was a little bit excited about the possibility of having a straight back to not constantly worry about the curve progressing. I have been extremely happy with my outcome, but I know there are many on the forum that don't feel the same. I refused to go to the revision section of the forum until a year or more after my surgery. Best of luck! When I asked on the forum if I should get a second opinion after seeing Dr. Lenke, Linda, the moderator, assured me that I had one of the best surgeons and didn't recommend it.
    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/

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Mom of 4.

    Please believe me when I say, we're all scared. Some of us less than others, but we're all scared. I thought I was the biggest sook ever. I'd never had surgery in my life and, at nearly 58, I hoped I never would. But I was faced with T4 to sacrum surgery and initially, I was so scared, I cancelled, and took my time coming to terms with the idea, because deep down I knew I needed to do it. Eventually, 9 months from the day I saw my surgeon, I arrived at hospital fit, feeling strong and knowing I was going to get through this.

    I was very, very lucky, in that, although I could barely stand for 30 seconds without bad pain, I could walk forever. So that's what I did. Every day, getting faster and faster, going further and further. I also kayaked, which didn't seem to bother my back. By surgery day I was jumping out of my skin and no longer scared. I just wanted to get it over and done with.

    If you, or anybody else facing this surgery, can manage to exercise, as Dr. Lenke said, do it! It will make a huge difference. Not just physically, but mentally. My super-fit partner pushed me from day 1. I didn't believe him when he said it will help with my fears as well as make me feel wonderful. But it was absolutely true.

    I know not everyone can exercise, but for those who can, it's the best advice I can give.
    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

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50
    Karen, I can't imagine waiting a year for surgery. I am indeed grateful that I don't have to wait that long! Tomorrow, I have a Pulmonary Function Test and then next Monday, I'm headed back to see Dr. Lenke for more testing and my pre-op appointment. Time is passing quickly, especially with the holidays upon us!

    Jennifer, exercise has definitely become a daily occurrence for me. I'm using it as a stress-reducer now. Yoga has always been a favorite of mine. My balance is improving and I'm getting stronger and more flexible, too. I guess I should enjoy the flexibility while I still have it, lol!!!!

    Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot!!!

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,245
    Good luck

    Just keep on asking questions

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    535
    Mom of 4, is Lenke planning to use BMP in your surgery? If so, have you had a conversation with BCBS about it? I experienced a hot mess with BCBS at the last possible moment as the hospital was closing early for Thanksgiving in 2011 and my surgery was on a Monday morning. Here is a link to my old blog (new one is in the works) http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot...-thickens.html

    Best!
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

    http://thebionicachronicles.blogspot.com/

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50
    Thanks Melissa!

    Doreen, yes Dr. Lenke is planning on using BMP and no I haven't had a conversation with BCBS about it. I guess I'll be calling them first thing Monday morning. Thanks for the heads up!!!

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,952
    Hi...

    I would recommend that you work through Dr. Lenke's office instead of going directly to BCBS. If you talk to one of the billers in Dr. Lenke's office, they should be able to tell you if there might be an issue with BMP.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50
    Thanks, Linda! I was at Dr. Lenke's office yesterday and everything looks good. I'm moving forward...

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,952
    Good news. Good luck!
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    50

    Major Meltdown Mode

    So, this morning I was awakened by a call from my doctor's office, one week exactly from when my central line was to be inserted. They changed my surgical date!!! I am a total mess!!! I knew it was a possibility, given who my surgeon is, however I didn't expect it to happen to me. The surgery is now scheduled for the following week. Although it doesn't seem like a big deal, everything has changed. Trying to juggle the schedules of four very involved children, not to mention my husband's and mine is nearly impossible. Delaying the surgery one week means I won't have anyone with me in New York, as the daughter that was going to be with me has to go back to college. I am so mad, I just can't stop crying and wondering if this is a sign to just cancel the whole thing.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    That really stinks! I know how much planning I had to do before my surgery and can't even imagine with four kids all that you had to arrange. Did Dr. Lenke's office tell you the reason?
    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/

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