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Thread: First day home from the hospital

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18

    First day home from the hospital

    Hey everyone,
    I made an account over the weekend hoping to post before my surgery, but it wouldn't let me post.

    Anyways, I can now, and wanted to share my story.
    I'm 18 years old, male, found out I had scoliosis when I was 17, and through a series of appointments and referrals, was lucky enough to find an opening for surgery on July 11th at a local hospital.
    Details:
    Last July, 40° curve from initial x-ray
    March, 47° curve, new x-ray from the surgeon
    At the appointment in March, we talked to the surgeon about surgery and decided it would be best to do it before it got worse as the years go by, and earlier that day he had someone else cancel their surgery for July 11th, so we immediately scheduled it for then.
    I got my blood work done July 8th just for type/cross.
    Clear liquids Saturday, nothing Sunday, was at the hospital around 5:20am on Monday to check in, and they wheeled me to the operating room right on time at about 7:30am. I think I woke up around 12:30-1pm, my surgeon and his team did an incredible job.
    I stayed in the PICU for the duration of my visit, came home yesterday in the early afternoon.
    I've done a lot of walking, sitting up/down, etc since the surgery, and apparently they were impressed by my progress and pain tolerance at the hospital, and even considered letting me go home Wednesday.

    Soo... Scoli details... They fused T4-L1 with 2 rods, 1 titanium and 1 cobalt-chrome, and 17 titanium screws. I don't know the new curve amount but it looks almost perfectly straight, considering it was 47° 3 months before surgery.
    So, I highly recommend my surgeon Dr. Brian Shaw in Colorado, and I'll attach the xrays from before surgery (March) and after surgery on Monday on this post.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how to ensure quick and safe recovery... I'm very interested, as well as anything else I might want to know for efficient pain management.

    Before:
    https://imgur.com/yV35CPA

    After:
    http://i.imgur.com/fOs3dED.jpg

    I look forward to hearing from all of you!
    -Golfer
    Last edited by 1998golfer; 07-15-2016 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Welcome to the forum. I had surgery 5 years ago and just peek in on the forum once in awhile. I am curious if you are a golfer or if that is possibly your last name. I wasn't allowed to return to golf for a year, but surprisingly still play fairly well with a 10 handicap. I recommend following your surgeon's directions as to dos and don'ts. The most important thing is for your spine to fuse so you need to avoid twisting, bending, lifting for along time. Good luck with a smooth recovery.
    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/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    Welcome to the forum. I had surgery 5 years ago and just peek in on the forum once in awhile. I am curious if you are a golfer or if that is possibly your last name. I wasn't allowed to return to golf for a year, but surprisingly still play fairly well with a 10 handicap. I recommend following your surgeon's directions as to dos and don'ts. The most important thing is for your spine to fuse so you need to avoid twisting, bending, lifting for along time. Good luck with a smooth recovery.
    Thanks! And I used to golf, but haven't in years anyways. I'm more of a biking guy now.
    The dates and limits my surgeon gave me seem a lot less strict than what I've been reading, he said I'd probably be able to ride my bike in 3-4 weeks, drive in 3-4 weeks, and have a 20lb weight limit.
    I've been doing a lot of exercise since I've been home, constantly either walking around, going up and down stairs, or just plain pacing.
    I've got a follow up appointment August 2nd and I hope that goes well, I noticed my shoulders aren't level anymore and I wondered if that might go away or if it's permanent. Before surgery my shoulders were level and you couldn't tell I had scoliosis by looking at me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    You are very young and recovery may be easier. There are several posts on shoulder balance but you are just out of the hospital and not even a week. Just walk and let things settle. Follow the guidelines of your doctor. That seems like a lot of weight so easily. Healing takes time.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,551
    Welcome and congratulations!

    We like having younger posters around here.....

    Try to take it easy for at least another day, (smiley face) I shouldn’t say that around here, but us older folks take a long time to heal, and babies heal in minutes.

    You realize that you have to fuse.....try not to disturb or create any extra forces, no bending, lifting, twisting, or falling for awhile. The books will say a year to fuse, but its hard to say when this happens. You could fuse in 2 months to a certain degree, like a cut healing, but disturb that cut and it bleeds.

    Take it easy and keep posting.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18
    Yeah, I'm not doing any bending or twisting, using my knees a lot to bend down to grab things off the floor, etc.
    My parents seem to think I'll be okay to go to disney world over spring break, but if they go I might opt to stay home or try to convince my girlfriend's parents to let me go on a cruise with her instead.

    My main concern right now is pain management, I only had a prescription for 25 percocet and I've been taking 2 every 6 hours and I can't move from the pain when it's time to take more or I forget to overnight (like last night I was supposed to take some at around 5am, but I woke up at 6:30 and that was quite painful. I'm now alternating ibuprofen and percocet every 3 hours, but I'm worried what will happen when my prescription runs out. Should most of my pain be gone by then, or can I call my surgeon and ask him for another prescription?

    Thanks everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    You should be working with pain management. Most surgeons do not write scripts for narcotics after six weeks. A good management Doctor will make sure that your pain is under control. That is so important to get and keep your pain under control.

    Being so young I would think that by spring break you should be fine to go on vacation.


    Take it from someone who knows pain

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    57
    Welcome to the other side of straight and balanced! When I was 18, my curve was 47 degrees and the doctor told me to go enjoy my life and not worry. Very conservative in those days. I finally had to decide on surgery in my 40's because my curve progressed so much. You made the right decision and your recovery sounds like a breeze. It has been harder on me by a landslide. I would call your surgeon if you need more pain meds. You will need to pick up the prescription and hand deliver it to the pharmacy, they can't call in narcotics. Also, my surgeon said no ibruprofen or NSAIDs for 6 months after as they impede the fusion process. You can use Tylenol, which for me doesn't do much! Keep us posted!
    Jana
    Diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 11
    Dr. Edgar Dawson of UCLA
    Braced and "stopped" below 50 degrees
    Age 25: 47 degrees, 48 degrees
    Age 38 (3 babies later): 60 degrees, 63 degrees and 2.5 inches shorter
    Age 41: 64 degrees, 70 degrees
    Dr. Gregory Mundis Jr. of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla CA
    June 2015-ALIF on L5-S1 for a slipped and degenerated disk
    June 14, 2016-T4-L4 spinal fusion with instrumentation
    Post-surgery: 16 degrees, 12 degrees and 2 inches taller

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by mabeckoff View Post
    You should be working with pain management. Most surgeons do not write scripts for narcotics after six weeks. A good management Doctor will make sure that your pain is under control. That is so important to get and keep your pain under control.

    Being so young I would think that by spring break you should be fine to go on vacation.


    Take it from someone who knows pain

    Melissa
    I only have enough narcotics to last me until Monday at 2 in the morning... We'll call him tomorrow and I guess leave a message and ask for more. A night ago I thought I'd be okay if I just took one of the percocet pills because I was going to sleep, and I woke up at 2 in the morning, unable to move and pretty much crying in pain, and I couldn't take more for another 2 hours.
    How long should I expect to have to be on them? I'm assuming the pain won't be gone by tomorrow night, but I could be wrong.

    And about the ibuprofen, the nurse gave me some in the hospital even... I'll stop taking it for now, I really need to talk to my surgeon but it's the weekend.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Golfer

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,551
    I had a feeling you were going to run out of Percoset. I would make a phone call first thing Monday morning, your surgeon “might” want you to come in. I had my staples pulled around 10 days post, and I think they might have shot an x-ray....Be very descriptive when explaining your pain, it matters a lot to the doctors.

    I don’t know if any changes have been made as far as prescription amounts after the death of Prince....in the future I would suspect that the amounts will be smaller.....I personally had no problems getting the amounts I needed, and after a few surgeries pretty much had to have the docs lighten up since I had an arsenal of meds. Percoset is Oxy with with Tylenol, and can do a good job until immunity builds up. It is not an easy thing managing pain with oral meds, between immunity, spacing times incorrectly, there are always going to be some pain spells. I was taking hot water soaks for pain at 106 degrees F. Hot water works quite well for bone and nerve pain. If you do this, be sure to drink plenty of water because you lose water when immersed in hot water and it needs to be replenished otherwise you will become dehydrated. This is why children shouldnt be in hot tubs, not because they pee in the pool. (smiley face) I also showered after the tub with an anti-bacterial soap over the scar. Weaning rates can be accomplished at 5 weeks or 20% per week.....this is supposed to be a comfortable weaning rate.

    It is a good idea to keep notes on everything you do, med intake, diet, bm’s and walks. Keep the walks going because they transfer nutrients into healing zones via blood. Multiple short walks throughout the day, not a marathon. Drinking plenty of water and walking is important because it promotes peristalsis in the intestines, keeps the plumbing flowing. Try not to get constipated because that’s painful. Having a bottle of Magnesium Citrate around is a good idea is one does opoid’s, it can prevent an embarrassing trip to the emergency room for a manual digout. I know, sounds heavy. I consider Mag Citrate an insurance policy....

    I would do the cruise..... (smile face)

    Hang in there

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF 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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    57
    Hi Golfer,

    I feel for you. I woke up a couple nights gripping the sheets and thinking I was going to need to go back to the hospital. It is scary. I also realized on a Saturday morning I was going to run out of my pain pills before Monday and I was petrified! I never will let that happen again. Fortunately, my surgeon was in town and my Dad went running over to get the script while I was blubbering at home. I swear I have never cried so much as I have the last month. I know this pain and the meds can make you very emotional.

    Honestly, your not on super strong pain meds and your still fresh out. If you need better pain management, tell your doctor. They expect everyone to be different with what adequately covers the pain. I was on heavy duty meds when I got home at day 10 because it was all that kept my head above water. When my husband went to the pharmacy with my OxyContin ER script and Dilaudid every 3 hours script, right after I was discharged, the pharmacist refused to fill the Dilaudid unless he spoke on the phone to my surgeon!! This was on a Friday at 3pm and I knew my surgeon had taken visiting spinal surgeons from China out in a fishing boat!!! Talk about panic!! Anyway, we got through to him and all was ok.

    So advice for those planning surgery, realize when you leave the hospital you will have no pain meds. Take your last dose as you leave and plan on someone going straight away to the pharmacy to get them filled. Also realize there could be a hiccup and try to make sure your surgeon is available if the pharmacist freaks out on how much you are taking!

    I got off the Oxy at 2weeks cold turkey, no issues and I am down to one Dilaudid every 4 hours. I will take 2 if the pain gets really bad. This surgery is painful and it lingers. Keep it managed as best you can! Hot showers work great for me and I lay on ice packs off and on all day.

    Jana
    Last edited by Jjohnsonphd; 07-17-2016 at 03:22 PM.
    Diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 11
    Dr. Edgar Dawson of UCLA
    Braced and "stopped" below 50 degrees
    Age 25: 47 degrees, 48 degrees
    Age 38 (3 babies later): 60 degrees, 63 degrees and 2.5 inches shorter
    Age 41: 64 degrees, 70 degrees
    Dr. Gregory Mundis Jr. of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla CA
    June 2015-ALIF on L5-S1 for a slipped and degenerated disk
    June 14, 2016-T4-L4 spinal fusion with instrumentation
    Post-surgery: 16 degrees, 12 degrees and 2 inches taller

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18
    Thanks everyone - we will call him in the morning and I'll hope I don't fall apart in the meantime. This morning was really painful even with the percocet, but this afternoon was better when I took ibuprofen as well.
    I've been up and around the house quite a few times and took a field trip to Costco walked a circle around the store (for those of you who know, massive!!) and got some samples and a smoothie. Time to take a nap.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    18
    They only gave me 15 pills and said they expect me to only take them at night and somehow survive on ibuprofen and ice during the day. What do I do???

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    I don't think that ibuprofen is to be used yet. It interferes with the fusion process. All surgeons should be cautious of writing too much pain med scripts. Ed has mentioned several times the death of Prince and what can happen with pain meds. Yet you are in pain.
    I would say go to a pain management doctor. They watch the patient closer then a surgeon has time to. Also either heat or ice. What makes you feel better. Change position and walk. And anything that calms you like soothing music,a funny movie,calling a friend.
    Last edited by jackieg412; 07-18-2016 at 01:49 PM.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    east coast
    Posts
    359
    Regarding ibuprofen, the hospital I had my fusion done, Hospital for Special Surgery which is ranked at #1 in orthpedics did not want me to take any ibuprofen immediately after fusion. I'd play on safe than sorry and not use any ibuprofen. I didn't use any for a year, and even now, nearly 2 years post op I rarely use it.


    I didn't have any trouble getting full (as in max per month) amount of narcotic pain meds for three months post-op. Initially I left the hospital with 10 days worth. That was in 2014.

    More recently, earlier this year I had another surgery (non orthopedic) and they were pretty stingy when I asked for more after I ran out. But I think that was the nurse that was filling for my main nurse/surgeon. Or it could be due to the new regulations that mainly affect primary care, but specialists are being careful as well.

    I'd talk to your primary care doctor, or surgeon and ask for a pain referral. Do it before you are about to run out -- you don't want to keep playing this catch up game. Even if you don't need any more after 15 days, it's nice to have that extra on hand to keep your mind at ease.

    One thing though -- My surgeon made a comment how he had facet joint injections and when he asked his doc for more pain meds after the initial script, he didn't appreciate his doc's office treating him like a drug-seeker. Sooo, he may have a more open approach to prescribing pain meds as patients ask vs. others. I'm really glad for that because there was no way I could have gone through recovery if I had gotten cut off after a month.
    Last edited by green m&m; 07-18-2016 at 12:44 PM.
    30 something y.o.

    2003 - T45, L???
    2005 - T50, L31
    bunch of measurements between...

    2011 - T60, L32
    2013 - T68, L?

    Posterior Fusion Sept 2014 -- T3 - L3
    Post - op curve ~35



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