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Thread: Surgery an option? What kind? What else?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    A few miles south of San Francisco
    Posts
    1

    Question Surgery an option? What kind? What else?

    Hello all. I just now found this support website, so here goes a question maybe some of you could answer from personal experience. I'm a 56 y.o. woman who just had 5 very "gnarly" and "messy" right hip replacement surgeries, before a successful one "took". Lots of hip tissue has been damaged/destroyed, so guess what happened as a result? It left me unable to compensate for a severe lumbar back scoliosis, that I never knew I had until last year! Right now I am on daily narcotic meds for the pain, I walk with difficulty, using a cane, and have trouble standing or sitting for extended periods of time. Is there a surgery out there for me that I could at least consider? Has anyone of you used one of those electrical portable TENS units to control your pain? I hafta wear a right heel build-up on all my right foot shoes. I have a great doctor, 2 actually, managing this condition, but it's cool to find folks who are going thru this themselves. I'm not mentally ready for any surgery yet, though, as I have trudged thru 5 years of lousy, failed hip surgeries. Just looking to see how people are handling their individual cases. I was never checked for this deformity when I was young, so here I is. Sigh. All replies appreciated. I live in San Francisco, and have twin 16 y.o. boys. Need to be as active as possible.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Chickenfat...

    I successfully used a portable TENS unit for lower back pain about 5 years ago. Unfortunately, I was allergic to every adhesive that they could come up with, so I had to give the TENS unit up. :-(

    It's entirely possible that you didn't have scoliosis until recently. Degeneration of the spine from osteoporosis can cause scoliosis and kyphosis.

    Who are you seeing for your scoliosis? (I run the Scoliosis Association of San Francisco, so I'm being nosey for a reason :-)

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Concord MA
    Posts
    8

    Question Pre-surgery exercise

    Hi! I'm so sorry to hear about all of your surgeries - they sound complicated and painful.

    I've had two surgeries for scoliosis, the most recent in 2003, and I'm 50. I tried several rounds of traditional physical therapy - my latest PT used ultrasound, electrical stim, mild massage, and moist heat packs. I got my own TENS unit, hoping it would make a difference. But the truth is, the PT and the TENS unit were only temporarily and mildly helpful. I don't recommend the unit for serious chronic pain.

    If it's at all possible for you, I suggest you investigate the possibility of warm-water rehab (usually covered by insurance for the first month or two, and then many rehab centers let you continue to come for a small fee - like $10 - $15). I find the water (92 degrees!) to be incredibly soothing and I feel relaxed enough to do walking and non-aerobic stretching exercises.

    I'm not sure if yoga would be appropriate for you, but you can look at Elise Browning's DVD "Yoga for Scoliosis" (www.yogaforscoliosis.com). She herself has scoliosis as do the people who help her demonstrate the yoga positions. Even with an extensive fusion, I can do most of them, but I've never had hip surgery.

    I prefer Pilates, but you really need to do it with an instructor when you are first starting out. Pilates instructors are trained to assess each person's particular needs, strengths and limitations and to design a series of exercises based on them. For each person, then, Pilates tends to be different (there are over 500 exercises!). To find an instructor, I recommend contacting www.powerpilates.com (in NY). That is an instructor-training center and may know of instructors in your town or city.

    My own instructor has been very careful and gentle. She has worked with me - I came to her in a lot of pain - to find out what I can tolerate, and more importantly, what feels good - and we concentrate on those exercises, which are primarily long stretches to stretch out my cramped spine.


    I hope this has been helpful.
    Best of luck,
    Andra

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