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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5

    Considering more surgery and need advice

    I am new to the forum. Sounds like my story is familiar here and I would very much appreciate any advice that I can get. I had a spinal fusion with a Harrington rod put in a little over 30 years ago and now have problems with my lower back below the previous fusion. I am considering surgery now because of increased pain and foot numbness. My understanding is that this surgery would involve fusion down to my sacrum and I have some concerns. First off, I was wondering how people fused to the sacrum do, especially one to five years after the surgery. Also, does anyone have any recommendations for surgeons in Ohio, particularly the Northeast Ohio area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,798
    Quote Originally Posted by OhioSwimmer View Post
    I am new to the forum. Sounds like my story is familiar here and I would very much appreciate any advice that I can get. I had a spinal fusion with a Harrington rod put in a little over 30 years ago and now have problems with my lower back below the previous fusion. I am considering surgery now because of increased pain and foot numbness. My understanding is that this surgery would involve fusion down to my sacrum and I have some concerns. First off, I was wondering how people fused to the sacrum do, especially one to five years after the surgery. Also, does anyone have any recommendations for surgeons in Ohio, particularly the Northeast Ohio area?
    Hi...

    Sorry to hear that you're having an issue.

    The good news about being fused to the sacrum is that most people do relatively well. (After all, you'll no longer have any risk of adjacent segment problems below the fusion.)

    I have a story similar to yours. I had revision surgery 6 years ago. I'm glad I had the surgery, in that I no longer have back pain. I hate, however, the loss of flexibility. I'd give almost anything, to feel normal again. Nonetheless, I'd make the same decision today. So, my only advice would be to not expect perfect.

    I'm sorry, but I don't have any recommendations for a surgeon. Cleveland is actually known as a great place for scoliosis specialists, but they're mostly (or entirely) pediatric surgeons. Hope you find someone good.

    Regards,
    Linda
    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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,526
    Hi there! I am fused T1-Sacrum. Of course the surgery comes with a loss of some flexibility, the that trade is minor to the loss of pain that the surgery alleviated.

    Best of luck,
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    12
    You also sound very similar to my story: Harrington rod placed in 1978 at age thirteen, T4-L4, with increased leg pain and foot numbness about 18 months ago. I had fusion from L2-S1 with Elevate cages (last 2 levels) 3/23/2016. So I have just passed my 1 year post op. Everyone is different, but I honestly have not noticed much less flexibility than what I already was experiencing due to previous fusion and pain. I really do everything the same way as before BUT with much less pain if any at all. I too was concerned about losing what flexibility I did have before surgery. I would personally do it all over again if I needed to make the decision again. I wasn't on pain meds besides Tylenol and aleve before surgery and that is all I ever take now. I TRY to exercise 3 times/week on our elliptical machine because I still favor no impact exercising. Pain doesn't keep me from exercising, lack of motivation does! I am from the Indianapolis area and the surgeon I used specializes in adult scoliosis and problems happening after adolescent scoliosis such as ourselves. For me, the decision came down to quality of life and getting something done while still relatively young.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,798
    Quote Originally Posted by robera2 View Post
    You also sound very similar to my story: Harrington rod placed in 1978 at age thirteen, T4-L4, with increased leg pain and foot numbness about 18 months ago. I had fusion from L2-S1 with Elevate cages (last 2 levels) 3/23/2016. So I have just passed my 1 year post op. Everyone is different, but I honestly have not noticed much less flexibility than what I already was experiencing due to previous fusion and pain. I really do everything the same way as before BUT with much less pain if any at all. I too was concerned about losing what flexibility I did have before surgery. I would personally do it all over again if I needed to make the decision again. I wasn't on pain meds besides Tylenol and aleve before surgery and that is all I ever take now. I TRY to exercise 3 times/week on our elliptical machine because I still favor no impact exercising. Pain doesn't keep me from exercising, lack of motivation does! I am from the Indianapolis area and the surgeon I used specializes in adult scoliosis and problems happening after adolescent scoliosis such as ourselves. For me, the decision came down to quality of life and getting something done while still relatively young.
    Good luck!
    Hi Robera...

    Do you have pelvic screw(s) or bolt(s)?

    --Linda
    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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1

    Activity limitstProblems with other parts of the body due to Fusion/hardware and rods

    I am new to this site and facing a fusion from T10 to S1. There will be rods implanted in my pelvis. I was highly active and am trying to stay that way despite the constant pain so for now I am active as I can be with the distortions of my thoracic & lumbar spine + a previous cervical fusion from C3 to C6. Will I be able to dance Zumba, walk 4 miles on a treadmill, ride my horse, work out with weights at the gym, garden or even drive my car on the highly packed and crazy S Cal freeways? Also, I am wondering if I am able to go back to these activities that bring me joy will I be faced with further hip, knee or foot problems down the line since I will not have the mobility/flexibility I used to have?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Robera...

    Do you have pelvic screw(s) or bolt(s)?

    --Linda
    Yup. They are long screws and go across my SI joints. I occaisionally have sharp pain at the end (I think) of the right one - today I felt some pain there for the first time since January, so it is not consistent. I was prom shoe shopping after church with my daughter and I think I am lucky I only felt pain there! LOL

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