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Thread: 1-year post-surgery visit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    89

    1-year post-surgery visit

    Hey, everybody.

    Last Saturday, June 24 was my 1-year anniversary! I had my post-surgery visit with Dr. Perra on June 22.

    He said my fusion looks solid, that my cages and all hardware are in place and show no movement. He noted that my saggital & coronal balance are good and still showing excellent alignment. My lordosis is intact - so he said I am still aligned and nothing seems to have moved. I was happy with that!

    He cleared me for all activities but mentioned to be smart about what I choose to do. He said to come back in a year.

    I will say, this first year went by faster than I expected. I had some very "dark" moments early on but those memories are starting to fade. I still am in the mode that "my back is on my mind most of the time" so I'm hoping that some day I will be able to not think about my back so much and it won't be such a "dark cloud" for me.

    I know I have a lifetime of dealing with the affects of having scoliosis, but for now, I'm going to try to do some fun things to make up for all the things I missed when I could barely walk more than half a block w/o pain..... I have other "aches and pains" of aging, but I do try to remember that I'm 56, not 46 or 36 any more :-)

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,526
    Kathy, glad to hear that you received good news about your fusion. Yes, the dark times do fade....kind of like childbirth when immediately postpartum the gush of blood runs down your legs, you've been screaming/grunting for hours, swear off sex and any more kids and want to join the nunnery. Then a year or two later, memeory of childbirth fades and you think, actually wasn't so bad, huh?

    I was similar to you in that I could only walk 1/2 block before surgery. The problem that we face is that you cannot know how you would feel right now if you didn't have surgery.

    My surgeon said that I would continue on Hydrocodone and be in a wheelchair within 5 years. Not a quality of life.

    I hope that you continue to heal and get on with the fun stuff of life.

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    89
    Hi, Susan.

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I got over the childbirth thing real fast. For some crazy reason I had 4 kids in 5.5 years. That memory of pain must have faded real fast!!

    I think the dark moments will fade. I am feel really good physically - I can tell I'm much stronger than even 2 or 3 months ago. I pretty much carry on with my life like a normal person, not 100% but I'd say around 90%.

    I have a lot of foot issues - but I'm having that looked at too. I have major bunions - had them since I was in my mid-20s, and now they are causing me other foot problems. It's always something!!

    When I first started reading this forum, you were just having your first revision, then you had the spinal cord issue.... I used to read your story and I was so inspired by you mental strength and positive attitude. You had I had similar curves, we were presented with problems as adults, neither one of us could walk far, etc. You just seemed very similar to me, although I am about 10 or so years younger than you. You gave me bits of advice that I did listen to, and it did help me through my pre-surgery nervousness. So, I thank you for all that you (probably) unknowingly did for me.

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post
    Hey, everybody.

    Last Saturday, June 24 was my 1-year anniversary! I had my post-surgery visit with Dr. Perra on June 22.

    He said my fusion looks solid, that my cages and all hardware are in place and show no movement. He noted that my saggital & coronal balance are good and still showing excellent alignment. My lordosis is intact - so he said I am still aligned and nothing seems to have moved. I was happy with that!

    He cleared me for all activities but mentioned to be smart about what I choose to do. He said to come back in a year.

    I will say, this first year went by faster than I expected. I had some very "dark" moments early on but those memories are starting to fade. I still am in the mode that "my back is on my mind most of the time" so I'm hoping that some day I will be able to not think about my back so much and it won't be such a "dark cloud" for me.

    I know I have a lifetime of dealing with the affects of having scoliosis, but for now, I'm going to try to do some fun things to make up for all the things I missed when I could barely walk more than half a block w/o pain..... I have other "aches and pains" of aging, but I do try to remember that I'm 56, not 46 or 36 any more :-)

    Kathy
    Well done - I hope things continue to go well. It is hard to not have a dark cloud of 'back' always on your mind. I hope that it does slowly recede and you have lots of good times ahead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,526
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post
    Hi, Susan.

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I got over the childbirth thing real fast. For some crazy reason I had 4 kids in 5.5 years. That memory of pain must have faded real fast!!

    I think the dark moments will fade. I am feel really good physically - I can tell I'm much stronger than even 2 or 3 months ago. I pretty much carry on with my life like a normal person, not 100% but I'd say around 90%.

    I have a lot of foot issues - but I'm having that looked at too. I have major bunions - had them since I was in my mid-20s, and now they are causing me other foot problems. It's always something!!

    When I first started reading this forum, you were just having your first revision, then you had the spinal cord issue.... I used to read your story and I was so inspired by you mental strength and positive attitude. You had I had similar curves, we were presented with problems as adults, neither one of us could walk far, etc. You just seemed very similar to me, although I am about 10 or so years younger than you. You gave me bits of advice that I did listen to, and it did help me through my pre-surgery nervousness. So, I thank you for all that you (probably) unknowingly did for me.

    Kathy
    Hi Kathy, glad that my rantings and loose associative thoughts were useful to someone! My doctor's words of, "in 5 years you will probably be in a wheelchair on narcotics" left me with a horrible image of my future.
    Take care and stay positive ! We are the survivors!
    Hugs, 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,551
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post
    I used to read your story and I was so inspired by you mental strength and positive attitude.
    We have some strong ladies around here.....Susan is one of the strongest.

    I remember Susan's early posts asking all sorts of questions.....she covers quite a bit. Hardware, Sex, New Guinea natives, you name it. (smiley face) Non-members cannot access the early threads, but members can, which is good but you do have to log in. There were software updates and changes through the years and most of the attachments got lost.....

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary Kathy! Its good that the back is fine, so sorry about the foot. My back is fine, but I am having dental complications which might require open gum surgery. I have a whole new respect for dental pain now, it is exhausting.

    We did have a resident dentist that used to post here.....Mark needs to chime in and let us know how he is doing! You reading Mark?

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    Congrats Kathy
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,526
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    We have some strong ladies around here.....Susan is one of the strongest.

    I remember Susan's early posts asking all sorts of questions.....she covers quite a bit. Hardware, Sex, New Guinea natives, you name it. (smiley face) Non-members cannot access the early threads, but members can, which is good but you do have to log in. There were software updates and changes through the years and most of the attachments got lost.....

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary Kathy! Its good that the back is fine, so sorry about the foot. My back is fine, but I am having dental complications which might require open gum surgery. I have a whole new respect for dental pain now, it is exhausting.

    We did have a resident dentist that used to post here.....Mark needs to chime in and let us know how he is doing! You reading Mark?

    Ed
    ED and Kathy, sometimes I feel stronger than other times. For the newbies on the forum. I had just returned from Papua New Guinea before my first surgery having worked on a mosquito eradication project (yes, I was in a lot of pain!). Sex: I asked my doctor "how do people have sex after a spinal fusion?" And the answer was "they do". Not that I don't have a lot of imagination, but I was having difficulty picturing me with zilch flexibility.
    Life goes on and you just deal with it. Thanks ED for the compliment and Kathy, if I can survive all that has been thrown at me, I get the feeling that you are as strong as I am. Keep looking forward, not back (I love a good pun) and enjoy a new lease on life. We all paid our dues.
    Call me "Titanium Susan" with 5 rods! Yikes!
    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

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