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Thread: Revision surgery with Dr. Arlet

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    I wrote a post this morning but didn't post it. My guess was 4 levels right in the center T10-L2......and how interesting the use of the short Harrington in 2003....Since girls have smaller vertebrae, and smaller pedicle's, the use of hooks completely eliminate's the possibility of a breach....I now understand why you would be fused and have a thoracic rib hump....but wonder why they stayed so low in the thoracic?

    Optimist, you mention in your 1st post that your a thoracic lefty.....so I have to ask if you discussed this with your surgeon since there can be (Not always) underlying neural problems. Things like Chiari malformations, Syringomeylia, tethered cord etc....Are you ok in this regard? Is anything mentioned in your hospital records? (These are quite handy)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10382250

    Is this operation happening in Phily? Do you live close? Do you live alone? I ask because I did my recovery solo, and a few others here also. Having some family support is helpful.

    Can I ask about your initial surgery? What was that like? How long was that recovery at age 12? Where was that procedure done?

    20 years ago, there weren't a whole bunch of scoliosis surgeons out there.....Or at least known names like there are today..... it was basically about the main scoliosis centers located at UCSF, HSS, TCSC, and Dr Lenke.....I was planning on UCSF possibly with Dr Bradford or Hu way before my surgeon came to town. I was a candidate in 1975, and decided on waiting due to my skiing and also for technology to advance.

    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

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    10
    Hey Ed,

    Thanks for the reply. My first surgery was when I was 12 with Dr. Bowman at DuPont in Delaware. They only fused a few knowing that I would continue to grow from what I was told and now my curve is progressing above and below the old site. Dr. Arlet made no mention of any neuro disorders and I was looking through my MRI and CT reports earlier and there were no findings that indicated such.

    This will be happening at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia where Dr. Arlet is chief spinal surgeon. I will have family for the first two weeks then I'm on my own. I guess playing the single life has come back to bite me lol. How was it on your own? What type of work did/do you do? How long until you made it back to work? How long until you went out for drink a bud light with friends?

    My initial surgery was t8-11. It ultimately got infected and I had to have the surgery redone in less than a month. After that I was back to normal and playing all sports in 3-4 months.

    I actually called Lenkes office yesterday and spoke with his nurse and mentioned I'd like a second opinion. She first asked why I wanted to switch since Dr. Arlet is "one of the best" and a "great surgeon" and then mentioned surgery is scheduling out until next March at this point.

    This gave me some reassurance that I did my homework on Arlet from the get go properly and that he is good at was he does regardless of bedside manner. I'm definitely anxious , nervous and afraid of the unknown but know that it will only get more difficult as I get older.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Bud light? How did you know I was getting too heavy? (smiley face) After doing the strongest medications known to man, since my surgeries I don' t have the desire to drink much anymore. I used to pound the whiskey for the back in the old days and you know what? It doesn't work for disc and bone pain. All it does is dehydrate unless you chase with copious amounts of water. I also feel the same way about oral opiods. Percoset and Oxycodone really aren't worth a damn. It was the hot water soaks at 106F that worked and saved me in my recovery. I have had bone spurs in my mouth from an extraction and hot salt water for the mouth works like a charm. Hot water really has an effect on nerves, it does dull that pain quite well...and it's cheap. (smiley face) I have a deep hot tub in my master bath.

    It sure looks like your original surgery worked great. I think that given the position you were in, that call that Dr Bowman made was the right move.....To have a little 3 level done at age 12, and make it without growing rods to age 27 now is incredible......

    My story is buried deep here in my old threads, and I waited 34 years after being dxd with twin 50's at age 16. A perfectly balanced S curve with excellent plumb. I was a Luque Wire candidate since my L5 was hammered at a young age from ski jumping, and the Luque rods would anchor into the pelvis. By the time I was 49, I was shot and I couldn't hang anymore. The NSAID's were also taking their toll on me and all the alternatives were not working anymore. I hung in there as long as I could, and my 40's were especially painful. I started a precision machining facility 20 years ago so I could control my own insurance. I bought the best I could get. 20 years ago, $1800 covered 12 people 100% and that was expensive insurance at that time. Wow, have things changed.....

    I met Dr Menmuir in 2005, and since he was trained at TCSC, his stats were credible. He is also South African and Drs Lonstein and Transfeldt are South African. Back in 1966 the first heart transplant was done in South Africa which was quite a feat for the time, it had an affect on me.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiaan_Barnard

    Christiaan Barnard - Wikipedia
    en.wikipedia.org
    Christiaan Neethling Barnard (8 November 1922 2 September 2001) was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world's first human-to-human heart ...



    Anyway, after 2-1/2 years of talks and plenty of thought, he did change procedure on me and also hardware was changed. I did a very large ALIF from the front, had PEEK spacers installed from L1-Sacrum with BMP, flipped over 2 days later and had all the screws driven in. I have Synthes "Pangea System" and its titanium. Ti6-Al-7NB. I had 2 scoli surgeons and a vascular surgeon who did exploratory cancer from the front, but you know, I fooled them! HA! I have worked with exotic metals for the Air Force through the years, with pure Beryllium exposure, (or not). I was quite careful doing defense work. One breath is all it takes, you know?

    Since I waited so long, things got complicated....and I was rejected, so I had to beg. I was in excellent shape from being an athlete, and after he stated that it could work, "it will help". I made my decision. With the A/P, he told me that it would feel like I was hit by a freight train, he ground a lot of bone, partial corpectomies were done on all lumbar levels and I have oversized spacers 13mm. I have 2-1/2 inches of PEEK in my back. and I grew 4 inches. They kept me out for a few days in ICU, and I had hoses hooked up to all these machines. I felt like an insect trapped in a spider web. I would stand most of the day next to my bed all hooked up. The lights were on but nobody was home. I think that was the Ketamine. Bad Kitty.....Ha ha Meow? Where is the litter box? (Funny stuff) In ICU, I didn't feel a thing. They do have the ability to turn all the pain off, no doubt.

    I ran out after 10 days.....I was tired of playing doctor and begging for shots. I went home and I wasn't weaned to orals yet. Coming down off the IV and injectable morphine, diauluid, and lortab is extremely painful and I didn't sleep for around 3 days. I didn't have the option for a shot at home so it was pure survival where every minute was spent trying to get comfortable. My door was open and my surgeon sent all the nurses and PT people over to my home. I just left the door unlocked.

    I had a CNA come over to the house, but I was good with bathroom and dressing so essentially, she was my driver and gopher. I wasn't driving on meds, and basically stayed at home mostly until I was off meds. I quit cold turkey at 6 weeks. March 14, 2008 to be exact, it took 2 attempts. I started jamming nutrients in the form of smoothies, whey protein powder, organic yogurt, banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and almonds. I replaced my meds with nutrients and noticed a HUGE change......

    I took 18 months off work and had 4 surgeries during that time. I broke my shoulder and arm skiing 10 days before my scoli surgeries and had to deal with that pain also. I'm the only one who does this....

    I think you have the right surgeon.....He must know Dr Cotrel, from the CD system, a French scoliosis pioneer. I read a book written by him, "In the Sands of Berck" which was where they did scoliosis surgeries many years ago, cast method, and would have them go out on the beach.....This man is the most famous French scoliosis surgeon.

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Cotrel


    I am getting too tired to type. Tomorrow is another day....

    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

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    10
    Wow that's an incredible journey you had! How long until you were back on the slopes or back to your normal self would you say? From the time you were 16 and diagnosed at 50 /50 , what were your curves at the time of surgery ?

    This could be aggressive but I have an office based job and can work from home. My goal is to be back to work by week 3. I know I will be on heavy mess while in the hospital but my goal is to be on something very minimal by week 2 and hopefully just using ibuprofen during the day by week 3 and maybe something heavier at night if need be.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    I started skiing at 15 months.....I was actually ordered to go skiing since I was walking on eggshells.(and recovering from shoulder surgery) I didn't lift more than a dinner plate for 6 months. It takes a year to fuse you know? There is no bending, lifting or twisting for a really long time.....Fusion rates can be from a minute to never, but most of the information out there will say around a year. Integrity of fusion mass is also important. It kind of like having a knife cut on your finger, you put a band aid on it, and it starts healing, unless you disrupt it by hitting it with a hammer. That slows the process down. We don't want to do this with our healing spines.....Bending over is bad bad bad. I learned to squat at the kitchen counter unloading dishes from the dishwasher. One hand on the counter, with spine erect. I walked like a model, and kept my head up like a model. You do surgery, your on the catwalk now.....keep it straight.

    At age 49 I was T70 L70. So 20 degrees in 33 years....

    It funny how our recovery rates differ with age. At Age 50. its a year. At Age 14, its a month or so. I have used the 10% per month rule in my case, I was roughly 90% after a year, and it took another full year to complete the process. The 2nd year was basically my soft tissue fine tuning year and as a skier that was especially hard.

    I also worked from home.....You cannot sit for very long, so I had a laptop at my kitchen counter. I would go over, read for a few minutes and go for a walk for a few minutes. It was this process repeated for a few months. Walking is what we do, not a marathon, but many short walks throughout the day. This circulates blood and nutrients into healing zones which is extremely important. When we increase our walking or effort, this inflames areas and creates pain. This sends us back to bed again....Its a very see-saw recovery with good days and bad. You know you are recovering if there are more good days than bad.

    I think you will do well in your recovery. I don't think that we should set dates on recovery or work.....many of us do this out of necessity, but going to work too early can be misery. Working out of the home is a good start.....You will know when you are ready....

    If there are no guarantees, but a good track record of recovery, our expectations should be treated as bonuses. Bonuses usually come unexpectedly, and when they come, we rejoice. Becoming depressed over things that are beyond out control doesn't work well. Rejoicing when good results happen is a better way of thinking. Accepting what happens, what we have, what we end up with. For those that do have complications, they almost always get resolved at some point. These surgeries teach patience.....

    Your date is creeping up.....I didn't buy anything but if I had to do it over again I would have....
    2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate Oral solution (Laxative) This will save you from a trip to ER should you get opiod constipation from meds.
    2-4 inch latex foam topper for the bed. (Doubles sleeping time)
    At least 1 grabber. You can use BBQ tongs sold at Home depot. (And use them to BBQ after you are done with surgery!)

    Good attitude. Ready for anything, accepting what happens, focused on the goal no matter the time frame....We are scoli's forever.

    I'm in the Red jacket....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tEypv3Vz8o

    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. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    10

    Reschedule

    Dr. Arlet had a family emergency and had to reschedule and go to France. Surgery is set for 08/30. Does anyone have suggestions on a second opinion somewhere in the Philadelphia region?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,524
    Optimist

    I am glad that you called me, sometimes its hard to convey a mountain of information by typing.....I hope our discussion was informational and educational.

    I really think that you are a valuable asset to this forum, your testimonial as a child going through surgery is something we don't see here often. For those of us like myself who dodged that bullet as kids years ago, you have our ear.

    I am so glad you reached out....Male scoli's are a rare bunch....especially ones that post.

    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

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