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Thread: What to expect - 2nd Surgery L4 to Sacrum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    143

    What to expect - 2nd Surgery L4 to Sacrum

    Hello Scoli Veterans ~

    I am preparing myself for additional surgery after being fused from T4 - L4 ten years ago. My surgeon, Dr. Boachie, thought it would probably be necessary but gave me the option to wait. Well, I waited ten years and now IT'S TIME as I'm experiencing increased severe pain at the base of my spine.

    I am wondering if any of you have had a 2nd surgery, fusing your spine through the sacrum. I don't know what to expect, especially in regards to mobility and balance. Currently, my balance is good, but I can't walk beyond a block and cannot stand beyond 5 minutes due to the pain at the base of the spine. So, I already have some issues which surgery may improve.

    I would greatly appreciate any personal experience or information you've gathered from others who have gone 'all the way' to the sacrum. I'm okay to hear the hard stuff as well as the good stuff.

    BTW, I'm considering Dr. Michael Daubs since Dr. Boachie has retired and Linda gave him a thumbs up. Any other recommendations from those who have used him would be helpful.

    Appreciate all of you!
    Ginger
    65* curve at age 55
    T4 - L3 Fusions on May 20, 2008 by Dr. Boachie, NYC
    Curve corrected to 26*
    Blog specifically about my recovery =
    http://gingerinrecovery.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,674
    Ginger

    I wanted to comment, it was great chatting with you on the phone. Its great conversing with someone who truly knows the disease, and knows about the decision making process. I think that you learned a lot from Dr Boachie years ago, and it was interesting to hear it from you. You have been and are prepared for surgery. Its also good to chat with Linda every once in a while. She has a habit of keeping us straight! (smiley face) I have also learned a lot over the years.

    I think that we both agree that the increased pain levels, the elevated nerve and spinal cord related degenerative pains (legs catching on fire) tip the scales of decision, now its just a matter of selecting the right surgeon for your extension. Living in extreme pain just isn't worth it. Many of the scoliosis vets around here are extremely brave people. Melissa and Susan being some of the bravest....

    After the Vegas consult, it will be nice to hear your thoughts. "If" you have the ability to explore and do a Los Angeles spine tour, Dr Pashman, Dr Anand, and Dr Bederman come to mind. I hope I didn't forget anyone. The input from these visits will probably match up to justify you decision. I am extremely interested in Dr Anand since he is a MIS proponent, and I don't know if there are any new minimally invasive alternatives to an open ALIF. I mention this since 10 years has passed, and I think that it might be worth exploring to find out. My surgeon is currently doing more minimally invasive procedures, to be able to dodge the pain of open recovery is worth exploring. The surgical method or surgical attack should be addressed, also will PEEK spacers be utilized with Infuse kits (BMP)? This was done on me, and I came out just fantastic. Spacers from L1-Pelvis.


    Keep in touch!
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,550
    Hello Ginger! I occasionally browse the Forum and thought that I would respond to your request for info. I am fused from T1-Sacrum. I started at T3-Sacrum but with each thoracic surgery, the next stable vertebrae creeps up one.

    Sounds like you are in considerable pain and it limits what you can do. That always gave me incentive to progress to surgery. Your thoracic anchors at T4, so you have more thoracic mobility than I do. As you probably know, I had a spinal cord injury from a pedicle screw backing out due to PJF and "indenting" my spinal cord at T4,5. I use crutches and a wheel chair. I do not find the instrumentation to the sacrum a challenge. I am pragmatic about my fusion: "it is what it is". I do have some difficulty reaching my R foot to put on socks. Most days I can stretch to put on the R sock, but on other days I use a sock aid. I use grabbers frequently, but some of my need for help picking up things from the floor can be attributed to my weak quads from the SCI. I do have a tightness sensation in my sacral area when I walk a lot. I have had that from the first surgery and I do exercises to decrease the sensation.

    Good news is that scoliosis revision surgeries are almost always "a walk in the park" compared to the initial scoliosis surgery where the spine is forced into less of a curve and the muscles and nerves that are affected protest the change.

    I hope that your revision surgery gives you the relief that you need.

    Susan
    Last edited by susancook; 06-18-2018 at 03:06 AM.
    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 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury 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
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    11

    Can Anyone Tell Me How to Post a New Thread?...

    Hello Dear Scoliosis People,
    I have been trying on and off for over a year to post on this forum but simply cannot find the New Post button. I also called the help line for this and they were very nice but were only able to tell me how to reply to a thread, they also did not know how to start a new thread on this forum...can anyone please tell me how to do this? I really need to post a new question on this forum. Thank you so much in advance for your help!!!
    Sincerely, Liz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,674
    Hi Lizzz

    To start your own thread

    Log in
    Top bar left, select forum
    Select area Ex (under 18), (Adult 18+) Etc
    Bottom left, Select new thread. Title with topic matter

    Its easy once you get the hang of it.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
    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
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    143
    Thanks, TitauniumEd and Susan for giving me your take. I'm moving forward on my path toward surgery and I haven't had a moment's doubt about that. When it's time, it's time.

    I'm grateful to hear Susan explain that doing these levels won't be as challenging as the T4 to L4 surgery since they DID have to make significant changes to my mature spinal curves. It's always great to hear from a patient who has been through it . . . and WOW, you've been through it!

    Your attitude, considering your huge complications, is inspiring.

    Ed is a different sort of inspiring since he went through such extensive work on his spine and continues to work a job AND support the scoliosis community. He knows a lot and doesn't shy away from helping others, even teaching a fellow scoli how to post! What an example to the rest of us!

    Ginger
    65* curve at age 55
    T4 - L3 Fusions on May 20, 2008 by Dr. Boachie, NYC
    Curve corrected to 26*
    Blog specifically about my recovery =
    http://gingerinrecovery.blogspot.com

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