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Thread: First a spinal cord injury, now scoliosis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    2

    First a spinal cord injury, now scoliosis

    I am new to this forum and have been searching for anyone else with my similar situation. Fourteen years ago I sustained a spinal cord injury from someone jumping on me while I was swimming, resulting in paraplegia. Due to the loss of muscle control in my trunk, I now have had scoliosis develop. I am scheduled for surgery on 3/26 adding on to my current fusion of T3-7, it will go all the way to my sacrum with pelvic fixation. I'm having it done at Rush Hospital in Chicago by Dr. DeWald. I've read other threads about flexibility limitations, but have the added complication of using a wheelchair. Some of the other adaptive devices like for putting on socks won't work for me since I can't push with my legs. Is there anyone else out there in this situation that could advise about what to expect?

    Julie
    50 y/o
    Thoracic 60*, Lumbar 20*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,936
    Hi Julie...

    I think you're going to have a difficult time for the first ~3 months, as you'll almost certainly be instructed not to bend past 90 degrees. It seems to me that you'll be able to do much of your own dressing by using a dressing stick, but putting on shoes and socks will be difficult if not impossible. I would definitely ask Dr. DeWald's office to put you in touch with an Occupational Therapist, who can help you obtain the necessary help.

    Best of luck!

    Regardes,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,925
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieN View Post
    Some of the other adaptive devices like for putting on socks won't work for me since I can't push with my legs.
    Julie, When it comes to "devices", the selection is just about endless. There is also now quite a selection of videos online that will show how different people use different devices. For now, with all the unanswered questions that you might have, its best to focus way ahead to the end goal and try not to worry. With all the questions that I had, or didn't think to ask about, it was the faith that I had that carried me through.....I had a lot of trust in my surgeons and nurses, these people perform these surgeries every day.....

    Everything will get figured out in time.

    The first few weeks and months are hard months. We all go through this difficult painful period....I think it helps to know that all of us have been there and made it.

    Be sure to let us know how you are doing

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, 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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    2

    Driver's seat

    Has anyone else had the issue of feeling like the headrest of the driver's seat is now pushing your head forward? Since my back is now so straight, my upper back doesn't hit the backrest before my head does. I've rigged up a pillow back there, but it's not exactly comfortable either. Any other suggestions?

    Otherwise, my recovery has gone better than I feared. I still get achy towards the end of the day, but it's pretty tolerable. I also sometimes feel unnaturally straight, like when eating at a table and I can't bend towards the food. But everyone says I have really good posture now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,925
    Have someone else take a look or go to the dealer and have them set it for you. The headrest should not be pushing your head forward. The headrest is a whiplash safety device for rear end collisions and needs to be set correctly. They should not charge you for this.

    Sitting at a table and bending forward over a soup bowl is where you notice the lack of mobility in the thoracic spine or upper thoracic spine. I think many of us take this for granted, but really notice this after all the upper levels are fused. Many posters worry about lower levels and the thoracic gets ignored when thinking about mobility. Being fused up to T2 can present problems looking down. I first noticed this in the car. (dropping a pen)

    Congratulations on your recovery....things will improve in time.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, 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
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    807
    I have the headrest issue all of the time. I usually just sit forward or turn my head sideways. It makes driving a special treat.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,572
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieN View Post
    Has anyone else had the issue of feeling like the headrest of the driver's seat is now pushing your head forward? Since my back is now so straight, my upper back doesn't hit the backrest before my head does. I've rigged up a pillow back there, but it's not exactly comfortable either. Any other suggestions?

    Otherwise, my recovery has gone better than I feared. I still get achy towards the end of the day, but it's pretty tolerable. I also sometimes feel unnaturally straight, like when eating at a table and I can't bend towards the food. But everyone says I have really good posture now!
    Hello. I am not on the forum much. I had scoliosis and then a T4,5 SCI from a pedicle screw "indenting" my spinal cord.
    Yes, I had the same experience with the headrests hitting my head. Irina, another member of the forum said to pull the headrest out and turn it around. Bingo! Problem solved!
    Glad to hear that you are doing well.
    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 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

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