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Thread: HEy!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Princeton, MN
    Posts
    9

    Smile HEy!

    Hi there,

    My name is Lorna. I'm 14 years old, and a Freshman in HIgh School this year. I had scoliosis surgery when I was in 5th grade, and also had to wear a brace for 5 months afterwards. If anyone has any questions, or just wants to make a new friend, feel free to respond.
    Lorna
    --9 years old in January 2000
    --Had surgery to correct a 68 degree curve.
    --Surgery performed at Childrens Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Done by Dr. Eric Wall.
    --curve decreaced to 28 degreese, with bracing for 6 months after surgery.
    --15 years old in 2004.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    tx
    Posts
    2
    HI, my name is Erica. My 14 yr old sister in law is about to have surgery next friday on Oct 3rd. Her curvature is at 40 degrees. What can i tell her to make her a bit more comfortable with the procedure?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Princeton, MN
    Posts
    9
    Well, i had to go in and do blood transfusions about once every two weeks a few months before the surgery (this is in case there's a problem with loss of blood, but in my case, they wound up not having to use it ). The surgery itsself lasts about 7hours, and afterwards i spent about 2 nights in pediatric ICU. The pain medication that they gave me pretty much put me to sleep in a matter of minutes . I had to use a walker for a little while afterwards, but that was only for about a month, if not a little less than that. That's pretty much it.
    Lorna
    --9 years old in January 2000
    --Had surgery to correct a 68 degree curve.
    --Surgery performed at Childrens Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Done by Dr. Eric Wall.
    --curve decreaced to 28 degreese, with bracing for 6 months after surgery.
    --15 years old in 2004.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    17
    Hi Erica,

    My name is Judy. My 11 year old daughter, Jennie, had the surgery about 8 weeks ago. I imagine your sister is nervous, as my daughter was....really nervous. Tell her it all went fine! The hospital staff was wonderful. And the pain medications worked really well - she had a morphine pump for the first few days and then switched to pills the day before we came home. She was in the hospital for 4 days. She had a 58 degree curve which was reduced to 22 degrees. She was 2 inches taller when we came home! (Measure your sister before - just to see.)

    The hardest part for her was when the physical therapy people came in and made her get up and walk. But she did it. Also, staying on top of her bowels was important - the surgery, the pain medication and just being in bed that long will constipate her. She should be sure to take what ever stool softeners they give her, and drink a lot of fluids. Since my daughter kept taking the pain medications for about 4 weeks, and then once in a while for another couple of weeks, we did have some trouble with constipation.

    I would warn your family to be prepared to take a lot of anger from her at times. The pain meds work great, but they made my daughter seem very "loopey" at times. I heard a few "I hate you"s - like when I made her move or get up. She was like that for a couple of weeks. But now she is doing great.

    In the hospital, when they needed to roll her, they used the pad that was under her. They could move her or adjust her position by pulling on the pad. When we got home, I did the same thing by using a big bath towel. I kept one on her bed or on the couch. Once I had her lying down, I could adjust her by pulling on the towel. It worked really well. She also liked to have pillows under her knees. She still sleeps on her back or sides. Can't be on her stomach for a few months yet.

    Going back to school was trickey too. She was back in school in less than 4 weeks from surgery. She still takes a pillow to classes with her, because her back is still a little tender in one spot. School staff has been great. Everyone is very nice. Tell your sister she should tell people about it, because they will be so nice to her. People will be very interested to hear about her surgery.

    The last thing - instead of stitches on the outside of her incision, they put this steri-strips on her - very strong adhesive tapes to hold the incision together while it heals. Well, those things just don't want to come off! 8 weeks later, she still has two stuck to her! No one really told me about those - I had to call the hospital later to ask if I should pull them off. And the answer was, no, let them fall off on their own. At her four week checkup the doctor said we could pull them off, so she would do a few at a time, but I believe it hurt a little - like pulling off a bandaid that is really stuck!

    Tell your sister good luck - we wish her well. She will be straight and beautiful! We'll keep her in our thoughts and prayers this Friday.

    Judy and Jennie
    Last edited by Coolspring; 09-29-2003 at 06:11 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    15

    Cool How is your back now?

    Hi everyone!
    Im Lisa and I'm 15 and I'm a freshman. I had the surgery like 9 months ago in December. I was just wondering how everyone's back's are now after their surgerys. Mine still is uncomfortable sometimes. Ecspecially after I excerise. So I was just hopeing that you guys could tell me how your back's feel now. It would really help and it would be nice to hear about everyone else's storys. Hope to hear from you soon!
    Lisa

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1

    Thanks

    Just a note of thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences and thoughts. My daughter has been in a brace for three years and we're sure she'll have to have surgery. (Next month she goes for an x-ray after not wearing the brace for 24 hours. With the brace on she's got 35 or so degree curve upper and 30 or so lower.) I keep printouts of many of the comments so we'll be well prepared!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    6

    Question

    my stepdaughter is 12 and is having the surgery soon. her curve is already at 44 degrees and this is the ony option she really has. it is great to hear all of your comments. How will she feel in the immediate postop period when she comes home? I don't know if we are getting the real story from the surgeon - he seems to gloss over that part. will she be able to get out of bed on her own? what about the bathroom and stuff? i've had other surgery and know how uncomfortable you are after something less involved.. don't hold back , tell me the real truth about how you all felt that first week at home...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    15
    Dear Hballin:
    During my first week home, I basically just laid down and rested the whole time. In order to get out of bed, I was told to do the 'log roll'. This was where I had to roll my whole body at once to the edge of the bed, then move my feet so they would dangle off the bed and slowly sit up. Also, for going up the steps, I did one step at a time. This got on my nerves a little, because I felt like I could do it normally. I wasn't supposed to though because that makes your hips go back and forth.
    For going to the bathroom, I found it easier to just wear a night gown. This way you wouldn't have to bother with bending down to button pants or whatever you might have to do. In the shower, your stepdaughter will probably need to take short ones because she may be feeling dizzy and weak. I had stitches and big bandages on my back and I wasn't suppposed to get them too wet so my mom washed my hair for me in the sink. She also did this because I was so stiff after surgery that during the first week it was hard to even lift my arms up. I remember brushing my teeth and I had water cupped in my hands but I couldn't reach my mouth. That was sort of discourageing but a few days later I was able to do that just fine.
    If your daughter has friends over, she should only have like a few at a time and only for a little bit because she will get tired after a while and want to sleep.
    Just keep in mind your stepdaughter will be tired and still in pain when she comes home so don't make her do any of her chores! She might hurt herself doing them.
    Typing all this has brough back so many memories and things I forgot. My surgery was only 9 months ago but so much has happened I sort of forgot how it was that first week home. I might have forgot a few things so if you have any other questions feel free to ask because I honestly don't mind.
    Lisa

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    6
    Lisa,
    Thank you for your honesty - and I'm glad to hear it from your point of view as someone who has gone through it. Doctors don't really give you the little details as I'm sure you found out. The need for surgery was enough of a surprise to her, I don't want her to be surprised about how she is going to feel. She has to give up so much for the next 9 months, as I'm sure you did, too. Thank you for answering me - and good luck with your own recovery. Any hints or suggestions you can remember for us would be greatly appreciated, so please post anything you can think of or email me direct at hballin2@comcast.net. Hope all is going well for you now...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    11
    Hi everyone! I wear a brace, but I was told if it got that much worse I would need surgery. Did anyone still need to wear a brace after surgery? and do you have a huge scar all the way down your back? I respect all of you who went through surgery because I know I would be terrified.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    61
    Hi Laura,

    Some people, usually adults, need to wear a brace for a short time after surgery to prevent injury to their healing spine, but after that they should never need a brace again.

    And some people have long scars down the center of their back, but the surgery can also be done through an incision on your side or through small holes made in-between ribs. How long these scars are depends on how many vertebrae need to be fused. The good news is that the scars fade significantly after a few months.

    Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    16

    Question do i only have 2months of normal life left

    hi im paige and really scared uc i just recently had a docters appointment and said my back had gotten alot worse sence my last visit. my curv on the top used to be only 49 and now it 58. the curve on the bottom was 54 now its 62 i just cant win. i were my brace all the time and it still gets worse . so they gave me a x-ray to see how flexibe i was and we finally got some good news im flexible the x-ray showed my bottom curve as 21and top 23 big difference huh.they said i would need a mri but its not the first so im not scared about that just the surgery and its effect it has on me. pleaz anyone out there that can prepare me for the worst dont be afraid im strong i have to be. also any tips u hve from your experience on what todo and not please tell me. my surgery isnt that far off [beginning of january] and i need to be prepared.

    thanx,
    luv u all
    paige
    Jenn

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    15

    Smile

    Hey Paige!
    I'm Lisa and I'm fifteen and I had scoliosis surgery in December. I just wanted to say that you don't have to be sacred! (Your probalby like this girl's crazy! But I'm not!) Tips I have about the surgery: If you can, schedule the surgery on a break that you have. Such as Winter Break. This way you won't miss a lot of school. Because all that work sure does add up and the last thing you want to do, is to be sitting up doing hours of homework. Believe me! Because after my surgery, I ended up going to school four weeks after surgery, and I just couldn't handle being at school all day and then coming home and doing homework. Also see if you can get a tutor or somethin instead of going back to school right away. And also... ok, there is a lot of stuff to tell you and I don't want this to get to long so if you want, you can e-mail me with questions. My e-mail address is starl177@aol.com ttyl!
    Lisa

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    16
    hey lisa,
    i raelly wish i could have the surgery over break but i cant. they are "booked" in december and i cant wait till spring break b/c my spine is rotating forword &they would have to have the insision ont he front. But I would really like to know more about the whole experience.
    xoxo,
    paige
    Jenn

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