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Thread: Upcoming surgery & Questions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    28

    Upcoming surgery & Questions?

    I had another appointment with my dr last week and it looks as though I will be having surgery in mid-February. My curvature is continuing to progress, and despite trying everything the pain hasn't gotten any better. The dr will be fusing from T8/T9-L1. I'm obviously very scared, but also very anxious. I having been fighting this battle for a long time and am anxious to stop the progression and hopefully get some pain relief.

    Realistically, how long will I have to be off work? My husband will be taking 4 weeks to help care for our 4 children. I also, work part-time outside the home about 20 hrs/week. I work at a bank and stand at least 70% of the time, but they will just have to work with me on that. How long should I expect to have some with me 24 hrs day?

    Have others had physical therapy following surgery? My dr didn't mention any type of therapy besides walking, and he said some lift weights. But if I can't even lift anything how is someone suppose to be able to lift weights?

    What type of flexibility in my back will I have? Will I look like I am sitting up completely straight as I did when wore my brace?

    Any input you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
    Last edited by AngelP; 01-13-2004 at 01:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi AngelP....

    You don't mention your age, which can be a big factor in how rapid you recover. You've got one HUGE advantage over a lot of us... your fusion will be very short. So, although the surgery and recovery won't be a piece of cake, it should be relatively easier than those of us with long fusions.

    I think you'll find that standing is relatively easy after surgery. It's sitting that can be difficult. You may find that the biggest problem isn't so much pain as it is fatigue. You should discuss your concerns with your surgeon, but it seems to me that you should be back to work within 3 months unless you have some complication(s).

    With such a short fusion, once you've recovered from surgery, you will hopefully find that you've lost little to no flexibility.

    In regard to how long you'll need someone with you for 24 hours, I suspect it will only be a week or two (assuming that you don't have to worry about childcare). You probably shouldn't try things like cooking or cleaning for at least a month, but you should be able to take care of your own needs (bathing, fixing yourself a sandwich, etc.) pretty soon after you arrive home.

    Good luck with your surgery and rapid recovery.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    28
    Linda,

    Thanks for your reply. I am 35 yrs old. We were planning on having my husband stay home from work for 4 wks and that should give us enough time to have the kids trained that they can't jump on Mommy, etc. I have 4 yr old triplet boys and a 10 yr old daughter.

    Although, the surgery will be difficult it sounds much better than it did several years ago when I was braced as a child. I had several opinions and every dr said they would fuse a different amount. I will be seeing the dr with the most experience and is highly recommended by many. I have a backwards "s" curve now but they will only be fusing the middle curve as the others are very flexible and probably are just curve that are caused by the middle one. Thanks again!

    Angel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    28
    I forgot to mention that my dr said that I would be able to return to work on a limited basis after 4 weeks. I didn't think that was very realistic, so I just wanted to get an idea of what others have been through. I have had other surgeries before and I was pretty exhausted for 6 weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Angel...

    I can't stress enough that you have a huge advantage with a short fusion. Four weeks to return to work may be a bit unreaiistic, but I bet it's not too far off.

    Regards,
    Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    28
    Linda,
    Thanks, that is reassuring. I am so happy that they aren't having to have a longer fusion. I was very surprised when my dr said I would be able to bend at the waist. All these years I have been dreading this surgery since they used Harrington Rods in the past. Technology is amazing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    SURGERY

    My case was much worse than yours:
    age 60 at revision T-4 to Sacrum; went back to work(standing unavoidable in my job) 1 day a week and gradually increasing after 6 months;I felt better sitting than standing. I am 15 months post -op and have minimal discomfort and living a perfectly normal, grateful life.
    Karen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2
    Karen, I am new to this site and will probably have surgery within the next year. It will be fused to the sacrum like yours was. How old were you when you had your surgery and did you do any research on doctors?
    Valerie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    9

    Re: SURGERY

    Originally posted by Karen Ocker
    My case was much worse than yours:
    age 60 at revision T-4 to Sacrum; went back to work(standing unavoidable in my job) 1 day a week and gradually increasing after 6 months;I felt better sitting than standing. I am 15 months post -op and have minimal discomfort and living a perfectly normal, grateful life.
    Karen
    I am fifty years old and am trying to get my back and neck fixed. I don't know what is what as far as t-4 and all the technical things but it was uplifting to know someone older than me is doing this. Doctor's are saying that it can be treated w/meds but my neck is leaning on my shoulder all my clothes fit really odd and I am not getting any real response about surgery just meds because it is from birth and my state medical doesn't want to pay...so I pray.

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