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Thread: What does limited mobility look like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    9

    What does limited mobility look like?

    Hi!
    In September I will be having revision surgery to remove the Harrington rods, correct flatback and increase fusion from L-5 to the sacrum. I have read about limited mobility when fused to the sacrum, but what exactly does that mean? What can't a person do that they previously did? With a long fusion already I was still able to play golf and ride a bike. I don't think I have ever been able to touch my toes! I know of one person in Dallas who can play golf after this same surgery, but still do not have a clear picture of what the limited mobility will mean with a fusion to the sacrum. Can anyone help? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    limited mobility

    I am fused to the sacrum. I bend from my hips. I can rotate through my hips somewhat; I cannot twist my torso or bend side to side. I live a perfectly normal life, pain free, working at a job I love which involves standing all day.

    With driving I found it difficult to twist looking over my shoulder so I rotate in my seat. I also bought a wide angle rear view mirror because of the shape of my car. Actually the most difficult thing for me was trying to clean my mom's oven in a tight space. I know I missed some areas.

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    9
    Thanks, Karen. You sound like a true success story! I'm going into this at age 56 and just found out I'm going to be a Grandmother for the first time, so I definately have a wonderful incentive for getting through this in the best shape possible.
    The wide angle mirrors sound like a good idea. And I'll keep my head out of ovens!!!
    Dianne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    Dianne,
    In 2002 I had revision surgery for flatback at age 53. I'm fused from T4-S1. It took some PT and patience but I learned to bring my foot up to where I can tie my shoes, pick up socks off the floor. I also have wide angled mirrors on my car since I no longer can twist around or bend side to side. I also garden. You just learn how to do things in a new way. Give yourself time and be patient with your body....it will let you know how and when to do things.
    SandyC
    P.S. enjoy the new grandbaby
    SandyC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    82

    car mirrors

    Dianne:
    It was suggested to me, and I have found it true, that a small round mirror
    found in the auto department of Walmart and attached to the middle of each each of my side mirrors will make it much easier to see traffic behind me. My physical therapist used this technique as do most of her back patients.
    Kathleen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    sacrum fusion

    I'm having fusion from T3 to sacrum on September 6th and September 13. It's my first time( hopefully my last) and not a revision. A woman who was fused to the sacrum by my surgeon told me I won't be able to do "pelvic thrusts". I guess that means I won't be able to do posting in English riding. I haven't been on a horse in over two years anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    9

    limited mobility

    Good luck with your surgery Linda. My surgery is September 8th and the 13th. The forum has been a great help in getting ready physically and mentally. Any last minute thoughts from any one around "Everything you wish you knew about back surgery but were afraid to ask???"
    Dianne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Dianne...

    If you haven't already done so, I'd encourage you to read Scoliosis Surgery The Definitive Patient Reference by Dave Wolpert. You can purchase the book directly from the National Scoliosis Foundation:

    http://www.scoliosis.org/store/books.php

    Regards,
    Linda

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    fusion to sacrum

    Hi Dianne,
    When I'm suffering those days immediately after surgery, I'll remember that somebody in Georgia is going through something similar. I talked to the surgeon yesterday and he explained why he thinks my fusion should extend to the sacrum. I have a a primary lumber curve, L4 is tilted about 30%. He doesn't know how much he can straighten out L4. The L4 disc is dehydrated and the L5 disc is protruding. He told me that if I wanted the fusion to stop before the sacrum, he would do it. This surprised me. I went home to think about it, but I'll probably tell him to fuse all the way. He also told me that he may put screws in my SI joints. I really have a lot of respect for these surgeons,they have to make so many decisions, sometimes while operating, that are really very close calls. Good luck to you. Let me know how your recovery is going.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Lindabar...

    My L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs looked good before surgery, but the surgeon stopped the fusion at L3. Unfortunately, L3 was not level. Subsequently, all of the discs below my fusion are showing significant degeneration, and I'll probably have to be fused to the sacrum. If I had to do it over again, I'd tell my surgeon to do whatever was necessary to get the lowest fused vertebra level.

    Regards,
    Linda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Linda,

    Are you saying that if you need fusing as low as L-3 that you think it is better just to go on down to L-5...so that the other disk won't degenerate? I am fused from T-9 to L-5...I 'm thinking my surgeon left one disk.

    Gail

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Gail...

    No, I was addressing the situation of the lowest fused vertebra not sitting level on the disc below it.

    Regards,
    Linda

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64
    The L5-sacrum fusion has a higher incidence of non fusion than the other levels.If it doesn't fuse another surgery is done.

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