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Thread: My first post

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    51

    My first post

    Hi I am Chris, 53 yr. old male and have a 92* thoracic and 53* lumbar curve.(where is the little circle for degree on the keyboard?!!) Saw Dr. Lenke (very knowledgable and confident) and he said he could help me. Will be a big deal, 2 day surgery he thinks it will take 10 - 12 hours to do it and would not want me to be asleep that long. Will do part on Wed. and get me up Thur., then finish it up on Friday. Have read quite a few threads and never heard two day surgeries mentioned, just wonder if it is common. He will be fusing me from way up (think he said t1), to my pelvis or L5 plus remove a thoracic vertabra. He was giving me a lot of info pretty fast (he talks faster than I can listen!) First opening with only a one day gap is first of November 08. Late Oct. would would have a 3 day interval. Wife wants me to get another opinion. Anyone know any scoli pros in the southeast U.S.? I live in Ms.. Wife also thinks I should consider getting it done lumbar first (painful there) and thoracic 6 months or so later.
    I welcome any comments. I see a lot of folks on here helping other folks in lots of ways and I commend all of you that do that, most especially for the kids, MAY GOD BLESS THEM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189
    Quote Originally Posted by myachingback
    Hi I am Chris, 53 yr. old male and have a 92* thoracic and 53* lumbar curve.(where is the little circle for degree on the keyboard?!!) Saw Dr. Lenke (very knowledgable and confident) and he said he could help me. Will be a big deal, 2 day surgery he thinks it will take 10 - 12 hours to do it and would not want me to be asleep that long. Will do part on Wed. and get me up Thur., then finish it up on Friday. Have read quite a few threads and never heard two day surgeries mentioned, just wonder if it is common. He will be fusing me from way up (think he said t1), to my pelvis or L5 plus remove a thoracic vertabra. He was giving me a lot of info pretty fast (he talks faster than I can listen!) First opening with only a one day gap is first of November 08. Late Oct. would would have a 3 day interval. Wife wants me to get another opinion. Anyone know any scoli pros in the southeast U.S.? I live in Ms.. Wife also thinks I should consider getting it done lumbar first (painful there) and thoracic 6 months or so later.
    I welcome any comments. I see a lot of folks on here helping other folks in lots of ways and I commend all of you that do that, most especially for the kids, MAY GOD BLESS THEM.
    Hi Chris-
    I'm sorry I don't have any info for you, my fusion will be much smaller than yours and done in 1 surgery. But I want to welcome you to the forum and let you know you are not alone. There are very knowledgable and caring people here and an amazing amout of experience. I'm confident there will be someone that will be able to help you out.

    Again, welcome and I'm glad you're here!
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney - Australia
    Posts
    166
    Welcome to the forum Chris!!! As Skoshi said, you will get lots of advice on here. I'm not much use to you, but just wanted to say hi!

    That's a very large fusion! Obviously your Lumbar would be giving you more pain than your Thoracic curve - or does that present you with breathing problems?? I think that's a valid suggestion your wife has made? But DEFINATELY second opinion.

    Good luck I hope you can get some answers on the forum!

    Best wishes
    Del
    Elysia 16 in Feb 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    Feb 2008 Fused T5-L1 and 5 ribs removed.
    Dec 2009 - Crankshafting
    Dec 10 - Revision surgery...3 vertebrae taken down, hooks removed, at T11-L1 - screws inserted, fusion extended down to
    L3 using Pedicle screws, some rib removed to try to derotate. Praying for things to settle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    185
    A two day job! Wow, that's impressive! There are a few people here that have had anterior and posterior surgeries a few days apart, and they have generally done well. It seems like a better idea than having the surgeon get worn out in the 11th hour cos he needs a cup of tea and a lie down.

    Welcome to the forum, there's lots of us here with varying senses of humour and levels of advice. I wish you well!
    1994 curve at age 13, 70 degrees, untreated
    2000 Anterior fusion with instrumentation T9-L2, corrected to 36 degrees, 14 degree angle between fused and un-fused thoracic spine.
    2007 26 degrees junctional scoliosis
    Revision surgery, 6th December 2007 T4 to L3, Posterior approach.
    msandham.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Hi Chris -- Dr. Lenke has a wonderful reputation and if you do a search on his name you'll find lots of people raving about him. That being said, you should definitely get a second and maybe third opinion, because you will probably get two or three opinions on how to handle your case.

    I had the anterior and posterior fusions done in one nine-hour operation but quite a few folks here have had the two ops done in stages that were a few days apart. Occasionally I hear of operations that are staged weeks or months apart.

    Good luck to you!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Hi Chris. Welcome to the forum! Re: degree symbol-- I have a Mac-- and it's alt/0 -- but before I figured that out, I went into a symbol font, located the degree symbol and copied and pasted it to my desktop... I don't know how to do it in windows...

    There have been many who had two-part surgeries. I was originally scheduled for two (anterior and posterior approaches), five days apart, but then my surgeon decided he could do it in just one (posterior) surgery-- it was 8 hours. I was fused T2-L4, so not quite as far as you will be, but close. As far as waiting 6 months in between, I myself would rather have it done in one fell blow (with a couple days apart being ok) than have to go through the recovery time frame twice. But that's just my opinion, based on my own preferences. Dr. Lenke (or whomever) would certainly know what would work best for you in regards to spacing between surgeries, etc.

    By all means get as many opinions as you desire. It's important to go into this surgery with peace of mind... but you may well get different opinions from each specialist. Dr. Lenke does have quite a reputation, so I'm sure you would be in excellent hands with him. As for not remembering what he said, you could contact his office and ask for the info of what he proposed for surgery. Just say it like you did here--"he talked faster than I could listen"-- and now you are wondering about it...

    Best wishes as you continue on your scoli surgery adventure...
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    388
    Hi Chris! Welcome to the forum. I had my surgery done in Nashville, TN at Centennial Hospital by Dr. David McCord. 2 1/2 yrs ago. Mine was done on 3 different days, 3 days apart. First was the anterior thoracic, then the anterior lumbar, and then the posterior for all of it. It was pretty rough getting put to sleep that many times that close together so I hope yours can be done in only 2 days. If I can help you or you need more info, please PM me anytime. Good luck!! JoAnn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Chris -
    Welcome. One thing you'll find as you read posts on this forum is that no two surgeries are exactly alike, and surgeons vary considerably in their surgical approaches, their instructions post-op, their views on physical therapy, etc. My last two surgeries were done about 9 months apart. The posterior revision was done first, but I was still having some problems so I then had an anterior surgery this past February. My surgeon tends to be conservative and wanted to try the posterior approach only, although he left open the possibility of an anterior surgery later if needed. It was, and so far appears to have been the right decision.

    I know there are many people on this forum who have had the two-stage surgery and who love Dr. Lenke as their surgeon, so I'm sure you'll hear from them. That being said, second/third opinions don't hurt.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    111
    Dear Chris,

    My curves are somewhat similar to yours. Thoracic 91 degrees and lumbar 68 degrees. I am scheduled for surgery with Dr. Lenke on June 16th, T1-L4 with revision of old fusions that I had at age 16 and removal of a thoracic vertebra also. I am now 63. The surgery is also anticipated to be a 10-12 hr. surgery, and so far as it stands now, it is scheduled for a one day procedure. My pre-op appointment is April 23rd, so I will know more details. I understand that the Dr. gets into more specifics at that time and things could change a little bit. Have you been fused before? Do you have low lung volumes? My lung volumes are in the 30's and I use a BiPap at night for breathing problems during sleep. Every patient and every surgery is different, and I am sure Dr.Lenke will do what is best for you. He is extremely experienced, and I feel that I will be in the best of hands. Getting another opinion is always good, especially from an experienced scoliosis surgeon. If you had previous fusions, it is important to find a surgeon who is experienced in doing revisions.
    Although no expert, I believe that there is an important balance and alignment issue in spinal surgery and that often one curve compensates for the other major curve. Bringing both into alignment is very important. Also, there is a three dimensional issue with a twist or rotation to the spine. There are also normal curves to the spine that are important to preserve. Correcting one curve without correcting the other, could throw you off kilter and create severe misalignment problems. As I said, I'm no expert. If you call Dr. Lenke's nurse and address you questions, if she does not have the answer, I am sure she will ask Dr. Lenke for you.
    Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bucks county PA
    Posts
    156
    Hi Chris and welcome, everyone here is pretty nice and very helpful. My Dr is also planning on a 2 stage surgery (T3 or4 to sacrum). They'll be 1 week apart ( we were hoping to schedule a Wed & Friday) but that just wasn't happening. So it'll be 5/9 and 5/16. I was told the same as far as not wanting to be under for so long. NZ also has a point, I don't think I'd want my surgeon getting too tired. Good Luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by myachingback
    (where is the little circle for degree on the keyboard?!!.
    Hi Chris,

    Depress the Num Lock key on your keypad on the right and then hold down the Alt key while pressing the 0, 1, 8 and 6 keys on the right and you will get your º.

    You have certainly seen one of the preeminent surgeons in the country, but if you want to get another opinion, I personally like what I’ve been reading about this doctor in North Carolina https://www.heyclinic.com/index.asp. Check out his blog.

    I know a woman who had A/P surgery in Chicago a few years ago in one operation that lasted 19 hours. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that. I would think that keeping someone under anesthesia for that long is extremely dangerous.

    Chris

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    74
    Hello, Chris-
    I am new here as well, but my surgeon (Dr. Shelokov in Plano, TX) was talking about a 2-stage procedure for me as well...anterior on a Tues. and posterior on a Thurs. I had never heard of doing these surgeries on separate days till I started browsing this forum. It does seem like a pretty common approach, for these long operations.
    Posterior fusion T5-L1 May 5, 2003-age 43
    Posterior revision, thoracotomy,fusion T2-L2 April 8, 2008-age 49
    Fusion extension C1-L2 evacuation left pulmonary effusion May 9, 2008, age 49
    www.buggfamily.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    51

    Goodmorning-get an electric blanket!

    I tend to ramble a lot and meant to tell ya'll more about my problems. I have been lucky till now. Mine is an S curve, 53* LH lumbar and 92* RH thoracic. Two of the lumbar vertabra have side shifted and clunk around in there, all 5 lumbar discs are bulging. No MRI on thoracic yet. Have DDD in lower cervical and it hangs up and pops when I turn my head every now and then, makes he holler OH! then it's over. Don't seem to have any heart and lung compression yet, the docs I've seen said I really have adapted well. All my muscle responses are good, have numb big toes and some loss of reflexes in foot area. Do have trouble drawing in a breath when carring any substantial weight. Only have small amount of sciatic pain to the knees on ocassions, went down to ankle on R leg only once. Asked Dr. Lenke why my pain wasn't worse than it is and he said my brain has compensated by putting out endorphins and I was well adapted. I have lots of pain but it isn't debillitating yet and get by with 7.5 mg. hydrocodone, which doesn't take it away but makes it bearable so I can still function or rest.
    Last night I was hurting pretty bad around midnight, I hate to take the pills, my wife is cold natured and and has a king sized electric blanket she wraps up in while I cling to the edge of the bed to get away from it ( I sweat just lookin at it!) she couldn't sleep as I was noisy taking deep breaths and grunting SO she said put this warm blanket under your back! I figure what the heck I'm sweatin anyhow just knowing I am close to it and I cant go to sleep anyhow. So I did and ya'll gotta try it!!! In about 15 minutes it started easing me and I got up and drug a big chunk over and laid on it. Don't remember much after that! It's a supersized heating pad! Maybe you should not lay on them?? If it has a problem I'll let you know how shock therapy works!
    Take Care All,
    Chris

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757

    The ° symbol ...

    Quote Originally Posted by myachingback
    Hi I am Chris, 53 yr. old male and have a 92* thoracic and 53* lumbar curve.(where is the little circle for degree on the keyboard?!!)
    The ASCII symbol (in a Windows environment) for the ° sign is produced by holding the Alt key while you key in 248 on the number pad of your keyboard.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op ±53°, Post-op < 20°
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    51

    Thank You Very Much

    That is so easy even I can do it! ° °

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