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Thread: 6 month recovery & scarring & PT

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    6 month recovery & scarring & PT


    Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

    Our 26 year old daughter had surgery on October 29, 2007. She is due to see Dr. Antonacci on Thursday, April 17th for another check up. She has been back to work since beginning of February, 2008.As a result, it seems that her back, neck and shoulers feel tight and achy. She has a sit down job at a computer but does try to get up and walk around and stretch as best as she can fit it in.

    She hasn't had PT yet. Her doctor recommended walking, walking, walking as her PT which she did before going back to work. She is hoping to be approved for PT at this appointment. Feels PT may be helpful as she is so busy at work and by the time she gets home is too tired to go for a walk. Has been walking on the treadmill at the gym when she can on the weekends.

    She is also concerned about the scarring. Has been applying the Derm____ on it. She has a bit of a raised area toward the bottom where I think the drain may have been. Any one with a similar experience? There is a medical term for this. Does anyone know it?

    It is very helpful to hear from others' experiences post op. Would appreciate any feedback on how they felt after 6 months or so, scarring & PT..

    Thank you.
    Birthday blessings for those born today and for all.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Hi bjmk18! It sounds like your daughter is doing pretty well, all things considered. The aching in her upper back, etc., sounds pretty normal and to be expected at 6 months. At least that is what I think. And yes, at almost 1 year, my back muscles still get tired. I am a lot older than your daughter, so maybe some of the younger ones have better insight on this.

    I started PT at 6 months, to strengthen my arms and legs only. Of course, the points of attachment of your upper arm muscles are in your back, so it was also gently beginning to work on those muscles. And upper legs/buttocks/lower back all seem to work together too. I did PT for about 7 weeks, have continued working on those muscles at home, and was just released from restrictions so I can go back to PT and work on core muscle strength. I'm hoping that will help with the muscle fatigue I experience after a long day... (or not so long sometimes!) My prescription says no pelvic rocking or bending or twisting of spine. I think that's pretty much for "life" with me. I know many others who have posted they no longer have any restrictions, so apparently doctors differ on their views and also it probably depends on what kind of shape your remaining unfused vertebrae and discs are in, as well as how long and how far down your fusion is. I am so glad I started PT because it has helped me a lot. Hopefully that will be the case with your daughter too. I am so much stronger now! So I'm thinking it will be even better soon, after this new bout of PT.

    Can't help you with the scarring issue. Mine looks ok-- but then again, I can't see it very well!

    You might possibly get more response if you ask in the Adult Patients - surgical (first time) forum. You have this in the physician/hospital feedback forum. It's possible that some people won't look here... I don't know if there's a way to move it there or not, but you could always copy and paste it and start a new thread there. Just a thought.

    Best wishes for your daughter's continued recovery. You are such a good mom!!! Take care.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    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
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Boston, MA
    Sometimes when a scar is raised it is called a Keloid scar. I had one on my thigh due to a previous injury, and had a superficial surgery to reduce it. I was worried about the scar on my back, because of this past experience, and have been having my dermatologist follow it. Last week, she was concerned about the scar from the bone graft on my right hip becoming a keloid because it was a bit uneven. She put about 5 injections in it, across the length of the scar, and it looks better already.

    So maybe make an appointment with a dermatologist if you're worried.
    2000 34*L/39*T
    2007 44*L/53*T

    12.3.07 Posterior Spinal Fusion T4-T12
    (initially planned T4-L1)
    12.18.07 11*L/10*T

    23 years old

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    6 month recovery & scarring & PT

    Thank you, Vindy & Susie Bee

    Both of your sharings and experience are very helpful and appreciated. provided by both of you. It is actually going through the operation and recovery oneself that one can be able to know what it is really like.
    I will try to post further questions on the other site as you suggested, Susie Bee.

    Our daughter's appt. with Dr. Antonacci went very well. It appears that she is right on target according to the x-rays,etc and the doctor's expertise.
    He has now recommended PT and especially Pilates with the spring machine.

    Now research is needed to find the correct PT covered by the insurance in the area of North Jersey where she lives. That is another question to be posted.

    Thank you again.
    Hope both of you continue to feel better and better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Thumbs up

    Welcome bjmk18. My surgery was on January 16th and I started PT approximately 6 weeks later twice a week. I started with knee to chest moves, raised hamstring lifts with a band, recumbent bike and several different moves on the stairs. I'm now about to enter my 13th session and I've now moved to the treadmill and therabands. Also after about 4 weeks my PT mentioned that my scar might benefit from some "manual therapy" it's really a scar massage with oil and she suggested getting a product like Mederma to put on it. This is my 3rd surgery this time it's down to the sacrum and it has a slightly raised appearance at this point, but while the scar massage might sound like a waste of time, it really has helped especially in the area of stretching the cells where the incision took place. All of my previous surgeries resulted in similar scars, but are now all relatively flat and "beautiful" I have 2 on each hip and a nice straight line down my back.

    I have not been released to return to work yet (sedentary computer job) primarily because my commute is 45-80 minutes (bumper to bumper traffic) and right now I still find it uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time due to the recent aeration of the bone from my hips.

    I definitely believe the PT has helped me especially in recuping my endurance.

    Hope this helps. I'm also looking into being released to start aquatic therapy which I have been told will also be a great source of comfort and benefit.


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