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Thread: Surgery on 61 year old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Surgery on 61 year old

    I am 61 years old and will be having surgery next month...posterior fusion T10-S1. Is there anyone that can tell me about recovery time, what to expect and things I might need to make my recovery easier at home. Also, I have the option of only fusing T10-L5 at this time but the doctor suggested that I do S1 because there is a chance that I would have to do it later and I might as well have it done at one time. Can't comprehend not being able to bend from the waist at all especially when I have a little arthritis in the knees and it hurts to bend at the knees.

    Surgery scheduled for Sept.23 2004
    Dr. Stephen Ondra
    Northwestern Hospital, Chicago

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Janice...

    Recovery time is a huge variable that depends on the age of the patient, the type of surgery, the length of the fusion, the general condition of the patient, what (if anything) the patient does for a living. I would say the average amount of time that people in your age range can't work is probably 3-6 mos.

    As for bending from the waist, if you watch yourself bend over, you'll realize that you don't bend at the waist now. People fused to the sacrum lose a little bit of flexibility, but I think you'll be surprised at how little it is. Perhaps Dr. Ondra's office can put you in touch with someone else who is fused T10-S1 (approximately), so that you can see how they move.

    Good luck with your surgery!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Concord MA

    Question How did your surgery go???

    Hi Janice,

    I'm relatively new to this forum and saw the letter you posted - how did your surgery go??? How are you feeling???

    I'm 50 and had revision surgery (a second fusion) from S1-T10 in 2003 at a hospital in New York City. I can tell you that I do have a hard time bending, but I've gotten used to compensatory strategies (like getting down on all fours if I drop something) and I unexpectedly have upper back pain (above the fusion, in between my 'wings') because the stress of daily movement falls on the only part of my back that still can move! I'm actually going to have some of the top of my hardware removed this summer because it rubs up against soft tissue and is very irritating. I also recently started taking Pilates with a private instructor who herself has had two fusions - I knew she would be familiar with my limitations so I felt safe with her. Previously, I'd been afraid to pursue exercise for fear of injuring myself or damaging my fusion.

    Please write if you feel motivated. I'm interested to hear how you're doing.
    Best of luck,
    Andra (in Massachusetts)

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