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Thread: Seriously how is your pain after surgical recovery?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    17

    Seriously how is your pain after surgical recovery?

    I have been trying to put it off, but I'm sick of living in pain. I am considering getting into the surgeon, but only want to do it if it will really relieve my pain.

    So, was your pain improved, eliminated, or not improved at all.
    Last edited by LeeJo; 02-12-2009 at 04:40 PM.
    35 years old. Boston braced from age 11-16. S curve 37* thoracic, 29* lumbar. Right arm, right sided thorax pain.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,294
    I am 6 years post a very complicated surgery for very severe triple curves--and I have absolutely no pain.
    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
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I am almost 4 months post-op, and my lower back pain, as well as the pain down my thigh is totally gone. I haven't had that old familiar gnawing pain in my lower back since before surgery. Prior to surgery, I'd get that pain even if I stood around in one position too long, or walked too long.

    Good luck with your appointment. Like you, after wearing a brace, I was 'cleared' at 23 years of age, and I thought I was good for life. Let us know what happens.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    I think Im the wrong person to talk to at this point, as Im only 4 weeks post op,but from what Im told from all of my Scoli friends here, is that it takes time to recover & heal & that the pain of the surgery eventually goes away. I can tell you that like Debbe, I dont have the pain I had in my lower back or the sharp shooting pain in the upper part. My pain now only consists of my entire back, muscles & all, moving into place, trying to figure out what I did to them! They are pi$$ed I guess & stuborn! Gotta keep your sense of humor during all this or else Id go bonkers!!!!!!!!!!
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Don't get me wrong--I certainly did have surgical pain, but the old lower back and leg pain that pushed me into having the surgery was gone immediately.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    I /we knew that..I was just saying that the old lower back pain & the stabbling shooting pain in my upper is gone......thank goodness.....just explaining about the surgical pain.....thats the fun stuff, right?!
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Salina, Ks
    Posts
    126
    I had 2 surgeries a month apart. 1st Oct. 8th, second Nov.10th of 2008. The pain I had for years before is totally gone. I am still healing and feel that but it has been totally successful. I was ironing up a storm last night and realized after about the 10th pair of slacks that I could hardly iron a shirt and pair of slacks before without extreme discomfort. It is just wonderful to be pain free after years of suffering.
    Nancy Joy

    Surgery- Posterior- Oct. 8th, 2008
    Anterior- Nov. 10th, 2008
    Age 54
    T10 to Sacrum
    Curve 65 degrees
    Very straight now!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420
    The minute I woke up from surgery I knew the pain was different. It wasn't the pain that forced me into surgery it was surgery pain and that I knew was going to go away.


    I am almost 3 years post op and pain free. I just got back from vacation and danced EVERY night, 4 nights straight in 4" heels! NO BACK PAIN!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
    The minute I woke up from surgery I knew the pain was different. It wasn't the pain that forced me into surgery it was surgery pain and that I knew was going to go away.


    I am almost 3 years post op and pain free. I just got back from vacation and danced EVERY night, 4 nights straight in 4" heels! NO BACK PAIN!
    Suzy,

    I BOW to you--what a woman! I am looking forward to the same I"m glad you had such fun on vacation.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    No 4-inch heels for me , but the severe grinding ache I used to have in the middle of my back, where the curve started to rotate, is gone. I can also stand and sit for much longer periods of time, and have recently gotten into cooking big meals for my family simply because I am able to for the first time in many years. I'm a bookworm and never used to be able to stand and browse in a bookstore or library, and now I can.

    Of course the surgery hurts -- but as others have said, knowing that it will improve makes it bearable.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    I'm almost 9 months post-op and I have the same pain I had pre-op and then some.
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    52

    Thumbs up I'm pain-free 12 weeks post-op!

    I feel like I've had a miraculous recovery! I'm so happy that I had the surgery. At 6 weeks, I was off all pain meds, driving, and working part time. I even clipped my own toenails (I did a lot of yoga before surgery, so that has made me very flexible, which has definitely helped in recovery). At 12 weeks, I can do all housework, some yoga poses, lots of walking, etc.

    I don't have back pain anymore. The only thing I have is muscle spasms sometimes (I also have MS, so that makes my muscles more prone to spasms), and some numbness on my left hip which is probably nerve damage from the surgery. That's common, and I feel like it's getting better. Most people who get nerve damage find that it takes several months (or even a year) to heal, but that it does heal.

    Everyone's experience is different, but mine has turned out VERY positive! I hope that yours turns out as well as mine did!

    Lisa
    Lisa MS
    age 46

    Braced 1976 - 1980, corrected to 19" then
    Spinal fusion, a/p, 8 vertebrae, 11/17/08
    Lumbar curve was 57 degrees, now 24 degrees
    Dr. Doug Wong, Panorama Ortho, Golden, Colo.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    My experience mimics Suzy's ... including the 4" heels (okay, sometimes 5" for me ... Suzygirl's a LOT taller!).

    The second I woke up (and I popped out of anesthesia, seriously), the pain I had between my shoulder blades for 30 years was GONE.

    Did I feel stiff? Sure. Do I have some pain now? Yeah ... especially when I throw myself down on the ground under a tag ;-). I haven't exactly babied myself in recovery - LOL.

    Would I, personally, do it again in a heartbeat? Absolutely.

    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Joy View Post
    I had 2 surgeries a month apart. 1st Oct. 8th, second Nov.10th of 2008. The pain I had for years before is totally gone. I am still healing and feel that but it has been totally successful. I was ironing up a storm last night and realized after about the 10th pair of slacks that I could hardly iron a shirt and pair of slacks before without extreme discomfort. It is just wonderful to be pain free after years of suffering.
    Nancy Joy,

    Who ever thought there'd be such hidden joy in ironing? LOL!

    Sooooo glad to hear you're doing well! ;-).

    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
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    briarrose-- I'm sorry to hear of your pain, but appreciate hearing a little of "the other side of the story"... It's wonderful that so many of you are pain free-- "YAY! " but that isn't always the case.

    I know that as I read through both scoli books by Dave Wolpert and Michael Neuwirth, there was no promise of pain alleviation... so I didn't know what I would end up with. Mine is just mostly tightness, tenderness and aching and may eventually go away-- or not. It is different from what I had before surgery and I prefer this.

    I believe most of our surgeons would say that the surgery is intended to stabilize our spines and provide some correction-- and hopefully decrease pain. But that part is never promised. Please feel free to correct me if you've heard otherwise.

    About HEELS-- I'm glad wearing heels isn't a biggie to me! For some reason wearing any kind of heels makes my hips hurt and feel out of alignment or something. And that started well before my surgery.
    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

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