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Thread: Worried about surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    New Palestine, IN
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    Unhappy Worried about surgery

    The more I read in these post I am absolutley terrified about having this surgery. I am in a great deal of pain now and know that I need to have this done, but I am worried about recovery time and the pain that comes with it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    New Bern, NC
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    Hi LORIS,
    All of us post surgery people were terrified to have this surgery. It is normal.
    If you are not in pain, I would say, "Don't have the surgery". I was in a great deal of pain pre-surgery to the point where I couldn't walk even for five minutes nor could I stand in my kitchen to prepare a meal. I don't regret any of the pain I had to go through post surgery to get to where I am today. Recovery is very difficult but most pain can be kept under control and recovery time varies among individuals for various reasons. I am not totally pain free even at a year and four months but am soooo much better than I was. You will get a lot of support from the people here so don't let our stories frighten you. I haven't seen many people say they regret having the surgery. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sally
    PS - Most people here know that I am back to roller-skating, my passion for the last almost 30 years.
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Market, Tn
    Posts
    19

    It'll be ok!

    Hi Loris,
    It's so normal to be afraid and worried...but you will be fine! Just ensure that you have a doctor that is experienced with this and does this more than once a year! My surgeon does hundreds of these a year and did an excellent job. I don't regret the surgery for a second and recovery has been easier than expected. The worst parts are just the lifestyle change...no bending, twisting, lifting...which means no housework. At first it seemed like a dream to me when the nurse told me this..but now that I am in recovery, I'm thinking it's horrible...and have found alternate ways to clean while no one's looking
    The only things that were hard was on Day 2 in the hospital, I had to have xrays. The nurses failed to warn me and I was trying to be strong and do the pain meds as little as possible. When they put me on the metal table and moved me around, it hurt but it's only because I hadn't had pain meds in several hours. So just ask that they warn you. And when I came home, the meds they sent me home with caused much constipation..I didn't listen to the nurse and do Miralax every day...i sure do now!! Even my 4 hour drive home was fine.
    Right now, 5 weeks post op, my back is very tender but the pain has not been unbearable at all.
    I have a website set up that we updated daily in the hospital and I continue to update now..you can access it at http://www.carepages.com/carepages/Becky_331. A lot of it will probably be boring to you but you can atleast read and get an idea of what to expect while you're in the hospital.
    If you are in pain, I highly recommend the surgery. My curve was 73 degrees, it's now 20ish. The dr told me if I didn't have it done, it would continue to curve and would eventually start to damage my organs. So you are making the right choice! Please feel free to PM me or email me @outerbanx331@yahoo.com if you have any questions or just need support!!
    My prayers are with you...you will be fine!!
    Becky
    Becky-29 New Market, TN
    Spinal Fusion 3/17/09
    T3 to L3-73 degree curve to a 20ish


    I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Palestine, IN
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    Thank you for the good information. I think my biggest fear right now is not know at all what to expect. When I asked my doctor what this surgery would be like he did not mention a lot of what I have been reading about from everyone. Can you give me any good suggestions about questions I should ask when I find a new doctor. The last time I had any real knowledge about what this surgery was like was 20 years ago. I asked my doctor then to do the surgery (at which time my curve was 47*) and he said it was not necessary and that my curve would not get worse. I am now at 53*, and a lot of rib and back pain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    40
    I am 2 wks post op, in fact I'm waiting for my ride to my follow-up appt. I am amazed and sooo happy I had the surgery.

    I was scared to death, increasingly nervous up to knock out time. But my Dr was able to correct my back more than expected. The pain was a lot the first wk, but they keep the drugs coming and I am fine. I'm already down to 3-4 pills over 24hr period. Working in tylenol, my horrible hump is gone. I couldn't be happier!

    Go for it, you will be so glad.
    ~Em

    Diagnosed at 13, Milw brace-didn't wear it like I should have.
    pre-surg 78* Thoracic,
    post-surg 22* Thoracic.
    Fusion from T2 to L2 scheduled for April 15, 09 in Tulsa, OK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    Em!! Great news!! Im happy you are in good spirits & are not regretful. Continue to take care of yourself & keep us posted on your continued recovery!!

    Lynn
    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
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by loves to skate View Post
    Hi LORIS,
    All of us post surgery people were terrified to have this surgery. It is normal.
    If you are not in pain, I would say, "Don't have the surgery". I was in a great deal of pain pre-surgery to the point where I couldn't walk even for five minutes nor could I stand in my kitchen to prepare a meal. I don't regret any of the pain I had to go through post surgery to get to where I am today. Recovery is very difficult but most pain can be kept under control and recovery time varies among individuals for various reasons. I am not totally pain free even at a year and four months but am soooo much better than I was. You will get a lot of support from the people here so don't let our stories frighten you. I haven't seen many people say they regret having the surgery. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sally
    PS - Most people here know that I am back to roller-skating, my passion for the last almost 30 years.
    Now I am concerned b/c you wrote that if one is not in pain,they should not have the surgery.

    My 16 year old is not in pain but has that 60 degree left thoracic curve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Palestine, IN
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by emwonderfull View Post
    I am 2 wks post op, in fact I'm waiting for my ride to my follow-up appt. I am amazed and sooo happy I had the surgery.

    I was scared to death, increasingly nervous up to knock out time. But my Dr was able to correct my back more than expected. The pain was a lot the first wk, but they keep the drugs coming and I am fine. I'm already down to 3-4 pills over 24hr period. Working in tylenol, my horrible hump is gone. I couldn't be happier!

    Go for it, you will be so glad.
    Thank you so much. I am just worried since I am not so young anymore (be 40 in a few months ). I am meeting with a new surgeon on June 8 to see what his suggestions are. I feel so in the dark about all of this. The first surgeion I spoke to did not mention even half of what I read on these post as to what the surgery involves. But the new doctor is part owner of the orthopedic hospital that I will be going to and they are in the top 5% in the nation in spinal fusions for customer satisfaction.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    7,104
    Quote Originally Posted by pmsmom View Post
    Now I am concerned b/c you wrote that if one is not in pain,they should not have the surgery.

    My 16 year old is not in pain but has that 60 degree left thoracic curve
    I suspect she meant adults. A 16 y.o. with a 60 degree curve should definitely consider surgery.

    --Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmsmom View Post
    Now I am concerned b/c you wrote that if one is not in pain,they should not have the surgery.

    My 16 year old is not in pain but has that 60 degree left thoracic curve
    pmsmom,

    I am sure Sally was referring to adults that aren't in pain, and even then, adults with *stable curves* that aren't in pain. A 16 year old with a 60 curve is almost guaranteed to progress without surgery.

    She's scheduled in the next few weeks, correct?

    Regards,
    Pam

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmsmom View Post
    Now I am concerned b/c you wrote that if one is not in pain,they should not have the surgery.

    My 16 year old is not in pain but has that 60 degree left thoracic curve
    pmsmom,
    My apologies. I did mean older adults. (Thanks Linda.) My surgery consisted of very little correction of my curve. I had degenerated discs, arthritis, and spondilithesis with stenosis is several places. Sorry about the inaccurate statement as it stood.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by txmarinemom View Post
    pmsmom,

    I am sure Sally was referring to adults that aren't in pain, and even then, adults with *stable curves* that aren't in pain. A 16 year old with a 60 curve is almost guaranteed to progress without surgery.

    She's scheduled in the next few weeks, correct?

    Regards,
    Pam
    Yes, Pam--June 1.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by loves to skate View Post
    pmsmom,
    My apologies. I did mean older adults. (Thanks Linda.) My surgery consisted of very little correction of my curve. I had degenerated discs, arthritis, and spondilithesis with stenosis is several places. Sorry about the inaccurate statement as it stood.
    Sally
    Thanks for clarifying, Sally.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Loris, I am 58 this month and am now 8 weeks post-op. I had very little pre-op pain, and what pain I had was controllable, but my curve was progressing rapidly. I can tell you from my experience, the fear of the operation is worse than the operation.

    Get as fit as you possibly can. It helps mentally, not just physically, because you feel so good, you feel you can tackle anything.

    Chase up the nurses when your pills are due, they can get busy and forget about you and you will pay the price in pain. As my mother used to say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil!

    Get started on laxatives as early as possible. Don't wait for them to mention it. Pear juice is good too, Nulax is excellent but harsh.

    Get your doctor's advice on coming off the meds or at least do it VERY gradually. The withdrawals can be worse than the surgery.

    The best thing about being post-op is that your optimism returns - it's over and now you can look forward to getting better and better and with a much brighter future.

    You won't regret it!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

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