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Thread: How low do you go? (fusing)

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    I guess I had a similar experience.....I had a few other opinions that ended me at Dr Tribus. My 1st (original) back doctor advised that I would def. need surgery & it would most likely need to end at L5 possibly into the sacrum. This level of fusion was out of his "league"....that is not what he said but it just seems fitting...so he referred me to a Doc in MN who I did not like one bit.(bad bed side, taked down to me,etc) He said I would need to be fused into the sacrum no questions asked & basically was trying to talk me out of the surgery. I left confused obviously. I went back to doc #1 and said do you have another referal.....which left me w/Doc Tribus. He took xrays which included the bending ones & also a MRI. After reviewing them he said he felt very confident that he could achieve good results going the a/p approach & would fuse me from T5 to L4, as this would allow me more flexability, etc. He did tell me however, that in the future....15-20 yrs donw the road, he may need to finish the fusion but it was choice. It ended up only being a posterior fusion, thank goodness & I obviously decided to end at L4 & personally Im glad I did. I actually notice more of the fusion/hardware in my thorasic area than I do in my lower. I easily bend at the waist when I need to or use a combo of squating and waist bending. I dont regret where it ended & if I do take it easy, perhaps I can hold off even longer on the last 2.

    Oh...and I never did the tub scrubbing to begin with, so my back wont know the difference!
    Last edited by LynnMarie74; 04-30-2009 at 10:57 PM.
    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**

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    Hey Pam...Glad to see you still here! Yea!
    No offense taken at all. Hadn't even thought of it that way. And yes, Ganocy did take me by my case alone. He really was hoping to stop at L4 and I was too, but knew in my heart that I was really messed up down low. Just thought some might like to know that the decision sometimes has to be made on the table and I trusted Dr Ganocy to make the right decision.

    Ed, Hope you are healing well. Now quit laughing! I remember my wrestlers thought it was great fun to make me laugh 2 days after hernia surgery. Of course they paid for it in push ups!
    Geish
    47 years old, dx at 13
    +30* to the right, +60* to the left, +30* to the right
    Surgery 12-13-07 - fusion from T4 to sacrum.


    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=267 Pre surgery
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=268 Post surgery
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/DSC01091.jpg Xray from the side
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...1089-1-1-1.jpg Xray from the back

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    I had this same conversation with my surgeon at the pre op appointment. He told me he was planning on going to L4 but what did I feel if once he was in he had to go lower. I told him I totally trusted him and what ever he felt needed done I would be OK with. When writing up the surgery consent he covered all this in the paperwork which I signed. He only went to L4 but told me he would love to see me get 20 years out of L5 & S1 but he would not be surprised if I was back in 5 years for the extension. At the time 5 years seemed a long way off but I am already 2 years in and I do get strains and pains below the fusion. The PT is always telling me I need to treat the last disks better.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Oh, it hurts when I laugh.
    Right in the gall bladder area.

    Pam
    You know, I never thought that comedy can induce pain.........
    I need to apoligize to everyone.
    Ed
    Ed,
    I guess the surgery went well? Here's hoping you have a quick easy recovery and are off to skiing in no time.
    __________________________________________
    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

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,552
    Sheri
    How low do you go?

    Some of us have no choice. Mine was a case where I used up my timeframe window. It just goes to show that you are wise in addressing this now, and not waiting. Curves can increase rapidly with age...... and with no warnings. Having large curves is like watching a 2 yr old. Don't take your eyes off them!

    With all the advancements with artificial discs, and I believe they might be using 2 now in scoli ???, in the future, the technology in that area will improve dramatically. Just in case there was a problem down the road, you will have that option. That does tip the scales away from fusing to the pelvis and the "git r done right" thought.
    Ask your Doc about this and his thoughts. Also, if he changes his mind and wants to "go to the big toe" have the proper mindset.

    Being fused all the way for me is way better than I thought. People cannot tell I'm fused as long as I am. In fact, when I go to my next scoli meeting, I think what I will do is say that I'm "thinking about surgery" jump around a little, and at the end, I will surprise everyone, including the Docs! It will be fun! I will have to tilt my shoulders on purpose. Left for 5 minutes, right for 5 minutes.

    I may not paint my toenails, but I could. Gee? What color should I go with today? Black would hide the dirt.LOL
    Thx for posting your x-ray.

    Mauxi

    Its hard to concentrate when interviewing your surgeon.(after all, your the boss now) I asked all sorts of questions that had nothing to do with scoliosis, It was a "feeling out" that I will do with people, and it took 5 visits over 2 years. You need to be comfortable with your surgeon. He also needs to be comfortable with his "team" and the hospital. He needs to be confident, almost cocky, but not arrogant. He needs to be busy, but not too busy to spend just a little time with you. My God daughter is in Medical school, she is 25, and I need an appointment with her............

    Ask your Doc if you can have questions answered by e-mail. If so, this is a good sign.
    Its also good that you are here posting and reading about scoliosis.

    Dolores

    The "wooden soldier" walk is usually due to hip, knee, and leg issues. I have friends with wooden legs. Back in college at a party, we drank champagne from a wooden leg. Its a male bonding thing. We sterilized it with grain alcohol. I know, it was lunacy.

    Geish and other future Hawaiian travelers, divers, touriste types, hula dancers and the scoliotic surfer society members:
    RT planefare to Hawaii is cheap now. RNO-KOA $331. farecompare.com

    Scolialoha
    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 05-01-2009 at 01:30 PM.
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humour since your most recent surgery, Ed.

    When I was told last year that I would need to be fused to the Sacrum, I didn't really know what it meant. As it happens, he went right down to my pelvis, and up a notch from T5 to T4.

    I already have some flexibility back and am getting around better than I had expected. I feel slightly wooden when I walk, but feel confident I can modify that enough to be unnoticeable as time goes by.

    I guess my age was the reason he went lower. He said my bones were good. Perhaps he sensed I wouldn't have it in me to go back for further surgery later on, that it was now or never.
    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

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post

    Geish and other future Hawaiian travelers, divers, touriste types, hula dancers and the scoliotic surfer society members:
    RT planefare to Hawaii is cheap now. RNO-KOA $331. farecompare.com

    Scolialoha
    Ed
    My airfare is already booked! Just waiting until my departure date!
    Geish
    47 years old, dx at 13
    +30* to the right, +60* to the left, +30* to the right
    Surgery 12-13-07 - fusion from T4 to sacrum.


    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=267 Pre surgery
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...tachmentid=268 Post surgery
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...s/DSC01091.jpg Xray from the side
    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...1089-1-1-1.jpg Xray from the back

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Salina, Ks
    Posts
    126
    I am fused T10 to my pelvis and even have metal embedded in both sides of my pelvis bones. My curve was pretty much in the lumbar area which effected the top. I knew in advance that I would never bend at the waist again and thought I was prepared for that but was not. All I can say is my legs get a great stretch every day. I do not use any aids and STRETCH to put on socks, STRETCH to cut my toenails, and have to pick things up the "correct" way, etc. After a while, I figured out that I was in a different ballgame than most on this site. Ed, you have no idea how encouraging your ski pictures were to me!!!!! Probably, the most frustrating part for me right now is I can't just sit down and give myself a good pedicure and I am too cheap to want to pay for one! But, a positive is, I shouldn't have to have surgery ever again (and that is a REAL positive!) and all of my previous pain is gone. Also, I have TERRIFIC posture! All I can say is trust your doctor and do what you think is right for you. I gain a little more flexibility everyday and am still grateful something could be done for me and that I went thru with it.
    Nancy Joy

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

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