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Thread: Recovery Advice Sought

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227

    Recovery Advice Sought

    Wow! This has been some recovery! I was supposed to be 5 days in the hospital and ended up with 4 days in ICU and a total of 10 days in the hospital. Today was the first day I drove since April 28th - and it was a short drive. I cannot sit for long - nor can I stand in one place for long. I can walk about 1 block without getting winded. My insides feel like mush and like they want to break through my ribs. I anticipated a recovery - but not one so dibilitating. Has anyone else had anterior/posterior with long recoveries? I'd love to hear what my future may hold in terms of pain, ability to do things, etc. I promised my little one that I'd be running by her birthday at the end of July - unfortunately - a brisk walk may be all that I can do. I'm trying to be optimistic.

    I did have my 8 week check up and had a list of concerns for the doc and he didn't want to address at this time since my color looked good and I was alert and walking some. I did ask about numbness on both legs and pain down one leg. I have another appt in August. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    I don't get to the computer as much as I'd like so don't be worried if I don't respond immediately - it's just hard to sit and type/read much. My brain is so scattered that I cannot focus on something for more than a few minutes at a time (which the doc also said is normal after surgery???)

    Thanks everyone for your support

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    In those early days, it seems like you'll never feel good again. But time passes, then, with a thrill, you realise you are feeling happier, more comfortable and more optimistic. It all comes back. I can't comment on your pain but I hope that goes away of its own accord for you.

    I had a very squeamish tummy for 2 months then started on probiotics and that helped. Until then, I didn't really enjoy food, though I ate it.

    I have plenty of numb skin, especially my lower back and right buttock. It doesn't normally worry me though occasionally, I feel like my underwear is too tight on that side.

    I am having my first night out tonight, a birthday party and I'm doing some of the cooking for it. I suspect I'll be home very early since I'm normally in bed by 9pm! But it's so nice to have things normalising again....it does happen eventually!

    Let us know how you go.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    I was in pretty much the same shape as you at 8 weeks, including a painful leg and extreme soreness around the ribs and anterior incision. I wore out the carpet in my bedroom pacing in circles because I couldn't sit for very long either. I started to feel better around 3 months. Hang in there!!
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Wink Oh Yes!!

    I had an anterior/posterior T4 to sacrum about 13 months ago and had a very long recovery. Still recovering actually!! And it was a surprise to me. As much research as I did on this forum and on the internet, I still expected to go back to work at 6 weeks. HA!
    I was out for 5 months. So much I did not expect, little weird things, big weird things. The numbness gradually fades, but I still have some on my upper thighs and right hip. My incision is finally starting to come back to life. Still get tired more than I used to. But when I look back on what I felt just last summer , when my post op days were brand new, boy have I made alot of progress!!!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    43
    Always,

    At least u are on the road to recovery and will hopefully feel better over the coming few months. Can I ask what are your curves post op?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    Thank you so very much for the reassurance that life will return I think I know in my mind that it will but emotionally - that's another story. Some days are better than others. I too researched this site like crazy but still am surprised by the results.

    I'm not sure what my curves are now - I think it's kind of a difficult story. The doc removed my harrington rod and put new rods in (he did not straighten the old fusion as it was fused - I was fused T2-L1 previously). The part he really worked on correcting was L1-L4 and the difference is enormous on the films (although I didn't ask for degrees) - he did remove 2 discs and replaced them with bone. He's hoping that he saved the discs before L4 for a few years.

    I think I'm most surprised with how my anterior fusion feels - I didn't expect so much rib pain or to feel my insides - it's weird. I expected lower back pain - but forgot how much it's used to sit - I'd walk most anyday over sitting. I also was under the impression that by 8 weeks I'd be ready for work. Luckily I'm a teacher so don't have to return to work YET. I have another appt. with the doctor before school starts so we can see what steps to take.

    THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORDS OF SUPPORT - IT'S REALLY WHAT I NEEDED!

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

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