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Thread: 5 years post op!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO

    5 years post op!

    Hi Everyone! It's been quite a while since I have been on here. I just passed my 5 year mark from my first surgery so thought I would give an update.

    So far everything is okay! I am still on pain meds though. I take 50 mg of morphin twice a day, hydrocodone 2 to 3 times a day and Robaxin 3 times a day. I have been under the care of a great pain management doctor for a few years now. We just finished doing knee injections that will create more cushion between the bones in my knees. It was a gel like substance and should last at least a year. That has helped to improve my gait somewhat.

    I will be seeing Dr. LaGrone for my 2 year checkup from when he fixed my flat back issue. I'm still not completely straight. The screws in my hips have really been bothering me lately. I think it's because I am now walking so much more and so much faster.

    I have continued to work at the school putting in 10 hour days! I have been mowing the yard, weedeating, blowing, edging, weeding the flower beds and any other kind of yard work there is. It's hard but I take frequent breaks and that helps.

    Traveling has gotten alot better!!! I don't need to stop every couple of hours anymore. This past Christmas we went out to Ouray, Colorado so our son could do some ice climbing. I was able to hike in the snow with the aid of my Yaktraks on my shoes. They are like chains to tires.....except these are for boots or shoes. I can't hike as far in the winter if it is snowy and icy. It uses alot of muscles to keep your balance so you don't fall. Normal hiking has been going pretty good. The problem I have with hiking is if I have to take big steps up, the hips aren't capable of handling that to well.

    The air pressure plays a big part in my daily pain levels. I can't remember right now if it is when the pressure goes up or down that my pain levels go up.

    Now, I'm sure that some of you are wondering if I would have gone through the surgery again knowing what I now know. The answer is still yes!!! My pain meds can pretty well take care of most of my lingering pain that I still have. Nothing would have been able to stop the progression of my curving spine except surgery. I know that in a few years I will still be able to walk around and not have to worry about being in a wheel chair. My lungs and heart have alot more space to do their jobs properly then what they had. So all in all, I think the good out weighs the bad!!!
    Last edited by Theresa; 07-14-2009 at 07:11 PM.

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Happy 5th anniv!!!

    My surgery will be next month. I don't know how I'll be post-op. . .maybe I will always need meds to help w/pain, maybe not. That doesn't matter to me, really. . .what matters is that I'll be able to live life to its absolute fullest. .. It sounds like you are doing just that. God Bless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC
    Hi Theresa,
    It is so nice to hear from someone 5 years post-op. Is the pain you are still having nerve pain? I can't imaging having so much pain at 5 years out that you would still have to take narcotics. I still have nerve pain in my right leg which is tolerable with neurontin, 900mg/day, but if I had to take narcotics like you, I think I would seek a second opinion. Maybe you already have but I thought surgery was supposed to help get rid of the pain. However, if it is nerve pain, I guess sometimes that can take a long time to resolve. I also get increased pain in the area of the hardware; I think it is when the atmospheric pressure is going down, but not 100% sure on that.
    Take care and thanks for posting.
    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.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Chicago north suburb
    Hi Theresa,

    I have often wondered how youíre doing. You were one of the people who replied to my very first post four years ago. My how time flies. You sure have missed some good brawls around here lately. . Theresa, I have to agree with Sally, five years of taking pain meds clearly is not the norm following this surgery, but I do see that you are under the care of a pain management specialist. And it appears that you have some knee issues as well. Maybe Iím just lucky, but I have no pain since my surgery over a year ago. I realize though that things could change down the road.

    Thanks for posting and letting us know how youíre doing. Between your school work and hiking activities, Iíd say youíre doing pretty darn good. Hope youíre enjoying the summer as well. Take care.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    St. Louis Missouri
    Hi Theresa:

    I had my first surgery in 1969 and my second (and last) in 2006. My fusion is T3-S1. But I am still having a lot of pain in my lower back/buttock area - mainly the right side. Due to the pain, I am very very limited with my walking and standing. But what I really hate is my other limitation of not being able to bend. I can pick something up if it is around 4 or 5 inches off the ground but any lower I have to use my grabber. I also still use my sock aid when putting on my socks. I am also now having problems with I think carpal tunnel and other hand problems because I use the grabber so much.

    Does anyone else still have this problem. Please let me know.

    Thanks so much.

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