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Thread: Should I start getting hysterical?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312

    Should I start getting hysterical?

    Or, at least, worried?

    I am just over 5 weeks post-op. I had a posterior fusion of T-3 to L-3. Post-op, I had a complication - a pleural effusion. This afternoon, I had a follow-up appt w/my thoracic doc, and he showed me my chest x-ray that had just been taken. I swearthat my spine looks NOTICEABLY less straight than it looks on the printed copy of my x-ray taken during my surgery hospitalization. Could my spine have shifted?????

    Also. . .related to the above or not. . .my back hasn't hurt much at all for a couple weeks. Yesterday, I drove a short distance (I had my hair cut, but w/no bending or twisting.) As I was backing out of my parking space, I did have to twist a little bit to see if any car was coming. Today, at the apex of my curve, I have had some pain since I woke up, but now it's acelerated, and I am IN PAIN. I just took 20 mg hydrocodone. I'm hoping it's muscular, not hardware.

    I am so scared that my spine is shifting, putting presure against the rods as it tries to go back to where it was. Could it be??
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    alabama
    Posts
    6
    Well,I had surgery back in the old days 1984,I have the harrington rod,I still have about a 32 degree curve,atleast thats where Im at now anyway...But my point is that when I turn like that I will be soar a few days from the top of my rod to the bottom.They say my harware is fine,I just have limits to how far I can twist.That is the only time I twist that far around is when driving so just be carfull,if your not feeling better in the morning call the Dr.Better safe than sorry.You should probly ice where it hurts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi MGS,

    This is a great question and concern!!! Your doctor is just a phone call away concerning your fears and worries about the shifting of you back. Pick up the phone.

    It took me 3 years before I was able to twist to see if on coming traffic was approaching, sometimes I would take my nephew with me to look back for me, now as I loosen up, I can turn usually having to move most of my upper body.

    I understand your fears, we just have to adapt and adjust to our newly constraints so soon after surgery. But you will naturally find ways to work out problems. Look what you have just overcome in a hard battle, you'll beat this one as well. Just be patient, and I know how hard that can be.

    Best Wishes,
    Shari

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    I played "call the doctor"/"don't call the doctor" all day. So far, I haven't.

    My husband tries to reassure me, saying that he can't imagine how that metal could shift significantly, that it must be just how it looks due to a technical difference in the x-rays.

    Has anyone ever heard of losing correction this early? (I realize I'm being paranoid.)
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,957
    Hi Mgs

    The best way to communicate with your surgeon is with e-mail. Phone calls to surgeons and message taking, is too complicated.

    You are still VERY early and will have little warnings as you heal. Scar tissue tears and soft tissue readjusting and healing will happen for months.Try not to twist, move slowly.

    Chances are you are fine.

    Be careful in the car!!!!!
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    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. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    87
    Was your latest xray taken standing? The surgical one was most definitely taken lying down and there would be a difference between the 2 even if they were taken same day.
    Sandy

    Thoracic curve was 55 degrees, now 30
    Lumbar curve was 68 degrees, now 26
    Rib rotation was 17 degrees, now 0
    Degenerated discs and sacral arthritic spurs, plus significant spondylosis
    Fused 8/13/09 at age 43 from T-9 to pelvis with iliac screws anchoring hardware to the pelvis, plus osteomies by Drs. Anthony Moreno and Geoff Cronen, Tampa, FL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    I had my first post-op appt on Mon - one day shy of my 7 weeks mark. Dr. Tribus said that my hardware is holding well, which is music to my ears!

    I am nearly pain-free as far as the fusion itself goes. However, with all of this squatting, my hips and knees (which have been trouble, thanks to knee injuries, on and off for 10 years) hurt, and the pain is getting worse. . .to the point that, at some times, I am actually hobbling. More worrisome, my lumbar spine, which pre-surg rarely bothered me, is now constantly hurting, somewhat. I am fused to L-3 (from T-3). . .there is significant arthritis in my lumbar spine, but the doctor wanted to leave the lower lumbars alone, since they weren't troubling me then, but with the understanding that they might need to be fused in the coming years. I didn't mention the hips/knees/lower back pain to him. . .I guess I thought that maybe I was just overdoing, and I'd see if it's still an issue in Dec, when I have my next appt.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Well, you must be thrilled that everything's in its correct place. As for the knees, I too have knees that object to the constant squatting. Most days it's not too bad and I hope they'll just get used to the constant squatting but if not...I guess I may need knee surgery eventually. What a shame your lower back wasn't giving you an indication of things to come and could have been dealt with in the one surgery. But, there's still hope that it may come good, afterall, it's probably doing more work now and hopefully, it will get used to it.

    Cross fingers that happens for you.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by mgs View Post
    I had my first post-op appt on Mon - one day shy of my 7 weeks mark. Dr. Tribus said that my hardware is holding well, which is music to my ears!

    I am nearly pain-free as far as the fusion itself goes. However, with all of this squatting, my hips and knees (which have been trouble, thanks to knee injuries, on and off for 10 years) hurt, and the pain is getting worse. . .to the point that, at some times, I am actually hobbling. More worrisome, my lumbar spine, which pre-surg rarely bothered me, is now constantly hurting, somewhat. I am fused to L-3 (from T-3). . .there is significant arthritis in my lumbar spine, but the doctor wanted to leave the lower lumbars alone, since they weren't troubling me then, but with the understanding that they might need to be fused in the coming years. I didn't mention the hips/knees/lower back pain to him. . .I guess I thought that maybe I was just overdoing, and I'd see if it's still an issue in Dec, when I have my next appt.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    I"m glad your fusion is holding. Congratulations!! Can't help as far as the lumbar--no experience there. However, as far as the knees & hips--do you have reachers/grabbers? I have 3 now: 1 in the kitchen, one in the laundry room, and a short one in the car (for when I drop something and can't reach down to get it.) I CAN bend down and I do, but heck...when doing laundry, there is no way I'll bend down over and over again to pick up the family's dirty clothes!! Why should I? The grabber does a fabulous job. I highly recommend one for saving your joints for when you REALLY need to use them.
    __________________________________________
    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
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    Hi mgs,
    Great to hear that all is well - from the hardware point of view. In regards to your aches and pains, do you find that its is worse in the evening? I'm fused from T11 - S1 and find that, at times at the end of the day, i am achy. As for my hips - no troubles there! (knock on wood), but I feel that there may be a problem with my right knee. I only half squat, because my right knee feels as if its going to snap in half or something, so i'm scared to do a full squat. I have an appt with my surgeon on the 29th, i will ask him about this then. Happy recovery
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445

    squatting

    Hi all,
    There have been numerous threads where squatting has been discussed. My Doctor told me that squatting is not a good thing even for those who do not have bad knees. His suggestion is to go down on one knee. It is much easier to go down and to get up from that position and is not hard on the knees. No squatting ever!!!
    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
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Thanks Sally. I've been thinking that squatting's not a good idea. I have a new back but now my knees are wearing out. I think I might take up Debbe's idea and get a few grabbers, even this late in my recovery, to save my knees.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Thanks Sally. I've been thinking that squatting's not a good idea. I have a new back but now my knees are wearing out. I think I might take up Debbe's idea and get a few grabbers, even this late in my recovery, to save my knees.
    Jen,

    yes go for them. I use them because....well basically I'm lazy. Except for the scenario in the car. No way I can reach the floor while in the driver's seat.
    __________________________________________
    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    long island, ny
    Posts
    233
    I kind of forget about using the grabber thing until this weekend (was doing tons of laundry) I just couldn't stoop down any more after awhile, I was in my bedroom and eyed the grabber, it was a life saver, got all the laundry done! I'm going for a visit to my surgeon tomorrow, I have to ask him about squatting down, I do it all the time -- it does not bother my knees or hips, but I do feel the strain in my back, not a very comfortable feeling at all, especially if I have to reach for something on the floor, which is all the time because I'm always dropping things!
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    Thanks Sally,
    Its as clear as day, but i never thought of that. I love the beach so much and i was wondering how i was going to go about getting my usual dose of Vitamin D (suntan)! I had funny visions - log rolling on the sand etc. I don't know?
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

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