View Full Version : 5 years ago today

02-22-2011, 11:51 PM
Hello all,

I haven't been on here for quite awhile but think it is important to check back in and let those of you facing your surgery or, recovering from one, know how a few years out might look for you.

I was 49* lumbar curve now fused from T10 to L4. My surgery was 8 hours, I was in the hospital for 8 days and am now corrected to 8* (Wonder what my lucky # should be?)

The only sport I have given up is water skiing, I still snow ski and scuba dive. I was not sure the first 2 years about rollerblading again but as time has passed I don't worry at all about falling I just haven't gone yet. I don't care for riding in a fast boat or on jet skiis as the pounding on the waves is a bit uncomfortable and I pay the next day with a sore back. I never was a runner so I don't miss that. It too is a bit uncomfortable and is a weird feeling when I do.

I have been back at the gym since I was done with PT. I have found I MUST go to the gym at least 1X a week to keep my back muscles from getting tight. 2X and I have no problems. My lower back muscles tighten up and get uncomfortable when I am slack and don't go. This is actually a good thing as it keeps me in shape. I have over the years not gone to the gym while sick or just being lazy and then my back just gets too tight to loosen up myself. I then go to my friend who is a massage therapist and all is well again. This only happens after I have missed a few weeks.

I am still wearing my high heels. This floors the scoliosis support group I attend~ Heh heh! I go dancing about every 2 months with the girls, in my heels for 5-6 hours. My feet give out before my back.

I had trouble initally putting on tights and my knee high boots because I was trying to do it the way I did before my fusion. I can do it now that I have figured out a different way. I still polish my own toes, the key is to keep your hamstrings flexable. As I get older it will be my eyes that keep me from doing this not my back! (I am 48)

I do not lift the amount of weight (Like boxes of stuff.) I use to, nor move furniture around without sliders under it. At the gym I do no excersize that puts weight stress on my spine. I vaccume by following it forward then walking back not pushing/pulling while standing in one spot, then another spot, like most do.

I realise as some of you read this you might think because my fusion is shorter then most, that you won't have great results. Wrong. I have freinds with the same fusion as I as well as their whole back fused and they too are doing great. I can not stress to you enough the power of positive thinking. That seems to be the one common factor all with a great out come have. Unfortunately I have a few friends who are having troubles post op but that isn't the norm.

I hope this post helps some of you who might be on the fence as to go forward with your surgery or wait. Before my surgery I was only able to function 3-4 hours a day, now I have to make myself slow down. I would do the whole thing all over again if I had to.

Best wishes, Suzy

02-23-2011, 04:57 AM
Wow Suzy,impressive!! My surgery is just a few weeks away now and reading your story is just what I needed to hear. Congratulations!

02-23-2011, 06:07 AM

it is so good to hear from you. I remember what support you gave me before my big day--thank you very much. It is good to hear that you continue to do well. Seeing your name did bring back memories of you talking about your heels, I'm glad it's still going well. For about the first year, heels made me uncomfortable, but I can wear them now with no problem. HOWEVER, I don't think I've ever worn heels as high as you like them!

Keep in touch when you can.

02-23-2011, 07:14 AM
Excellent story and result!

You were fused at a smaller angle that most other adults here as far as I can tell. Maybe you had less damage than others. That may be a factor in your recovery.

Best wishes.

02-23-2011, 07:39 AM
Hi Suzy!

What a great post. Congratulations! It was really helpful to read how you do some things differently, as I do also. You're so funny about the heels ...I can wear them now too, but dancing in them for 5 hours ... don't think so!! I totally agree about keeping the hamstrings flexible -- I find that this makes a huge difference in overall comfort.

What exercises do you do in the gym? I'm curious because I mostly hike for exercise and do a few core-building exercises on a mat. Do you use the elliptical? I have found that to be a bit too jarring for me, even at the lowest setting -- possibly because my legs are so short. I also have trouble on a stationary bike and do better on a recumbent bike, but really prefer walking to any kind of biking.

Good to hear from you!

02-23-2011, 07:52 AM
My surgery is coming up in June, and it is really helpful to read posts like yours. Thank you so much for taking the time to update us. I am very glad to hear you did so well, and hope you continue to do so! Sincerely, Lori

02-23-2011, 04:47 PM
Hi Suzy and thaks for the great follow up post - so important for those facing surgery.

And congrats on 5 years!

02-23-2011, 06:33 PM
Suzy- good to hear from you! Congrats on the 5 year anniversary. It sounds like you are doing great and definitely have your life back. Thanks for encouraging everyone. :)

02-24-2011, 06:35 AM
What a brilliant post, Suzy! Thanks for the boost!

02-24-2011, 12:56 PM
Hi Suzy,

Good to hear from you and that you are doing so well. You were a great inspiration to me when I first joined this forum almost 2 years ago. Then I got to meet you at one of the support meetings and you looked fantastic. Since you and I are close in age, I figured that I could get through this horrendous surgery too. Your positive attitude really helped me at that time. Now here I am, 5 months postop, standing straight and doing really well. Thanks for coming on the forum again to share with the rest of us!

02-24-2011, 04:36 PM
I love reading success stories. I am 7 weeks post-op and doing extremely well. I just keep my fingers crossed that it continues. I am a member at local Y and as I have recently walked laps on the track above the exercise room, I look down and wonder if any of my favorite machines will ever be allowed. I want to get my muscle tone back that I had worked so hard to achieve. Maybe swimming will be the answer.
Thanks for posting!

02-24-2011, 05:35 PM
Forgive me - what's a Y?

02-24-2011, 06:40 PM
Forgive me - what's a Y?

YMCA/YWCA = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YWCA

They also usually have a swimming pool and exercise facilities etc.

02-24-2011, 07:28 PM
Great post. I especially enjoyed reading about how you vacuum (that's still in my future).

I was wondering if anyone who is well into their post-op period (and technically savvy) would be willing be take a video of themselves doing day to day life activities in their modified fashion. Ed's twisting photos were such an enlightment and motivation to all. I think it would be really helpful to actually see a video of someone vacuuming or polishing their toenails or putting on knee high boots in a modified fashion. I have yet to try any of those things and am really curious about modified ways to try them.


02-24-2011, 08:51 PM
My my my, how time fly’s by. You were doing quite well when I came down, so you must be kicking it with no problems now.....You were the first scoli I ever met, remember?

Nice that the “dark ages” are over, and this forum is here.

Glad to see your report

I have video of me skiing here in my 3yr thread, but I really don’t think I will do any vacuuming or nail polishing. Its just not going to happen!

One of the toughest things for me is getting into my ski boots. I can not reach my buckles unless I get down on the floor, and then its tough. I will have to make a video of that process for all the fused skiers out there. Glad you like the rotational pics.

03-01-2011, 03:46 PM
Suzy thank you for such an awesome post-surgical-post! I hope that someday in the future, I can write such a great post on my post-surgical experience. With issues still going on with my surgery (8/2010) I shall wait until they pass and can share in hopes that my experience helps others.

03-01-2011, 09:42 PM
Suzy - Good post! I agree with you that having a very positive attitude is key to this surgery! I hope I'm doing as well at 5 years out!

03-11-2011, 08:46 PM
It is great to read your update! I am approaching my 2yr anniversary and I feel I am doing WONDERFUL!

There are little needle prick pains here and there, probably people without scoliosis have more. I do everything I want so far, I agree on the running thing. It does feel a little stange, no pain, just like I have a back pack on but I don't. I'm sure if I ran everyday I wouldn't notice it.

I encourage anyone considering surgery to find a great surgeon,many can be found through this site and investigate! I should have done it 10yrs before I did.

Good Luck to All!