View Full Version : More Curious Questions from OZ

12-13-2004, 06:24 PM
Hello All,

Here in Australia they don't seem to put patients in a brace after surgery. I have been reading your posts and they do seem very uncomfortable! In saying that, I wish I was in one to stop me trying to bend down and go that little bit further. I seem to punish myself adn end up in pain. They don't send you to rehab either in Australia??? It seems really strange when everyone I have been talking to on the posts has been in a brace and rehab, and I was just sent home to look after myself (no brace or rehab)?? Am I missing out on anything at rehab? Am I suppose to be doing anything apart from walking?

Also, I am 8 weeks post op and for the past week I have not been able to sleep due to ACHING LEGS!! They just ache and ache from top to bottom and I can't lie still (which is very hard when you are limited to start with). Does anyone else have this sort of ache?


P.S have you all finished your Christmas shopping??

12-13-2004, 08:05 PM
I'm not from Australia... But most of the people I've talked to in real life were not put into rehabilitation at all.
I ended up in physical therapy a few months after surgery and again at a year post op, but that isn't the norm that I'm aware of and was only indirectly related to the surgery (the worsening of a preexisting condition due to my surgery)... none of the other 3 people I know had to do any sort of rehab...
My surgeon just told me not to do this, this, this, and this until this date...

12-14-2004, 12:50 AM
Hi kylie-Ann

i know I'm from Australia, but I'm on the other side of the country and the distance that is in most countries I'd be in another country.

The "to brace or not to brace" post surgery seems to largely be a surgeon's preference. It can also depend on the individual case. Some docs in Australia always brace, some sometimes brace and the others never brace.

Thinking of the surgeons I know in Perth, my own Doc didn't brace me (fused T2-T11) and only braces the lower thorasic/lumbar fusions. Another surgeon I know always braces, my friend was under him and her fusion was from T1 to L1 scoliosis/kyphosis. The other surgeon seems to never brace.

Always remember that the hospital systems in America and Australia are very very different. Thinking back to the posts I read about the people who went into rehab, some of the time it was their own choice and they had to pay extra for it. I'm sitting here thinking about what kind of facilities are in Perth (similar to anywhere in Australia), and sending people to rehab after fusion surgery would simply not be viable, because the facilities are simply not their for that kind of area (spinal injury, brain injury focused). Knowing what I know about rehab (spinal injured friend, spent a long time visiting her so got a good "look" and my sister's an OT) I don't think you would have "missed out" on anything. It would have focused on movement, walking and "life" post op.

When you were leaving the Hospital they should have had an OT come and see you to make sure of anything that you might need when you got home.

One thing I have noticed, is that is seems that "physiotherapy" is started a lot earlier post op in the USA then it is in Australia. From my surgeon it was nothing but walking until 3 months post op, and he doesn't believe in physio (long story) but my parents went behind his wishes and I started gentle physio then.

We've done bits of our Christmas shopping, but it'll get there


12-14-2004, 07:11 AM
hi! it seems that the decision to brace a patient post-op is regional here in the u.s.; my dr. braces. the worst i can say about my brace is that it has been inconvenient and too, too hot. it gave me a lot of peace of mind...no worries about accidentally bending the wrong way. i'm weaning out of the brace now after a very short time. my dr. does not start any physical therapy until after there is bone growth in the fusion; i hope to start pt in february; that would be 5 months post-op. i went to rehab for a week after surgery. part of that decision was driven by the insurance company; they didn't want to pay for more acute care, but they were willing to pay for rehab. i was in no shape to come home only 7 days post op, 6 of them in intensive care! rehab ensured that i went home with my pain well managed and with some simple exercises to reduce the risk of clots, so it was worth it. the real work is just down the road!