View Full Version : Surgery is scheduled!

01-07-2005, 07:58 AM
Hi. I'm new to the board and it's been helpful reading all of the experiences. I play college sports and was hoping to wait until I got out of college to have surgery, but the Dr. I have had for 5 years and trust will not be able to do the surgery after this year because he is a pediatric orthopedic using a pediatric hospital. Not only do I want him to do the surgery, but my curve progressed 10% in a little over a year and I'm tired of the back aches and the clothes not fitting right, and I just think the time is right to do it now. However, I planned to resume soccer in the fall after a May 9 surgery. What I am reading on the board is that this might be unrealistic. My Dr. felt that with the new techniques and new instsrumentation, it could be a possibility in 3 - 4 months if all goes well. Any opinions on this? I've just turned 20, am in great physical condition with no other health issues.


01-07-2005, 08:37 AM
Everyone's case is different but I can tell you that my Ortho told me that he operated on a 16 or 17 year-old girl who was back to playing basketball after a 3 month recovery. Your young age and good physical shape are key to making a quicker recovery. Only you and your doctor will tell if you're ready to play soccer in the Fall though.

I'm 30 and having surgery in 3 weeks. I wish I had the courage to have had my surgery when I saw my first Ortho at 19. My current Ortho is very optimistic however about me also making a quicker recovery than most due to my age and health...God, I hope he's right! :)

Be honest with your doctor and be sure to ask him/her all the questions that pop into your head. Together, you'll make the right decision!

Good luck!

01-07-2005, 10:46 AM

Go for it, at your age you should be back in no time. I am 6 weeks post op and am so glad that I went ahead with the surgery. My clothes were not fitting right and when I sat down my ribs would overlap my hip bones. I was in pain. I was progressing at a rate of 2 degrees per year. I am 28 now, by the time I turned 40 I would have been completely crippled. It sounds like your curvature is progressing at a fast rate too. I would encourage youto have the surgery as soon as possible. I am so glad that I went ahead and did it.

Good Luck!


01-07-2005, 11:05 AM
Heidi and Lexy for your encouraging comments. I read the book by David Wolpert and can't imagine having such a difficult time in the hospital. Is this pretty acurate as to what you experienced Lexy? And Heidi, good luck to you in 3 weeks. Keep me posted as to how things go along the way.


01-07-2005, 12:13 PM
You're welcome Tiny! I will try to keep you as updated as possible throughout my recovery. Lexy, I'm really interested in talking with you since I just turned 30 and haven't heard of many people our age who have gone through this. I'd like to e-mail you if possible with questions and to learn what you've experienced.

01-07-2005, 04:31 PM
I also had surger at the age of 20. I got wonderful results, and really got back to my normal routine rather quickly. Being in good shape before your op is great- it helped a lot with mine. I ran 5 days a week for the couple months leading up to my op, and when it came time for me to get up out of my bed, I didn't need a walker or anything.
I personally returned to jogging and riding my horses at about 3 months post op, so I think you should be able to pull off your soccer as long as everything goes as planned.

01-10-2005, 07:59 AM
Blair for your comments on your positive experience. It give me hope. Did you have a thorcoplasty as well, and can you tell me how long your hospital stay was and what you were able to do in the week you got home (like could you take a shower right away). And what are you experiencing now that you are 1 year post op, and how has your scar healed 1 year post op.?

01-10-2005, 12:01 PM
Tiny--- No problem at all...

I didn't have a thoracoplasty done as my rib hump was pretty negligble and corrected well in my scoliosis op. My hospital stay was 5 days. Up and walking the day after my surgery.

My exact post op details are a little foggy at this point (I do NOT manage well on narcotic pain meds at all...)

The restrictions I had until I had my first followup with my surgeon (after 2 weeks being at home) were... No lifting over 5lbs. No raising my hands above shoulder level (did anyway without problem). No climbing the stairs (I did that after the first week at home, but honestly felt fine to do it straight off. Only didn't do it because of overprotective family members).

I was allowed to shower and bathe when I got home (didn't feel like it until the 3rd day at home), but I had to avoid getting my incision wet until the scabbing had healed and the steristrips fell off, so my mom picked up some sort of water proof tape, and put some plastic wrap over it. That did the trick.
Also because of the way our house is set up, I couldn't take a shower as our only standing shower is down in the basement.
I had to shower in the main floor bathtub (an old clawfoot tub with one of those hand held hose things that tends to spray all over the planet) so my mom had to help me so I wouldn't douse the entire bathroom. I feel that I probably could have showered on my own right off.

Doctors will vary with driving time and by patient. My surgeon said absolutely no driving for 6 weeks... Others have told people I've spoke to that they can drive as soon as they are off heavy pain medication and feeling up to it.
If you have a fusion that goes high up in the thoracic spine, you may have trouble turning to check your blind spots. I do have a little bit of a problem with that, but it's getting better the more I get used to twisting around, and also just being careful and really using my mirrors.

I started running (a little... It was akward for a while, and I was SO out of shape) at 2 months post op. I would have been able to start swimming after 6 weeks IF I hadn't had a complication with my incision...

Basically, I developed a small infection in the top of my incision and it split open a little bit (the size of a pea, if that), and in order to clean it out, the surgeon had to remove four other of the internal stitches and leave it open to drain. As a result, the top of my scar is much wider than any other scoliosis scar I've ever seen.

I wasn't allowed to swim, of course, until that wound healed all the way, so I also didn't get to swim until about 2 months.

Don't be concerned about my scar though. I've done a lot of browsing on various scoliosis websites, and have met four other women/girls who have had the surgery, and their scars are TINY.

Also, I teach horseback riding in my spare time. My most recent student had surgery a month after I did. She was cleared to do just about everything after 3 months.

Now, my doctors told me otherwise. They said I absolutely couldn't ride my horses for a year... But... I started riding at 3 months post op, and haven't suffered any ill effect from it.

Life really started getting back to normal at around 3 or 4 months post op... I resumed my barn chores (have 2 horses which were then kept at home), which included cleaning stalls occasionally, moving hay bales, emptying 50 lb feed bags into the bins, and stuff like that. I was none too easy on myself from that point on.

Now that I'm 1 yr post op, I find myself frequently forgetting the fact that all but 4 of my backbones are fused together. I don't have any problem with pain (aside from continuing soreness from a couple degenerative discs which may or may not be scoliosis related, and muscle spasams, which are a problem I've dealt with for close to a decade, long before my scoliosis was severe... or even diagnosed). My life is a lot better. I'm not self conscious about my back so much (and will be less conscious of it in a couple of weeks because I am likely having a scar revision done by a plastic surgeon to reclose the top of my scar so it heals up thin like the other scoliosis scars I've seen). I had a lot of trouble running- I had a lot of trouble with being off balance (had a single 52 degree curve, which shifted my torso left about 2 inches), which gave me constant problems with stress fractures and knee injuries in my left leg.
I'm still stress fracture and shin splint prone, but my knee is much better now that my torso is balanced up.

01-10-2005, 04:26 PM
Thanks again Blair. Your curve and age and whole situation sound so close to mine that the information you have to offer is really helpful to me.

01-10-2005, 05:12 PM
Thanks Blair for such a detailed message. It helped a lot.

I'm 32, having thoracolumbar with Thoracoplasty surgery with Dr. Boachie in 6 weeks.
Just wanted to know, if any Male in that age group had similar kind of surgery (thoracolumbar with Thoracoplasty) and there experience.