View Full Version : 2 yrs post op..almost...questions?

04-27-2008, 03:29 PM
I can't believe I'll be post op 2 yrs this August! But a question to you post-op(over a year or so)people... I was just on vacation in Arizona and I still felt a pulling feeling on my left side/front where my scar is. I did have a carry bag that I had to help with at the airport. Perhaps it's from a bit of lifting,
I just can't believe I still have these feelings or will there always be reminders???
Also I tried sleeping on my stomach & still cannot do it..comfortably, anyone else?
thks, Lynne :)

04-27-2008, 05:19 PM
Hey Lynne! Congrats on getting close to 2 years! Wow! I'm just at one year (in one week!) and wonder about the "tight" feelings in my back, etc., and if they will ever go away. I don't have any complaints at this time, just wondering what it will end up feeling like when more time has gone by.

I was REALLY interested in your comment about lying on your stomach. My doctor said it's fine to do, but it sure doesn't feel very good! :( I used to always sleep on my stomach, but there's no way I'd chose that anymore. At physical therapy when I need to lie down on my stomach, I have to move any pillow(s) away first and take off my glasses or it kills me. :eek: I've tried to explain it to my (very nice) PT guy... but I guess that's a strange thing. How long is your fusion? He was trying to show me on a spine model why it probably bothers me so much... and why something absolutely kills me if I try to lift my leg up off the table, doing backward leg-lifts. (I don't know what you call them.) But there's something in my SI joint or thereabouts that starts hurting really badly. He thinks maybe it is a nerve that is trapped or something. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I don't like lying on my stomach either... it's like you're trying to bend backwards and can't do it.

04-28-2008, 06:58 AM
I won't even consider lying on my stomach -- it just feels dangerous to me.

I can't imagine our anterior incisions ever feeling totally normal again. Mine is still tender and very hard, like a huge muscle cramp. I suspect it's scar tissue. I'm starting warm-water therapy next week in the hopes of loosening things up.

04-28-2008, 07:29 AM
susie---my fusion is the same as Singer(Chris)... T11 to L5.
I still have about a 60 curve there reduced from the 100.
I can lie on my stomach but real uncomfortable to turn over back to my back...Ly

04-28-2008, 07:56 AM
Thanks, Lynne and Chris... I really thought maybe I was being a big wimp. :D Probably true, but then maybe I've got company. Not really, as I didn't have an anterior surgery. Since my fusion goes way up to just about my neck, it feels like my face is being pushed down on the surface (PT table or bed) if I try it. That's why I have to take my glasses off first when I do it. I log roll onto my back, then log roll over to my stomach, sort of. Anyway, it's hard to do and I don't like the feeling, so other than for exercises, it won't be something I do! ;)

04-28-2008, 10:49 PM
Hi ya Lynne welcome home! Hope you had a good vacation, I owe you a letter.... You might have moved the wrong way lugging that bag around the airport. I sure messed up my back lugging my stuff around the airport during my last trip. We tend to get hurried and don't pay attention to how we are moving and lifting in those circumstances.

Funny you should ask about stomach sleeping. Just as I went to sleep last night (pretty much on my stomach) I wondered how many other stomach sleepers pre-op were back to that position post-op. What I do is use a thin pillow under my bent knee while laying about 90% on my stomach. Works great! I think as time goes by things loosen up and you get back some flexibility in areas you may not have thought about. It took me awhile to get comfortable again on my stomach. Strange though...I was on my stomach in the hospital with no problem, the day (and for days) after my surgery. I switched to my side and back at home and think in hind sight had muscles tighten up because I wasn't using them.

Chris, I have heard from many with an anterior incision that it takes a long time to heal, and not be tender. The hardness you feel may be a bit of scar tissue and/or things in a bit of a different place. At the top of my scar it feels as though they attached my skin to my muscle, weird!

Susie, You are only approaching your 1/2 way mark to the "Normal" recovery time of 2 years. I have to tell you I felt so much better from my 1 year mark to my 1 1/2 years out from surgery. You will be doing more by then and feel more comfortable in day to day activities. I'll bet you loosen up as time goes on! Best wishes all!

Surgery 2/22/06
T10 to L4

04-29-2008, 09:11 AM
I just got back from an evaluation for the water therapy I'm going to start and the tenderness/hardness in my torso is most likely scar tissue and adhesions, which the therapist will try to break up. She is also going to try to desensitize that area with massage and "bombarding" it with sensation. Then I'll do more land therapy for core building.

What's frustrating to me is that after all the PT I had from August til December, so much attention was paid to my weak leg that the rest of me just got weaker and weaker.

I've found that it really is up to the patient to keep up with recovery issues -- you're sunk if you don't do your homework and be assertive. The pain management guy I was using was basically clueless -- it was MY idea to start water therapy. I thought walking every day was enough, but it was NOT.

04-29-2008, 10:33 AM
Not too long ago I caught a show on TV about the power of electrical storms in the US and how Florida is the center for such storms. They profiled a woman in her 50s who had major surgery to repair a severely broken hip as a result of a fall. She had to have a rod inserted that extended from her pelvis to her femur. For five years she lived with unbearable pain to the point that she could barely walk, as a result of built-up scar tissue. One day while standing at her kitchen sink, unexpectedly a bolt of lightening shot through her kitchen window with such force knocking her across the room and onto the floor. The amazing thing is that it was just enough force to break up all her scar tissue without killing her. Shes been pain free ever since.

Chris, Im not suggesting you try this, but I do have a question about all the different therapies so many of you post-op folks try to alleviate pain. Are these covered by insurance, and if so, for how long?


04-29-2008, 11:34 AM
I still can't sleep on my stomach and I always used to all the time!

Sorry Ly, my side still pulls too from the scarring and I'm a few months on from you. I guess this one will run for a bit longer. I have heard people say that its the worst bit, the ribs.....

04-29-2008, 01:08 PM
Chris, I had to laugh at the woman being cured by a lightning strike -- I think I'll take massage, thank you!

Yes, these therapies are covered by insurance as long as you go to a facility that takes your plan and most importantly, you get a doctor, pain management specialist, or your surgeon's office to write you a prescription. YOu have to demonstrate a need but that's a given after this big of a surgery. I've been paying a small co-pay for therapies that otherwise would have cost tons of money.

My plan covers 40 hours of therapy. After that, you're re-evaluated and if you qualify for more, you get another 40 hours....or however much you need. I think I fell through the cracks because my initial PT was so specific to the leg, and I met my PT goals for the leg only.