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Thread: Surgery successful!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    New York

    Talking Surgery successful!

    hi guys! I am back home. The surgery went pretty much as planned. Dr. Boachie said my bones were SO strong he literally needed extra time to do the procedure. I was under the knife for about 8 hours. I am fused T3-L3 and so far I am walking around without my walker, using the bathroom by myself, and getting in.out of bed by myself, going up/.down stairs etc. the pain is not terrible but obviously it is pretty intense. I am on 2 hydro pills every 4-6 hours and the pain is ok. Im off all IVs and stuff now and I have a HUGE appetite. Dont have a ton of energy now so I will write you later, but just letting you know that the surgery was a total success, now just time to heal. Dr. Boachie visited me in recovery the day after and said my bones were (hard as bricks) LOL. First night was tough, as I lost 1500ml of blood during the surgery which made me very very weak. combined with all of the meds and the push to get me up, it was hard.. I actually fainted the first night ! Luckily the nurses rushed to help me and my vital signs were fine but my heart rate was just out of 220bpm. But I was very nervous. They assured me I was fine it was just because of blood loss and that the blood just basically left my brain so quick when I stood up, I passed a fighter pilot (they wear G-suits for this reason)

    Dr B is a genius in my eyes..I am in pain now and it is not comfortable but I feel that considering surgery was 5 days ago I am doing very well!! I have no tinglying or weird nerve effects besides my back. It is like totally numb! That will pass in time I am told. Very cool to be able to sit for hours on end! Even today!

    The worst past was probably the bowels, and even now they are not 100%. Dr. Issac who works with Dr. Boachie said that is VERY common with anesthesia and even more common with back surgery..all of the physics of the correction are going right to your belly. he says it can take like two weeks to get back to normal. Luckily I am pretty good now. Not too bad

    By the way my curve went from about 73 degrees to 44. I grew about 2 inches in height

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Easton PA
    Congratulations!! I am so happy for you. You must be so relieved to have this over with, and to be back at home. Your recovery, thus far, sounds amazing. When you feel up to it, I would love to hear more about your experience at Hss, but for now, rest and heal. Hooray for Dr. B.!!
    Lori in PA, 52 yrs. old
    Surgery 6/7/11, T3-S1, all posterior, with pelvic anchors
    Gained 2 inches!
    Dr. Boachie, HSS, NYC
    12/10/13 Hardware Removal for infection
    Lost 2", gained PJK!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    British Columbia
    That's great that everything went so well and you look like you're recovering nicely too; rosy cheeks and all!
    Son 14 y/o diagnosed January 20th. 2011 with 110* Curve
    Halo Traction & 1st. surgery on March 22nd. 2011
    Spinal Fusion on April 19th. 2011

    Dr. Krajbich @ Shriners Childrens Hospital, Portland Oregon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Waterloo, IL
    Congratulations! It sounds like you are doing fantastic!

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Wonderful news! Congratulations, you're doing great! The ravenous appetite will have you strong again in very short time - your body will be flat out replenishing the blood lost so eat healthily and drink plenty of water. Walk a little every day - and enjoy all the loving and pampering you look like you're getting!
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    That's great news.

    Easy on that rouge, okay? :-)
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine

    "We are all African."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Congrats to you!!!! You look great. Thanks for posting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Good to see you on the post surgery side! Thank you for the words of encouragement as there are people like me who still need to make the trek.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Welcome to "the other side"!! Your spine looks AMAZING!!!! (All the people in the photos are looking good, too. . .and everyone looks so relaxed!)

    For 5 days out, you're doing great. Congrats on a successful outcome.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    You made it! Congratulations.

    I looked at your coronal and thought wow, he is straight as an arrow, then realized you’re a kypho. Duh!

    We scolis are jealous of your (kyphosis patients) coronal x-ray’s. Straight, and no rotation at all.

    I think your timing was perfect.
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves 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

    My x-rays

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Ames, Iowa
    Wow, that's amazing and your pictures look fantastic! Congrats on such a great result. Take your time to heal though! Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Wow congrats to you! I told you about the bowel very careful i ended up with an obstruction. So glad that you are feeling hungry, and positive! Keep us posted
    Surgery March 15
    Dr. Errico NYU
    Fused T-3 to S-1
    an inch and change taller
    nice and straight
    49 years old (yikes)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    New York
    Thanks guys. My surgery was exactly a week ago. Right now I was being wheeled into the operating room. I met with the anesthesiologist, and he told me what he was going to give me. He actually chose to give me methodone (!) for pain, as he said that was a good baseline, and then add Dilaudid to it with my pump. I kissed my parents goodbye and said my last prayer in my head. They gave me really warm blankets. I thought about my friends and girlfriend and things, and then when all the people looking at me said 'good luck' as I was being wheeled into the room I felt very calm. it was exciting. Then we entered the OR, and it was HUGE. There were 10 people in there who were all going to be working on me. They helped move me onto a flat table...and then the anesthesiologist said 'im going to give you something to help you relax now' and asked if I was ready and I said yes. Then he injected something into my IV...he immediately began asking me questions about my education and stuff..'so do you have a girlfriend?' 'how is albany?' and then I felt this weird cold sensation up my whole arm! It was cool. Then the room started spinning..faster and faster...and I felt so calm..and then boom, next thing I remember 12 hours had gone by and I woke up in the post-op area.

    This is my second day home. I walked down the street a few times yesterday. It felt pretty good, nothing unexpected. In the past day or two I have started to get pretty intense itching all over my back, which I am told is the healing process beginning. It is surely annoying but better than pain LOL. It is pretty strange where my backs nerve damage is. Seems that there is only one 'patch' that is totally numb. It is not surprisingly the site of my old apex, which I assume was where the surgeon spent the most time. Recovery is going well. I have a good appetite and energy. I am pretty much 100% independent at this point (i can get dressed, bathroom, stairs, sit, stand, eat, shower etc), but it is good to have someone home with me. I am very very stiff. In fact the pain seems to be shifting into stiffness. This is very normal. The nurses at the HSS say 'NO BLTs! NO BLTs!' bending lifting or twisting..cant do that for a few months. However, I DO know my flexibility is coming back. Even one week post-op! I am fused in areas that will not really affect my flexiblity. My hips and neck etc all move fine. It just feels like I have a cutting board inside my body right now LOL. My body is impressing the hell out of me. I had no idea I would be doing this well so soon.

    However it also is important to rest. If I get ahead of my pain curve, it can be pretty miserable. The pain IS intense. But the meds help. You just cant overdo it.

    So as for the HSS the experience was very positive. The nursing staff was like 98% impressive. They give you a call button, and the nurses and assistant assigned to you have these little transponders. so it's like a mini dispatch center, you press the button if you need help, someone answers, and then they tell your nurse what you need. It never took more than 30 seconds for someone to come to help me. I always asked for help for everything even if I could do it myself.

    The most difficult part of the surgery is getting up for the first time. It is just so miserable. I can't really describe it, but picture the worst hangover in the world + getting hit by a bus the night before + 10 wires + beeping noises everywhere..pretty much something like that. The world might be spinning. You have been lying down for 18+ hours or whatever, and your blood is lower. Not to mention you are on some heavy drugs. The nurses will reportedly ask you how you are feeling, and just be honest. I tried to be a hero the first night and that is why I passed out. Just listen to you body.

    Getting out of bed is very painful. You're going to want to do it the way you always have but then you realize you simply cant! You have to 'log roll' which basically just means rolling your whole body. It is kind of funny. It gets easier though. But just be prepared, getting up for the first time is unlike any experience. It is like the worst pain + the worst drug experience combined. LOL

    Recovery got easier and easier. dont be embarassed by anything. I am 23 years old and needed an enema and a bed pan at least once. Thats how bad my constipation was! But within 48 hours I was getting back to normal slowly. I was detached from my catheter and drain I think 2 days after surgery. When they come out, it's a big step at becoming more independent. By the 4th day I was able to get up by myself and use the bathroom etc. Pulling your pants up is difficult. I had to call Bari (my favorite assistant) a bunch of times into the bathroom to help me get my pants back on. These guys see it all the time! Now I can do it. I will also be honest, when you use the toilet wiping is hell on earth for the first few times. It is just that twisting action. My shoulder KILLED me. So I just asked for help. And of course my mom was there. Hell, she did it 23 years ago, why not again? LOL but I am sure you are glad to know now I am fine with in.

    If you have any questions let me know and I will answer them

    here are a few more pictures of me in the hospital
    Last edited by ColdBricks; 05-04-2011 at 07:50 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    near Philadelphia
    Congratulations on what sounds like a very successful surgery. Yes, Dr. B really knows what he's doing!

    You described the joys of getting up for the first time post-op VERY well. Once you get past that hurdle, things start to ease up. Best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery.
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

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