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Thread: Bumpy Recovery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Easton PA
    Posts
    182

    Bumpy Recovery

    Hi to all. I am 12 weeks post-op today. I know many of you have expressed a desire to hear all stories, good and bad, so even though I have been reluctant to post- here goes. At approx 8 wks. post-op i developed chest pain, shortness of breath(which I had initially in the hospital). I went to a local ER, who did a CT scan to rul out pulmonary embolism, which was negative. The radiologist noticed a pedicle screw at T7 was partially out of the vertebral body, leaving the threads exposed, and it was 1mm from my aorta. They were unable to reach my surgeon, but the Dr on call said it was fine, send me home! I went to see my surgeons assoc. several days later(surgeon was out of country) and he said the screw was not loose, even though it pulled out of the bone partially, and recommended no treatment. My surgeon called when he returned, and agreed. My physical therapist, at that point, refused to do therapy, since I continued to be symptomatic. After speaking with Dr.B., we agreed it made sense to see a cardiologist, whom I saw yesterday. Turns out I had an undiagnosed pericarditis, and now have a pericardial effusion. He was not comfortable with the screws proximity to the aorta, and is sending my films to a cardiothoracic surgeon. I was told by my surgeon, that although it is rare, this can happen when they apply the torque to derotate the spine, but they really don't know how often it happens, since X-ray will not pick it up, only CT scans. I found quite a few articles on PubMed, through the NIH, documenting such cases. My question remains: If it is known the close proximity of the aorta to the spine, esp. in the thoracic region, why are CT scans not done routinely to verify placement? Interestingly enough, I did have one at HSS post-op, due to the chest pain, and they missed it! I am praying I do not need more surgery. Sorry to be a downer, but I feel it is important to share all information.
    Lori in PA, 52 yrs. old
    T54/L72
    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    Oh Lori!

    So sorry to hear that. It must be so scary and frustrating. I hope they will be able to figure out the best way to treat you, and hopefully avoid further surgery. Gosh, I can't imagine going through that so soon post-op.

    I'm glad you shared your story, it's always good to know the things that can happen post-op.

    Keep us posted!

    Blessings,
    Rebecca
    Age: 28
    Dx w/ scoli @ age 12 S curves T-40* L-42*
    wore night bending brace as teenager
    Curves changed to 50's plus or minus
    herniated disc L2-3, Discectomy October 2007
    fusion L2-3 November 2008
    Revision L2-3 Fusion, Removal of hardware August 2009
    Curves measuring 52 T&L September 2010
    Fused T4-L4, all posterior December 27th 2010
    gained almost two inches in height

    Before and After Exterior
    Before and After X-rays
    My blog: http://herscoliosisjourney.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Lori,
    I'm sorry to hear you had this problem. Hopefully, it can be taken care of quickly so you can get on with recovery.
    Karen

    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.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,389
    Lori

    Oh boy. I’m so sorry to hear this.

    Someone I work with had a pericarditis procedure just 2 months ago and he is doing pretty good. He didn’t have to leave little old Reno, we have one of the best specialists here in that field. They went through his right side laparoscopically to access the heart on the left side, hard to believe but true.

    CT’s emit quite a bit of radiation and doing them usually needs a good reason. Missing something can happen.....radiologists are human.

    Its good that you posted...as always we are here for support.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA 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
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    38
    Lori,

    I'm so sorry to hear of these complications. It must be frightening, but it sounds like you've got a team of doctors
    working on the situation. I really hope you don't need more surgery.

    I know what you mean about not wanting to post bad news about our surgeries. I feel like my story might be scaring
    anyone thinking of surgery. But I guess people need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly, as they say. If my upcoming second surgery fixes things I'll think it was all worth it.

    Good luck with everything.

    Mary, Age 54
    Surgery with Dr. Boachie 7/5/11, fused T2-T12
    Pre-surgery T60, L52
    Post-surgery T26, L33
    Next surgery scheduled 9/21/11

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    So sorry to hear you are having problems. It is important to be pro-active and when something is not right, you have to keep letting people know until someone listens. It's a shame that it took this long, but it sounds like you're on the right track now. Hope you can get this taken care of soon and get back to recovery. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Awh Lori, I am so sorry to hear this. Hopefully they can get you fixed up good as new. You are in my prayers.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,262
    I am sorry to hear this .Please keep us posted

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Easton PA
    Posts
    182
    Thank you everyone for your concern and well wishes. The latest word from Dr. Boachie is no screw removal at this point, and repeat CT scan in 6 months. Although I am very relieved to not be having more surgery this soon, I am concerned about all the radiation exposure from all the x-rays and CT scans, and knowing the screw is 1 mm from the aorta is pretty unsettling. I just hope I can forget about it for a while.
    Mary- I know how you must be feeling. Having surgery again this soon is frightening. I hope you do well, and will be watching for your posts, post-op. You are right, we do have to post all information. It is important for people to know this surgery is not a walk in the park, and even going to the best surgeons offers no guarantees. Good Luck to you, hopefully this surgery will fix the problem.
    Lori in PA, 52 yrs. old
    T54/L72
    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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Quebec city
    Posts
    18
    Lori, thanks for these last news, I hope everything will be allright. But I guess it will not be easy to forget about this aorta proximity from the screw... Anyway, thanks for sharing your story, it's important to gather all information possible, nice and less nice, about this surgery. We will be there for you anytime.
    Bamboo

    Diagnosed age 17 in 1975
    no treatment
    Never knew I would need any follow-up
    Now 53 years old
    Curves in late 2010 Lumbar 70, Thoracic 65
    Has been fused T2 to L4 on september 22th 2011
    Dr. Stefan Parent, Hôpital Sacré-Coeur, Montréal

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    189
    Lori,
    So sorry that you are going through this. There are so many complications that can occur from this surgery. Hope you get better soon.
    Laurie
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    What a scary experience, and I don't blame you for continuing to feel unsettled. Best wishes for a worry-free six months as you continue to recover.
    Chris
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    42
    Lori, I'm so sorry to hear about your complications here-- just wanted to comment that you and I had surgery the same day, so I guess we're kind of surgical twins. I was at UC San Diego and had mine in two phases. The lower three vertebrae were fused on June 7th, coming in from my right hip. Another two vertebrae were already fused by arthritis. The rest of the surgery was posterior, on June 9th.
    Diagnosed at age 13
    Milwaukee brace ages 73-74
    Pre surgery 58 degree curve and lordosis
    Surgery June 7&9, 2011 Fused L-4 -T-4 Age 52
    Post surgery 26 degrees
    Surgeon Yu-po Lee

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Easton PA
    Posts
    182
    Again, thank you so much for all of your concern. It has been a very upsetting development for me. Dr. Boachie did call me after my cardiology consult, and he strongly feels that the screw does not need to be removed at this point. I am to have a repeat CT scan in 6 months. I need to make sure the pericarditis is resolved completely before any intervention could be done, if ever needed. So, I am just going to try to relax, put it out of my mind, and focus on recovery.
    Paula- How is your recovery going? Are you experiencing a lot of tightness in your back? Are you going to PT? I wish you well in your recovery, as I know how difficult it can be!
    Lori in PA, 52 yrs. old
    T54/L72
    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!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Lori,
    So sorry to hear of this complication. I hope you can relax about it. Apparently the Doc's don't consider it an immediate threat, so hang in there. Thinking the best for you.
    Sally
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F. Rands735.photobucket.com/albums/ww360/butterflyfive/

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

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