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Thread: Summer or winter surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Summer or winter surgery

    Hi everyone

    Wondering whether it makes a difference when you have surgery. I won't be able to have surgery until October this year at the earliest. I currently live up 4 flights of stairs, no lift, so have to move house and that is only happening in September. But I had been thinking that it may be better to have surgery in the warmer months as I expect having to put boots on and wear more clothing could be challenging with restricted movement, whereas as a summer dress and some slip on sandals may make things easier.

    Experiences and advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Indianapolis area


    If you're not in a lot of pain and can stand to wait, I would opt for warmer weather. I scheduled my surgery for mid-March so that by the time I got home it would be good weather for walking outside. I have also seen people post that they get cold easily on pain medication, although that didn't happen to me. So, all else being equal, I'd go for spring. Best wishes!
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Lilburn, GA

    I vote for warmer weather

    I didn't give it any thought but after my surgery, I was glad I had it done in the summer. Walking outside with the hot sun beating down on me was very therapeutic. I am normally not a fan of heat/hot weather but this was one instance when 90+ degree temps were welcomed. I also had issues with being easily chilled.

    Good luck!
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    The pro for having surgery in cooler weather is that, if you have to wear a TLSO brace, it's much more comfortable. Winter surgery can be difficult because of the issues you mentioned, but also because there's the danger of slipping on wet or icy sidewalks, stairs, etc.

    If you're moving in September, I would definitely not consider having surgery before that.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Dubuque, Iowa
    I had it done in the end of March I was starting to get out and about and was glad I didn't have to 'bundle' up quite as much and worry about icy conditions etc. I had a complication (infection) which slowed my recovery and by the time I was ready to get out in the world the weather was getting nice. Besides to me the thought of it being beautiful outside and being early in recovery is not fun. I am very glad I did it at the time of year I did for these reasons, but really it comes down to personal choice.
    42 yrs old
    Milwaukee braced 1983 to 1989
    was told my curves would never progress
    at 19yrs old 1991, T30-L38
    2010, T38-L56--progression in one year 2011, T40-L67
    new diagnosis-kyphoscoliosis, DDD, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, 73 degree Kyphosis
    Surgery 1-09-12....10 hrs all posterior T4-sacrum & 2 cages
    Dr. Lenke-St. Louis Mo.
    Surgery to clean out infection 2-10-12
    Revision for broken rods 1-23-14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Summer of Winter Surgery?

    I originally was set on having my surgery in the winter but it ended up that my surgery was in May. All said and done, I ended up being glad that my recovery was during the warmer months because you can get away with wearing less clothes. I am about 8 weeks post-op and still need to use a grabber to help pull my shorts up. The right side of my body right now is not as flexible as my left so I need the assistance in pulling up my clothes. Plus, I go through periods of being chilled so I turn up the a/c until I'm comfortable and then when I need I turn it back down. I just couldn't imagine dealing with winter clothes and layers and trying to get outside to walk and then having to deal with that a couple times a day. So my vote would be for the warmer months.

    As far as stairs. I live on the second floor of a condo and have 15 steps to go up to get inside. I was concerned about the steps prior to surgery but have to tell you that in the hospital they showed me how to go up and down and it was no big deal. As long as you do exactly what they tell you and take your time, you should be fine. I had a 2-stage surgery and was released from the hospital five days after the second surgery. When I got home, I was able to go up the 15 steps no problem. Once inside, I stayed inside and just walked around the inside of my condo everyday for exercise and therapy. When I was ready to venture outside, I had my daughter go with me to make sure I was okay going down and up the steps. At first the steps were a little frightening looking down at all of them but I just went slow, remembered what they taught me and next thing I knew, I was down the steps. Up until a week ago, one of my daugthers would still go with me for a walk mainly because of the steps but now I am to a point where I call my daughter to tell her that I am going down the steps and I leave my cell phone in my pocket, when I am on the ground floor, I tell her so and then I call her again when I am back inside my condo. This has allowed me to feel like I have some freedom and the beginning of doing things on my own.


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