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Thread: Alive and, well...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Alive and, well...

    (Title has a deliberately placed comma lol)

    I'm 2.5 weeks post-op with Dr. Michael Kelly (works with Lenke and Bidwell)

    It was a very good experience.

    MK had told me a week prior that there was little to be done at my age (29) and specific condition about the consmetic but was pleased once he opened me up and found out he could correct it from 96 to 52. Standing up, my shoulders are laterally level, which is nice.

    My concern.. not a worry.. just a concern (make much sense) is that almost 3 weeks later and I can't function without pain medicine. I've taken hydro/vico/norco for years to ease the pain but it was tolerable pain. If someone neede help, I could help but now, even with the medication I can't always manage to to move myself. For the 5 days I was in the hospital (the doctors were very excited that I bled so little), the weight of a gown felt like the weight of a trench coat.

    I just want to know when this finally becomes worth it. I hate sleeping the days away. I've been home nearly 3 weeks but only because I know the days. Time spent awake, it feels like 3 days. I'm very fortunate to have a brother, that I live with, who--unfortunately for him--goes though all of this with me. He keeps my pain meds on schedule barely willing to budge even a few minutes because, of course, doing so can be very dangerous.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hi there,

    glad to hear your surgery went well. You sound like you are right on track at 3 weeks---many here are on pain meds for AT LEAST 6-12 weeks and some/many much longer.

    One question, do you get up and walk a few times each day? You should try to take about 3 walks of 5-10 minutes each, every day. Movement will be painful but you will also come to realize it is your friend. It will speed your healing but is hard to do at first. Fresh air and a change of scenery will be good for you, also.

    Are you eating enough? Make sure you are eating plenty of calories and lots of high-protein foods. Sometimes the pain meds kill your appetite, but your body needs plenty of food to heal right now.

    Take care, let us know how you are doing. Recovery is a long process, but you will start to feel better soon.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1

    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Waterloo, IL
    Dr. Kelly has a special place in my heart. Although my time in the hospital is a little foggy, I remember visits from Dr. Kelly. He assisted Dr. Lenke with my surgery and he was also the surgeon I saw at my 6 month check up. Take what you need in the way of pain medications within the limits in order to be able to walk several times a day as the walking promotes fusion. The first month is definitely the toughest. It gradually gets easier!

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    4,159 had such a big T curve, and up so high..... But you did it and sound pretty good. Congratulations!

    You say that you are sleeping all the time? I had big problems with sleeping in my first few weeks.....

    Cant add much since Gayle and Karenís posts are right on.

    Try not to worry, it will become worth it. I know its slow, but you will improve....

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    If you've read the forum, you shouldn't be at all surprised that your pain is still significant. Most people are pretty unhappy for at least the first 6-12 weeks. Hang in there. It will almost certainly get better.

    As Gayle suggested, you should be up and walking at the very least, 3 times a day. The discomfort of being up an walking in the short term will almost certainly pay off in terms of making you feel better despite your pain.

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yacolt, WA
    I agree with Gayle. My doctor said to never eat in bed, so get out of bed and brush your hair and sit up for a while to eat 3 times a day.

    You are on the road to a new you, the worst is past you.
    I hope that you start feeling better progressively.
    Best of luck, keep in touch, Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Indianapolis area
    Totally normal. But I agree, walk, rest, eat, drink, start over. It will be a blur for a while, and then you'll begin to feel better!
    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.

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