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Thread: recovery time post fusion? how long till feeling "normal" again?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    recovery time post fusion? how long till feeling "normal" again?

    I'm looking for general advice. I know all cases are unique. If your teen has had this surgery, barring complications etc, at what point did they feel and act back to their old self again? We expect her surgery to be in early June. There are activities later in July she might want to participate in (not strenuous, a science program at a local university). I am wondering how "bad" she would expect to be feeling 6 weeks post surgery. Should we assume the entire summer is shot?

    Any BTDT advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Hi CelloMom,

    My son was 16 when he had his surgery. He was out of school for six weeks and then transitioned back by attending half time for a week. He wore a hard-shelled brace for three months which protected him if someone bumped into him, but it also made sitting quite uncomfortable for him. At three months post-op, he was given the okay to return playing tennis, which it took him a couple of months to get back to at least 80-90% full strength. Fortunately, he did not have any post-surgery complications. Kids are pretty resilient so I wouldn't declare your entire summer shot. At six weeks post-op, she would probably be okay to participate in some extra activities. Best of luck with her upcoming surgery.
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Based on the recovery of my two girls I would guess she would be able to do a science summer program six weeks out. She won't be 100 percent but I would be surprised if she wasn't able to comfortably participate in all the activities. There may be things that fall within her post op restrictions that she shouldn't do. Who knows. Get the program particulars and see if there is anything that might fall within her restrictions.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 01-07-2014 at 01:37 PM.
    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."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Euharlee, Georgia
    My daughter had her surgery at the end of May and was back to school in August. She was back dancing in The Nutcracker in December. It depends on how bad they want to get back to normal. If they have a goal - something they really want to do - they do better. Also don't baby them too much and they will get back to normal faster. They should start feeling better (getting cranky) within a month!
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Hello, cello_mom.

    I'm so sorry to hear that things have progressed to the point where your daughter is having surgery. I think you are one of the ones I was following early on. My kids didn't have surgery, but my DIL had surgery at 16. After one month she was no longer on any pain meds. She recovered rather quickly and remarkably. Of course, there was soreness still for awhile. Kids recover rather quickly compared to adults. I would ask her doctor/s about the events she wants to attend. But, based on my DIL's description of recovery, she was pretty stir crazy rather quickly after surgery. Like I said, no meds after one month. She said she had felt for awhile that she was just "taking" them, so stopped on her own. She didn't say anything about horrible pain at that point. The first couple of weeks were by far the worst.

    I hope your daughter's surgery goes smoothly. It's rough at first, no lying. But kids are amazing!

    Best wishes to your daughter AND your whole family.

    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    East Central FL
    Wishing her & you a successful, smooth surgery & recovery.
    I don't recall seeing this on the boards here before, but don't be surprised if she's "out of it" for several months. Jacob had surgery 1/3/12, stopped taking pain meds at 2 or 2.5 weeks because he hated the way they made him feel, but he was mentally out of it for months. Trying to keep him focused & on topic was like dealing with a sugared up toddler a month postop, and even when he went back to school at 7 weeks it was brutal. We were told it was residual from the anesthesia & then pain meds. Physically, he was hiking & biking at 3 months, and right back at percussion when he returned to school.
    Mom of 14yo son diagnosed Oct 2011
    Surgery 1/3/12 w Dr. Geof Cronen,
    Tampa General Hospital T3 to L1
    Jacob's pre surg curves: T58 & L31 12/28/11
    photos & xrays in "First-Time Surgery" thread "Before & After"

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