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Thread: Breathing issues? GI issues?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Breathing issues? GI issues?

    I was wondering if pre-surgery others had problems with either breathing and/or gi issues that cleared up with surgery? I am going to go to a surgeon soon for my first consultation and imaging, so I don't know all my curves. I just know that I curve back and forth up my back, and if I straighten myself out(very uncomfortable!), I can breathe deeper for a minute or two. That is, until my muscles go into protest because they aren't in their normal position!

    I also find that my kyphosis seems to cause my upper gi area to seem to "tuck" up under my ribs, which then seems to keep things from moving freely as they should. I end up with alot of bloating that builds up and ends up pushing up into my lung area causing shortness of breath.

    My last question is embarrassing. I am short at 5'2". My arms seem shorter than average, with my fingertips reaching about where my leg joins the body. I am afraid if I get my back fixed and I can't bend, how do people clean themselves after going to the bathroom? I already have to bend a lot to take care of that.

    Thanks for any input on breathing, gi and bathroom issues!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Waterloo, IL
    Hi, Sue,
    For the bathroom problem of cleaning oneself, I had a "spine kit" from Dr. Lenke's office that included a sock aide (which I used for a long time during the winter months) and long handled tongs with the ends coated in rubber or plastic that I used with moisturizing flushable wipes or toilet paper. I never imagined that I would need the tongs, but I did, and it worked just fine.

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Indianapolis area
    I didn't have the breathing & GI issues, but if you search the archives, there are people who did. I remember one thread where people talked about having fewer problems with acid reflux after surgery. I know lung capacity is one reason people have the surgery -- to make sure they don't lose too much lung capacity as they age with scoliosis.
    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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