Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: T4-S1 with pelvic fixation - I'd like to be able to tie my own shoes!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    39

    T4-S1 with pelvic fixation - I'd like to be able to tie my own shoes!

    I'm 67, 4+ months out of surgery, progressing fairly nicely in terms of energy, reduced pain, improved muscle strength... able to walk miles comfortably at a reasonable pace (5+ miles at 3.2mph on relatively flat grade, to be precise). My "major goals" include being able to tie my own shoes and clip my own toenails . (Having my wife clip my toenails makes me fear that she will amputate one of my toes in the process ) Given the extant of my fusion are my goals realistic? (when? ever?)

    Before someone suggests relying upon slip-on shoes, I should remark that I find tie-on hiking shoes/boots to provide greater stability and security.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    83
    That's the surgery they are proposing for me. I know it's been a few months for you. How is your range of motion?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Hi mkatz, I am fused T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation and am now 5.5 years out from surgery. I can assure you it gets easier. But tying shoelaces and cutting toenails is still difficult for me, but doable. It really takes a stretch. I buy shoes without shoelaces, in fact I buy shoes without backs in them because putting shoes on is still hard. I can do it but it's an effort. I can pick a pin off the floor, I swoop down and swoop it up, but holding myself in that position is difficult.

    I know what you mean about having your partner clip your toenails. YEECCCHHHTTTTT! Haha!

    I always think though, that in the scheme of things, this surgery has been amazing.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,052
    As you continue on in the healing process it gets easier(but not easy) to tie shoes. I put my foot on my knee to tie the shoe but the bows are on the side not the top of the shoe. You have to be careful to not allow the strings to be too long, as you will step on them and untie them. Then you have to find a place to sit and tie them again. I still can't cut the toe nails straight. Sometimes I find laying on my back makes it easier to reach the feet. We just adapt to what is needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,390
    Mark

    It seems like you are doing well! It took me a year to get up to a mile.....

    Wasnít that fun? Back when we were kids we were all afraid of the Dentist.....Now its no problemo.....(smile face)

    I started my gentle stretching at around the 7 or 8 month mark. I would simply lift one leg onto a stool about 28 inches high, and lean over and reach. Itís a slow process and should be done slowly since soft tissue injuries hurt like the dickens. I used a long 18Ēshoe horn for around 2 years.....

    For toenails, I set my foot up on my desk and do the reach. It gets easier as the years pass....

    For socks, I like the arm of a chair to set my heel onto to get the sock started. Itís not necessary, just easier.

    I do tie shoelaces without any trouble at all now and have for around 5 years. Itís the ski boots that take patience!

    Congratulations....

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,187
    Like Jackie, I can only tie my shoes on the side. Even then, it's difficult. I'm pretty lost without my long handled shoehorn. I use it as both a shoehorn and as a dressing stick.

    --Linda
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    39
    KSMOM611: Mobility or, rather, flexibility is slowly and fairly steadily increasing. It is of course less than it was pre-surgically. With respect to mobility I can only remark that at this time I cannot envision scrambling up a rock formation

    JenniferG: I never thought I would be afraid of my wife, but when she volunteers to cut my nailsI start to sweat

    jackieg412: Bows on the side! My first thought at that image is the teasing I would get: "gee, dad, are you regressing now to your age 3 year old skills?"... yet, that is a compromise I could accept. Double knotting, something I used to do before surgery to eliminate the loose shoe-lace risk, would alleviate the excess length issue.

    titaniumed: Thanks for all of your suggestions. I found the detailed descriptions helpful. (I also found our phone conversation of a few months back helpful.) I do most of my stretching in a warm water pool (e.g. "bicycling" my legs forward and backward...), starting (with my surgeon's "clearance") at about the beginning of month 4. I've recently started swimming (breast stroke) with the aid of a snorkel in an effort to start "restoring" some of the musculature in my back. (I wish you had not written "5 years" .)

    LindaRacine: For "around town" I'm content to use "slip-on" shoes, for which I fortunately do not need a shoehorn. For hiking, I think the more stable tied hikers are desirable.

    I think what all of you are advising me is to "have patience". I do, sort of. My response to people who ask me when I will know if my surgery has resulted in a successful fusion has been to respond: "at the autopsy". (Hopefully not soon.) Until then, I will enjoy (generally) pain free walking and a complete resolution of my GERD, "heartburn" and early satiety problems. (Now, I can eat like the proverbial pig without repercussions. Somehow, my weight has stabilized at 130 lbs.)

    To avoid misleading, I do still experience post-surgical pain of varying severity. However, I now have no pain induced limits with respect to standing/walking.


    Thanks, all for your responses. I realize that not all bides are alike, but the "trend" I read in your suggestions is encouraging.

    mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    567
    Mark, have you tried elastic shoelaces? You can buy them on Amazon and they stay put, so no need to tie and retie. Cutting toenails is still difficult. I thought I would never be able to do it... it took me a year and a half to be able to cut it. Still prefer pedicures though.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,607
    Mark, first of all, don't piss off your wife. Serve her with kindness and gentleness because....guess who will be trimming your toenails next week? ( Pedicures run about $25.00 and include a warm water soak, leg massage, and a woman who is a complete stranger who cuts your toenails.....and at least in my salon, mostly speaks Vietnamese. She is always kind to my toenails (which I like short) because she knows that I tip well. Just a thought.

    I tie shoes like Ed described, putting my foot up on a chair and bending at the hips.

    Patience....when you find it, tell me how to get some.

    Susan
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev 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 SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev 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
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    39
    Irina,

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Mark, have you tried elastic shoelaces? You can buy them on Amazon and they stay put, so no need to tie and retie. Cutting toenails is still difficult. I thought I would never be able to do it... it took me a year and a half to be able to cut it. Still prefer pedicures though.
    The problem I have with the use of elastic laces is that as I place my foot into the shoe (low trail shoes in this case) I wind up pushing the "tongue" down. If I could reach and hold the tongue I wouldn't need the elastic laces! I read one suggestion (somewhere) that I use pliers to hold onto the "tongue": didn't work for me.

    With respect to a "pedicure", i thought of that... and still think of that... but, I can's (yet) get past the image thing!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,187
    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Mark, have you tried elastic shoelaces? You can buy them on Amazon and they stay put, so no need to tie and retie. Cutting toenails is still difficult. I thought I would never be able to do it... it took me a year and a half to be able to cut it. Still prefer pedicures though.
    Unfortunately, athletic shoes have tongues. Between the tongue and the laces, I find them to be a lot more work than they're worth.
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by susancook View Post
    Mark, first of all, don't piss off your wife. Serve her with kindness and gentleness because....guess who will be trimming your toenails next week? ( Pedicures run about $25.00 and include a warm water soak, leg massage, and a woman who is a complete stranger who cuts your toenails.....and at least in my salon, mostly speaks Vietnamese. She is always kind to my toenails (which I like short) because she knows that I tip well. Just a thought.

    I tie shoes like Ed described, putting my foot up on a chair and bending at the hips.

    Patience....when you find it, tell me how to get some.

    Susan
    Susan,

    you wrote: "Pedicures run about $25.00 and include a warm water soak, leg massage, and a woman who is a complete stranger ..." Sounds kind of sexy to me! What background video is played during this introduction?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    567
    Hey Mark, get past that image thing and get a pedicure. It's so relaxing! You don't have to color your toes unless you want it, hehe. I've seen men getting pedicures in my salon. Not often, but occasionally I see them and trust me, nobody cares!

    Speaking of athletic shoes tongs and elastic shoelaces - it depends on a shoe. I have one pair of scetchers and the tong stays in place when I slide my foot in. Another pair (can not remember the brand) not so much - tong moves and elastic shoelaces are not helpful. I wore that first pair of scatchers with elastic laces all the time after the surgery.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,607
    Quote Originally Posted by mkatz View Post
    Susan,

    you wrote: "Pedicures run about $25.00 and include a warm water soak, leg massage, and a woman who is a complete stranger ..." Sounds kind of sexy to me! What background video is played during this introduction?
    Mark,

    1) I promise not to show the delightful-wife-mother-of-your-children-cutter-of-your-toenails your comment....for a price.

    2) What video would you like in the background?....remember that this forum has children that read our threads from the adolescent section, so keep it clean.

    3) I will gladly share my container of "fire engine red" nail polish with you if you decide to go the pedicure route.

    Susan, just a Rollin' along

    Like Irina says, "get over it"
    Last edited by susancook; 11-26-2014 at 12:03 AM.
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev 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 SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev 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
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,607
    Your previous comment: With respect to a "pedicure", i thought of that... and still think of that... but, I can's (yet) get past the image thing! [/QUOTE]

    Mark, Can't get past the image thing? Have it done in Hillsboro where nobody knows you. Or you can come with me and I promise not to point and laugh at you too often. ;@ ) hahahahahahahahaha
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev 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 SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev 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
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •