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Thread: My Outcome - 7 years later

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    My Outcome - 7 years later

    When I was searching the forum before my 2008 surgery, I wanted to see outcomes DOWN THE ROAD. There wasn't much available. Now, I try to post annually AND share the good word about FOCOS, the organization helping scoli children in Africa get their spines straightened. (If you want to help a child without means, go for it - I do this each year at Christmas time.)

    Anyhow, my curve was 65*, taken down to 26*. I was fused from T4 to L3.

    I am not pain-free, but my quality of life continues to be much better than it was before my surgery. This year, I spent nearly three months traveling through mostly 3rd world countries - Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, then went over to visit a son in the UK followed by time in Morocco. I bring a lightweight air mattress made for back-packers since I can't manage hard beds. I am an independent traveler who can do everything on my own except lift my bags and I always manage to find some kind person to do that for me.

    I pro-actively work on my spine, doing 30 minutes daily of stretching and mild yoga AND as much walking as my body will allow AND strengthening through mild Pilates or other gym equipment. I highly recommend stretching and strengthening!!!!

    When I go through a tough time, I have found relief through acupuncture, PT, and recently a procedure called 'dry needling' which is done by both chiros and PTs. Dry needling requires a practitioner with experience - only do it if you are working with a professional who has years of experience.

    At least three times a week, I hike the canyon behind my home which has a mildly steep grade and I average two miles of hiking. I could not hike AT ALL before my surgery and found that my pain was restricting my activities more and more.

    Surgery is not a panacea, but it WILL stop the progression of your curves and that's the critical thing. For me, it has greatly improved the quality of my life.
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Great news. It is amazing what we can do. Today it is seven years since my long fusion. I have had a few problems but feel I can do most things
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Dear Ginger - I'm absolutely delighted to hear your update and I'm sure it will benefit many who wonder... I am 8 years out and able to do much, with some limitations, plus CMT. Enjoying life to the fullest! As always, your friend Susie
    71 and plugging along... but having some problems
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    10/2018 x-rays - spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Ginger,

    Great to hear your outcome 7 years down the track. With your travel and hiking, your life sounds wonderful.

    You remind me how important it is for us long-termers to keep contributing. I'm coming up 7 years in March and will post about my successful outcome on my anniversary.

    Stay well and happy.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Waterloo, IL
    Thanks for posting after your 7 year anniversary. I think it is good for all of us to read about success stories since there are many in the revision section that aren't so lucky. My 5 year anniversary in coming up in January and I am expecting a good report. Congratulations!

    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.

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