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Thread: An Introduction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Nescopeck, Luzerne County, PA

    Question An Introduction

    My name is Don; ("Donald" was for my Mom and is for the IRS). I'm 66 years of age, single and unattached; generally in good health; semi-retired; live in the East-Central Pennsylvania where I was born (but have done my share of exploring in between).

    In the summer of 1959 when I turned 10, my parents noticed a lump on my upper back, which turned out to be a shoulder blade. Four months later, just after Christmas, I went into a head-to-knees body cast, where I would remain for eight weeks, and a fusion of six vertebrae in the thoracic region was performed nine days later.

    For the next fifty years, it was all progress. To cite one example, I learned to ride a bicycle, something which had eluded me up until then. And when Penn State dictated that I would learn to swim, I pulled that off as well (though it took almost three times as long as is normally the case) and developed a life sport and overcame a lot of shyness in the process.

    But life is full of suprises, and about three years ago, I began to experience slight discomfort in my left hip (my left leg is very slightly longer, but considerably thicker and heavier than my right) and a suggested transfer to a role with less walking, but more standing in place, only aggravated things, and considerably. An inquiry at Geisinger M C, in Danville, PA, where the original surgery was performed, led to some new X-rays, and more than a bit of a shock. While the original fusion was holding up just fine, thanks, a couple of vertebrae in the lower back were kinking. (My family has a hereditary tendency to "shrink" in later life).

    I eventually returned to work in another capacity, and the pain abated; I transferred to an order-picking job and felt no discomfort until the working day was lengthened in anticipation of this year's annual Holiday rush -- and that in the region of the right calf and ankle instead of the left hip.

    Insurance issues had discouraged me from pursuing the issue this year, but I have an upcoming appointment. Surgery has been mentioned, but since it has been described as "a difficulty of eight, on a scale from one to ten", I'm more than a little wary. I intend to keep the forum posted, and would appreciate any input.

    But given the first fifty years of near-perfect service, I have to admit that I probably don't have that much to "beef" about.
    Last edited by Eddie Sand; 12-16-2015 at 08:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Don...

    Welcome to the group. I encourage you to read some of the threads in this forum (Revision). There are a lot of people who had surgery when they were young, and who needed to have revision surgery as adults. Though I don't remember their user names, there are even a few people like yourself, who had their original surgery without implants.

    My advice at this point would be to get yourself in a position of being fully insured. Once that's accomplished, you should try to find a specialist who has a lot of experience in treating patients with prior fusions. You can find a list of specialists here:

    If you can't find anyone in PA, it appears that you're not too far from NYC, where there are an abundance of really good surgeons.

    Best of luck with your journey.

    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

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