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Thread: Post One-Year Recovery Issues - Scam Artist?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    New Jersey

    Post One-Year Recovery Issues - Scam Artist?

    Hi All,
    I am just over one year out (T4-sacrum) and feel like I have plateaued in my recovery. I have been through PT, but in retrospect I think the group exaggerated their experience with spinal fusion, I have tried interviewing some other therapists, but have not found any in this area with experience with long fusions, even the groups "certified" by HSS. Driving to NYC for therapy is out of the question.
    At this point, I still have difficult standing from a sitting position (without using my arms to push off) or from the floor. Most annoying is the feeling of a board in my back; I know this is muscular but cannot seem to stretch those muscles. I work at a computer and have to sit for long periods compounded by a long commute. The doctor said I could go to the gym, but I am paranoid about making a mistake and hurting myself. I have fallen a few times recently. Walking alone doesn’t seem to help.
    I found a guy on U Tube who advertises a "course" called Breaking the Pain on a website Normally, I would think this is a scam, but he seems to understand spinal fusion better than any of the physical therapists I have seen.
    Has anyone heard of this program and is it worthwhile?
    Any advice to advance recovery and deal with the back muscles?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    T4 to Sacrum; 70 degree lumbar corrected to less than 20 degrees.
    5/7/2016; Dr. Schwab, Hospital for Special Surgery.
    61 at the time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    First, I can’t specifically comment on this exercise program because I have not tried it.

    I can tell you that I think that proper body mechanics and an appropriate exercise program are key to remaining functional and minimizing pain. Obviously, if you can, you should try to find someone who is knowledgeable to work with but it is very hard to find someone who actually knows about scoliosis and appropriate exercises for a fused spine. One book I can recommend is: “Pilates for Fragile Backs” written by Andra Stanton and Ruth Hiatt-Coblentz [this book has a foreword by Dr. Boachie-Adjei]. If you choose to try exercise [which I recommend], it will take you some time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Read as much as you can, learn about a “neutral” spine and be careful. Eventually, you will figure out what works. It is my personal opinion that having a strong “core” , knowing how to correctly move [good bio-mechanics] and doing appropriate stretches and exercises really helps. It’s a lot to know and there aren’t that many resources to help you. You won’t get much support because a lot of people don’t like exercise and don’t think it particularly matters to your overall well being.

    Finally, sitting is particularly hard on your spine. I can only sit for a limited period of time. Even a standing desk, while not a particularly good solution, is better than sitting all the time. Humans were meant to move and not just sit. Try to see if there is any way you can work and not have to sit all the time. If you can, try to go part-time so that you can focus more on your spine issues. Good luck! Terry
    1973 Diagnosed with scoliosis [left thoracic curve 75* and right lumbar curve of 72*]
    Spinal fusion surgery with Harrington Rod instrumentation
    Left thoracic curve corrected to 55* and right lumbar curve corrected to 45*
    2013 Significant pain down right, upper leg
    2015 MRI of lumbar spine detects "multilevel degenerative disc disease with disc bulges and facet hypertrophy" AND
    the presence of a "possible nerve sheath tumor" at L2-L3

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