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Thread: Recovery time frame for YOU

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Recovery time frame for YOU

    On Oct 23, Dr. Berven of UCSF will perform my surgery from L3 - S1. I read about Linda Racine's recovery (our fabulous moderator) from almost the same surgery. Very helpful. Still, I need more how to prepare for my post-surgery life, considering the recovery of others and considering that I live alone.

    I am 65 and in good health besides my inability to walk more than a 1/2 a block due to back pain. (Up until six months ago, I could hike up a canyon near my home - generally 2 miles.) I also have great balance, considering that I'm fused T4 - L3.

    I simply don't know how to prepare for my self-care when I go home. The plan is 5 - 7 days in the hospital and 2 - 3 weeks in rehab before I'm on my own.

    Whatever your physical condition going into surgery, I'd love to hear about: What things were hard for you when you got home? How long before you could prepare your own meals? How long before you could go out and run an errand? How long before you could do a short trip with low activity? If working, when could you return to work? That sort of thing.

    All help would be appreciated.

    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
    Aug 2015
    Midlands, UK
    Hi, I was off work for 5 months after my surgery but I am working full time now. I could prepare meals after about 6 weeks and potter about the house. It was exhausting and I needed to lie down each afternoon for quite a long while after surgery.

    It was, and still is virtually impossible for me to put tights on. Socks I can do if I get in awkard positions! Generally, you adapt to your new restrictions on mobility and find your own way of doing things.

    I can walk moderate distances but I take quite short strides and quite slow. I still have residual pain im my left hip but I think this is due to my SI joint fusion which I had in December 2017.
    Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis diagnosed aged 6/7
    Milwaukee brace 1980 - 1984, Fused T2 - L3 with Harrington Rod 1984, 10 rib costoplasty 1999, artificial disc at L3/L4 2003, extended fusion to L5 2006.
    2015 - Sagittal plane imbalance correction by insertion of 30 degree hyperlordotic cage at L5/S1 level (anterior approach) with fixation to pelvis (posterior approach) now fused T2 to sacrum.
    2017 - October - SI joint fusion - left side
    2017 - December - Revision of failed left SI joint fusion

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