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Thread: A report - two years after surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    159

    A report - two years after surgery

    Dear Scoli Friends -

    It's always helpful to know how others have managed LATER in their recoveries. I like to share in December since it's a time when many donate to causes which mean something to them. For us, it's scoliosis. In Africa, there are so many who cannot obtain good medical care for a surgery correcting spinal curvatures. A world-famous scoliosis surgeon - Dr. Oheneba Boachie created a hospital which uses over 250 international doctors donating their talents to training African surgeons and providing free operations for children. His non-profit organization can really use help with donation funds to provide medical supplies. If you are able to help, go to https://focos.focoshospital.org/ and help those who simply cannot help themselves. Even $10 can go a long way since the doctors are donating their time.

    MY STATUS: I was fused through the sacrum 25 months ago when I was 65 years old. I struggled with pain in my knees, upper thorasic spine and cervical spine. It DID take two years for my body to adjust. At 14 months 'out', I was discouraged enough to return to my surgeon Dr. Sigurd Berven and ask why I was struggling. Additionally, Dr. Serena Hu evaluated me. They both said that the skeletal system is going through some big adjustments and it definitely takes two full years. They were both correct. Month by month, I felt improvement. Additionally, there's always some fatigue during recovery.

    That didn't mean I was hanging around in bed or anything. I took two months abroad, driving through North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula when I hit my one-year mark. I'm a good driver and even got to the nomadic Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. I used an inflatable neck pillow to keep pressure off of my tailbone during my travels. Also, I took off some time each day to recuperate. I would do it again.

    At 16 months 'out', I traveled through Central America. Again, driving. My spine really likes warm, moist climates at low elevation. I was able to do some snorkeling and body surfing. At that point, the improvement was becoming noticable - both with less pain and more energy.

    I continue to work on strengthening my upper body so my neck can handle what the rest of my spine cannot handle. I use a Saunders Cervical Traction unit ten minutes daily when I'm home. There are usually bargains on E-bay and these units are much better than cheaper alternatives.

    I have no regrets and my body is definitely better than before I went into surgery.

    One recommendation: get an experienced and highly-rated surgeon. Doing your homework is important.

    I'll be back next December.
    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
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,404
    Hey there Nomatic Ginger, glad everything worked out....(smiley face)

    I also have had a LOT of fatigue...

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    319
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger W. View Post
    Dear Scoli Friends -

    It's always helpful to know how others have managed LATER in their recoveries. I like to share in December since it's a time when many donate to causes which mean something to them. For us, it's scoliosis. In Africa, there are so many who cannot obtain good medical care for a surgery correcting spinal curvatures. A world-famous scoliosis surgeon - Dr. Oheneba Boachie created a hospital which uses over 250 international doctors donating their talents to training African surgeons and providing free operations for children. His non-profit organization can really use help with donation funds to provide medical supplies. If you are able to help, go to https://focos.focoshospital.org/ and help those who simply cannot help themselves. Even $10 can go a long way since the doctors are donating their time.

    MY STATUS: I was fused through the sacrum 25 months ago when I was 65 years old. I struggled with pain in my knees, upper thorasic spine and cervical spine. It DID take two years for my body to adjust. At 14 months 'out', I was discouraged enough to return to my surgeon Dr. Sigurd Berven and ask why I was struggling. Additionally, Dr. Serena Hu evaluated me. They both said that the skeletal system is going through some big adjustments and it definitely takes two full years. They were both correct. Month by month, I felt improvement. Additionally, there's always some fatigue during recovery.

    That didn't mean I was hanging around in bed or anything. I took two months abroad, driving through North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula when I hit my one-year mark. I'm a good driver and even got to the nomadic Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. I used an inflatable neck pillow to keep pressure off of my tailbone during my travels. Also, I took off some time each day to recuperate. I would do it again.

    At 16 months 'out', I traveled through Central America. Again, driving. My spine really likes warm, moist climates at low elevation. I was able to do some snorkeling and body surfing. At that point, the improvement was becoming noticable - both with less pain and more energy.

    I continue to work on strengthening my upper body so my neck can handle what the rest of my spine cannot handle. I use a Saunders Cervical Traction unit ten minutes daily when I'm home. There are usually bargains on E-bay and these units are much better than cheaper alternatives.

    I have no regrets and my body is definitely better than before I went into surgery.

    One recommendation: get an experienced and highly-rated surgeon. Doing your homework is important.

    I'll be back next December.
    My. You had to post this twice to make sure it got attention. Well, there aren't too many people here.

    This comes across as gloating rather than sharing. Your trips through the third world after major surgery at age 65+ actually sound like a reckless action, but you got away with it. No major complications erupted far from home. Good for you.

    I had an experienced, highly-rated, elite university-educated surgeon operate on me. He abandoned me after things didn't work out so well (he actually wasn't highly rated for bedside manner, my mistake). So I'll keep Drs. Sigurd Berven and Serena Hu in mind in case I need them, thanks for that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,058
    Glad you did so well Ginger. It's good to know about people going on with their lives.
    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
    Osteotomy

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