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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    47

    Smile It's About Time

    Hi Folks.
    I haven't posted for quite a while, but I visit very regularly to see what is going on.
    Though obviously Covid-dependant, I have finally been given a tentative time frame for surgery of around early June 2021.
    The plan as I understand it is to fuse T2-L1.
    My primary purpose for posting is to see if someone would kindly direct me to the very well done list of items to acquire pre-surgery for a better experience post-surgery. I have seen it here before and cannot seem to locate it again. Help greatly appreciated.
    While certainly nervous about a major operation, I am very hopeful that I will be relieved of the present pain in the long term.
    The curves have increased over the last few years and pain in various parts of the torso are a fact of daily life. Recently, the primary area of discomfort is where the ribs meet the hips. They're not supposed to meet, right?
    Lung capacity is running around 60%, which doesn't make wearing masks any easier.
    My surgeon will be Dr. Stephen Lewis at Toronto Western Hospital. As I look towards the surgery, it helps that I feel very confident in his abilities.
    It has been three years on the waiting list since I decided to move ahead with surgical intervention. Socialized medicine does have its downsides.
    My pre-surgery CT Scan (March) and MRI (May) are both scheduled now.
    Thanks to all of you well- informed people in helping me understand what I can expect in recovery, both immediately after and over time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Lifter View Post
    My primary purpose for posting is to see if someone would kindly direct me to the very well done list of items to acquire pre-surgery for a better experience post-surgery. I have seen it here before and cannot seem to locate it again. Help greatly appreciated.
    Here you go:
    PreparingForMajorBackSurgery.pdf
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    47
    Thank you very much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,472
    Twisted, You made it a long time.....longer than me.....

    I didn't buy anything before my surgeries....but having someone to get the things you need in immediate recovery is important because you won't be able to drive. I don't know how things work in Canada, but my insurance company supplied me with a walker and a grabber. There are 500 walkers in every nursing home basement you could probably get for free, and you could use BBQ tongs to pick things up with. You don't have to spend a lot of money is what I am saying. I would not buy any furniture now, make that decision after you are home.

    I had the CNA at my house pick me up a latex foam topper about 10 days after I got home. It doubled my sleep time. I used that 2" thick topper for 1 year on a Tempurpedic medium bed. Some toppers go up to 4 inches thick, if I had to do it over again, I would go 4 inches. I do not use Tempurpedic pillows.

    The most important thing on the list of items you will need is a positive attitude. I do not doubt your ability to recuperate based on your lifting history....Apply these attributes to your recovery and you will do just fine.

    Your lumbar must be in good shape fusing to L1. Very good....

    How large is your T curve right now? How much Chiro did you do? I also did heavy Chiro for the binding....

    You will do just fine...

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 63, the new 64...
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    47
    Thanks for the tips, Ed.
    I will definitely move on that mattress topper. Sounds very wise.
    My wife is a bit of a project manager, so she was chasing me down for a list with which to be prepared.
    Lower back is okay, relatively speaking. Some wearing discs.
    I will be 58 by the time the surgery is done, assuming present schedule. I held out as long as I could. That's what all the doctors said to do. Don't do surgery until you need it.
    For me, no one told me until I made the decision to move ahead with surgical intervention that the wait list would be 3 years. I would have opted in sooner had I known that.
    As for the thoracic curves, upper part is running over 90 degrees (measured as high as 97) with the lower part of the "S" around 47 degrees.
    I have had chiro. I have had physio. I have had registered massage therapy. All pain relief from each is quite temporary, lasting maybe a couple of days if I am lucky. I think the physiotherapist was most frustrated by this, because I would seem to her to be right back at the start every visit. She wasn't getting the progression that was positive feedback for her.
    I understand that once fused, the critical areas on the spine become the the vertebrae on either end of the fusion, to where much more stress is transferred. Have you had issues with that?
    I was at my lung doctor yesterday afternoon. Lungs and breathing are the major issue for me other than chronic pain. Lung capacity presently sits at 58%. My oxygenation is good, but I have no reserve capacity left. Doesn't make wearing masks easier.
    In practical terms, I just hope to come out the other side breathing better and with less chronic pain.
    Thanks again for the advice,
    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Lifter View Post
    I understand that once fused, the critical areas on the spine become the the vertebrae on either end of the fusion, to where much more stress is transferred. Have you had issues with that?
    Hi Peter...

    It's actually not the end vertebrae, it's the discs and vertebrae above and below the fusion that are very vulnerable to degeneration. Here's a good animation video explaining the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQwYISvBkzo

    There are many of us on here, including myself, who have suffered from adjacent segment disease, and have had to have more surgery because of it. Hope you dodge that bullet!

    Regards,
    Linda
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,472
    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Lifter View Post
    I held out as long as I could. That's what all the doctors said to do. Don't do surgery until you need it.
    Wait until your 97 degrees?......When does one need surgery? Thats the question.

    Sounds like the Canadian medical system delay tactics to me. It's not the surgeons, it's the system.... A few Canadian scoliosis patients have been delayed in the past around here....This is wrong. There is a right time and a less desirable time to have scoliosis surgery.

    (Posting in general) (Comments on the topic of adult decision making)
    I have a lot of trouble with simply waiting until curves get too large or degeneration gets too bad. Yes, there are complications, but one also needs to consider that complication risk's will keep increasing....Just because you do not have pain doesn't mean you wait until you fold over. There is never a good time to have scoliosis surgery, but patient decisions that reject scoliosis surgeries because they are afraid, or because some alternative type has pre-programmed them negatively is wrong and this causes a lot of damage. Chiro's will do this....Bracers and Masseuses also, and I did that route for many years, (until it didn't work or last for any period of time). If one has scoliosis curves over 50 degrees, its best to assume that you will have surgery someday. If not, what happens is that it keeps getting pushed to the back burner or swept under the rug and then decisions are made when degenerative pain problems happen. I fought this for many years and barely got my foot in the door. I was rejected for surgery in major pain and my surgeries became serious and it does make things harder for surgeons. It's always going to be best to talk to a scoliosis surgeon since they are the best trained. It doesn't mean your having surgery now, but in case you need surgery, you are going to be much better prepared and much better off.....I say this because we see members come and go.....afraid, and we think about them because we were there....Adult decisions usually are based on pain but it's not that simple since we do get used to pain, and the only way to really know is to have a medical doctor, (scoliosis trained surgeon) do an evaluation. There are other things that play in the surgical equation, so it's not just about curves.....breathing at 58% is one of them for example.

    Peter, On the list for a June surgery, you can wait. It's going to be easy. You do this a week before surgery.

    For now, If you have pain, ask your surgeon or MD for an NSAID prescription. For example, Celebrex or Diclofenac. These meds will reduce osteoarthritic and neuropathic (nerve) pains by about 90%. I have a long history with "prescription anti-inflammatories", and they are recommended by HSS for pain in scoliosis adults. These do not affect the mind like an opoid, and you can function on them....Of course, never abuse medications, especially these. Take per doctors orders or instructions. These meds have saved me countless times. I always have these on standby and travel with them. (When you do have surgery, do not take these as they inhibit fusion). This is all need to know adult scoliosis information.

    I have always used hot soaks for pain. There is nothing like a nice deep tub with water temps at 106 degrees. Works great for pain. Drink plenty of water while soaking as you lose it fast and do not want to get dehydrated which is bad.

    Floating in water is fantastic. If we could sleep in a weightless environment, you could scrap the foam topper!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonste...lammatory_drug

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diclofenac

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celecoxib

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 63, the new 64...
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    320
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    I had the CNA at my house pick me up a latex foam topper about 10 days after I got home. It doubled my sleep time. I used that 2" thick topper for 1 year on a Tempurpedic medium bed. Some toppers go up to 4 inches thick, if I had to do it over again, I would go 4 inches. I do not use Tempurpedic pillows.


    Ed
    Why is a mattress topper important? What will it do for you?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    Why is a mattress topper important? What will it do for you?
    It's just extra padding to help with any sore areas.
    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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