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Thread: 1 Year Post-Op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    101

    1 Year Post-Op

    Yesterday I celebrated being 1 year post-op! This past year, through my second fusion surgery of my life, I learned so much about myself; my strength, my resolve, my grit, my determination. I am so grateful to my surgeon, my family, and my fellow warriors here who helped me through so much. I went “dark” on the forum because life continued on and after the immediate healing, physical therapy and getting back to work, life continued to roll on! Our son turned 4 this May and in June our daughter turned 2! They keep my husband and I busy and I am so thankful I am still able to squat down to their level when needed, sit and lounge with them to read books, and get on the floor and play with toys with them.

    As fitting for a 1 year anniversary, on the day of I met with my surgeon for my 1-year post-op. With x rays in hand we talked for a good while about what we saw. All my hardware, new and old, along with my curves are stable, steady, and show no signs of compromise. My bones are fusing well and all is good there…(can you feel the but coming?)… …after disclosing to him some symptoms I began experiencing in my neck and in my legs over the past 4 months, we saw that I am now bone-on-bone in multiple spots in my C-spine. Not the news I was expecting to hear for at least 10-15 more years. I have a CT scan coming up soon and we will re group after that but he is thinking I will be needing a laminectomy. In the mean time my primary care provider advised me to discontinue the gabapentin since it hasn’t seemed to be helping, and instead start being on a muscle relaxer for my neck stiffness (always by the end of every day I am completely seized up) and then OxyContin for shooting leg pains from likely peripheral nerve damage in my legs that I have been having.

    I guess I will take the bad with the good, especially since I don’t have a choice, but I have to keep remembering that as much as this wasn’t all rainbows and glitter 100% I am far and away much better than where I was before this most recent fusion.

    54644D25-87FF-4C41-A8C6-E770C279DB7C.jpg
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation correcting to C (8), T (14), L (8)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,369
    Jessica, sorry to hear about all the pains.....you were doing so well at Christmas.

    The shooting leg pains... How long do they last, and do they let up? How intense are they and how often do they occur?

    Did you ever wean or have you been on Oxy and Gab the whole time?

    Any arm or hand pain from the neck, or just stiffness?

    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
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    101
    The shooting leg pains start about mid day and last the rest of the day until I take something. I tried bumping up my gabapentin to see if that would help but all it did was make me foggy in the head and tired. Sometimes they are just a faint background noise but other times they are really intense. Either way, it’s every day.

    I had been on gabapentin since before my most recent fusion where my highest dose was 300mg 3x but as of December this last winter I had been doing 300mg 1x. It wasn’t until a few months ago I have been needing the oxy 10mg at the end of the day to make the pains manageable so I could successfully sleep. After meeting with my PCP he wants me to try OxyContin instead of oxycodone so I don’t have to try to fight through the day as pain is getting worse until the end of the day and instead be pain free all day.

    As far as my neck symptoms by the end of the day it’s almost like all the muscles in my neck are ratcheted so tight. Then I get sharp shooting stabbing pain from the back-middle of my neck down into my shoulder on my right side. However, no arm or hand pain past the top of my shoulder and shoulder blade.
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation correcting to C (8), T (14), L (8)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,369
    When you wake up in the morning, what are your pain levels? its sounds like you are ok in the morning, and the pain and inflammation is triggered by midday. Is there anyway you can take a powernap at noon? When I am in trouble, I always lay down and do a pit stop....

    Since my recovery, I have had 2 lumbar, leg shooting pain events. Each time, I would go to bed which worked. They were very intense. I do not know how or what triggered them, that's a big mystery. ??? I had one about 2 months ago. It was probably due to a negative 1000 point Dow day and had nothing to do with my spine.

    I'm sure your looking into laminectomy...It's the removal of the "roof" of the vertebrae and creates more room for the spinal cord. It solves central canal stenosis or narrowing. It does not affect the nerve roots that exit the spine from the side. Pros and cons to each procedure. You don't hear much about laminectomy being done on scoliosis patients....probably due to anterior procedures. (TLIF, PLIF, ALIF, ACDF)

    When my neck became a problem 8 years ago, my surgeon and I discussed ACDF for C5/6, C6/7. However, I was going to have to wait on that....What ran through my mind was the fact that I waited 33 years for my scoliosis surgery, became pretty much pain free, and now I have to wait again?

    It was the right call you know.....You want to think really hard about neck surgeries, especially doing stacked levels.

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,030
    Yes Jessica, Ed has been through this stuff and has great ideas for help. You are young yet and have a lot of responsibility with the family.
    The lay down approach for me is like a reset . Seems to work often.
    Also if there is chronic pain, find yourself a good pain specialist. They have more tools that aren't medication and can be extremely helpful.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    101
    Another MRI of my neck shows nerve entrapment at C5-C7 and crumbling discs. My surgeon was saying I could do disc replacements without fusion but the disc replacements only last 5-10 years. At that point it would be a gamble as to whether they would wear down in a way where they could be simply swapped out for new ones or whether they would need replacements in addition to a fusion. Needless to say I will be starting conservative with more physical therapy and massage therapy since I am terrified of fusion into my neck, especially at only 30 years old.

    The other thing I have been experiencing lately is the feeling in my back of just needing a good pop or stretch (obviously this isn’t happening anymore). I mentioned it to my surgeon and showed him
    Where along my hardware I was feeling it and he said that what I am feeling is more than likely, because of its location, the ends of my new and old sets of hardware trying to move in opposite directions of each other where they attach to one another and attach to my spine. So far it seems that hardware is holding and nothing is coming lose but he said we really need to watch it closely every time I feel these pains and/or come in to see him and get new images done.

    I guess I’m left here just wishing the battle could at least give me a little break.
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation correcting to C (8), T (14), L (8)

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