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Thread: What Changes After Spinal Fusion?

  1. #1
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    What Changes After Spinal Fusion?

    So I'm going to get my spine fused at the end of next month and I am wondering what happens afterwards. After I get my spine fused and I'm fully healed will some things be different? Will my center of balance change? Will I feel more stiff? Also will it cause or decrees my physical limitations? Lastly, what types of jobs are good for people with scoliosis and will help minimalize back pain?
    Thanks for any reply's, Scoliatic
    Male, 15 year old manly man of manliness diagnosed with scoliosis . I have had over 30 surgeries and have 70 degree scoliosis and a twisted spine that gave me a chest point and and a rib cage back hump. I am very open about my scoliosis and started a blog about it. If you can, please take a look. The link is https://scoliaticblog.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
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    What levels of fusion are planned?
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degen Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Sev disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal SCI T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Rev Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw
    2021: Removal T1 screw & rod

  3. #3
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    You are very young yet. The one person I knew that had fusion young did extremely well. She worked a regular job and when she was older became a mother and had no problems.
    For me a job would be one that you have to move around a lot. Sitting too long is tough. Walking and moving is better.Other than sky diving maybe anything you want to do.
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    You are very young yet. The one person I knew that had fusion young did extremely well. She worked a regular job and when she was older became a mother and had no problems.
    For me a job would be one that you have to move around a lot. Sitting too long is tough. Walking and moving is better.Other than sky diving maybe anything you want to do.
    I agree on the job front. If you can find something you love, that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing, you stand a better chance of living without pain. I always tell people with scoliosis to avoid any occupation that requires a lot of bending (e.g., dentistry).

    --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

  5. #5
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    Interesting that you mention dentistry, I was a dental assistant all my working career. It was OK but I moved around a lot.
    I do think dentists have a high incident of cervical problems. My neurosurgeon mentioned an increase of a problem in his neck of we couldn't get my arm in a position above my head for the ulnar nerve decompression. We were able to by supporting my scapula.
    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
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoliatic View Post
    will it cause or decrees my physical limitations? Lastly, what types of jobs are good for people with scoliosis and will help minimalize back pain?
    If I said weightlifting, "world record" weightlifting.....people would think I was crazy......

    Here is Lamar Gant....who set world deadlift 688# and bench press records with BIG scoliosis curves. When your waist is 6" below your armpits, no x-ray is needed. Wow! On one of the videos, the commentators mention "Look how long is legs and arms are?" They are not any longer, it's his torso that's shorter. Incredible!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqoo...rengthandPower

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSVq...xingtonPlummer

    ================================================== ========================
    To top this off, Stuart Jamieson beat his record and his spine was worse.
    https://barbend.com/stuart-jamieson-286kg-deadlift/

    "You donít have to be held down by what you have been given in your life, it all depends on how you label yourself. Iíve experienced the best and worst that life has to offer, but Iíve not allowed my disability to define my quality of life." -Stuart Jamieson


    I wish Lamar and Stuart would chime in. Lamar is about age 63 now, I can't imagine him not feeling any pain.... I wonder how his discs are doing?

    I guess this is a good example on why you want to have a strong core.

    Twisted Lifter (Peter) is due for surgery in Toronto soon....He is an old lifter....

    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoliatic View Post
    After I get my spine fused and I'm fully healed will some things be different?
    Question of the year.....

    The answer is yes....Of course, all sorts of things change throughout our lives so it depends on how we handle all of it. Ups and downs, surgical recovery being one of the downs, usually, its temporary. Things I thought of immediately after I got home, mainly the negative thoughts, were all wrong...I could do things that I thought I couldn't do, and the things that I couldn't do or shouldn't do, were accepted. It helps to be highly adaptable and have a positive attitude...Much of my recovery took a really long time. Years....I know this might seem like a really long time for you. At your age, healing and recovery happens so much faster than surgeries in adults. (over age 50)

    On center of balance, scoliosis surgeons are trained to balance the spine....they also balance our plumb so we don't lean in any direction. Forward, back or to the side. My center of balance came out perfect. I could walk a tightrope if I had to. (On a good day)

    You will feel stiffness and soreness in your thoracic after your surgeries, but will get through this....

    I am assuming you don't have any vertebral anomalies. See attachment.
    https://radiopaedia.org/articles/ver...malies?lang=us

    Any idea on how they are going to proceed? Will they do the spine first? Will they incorporate the Ravitch or Nuss procedure in a same day flip? or staged a few days? (These procedures are for pigeon chest).
    Scroll down
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pectus...itch_technique


    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Thanks for all the advice and support it means a lot and has helped me be less stressed about the upcoming surgery. I'm also realizing that I should've asked my doctor way more questions and that I should've researched final fusion more before my appointment so that I could understand it better and ask more in depth questions. I believe that I have another appointment in a bit over a week ans Ill probably understand my procedure more then. I will probably post about any changes or information I learn If I need clarification on things or just want to share information.
    Male, 15 year old manly man of manliness diagnosed with scoliosis . I have had over 30 surgeries and have 70 degree scoliosis and a twisted spine that gave me a chest point and and a rib cage back hump. I am very open about my scoliosis and started a blog about it. If you can, please take a look. The link is https://scoliaticblog.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    With MAGEC and VEPTR, did they tell you not to lift? Were you allowed to bend? Just wondering about this....There are no testimonials on this here.

    With fusion, during recovery or immediate recovery, we really shouldn't be lifting much of anything for a few months. No BLT's, or no bending, lifting, or twisting. The weightlifting videos are amazing...but now with fusion this changes things. On one of the old Dr Boachie videos, he has signs up at HSS (Hospital For Special Surgery) stating in large bold black letters "No BLT's, no bending, lifting, or twisting". I wanted to clarify this....We need time for our fusion bone bridges to solidify with some strength. At your age, it should be a few months....In adults over age 50, the literature is all over the map, but in general, fusion takes 12 months.

    You should ask what levels will be fused as Susan asked. For example T2-T12, or T3-L1. It's rare that they fuse teens down low.... or at least to the sacrum.

    Let us know what you find out. When you go in, surgeons will keep things light on the discussion and not volunteer too much information. If you know some of the spine and scoliosis related terms and material and you ask, you will get an answer. I think surgeons like this as it shows that you have an interest in spine. The more you know, the more they will engage.

    For example: I would ask, Will I need a thoracoplasty? I know you are concerned about your rib hump.

    The modern hardware systems of today do correct a lot of rotation, and this is what causes rib and lumbar humps. Before the modern scoliosis hardware, for example with Harrington rods, they didn't use pedicle screws so there was no or little rotational correction. Some of the members here have had to have thoracoplasty done to correct rib humps with old hardware systems. There are not too many thoracoplasties done in the US anymore.

    Here is a glossary of scoliosis and spine terms from SRS.
    https://www.srs.org/professionals/on...ssary-of-terms

    I would read through the whole site.
    https://www.srs.org/professionals/on...tile-scoliosis


    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 07-16-2021 at 12:33 PM.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    1,061
    You can do this. Yes there are changes but not all are bad. Young people do so well and you already know a lot more than most. The more informed you are, the better the questions you can ask.
    I will ask if they think you are done growing? Very important.
    What are your passions. Stay focused on that. Speak openly about what you need to help you and do not be afraid to ask.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    319
    Hey, Scoliatic, you must have had your fusion by now. How did it go?

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