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Thread: long recovery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    long recovery

    I posted awhile ago about my Mom's surgery. She is 72. She had a spinal fusion on August 30. She's doing well but the thing is it's such a long recovery for her. I'm sure it's because of her age. She's out walking every day, she's completely committed to it. I just hate to see her in any kind of discomfort though, and I see how hard it is. She has some pain, it's intermittant but I think it bothers her, but she won't take anything, just a Tylenol now and then. Mainly she is easily fatigued, still needs the oxygen 24/7, and can't reach into her washer, dryer, or dishwasher. If she could lie down in the tub I think she'd love it, but it's too hard to get out.

    At the end of this recovery, I wonder if there will be any improvement in her stamina and breathing. And I wonder how long until she feels better.

    Although she's improving a little bit each week, it's discouraging. I should probably find a forum for adults helping aging parents, because this problem is almost more of an aging problem than a scoliosis-related problem. Does anyone know of such a forum?

    Still, this forum has been a big help. So I thought I'd say hello again and post. If you have had a surgery with a long recovery, I'd like to hear how you coped and when it started improving. Or if you had experience with this and being elderly.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hi Laura, thanks for sharing about your Mom. Sorry to hear it's been such a long haul for her. It's a long recovery, and it takes awhile for the muscles to strengthen after surgery. Does she have a grabber at home that can help her reach things? I have a couple, and have been able to do the laundry with them - it slows down the process, but things get sorted well! I'd imagine there must be some groups on the Net for child caregivers. It's wonderful that she gets out walking every day! Wow! Maybe talking to her doctor may help? Best wishes to both of you,
    Nov. 2006 - revision surgery
    Aug. 1992 - revision surgery for hook removal and pseudoarthrosis
    July 1989 - Cortrell Doubosett procedure - two rods and fusion T4-L4 (age 13)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Wink It IS long when one is older!!!

    I had my revision at age 60--4 years ago. It was a good year and half before I was basically pain free.

    It is only about 6 mos for your mom. Can you imagine what it would have been like to see her curve more and more???---without the surgery???

    The body needs time to get adjusted to being "uncoiled". I actually felt "crooked" for a long time afterward. I had to get used to my new body image. As far as breathing goes I did not need oxygen before surgery but I was significantly out of breath just talking. The surgery itself-especially if an anterior approach is used, reduces breathing capacity for 2 years post -op.

    My rib cage was originally so deformed from the 100 deg curve at age 14 that I still have reduced capacity- BUT- I live a prfectly normal life and intend to go hiking again in the Alps this spring. I no longer get breathless after eating a big meal. That was creepy.

    Walking is the best thing mom can do right now. Fatigue is normal.It CAN seem endless. For a long time afterward I needed to lay down very often.

    Maybe your mom could contact another patient of her surgeon in her age group?
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Wheeling, WV
    Hi Laura,

    It's great to hear from you again!!! I was just wondering about your mother the other day.

    I had a rough recovery and I was only 45. I have all the repect in the world for your mother, because the amount of courage she has to have to go through what she is going through at her age, just blows me away!!!

    I guess the hardest part for me came around 9 months post op. Mostly because I had convinced myself that I would be just fine by then, and when I wasn't back to normal, the depression kick in.

    We all heal differently no matter what age, but I think the older you are the harder it is.

    You are a wonderful daughter!!!


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