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bvb108
6th November 2008, 04:31 AM
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g265/halcyonicness/xray3.jpg

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and wanted to post my xrays for anyone considering surgery to see (it looks worse than it feels). My curvature was first noticed in my 8th grade physical, though nothing was done about it. The curve always bothered me growing up, but I just tried to correct my posture at all times. In college, it became more noticeable and I became much more active, working out at least 5 days a week hoping the physical activity would correct it. After graduating and getting a full-time job, I went to see my doctor and received a referal to see a specialist. Many x-rays were taken and I was diagnosed with a 77 degree curve of my spine at age 23 and given the option of surgery. After meeting the surgeon, I was set on having the surgery.

The rods go from T2 to L2 and I spent 6 days in the hospital, but I am now at home recovering. My recommendations for anyone preparing for the surgery:
- The more you walk, the better you will feel.
- Do not let your pain go above 7, as it will take even more medication to bring your pain back to a level you can tolerate.
- You will have a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) which let's you hit a button to send pain meds through your I.V. Let your nurse know if it's not doing the job, your dr. can up the meds.
- Dilaudid is the best pain medication ever. Request it if the PCA doesn't do the trick.. actually, just request it.
- Take laxatives, or you'll be getting a suppository (blame it on the pain meds they give you).
- Expect to lose a lot of weight - I have lost 18 lbs so far.
- Also expect to be a bit taller - I am an inch and a half taller post-surgery.
- Sleep as much as possible
- You'll wake up from surgery with a catheter & a hema-bag to drain blood from your back (you'll be thankful you have both for the first few days)
- Make sure your insurance covers everything - My hospital stay totaled $177,000. I am waiting to find out how much I owe. (This is probably higher than it should be due to some heart problems I had post-surgery. All tests came back normal thankfully)

If anyone has questions, I'll do my best to answer them. I had so many before my surgery, but only found this forum yesterday.


Brad

christineb
6th November 2008, 10:10 AM
Hi Brad

I only found the site the day before yesterday so I am new too. People have been really helpful so I am pleased I found it. Thanks for posting your x-rays and message - it was interesting to read your post and see the x-rays - I am sure others will find it interesting too.:)

GillyG
6th November 2008, 10:59 AM
Hi Brad :welcome2:
Thanks for posting your X-rays and sharing your story, it's always a comfort for others awaiting or contemplating this surgery to know there are those of us out there who have 'been there, done that' and - in my own case anyway - never looked back! (no pun intended :p)

Hope you find the site useful and stick around to help answer other peoples questions. There's no substitute for first-hand experience :D

Mechelle
6th November 2008, 08:15 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. I am also new to this site - only found out about it last week. Your xrays look good - if you know what i mean. I think ur very brave and you sound so positive. I'll try and pass this positivity onto my daughter, Jasmine, who is waiting to have the surgery.

Mechelle

Chad25
7th November 2008, 05:42 AM
hey brad,

your situation sounds identical to mine including the fact that we're both from PA. when and where did you have your surgery? i'm 25 years old and just had the surgery 6 weeks ago. it's almost unbelievable to me how similar your post is to something i was about to post. i definitely agree that dilaudid is God's gift to surgery patients. My hospital stay alone was $134,000 and am waiting for the rest of the bill. Like you, I'm waiting to see how much I'll actually owe.

since our situations are so similar, it'd be cool if we can keep in touch.

chad

bvb108
7th November 2008, 06:45 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. I am also new to this site - only found out about it last week. Your xrays look good - if you know what i mean. I think ur very brave and you sound so positive. I'll try and pass this positivity onto my daughter, Jasmine, who is waiting to have the surgery.

Mechelle

Sure Mechelle, thank you for the feedback. I hope the surgery goes well for your daughter and has a fast recovery.

bvb108
7th November 2008, 06:48 AM
hey brad,

your situation sounds identical to mine including the fact that we're both from PA. when and where did you have your surgery? i'm 25 years old and just had the surgery 6 weeks ago. it's almost unbelievable to me how similar your post is to something i was about to post. i definitely agree that dilaudid is God's gift to surgery patients. My hospital stay alone was $134,000 and am waiting for the rest of the bill. Like you, I'm waiting to see how much I'll actually owe.

since our situations are so similar, it'd be cool if we can keep in touch.

chad

hey Chad,

I had the surgery on oct. 16th at Geisinger Med in Danville. Dr. Andreychic was my surgeon, I didn't even get a second opinion, I knew right away that he was the right doctor. Where did you go / who was your surgeon? How did you feel when you opened the letter with your hospital stay total? I could not believe it, I kept thinking about the house I could've bought with that money. Yeah that'd be cool if we kept in touch, think my e-mail is posted in my profile, where are you at in PA? Also, how do you feel 6 weeks after surgery / what restrictions do you still have? I cannot wait to get back to normal.

Chad25
7th November 2008, 07:54 AM
hey man,

my email address is cmh267@gmail.com. send me a quick email so i know you have it.

chad

scolioscott
7th November 2008, 03:21 PM
Hi Brad

What fantastic pictures! I know the correction is great and all that, but you could frame those and put them on your wall - it beats having pictures of leaves and things doesnt it?

Anyway, apologies for being so shallow and congrats on your surgery - what correction did you get (sorry if I missed that bit)?

H :cool:

bvb108
7th November 2008, 03:34 PM
Hi Brad

What fantastic pictures! I know the correction is great and all that, but you could frame those and put them on your wall - it beats having pictures of leaves and things doesnt it?

Anyway, apologies for being so shallow and congrats on your surgery - what correction did you get (sorry if I missed that bit)?

H :cool:

Hahaha, that is a great idea!! I think I really will frame my x-rays. I'm actually not sure what my curve has been corrected to, I know it was 77 degress before surgery, but was never told the degree post-surgery.

Amazed Jean
8th November 2008, 09:38 AM
Brad, Okay then. Those are really up close and personal xrays. I get little chills up and down my twisted spine looking at them. The information you have share in this one thread is fantastic. It's exactly what is so great about SSO. There are so many people out there can really use the reassurance of knowing there are other people just like them. Thanks for the posts! Welcome to SSO.

mari
4th December 2008, 12:53 AM
Hi my name is Mari, I am a new member at this sight. First, I would like to congradulate you on your results. I am considering surgery to correct my curve of 70 degrees and was wondering 1) if you are in pain even after recovery 2) limited now in any 3) if you knew then what you do now would you have still done the surgery 4) how long was the recovery process for you Thanks a bunch - Mari

bvb108
4th December 2008, 07:12 PM
Hello Mari, welcome to the site! Yes, I am in some pain now, mostly in my neck and shoulders which is caused by them compensating for the new posture. I also have some pain in the morning when I wake up, but once I get moving around it's not bad at all, and I'm still on perkoset. It's only been about 7 weeks since my surgery but at the rate it's healing, I'm expecting to be pain free. I am also still on a 20 lbs lifting restriction, can't run yet, etc, but the healing takes 6 months, after which time you are supposed to be able to do everything you once did. After knowing what I do now, I would still have this surgery, no doubt - I am so happy with the results - It feels great to not be self-concious about the appearance of your back.

mari
5th December 2008, 12:03 AM
Thank you so much for your reply. It is such a big decision it helps to have all the imput I can get. It sounds like you are doing well with your recovery and I hope that everything heals up nicely for you. Thank you again. - Mari

mari
5th December 2008, 10:46 PM
Hi, it is me again. I just heard from my insurance company and they approved me, I am still looking into how much of the bill they are actually paying for though. I still have not made up my mind about the surgery. I now you are early in the recovery period so I wanted to ask you a quick question. I am a senior in high school and plan on going to college in the fall. If I do go through with the surgery it would be scheduled for the begining of July (earliest the hospital can do it), do you think I would be healed enough by the time school started to attend classes and what not? It would be about a month after the surgery and I would be dorming. Thank you so much - Mari

Chad25
7th December 2008, 07:38 AM
hi mari. brad and i had almost identical surgeries two weeks apart. i would definitely recommend the surgery to anyone with kyphosis as long as you're willing to be strong enough mentally and physically to get through it.

to be completely honest, i think it would be very difficult to start college just one month after the surgery. you'll be in the hospital at least a week and won't be able to do much at home for several weeks. my surgery was 10 weeks ago and i'm still on a good bit of medication. i work for the federal government and just started back to work full-time at home last week.

there are a lot of good posts on the site about what you'll go through. i just noticed you're from pennsylvania too. where at in PA and where are you planning to have the surgery?

if you have any other questions let me know.

chad

bvb108
7th December 2008, 08:07 AM
Hi Mari, good luck getting an actual quote from the insurance company. My bill totaled $177,000, of which i've had to pay about $1400, plus x-rays and co-pays, so probably a little more than $2000 overall - I think Chad's was a bit more.

It's too bad the hospital can't get you in sooner. Adjusting to college life as a freshman is tough enough, it's going to be extremely difficult post-op. You will probably be okay if you have a light course load first semester and will have breaks between your classes to rest. I really wanted the surgery in college but pushed it off because I didn't want to give up a summer with my friends and I knew I couldn't miss any classes during the semester.

I didn't realize you were from PA until now - must be something in the water haha.. Where are you going to college? and which hospital did you choose?

Brad

mari
7th December 2008, 06:30 PM
Hi and thank you both for replying. I live in the scranton area and plan on doing the surgery at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, my surgery date is set as July 8th, but I can still cancel within the next couple of months. I feel kind of bad, being this is my dad's birthday, but I think my family would like to see me have the operation done. After graduating high school, I plan to attend Misericordia University and become an RN. There the first two years you are in a classroom setting taking all of your cores. You don't actually start going into the healthcare setting until your Junior year. Do you have any questions you think I should be asking the admission directors at the university? Thanks again - Mari

mari
7th December 2008, 06:41 PM
Oh yeah, where in PA are you two from? - Mari

bvb108
7th December 2008, 06:49 PM
Mari,

Wow, your parents are going to have a long trek to visit you while you're in the hospital. Have you considered somewhere closer like Geisinger in Danville? - that is where I had my surgery, I would recommend it to anybody, and that's not too far from you. I live in Hamburg, about a mile away from Cabela's if that helps, we're not too far from each other.

You really will not have a lot of energy as you recover from the surgery - you will just want to sleep. If you are strong willed though, I bet you will be able to start school on the 4th week.

This will also be a great experience for you to see what a difference the nursing staff will have on your stay, I bet you will learn a lot while you're there as a patient.

Good luck on your decision.

Brad

mari
7th December 2008, 06:53 PM
I was actually just on the universities web page and I discovered classes will be starting the end of August (not sure if the two or three weeks longer will make a difference though). I actually was thinking about looking into somewhere closer, although Dr. Dormans has been my doctor since I was diagnosed. What was your surgeons name?

bvb108
7th December 2008, 07:12 PM
Feeling comfortable with the surgeon is very important, so if you like the doctor you've chosen, I'd say stick with it. I saw Dr. Andreychic http://www1.geisinger.org/patients/findadoc/docdetails.cfm?pid=7978.

I also considered Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, but I really liked the team Dr. Andreychic had at Geisinger. It was a 1.5 hour drive my parents had to make each night to come visit me though. Luckily I had a roomate and my laptop or I would've been bored out of my mind.

Brad

teebee
29th December 2008, 09:24 PM
Brad,

My son was diagnosed 5 years ago in the 7th grade. He had surgery this August. His doc is now at Johns Hopkins, but did the surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Your fusion is the same as my son's. The day of surgery he was 90 degress preop, and 47 post op. A significant difference! He is also about an inch taller, lost 20 pounds in the hospital, but started swimming (he's a competitive swimmer) 4 weeks post op. He is very busily making up 8 weeks of school work and trying to stay current (he's a HS junior).

I know he'd love to hear your story and share some experiences. So far, though, he is doing very, very well. It was to his great benefit that he was in such good physical shape prior to surgery. He's having a tough time now, putting up with his limitations and the feeling he is starting from scratch again physically. He can't wait until mid-February when he can dive, do flip turns, etc.

Thank you for your post and for sharing.

tb