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gabrielle
25th November 2004, 05:36 AM
Hello everyone! Finally... after going through several computer glitches, going from working part-time to full-time, having my son come live with me for a short while, getting ready to move (this weekend) and what has seemed to be an endless stream of things in life which have all prevented me from logging on here, I'm able to sit down and relax for a bit. I'll be having surgery January 17th. The Dr. says I'll be fused from T-4 to either my sacrum or pelvis. He hadn't made that decision at my last appt., but I'll know prior to surgery. He has some concern with the length of time it will take and explained the possibility of my having to have two surgeries spaced apart by about a week. I'm certainly hoping this will not be the case. I guess right now the hard reality of surgery hasn't yet sunk in. Mostly I'm still in the "excited at the prospect of not being crooked and in so much pain" mode. I seem to recall reading someone here had to have their fusion in a two-part surgery. If so, please let me know who you are and what I can expect. I know I will stay in the hospital, but that doesn't tell me much. Oh, and since many of you are in the UK: my doc spent a year at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, England. Any of you familiar with this place?

jfkimberly
25th November 2004, 06:54 AM
Welcome back, and WOW! That is a LONG fusion. What are your curves, again?

I hope you'll be able to spend more time with us in preparation for your surgery. Have things settled down a bit?

sins
25th November 2004, 11:45 AM
Welcome back gabrielle.
That does sound like a very extensive fusion.With some luck it'll all get done in one day but many here have had two stage surgery.Titch had her revision surgery at QMC.What's your doc's name by the way?
I'm glad to see you're thinking positively and it will be good to get rid of the pain.Sounds like you've had a hectic few weeks recently, and as for the surgery itself, we'll be with you all the way.
Sins

titch
25th November 2004, 01:03 PM
QMC is good :D I had my complex salvage surgery done there by Mr Webb, with Mr Cole assisting (I'm now fused T3-L4 - they expected to go to L5, and it was a definite option of going to the sacrum, but they managed to get the correction with the shorter fusion). Dr Serena Hu, among others, did a visiting fellowship at RNOH Stanmore and then QMC - she's highly regarded, and has high regard for Mr Webb and QMC in general :-)

When your doctor says to the sacrum or to the pelvis, do you know if he means that it will be the same length fusion either way, and it's a difference in how the fixation is done?

Welcome back by the way - it really does sound like you've had a very busy time!

gabrielle
25th November 2004, 03:56 PM
My doctor's name is Jeffrey McConnell. His practice is in Allentown, PA, USA. I have one major curve- lumbar- it's 71 degrees. My left ribcage actually rests on my pelvic bone. I don't know the specifics on the fusion, i.e.: whether or not it will be the same length either way. Dr McConnell will go over all of it during my appt. on Jan. 4th. Yes, things are a bit more settled. My husband and I are moving into a new house this weekend, but it's very close to where we live now and should be a very easy move. I'm getting into the groove as far as work is concerned. The first few weeks after going to full time was kinda rough, but I've managed to get used to it. I haven't worked in three years and at first part time was a big step. Thank you all for being here! :-D

Abbi
25th November 2004, 04:24 PM
Hi there, I don't believe we have met....I'm Abbi....from Northern Ireland, and 18years old. I have a double curve of 80degrees, and i am having surgery around sept/oct 2005 (no date given)
That is so awesome you r from PA....I went to c a friend in Quakertown PA in march....so much FUN!!! PA is lovely. Have you been to lake nockamixon? so pretty!!!

Blair
25th November 2004, 04:37 PM
Hey gabrielle! Nice to see you back! That's a pretty long fusion!
My surgeon had told me I would be fused C7 to L2... But when I woke up from my surgery, I had only required fusing from T2 to L1... So the plan varies.. I also (I believe) got a different type of instrumentation than was initally planned!

jfkimberly
26th November 2004, 09:59 AM
If the curve is lumbar, why will they go all the way up to T4? :???:

sins
26th November 2004, 11:01 AM
Dunno, possibly to stop the upper spine going into kyphosis later on.(total guess).

titch
26th November 2004, 06:55 PM
I would suspect that it's for 2 main reasons, the biggest probably being so that they can be sure that there's enough support for the fusion. A lumbar fusion like that often involves some correction to an abnormal degree of lordosis, and of course the longer the fusion and the rods, the more stable it is. Also, a longer fusion gives greater ability to achieve balance - single curves are more likely to lead to coronal imbalance, and a longer fusion gives greater chance to balance the spine. Finally, there may be a much smaller, compensatory thoracic curve which they are concerned will increase if left unattended, or as sins pointed out, there may be a concern of kyphosis developing (particularly if there is a pre-existing degree of kyphosis, as the lumbar fusion is likely to lead to some alteration to the degree of lordosis which could have a knock on effect further up). Those are my best guesses as to reason anyway :-)

gabrielle
27th November 2004, 06:38 AM
Titch pretty much hit the nail on the head! I was surprised myself when the dr told me it would start up so high. He also talked to me about fusing so low- he said he could stop at L5, but that would leave me open to the possiblity of having problems later on below that. He feels that avoiding another surgery to deal with it is the best option, and I readily agreed.

Abbi- nice to meet you! Quakertown is very close to where I live! No, I haven't been to that lake. My husband and I moved here a year ago from San Diego, CA. That's where he was born and raised. I've lived in a number of places in the US- raised in Vermont, lived down South for almost twenty years, spent two years in Hawaii. While I liked the weather in CA the most, I like the people here the best. They're very friendly and down-to-earth.