Re: 17 months post op update.
One of the things that happens to many of us is the tightness or gripping in our thoracic(upper spine) area. I call it the bear traps since it grips and holds. This happens mostly when the winter storms approach, in that the low atmospheric pressure allows the nerve cells to expand in the scar tissue around our paraspinal muscles and soft tissues in the surgical area. It seems like its in the 4 inch wide surgical zone only.....After 6 years now, this it what I have experienced, only during the winter months so its cold related. I have been in summer storms and have not felt the bear traps and during the summers I have no issues whatsoever. This past week the storms have been hitting the west coast and travelling across the country. Its been a tough week for sure. As spring comes, things will get easier. There have been many weather related bear trap threads on NSF through the years.
My second year of recovery was what I call my fine tuning year....it was the year of re-building all the muscles and soft tissues that were basically neglected during the 1st year of my recovery. Being a skier for my whole life, this process was an extremely difficult one and almost quit skiing. It was basically about pushing past the pain.....it took quite a bit of determination but I did it. My surgeon warned me about sleeping all the time, and I do agree with your surgeon about getting out there and being active. It seems that we have to be active, the times I was sedentary, laying around was when the aches and pains elevated.
There are some fantastic hiking spots in Colorado!....I skied there decades ago and at most of Colorado’s ski areas and it might not be a bad idea to go out there and check it out....take a pair of ski poles for support. I do a fair amount of hiking when I can and have actually picked some tough hikes and barely made it out! When you have to worry about bears, you wont think about your back....it’s a kind of forced physical therapy program. He he There are way too many bears hanging out in Lake Tahoe these past few years and are issuing hunting tags since there are thousands of them now....
I had a broken shoulder and arm when I did my scoli surgeries. After 8 months I had a surgery to have it repaired and my shoulder surgeon wanted me in PT ASAP. After a few weeks of that, I used an arm bike where you pedal with your arms. The weird muscle feelings in my upper back after surgery and the muscles laying over the screw heads had to be toughened up and this machine worked great at this. You can use soup cans to emulate this motion. I would do it forward and reverse in 10 inch circles, I did this everyday for around 6 months.
You can see how I “pushed past the pain”. It’s an exercise in adaptability that we are so good at. Think about the things you can do on a physical level and you will see that its worth the effort. Daily exercise is very important.....not only for the body but for the mind. Remember to stay positive in all that you do even when things are hard or seem hard.....
These surgeries take years to recover from....and you will recover and do just fine.
Hang in there
55 yr old male
T70 L70 double trouble
A/P T2-Pelvis BMP Jan 2008