Re: Costoplasty / Thoracoplasty
Hi Mellie, welcome to SSO
I've had the costoplasty procedure done twice; once at the same time as a fusion, and once as a standalone procedure.
1. Did you feel like the pain was bearable? Was it worse than your fusion? How long did it take for the pain to fully go away? - costoplasty pain for me was worse than the fusion, BUT it was only very intense for the first few weeks. There was a great improvement in pain levels after a month.
2. What meds where you on during your recovery? - can't remember which meds I took at home, but I was on a PCA morphine pump directly after the surgery.
3. Do you think that after one month of recovery time I should be able to go to college (which means taking the train when traffic is high, biking to the auditorium and sitting on hard benches for more than 3 hours in a row) - Sorry, I think this is likely to be too much for you to cope with after just one month. I was still in far too much pain at this point. Trains and hard benches would probably have been okay at 2 months but I wouldn't cycle following a costoplasty for at least 3 months.
4. How about wearing a back pack with some books in it? When will I be able to put some weight on my back? - take as few books with you as you can. Again, I wouldn't want to have carried much for 2-3 months.
5. As some people have reported this.. I'm quite curious.. How many of you still feel soreness and are unable to lie down on the side where the rib segments were taken? If you're still hurting now, do you feel like the costoplasty was worth it? - All costoplasty-related pain is gone now (though I do still have a small residual rib hump and get discomfort from that). It was actually more comfy to lie on the costoplastied side in bed as my bed is very supportive. I still prefer to lie on this side now.
6. My surgeon told me he does this operation once in a month, for 3 years now. Do you feel like he's experienced enough? - yes, he sounds very experienced, I would be happy with that personally.
7. My surgeon also told me my low long capacity would not be a problem? Do you believe this to be true? Did you notice a difference in long capacity? - following the costoplasty you will experience a drop in lung function but in my experience this returns to Pre-surgical levels as you recover.
I hope this helps! please remember though that it is very rare to get a perfectly straight, flat ribcage from having a costoplasty. The surgery can make a striking difference though
[SIZE="1"]37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.[/SIZE]