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Thread: post-op fears - advice please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default post-op fears - advice please

    Hi, I'm 4 weeks post-op and doing ok. I had 26 screws and 2 rods, fused T2 to L4.

    When I stand up, I can either bend my knees and my back is straight, OR, I can have straight legs and my body leans far forward. I cannot stand straight. Maybe its just part of my muscles re-adjusting?

    Also, my right shoulder blade that used to have the "hump" is extremely sore, I am terrified that the hump will come back, I can feel my body automatically want to resume that position of turning to the right. I think it looks like it's coming back but maybe it's just still swollen? My scar is still pretty numb, but healing well.

    I am pleased that I've had the surgery done, my back is straight, and it's early days but I am feeling disappointed that I didn't get any taller, if anything I feel like my spine has been shrunk. Again, maybe it's because I can't stand up straight so I can't tell if I'm taller.

    So my questions are to those of you who have been through this experience - am I expecting too much after 4 weeks? Can you share your experience with me please? Thanks
    I'm 44, I had a scoliosis: thoracic at 49 degrees, lumbar 47 with severe rib rotation. My surgery took place on 28th March 2014, I have 26 screws and 2 titanium rods.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    849

    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    Hi,

    I rem the exact experience its almost like ur musclew remeber the way they were and fight the new configuration. It does get abit better after a few months not weeks

    Took me forever to be able to tie my shoelaces or do many things.

    Hope that helps

    Ange

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    west midlands
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    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    Four weeks post op is still very early in your recovery, I was still stuck upstairs until I was five weeks post op because my hip was so painful I couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes so I was advised not to attempt the stairs. I was told that my hip was resisting its new position and that it would settle-it did but it took a long time. I'm fused T2-L4 sane as you only I have 2 extra screws
    I carried my curve for a very long time and was told it would take a long time for my body to accept its new position-i was 45 so that makes recovery harder. Is it painful when you try to straighten up with straight legs also? It may be that you will need some physio although its a little early for it yet. Your shoulderblade will be sore because everything's been moved around, in the coming weeks you will have lots of different pains and sensations, its a long recovery from an operation as big as this and I'm sure in time everything will settle. If your worried perhaps you could call your surgeons secretary? I called mine when I was worried about my hip and he called me to reassure me that it would settle. X
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  4. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    Thanks Ange and Bluestone, I think you are right, I am expecting too much too soon. My hips are killing me!! Everything feels weird. I know my hips are out of line as I have a 1cm leg length discrepancy so I feel like I'm walking like John Wayne! My fiance says when I walk I look like I'm 90! I'm 44 cheeky git

    My GP visited me at home this week and said I need to get out of the house and be active. I nodded along and after he left I took a diazapam and went to bed. I am not up to it. I am so tired. I have physio booked for next Friday and I'm seeing my surgeon this Weds so I'll get more answers then.

    But the only people who can really help me are the people on here who've been through it. So thanks again for taking the time to reply, I have no idea what to expect from this recuperation period. This site is the only place I can come to for "proper" answers
    I'm 44, I had a scoliosis: thoracic at 49 degrees, lumbar 47 with severe rib rotation. My surgery took place on 28th March 2014, I have 26 screws and 2 titanium rods.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
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    16,217

    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    I wouldn't be too worried at this stage Lucie, 4 weeks is still very early post-op and pain may well be stopping you from gaining an erect posture. There can be some re-emergence of the rib hump as the spine settles into its new position and before the fusion has taken properly, but this should be far less than the original hump.
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    33

    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    Hi luciet

    I agree with the others. 4 weeks is very early days. I'm 12 wks post op. The next 8 weeks you will improve no end. At four weeks I was still lying down sometimes in the day.
    I kept examining where my hump was and asking hubby to look as I kept thinking it was back. I felt very bent over at four weeks.

    Reflect every two weeks and you will see improvements each fortnight. Good luck and don't push yourself at this stage. Just let your body do what's comfortable.
    Best wishes
    Ps having a straight back and bring able to slee flat is fab isn't it!! X

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Reno, Nevada USA
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    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    Lucie

    When I was 4 weeks, I was still in survival mode.....Every single minute was spent trying to survive. I could barely sleep, had to force myself to eat, lost 40#, turned grey, had major constipation issues, had a huge ileus so was looking like I was 9 months along, my ankles were the size of footballs from edema and the PT girl who came out to my home asked me how I got out of the hospital? ďEd, you look beatĒ (My shoulder and arm was also broken, that had to wait)

    Through all of this, my surgeon INSISTED that I walk OUTDOORS in February, and sent the nurses out to make that happen. I used ski poles and would walk about 50 feet. Head up, and take it one step at a time. I realize now how important that was.......Doing short walks throughout the day is very important.

    I thought to myself that I would never be able to reach my feet, and everything felt so strange. So stiff and numb, shocks and jolts, and the extreme sunburn feeling I had on my hips, (flouroscopy burns)

    All this passed....all the feelings of hopelessness and worry did pass in time. Terminating meds wasnít easy but I knew that it was a goal, everyday I would take notes and write everything down.

    I guess we donít have a choice, and its one of those things in life we have to do....but it always seems that we get through all our hard times, and very soon here you should have an improvement bump. My improvement seemed to come in stages, go for a month then all of a sudden things would get better.....

    Stay the course and remember that things will get better in time. It comes when it comes and there isnít any speeding up the process really, our bodies are going through major changes in healing for the first few months....

    I would recommend a latex foam topper for the bed 2-4 inches thick. I used mine for a year. I also took many hot soaks in my tub at 106F. for pain. 41.1C Drink plenty of water if you do this.

    I did a 2 year recovery and came out great. It took a lot of patience.....

    Hang in there
    Ed

    55 yr old male
    T70 L70 double trouble
    A/P T2-Pelvis BMP Jan 2008

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Hobart, Australia
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    80

    Default Re: post-op fears - advice please

    I was 48 when I had surgery and I came out with a big lean to the left. I was horrified at first but I soon started to LOVE my daily walking which helped my levels of happy return (somewhat) and after about six months I could see my lean was lessening. Now, after almost three years, I am perfectly straight, if I hold myself correctly and not be a lazy slouch .

    Your new body has to settle in. It is so very weird and super difficult, but bit by bit you will realise you are getting better.

    Walking is the best, best recovery aid.

    All the best and keep in touch with everyone here xxx
    Lives in Hobart, Australia. Born 1962, developed Idiopathic Scoliosis at around 12 years of age. No bracing, just watch and wait. By 2010 thoracic curve had increased to about 50deg, lumbar to mid 30's. I have had two surgeries: Posterior fusion T4-L1 June 2011 and thoracoplasty (five ribs) July 2012. Still recovering but feeling good! Scoliosis is familial as my younger sister has scoliosis too and had surgery around 1980 with the Harrington technique.

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