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  #1  
Old 20-04-2017, 09:47 PM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Hi everyone, surgery day is tomorrow and it feels surreal.. I do feel really relaxed tonight, probably a different feeling tomorrow morning though. I can't wait to be on the other side of this op.
Praying for a great correction, nil complications and no rib hump.
Thanks to all those that have posted their stories. They have made the journey thus far easier to face and I will post my journey as it unfolds xo
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:09 PM
Geeza Geeza is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Hi Lucy,

I'm interested in hearing how you're recovering. Tell us the good, bad and the ugly.

My story is that I'm considering having surgery next year so wondering what I'm facing...(I'm 52 to sounds like I'm one of the older ones?)

Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2017, 09:09 PM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Hi Geeza,

Yes, it is about time I posted an update.
I am now 2 weeks post op and I couldn't be happier. I am 36 years old and had a 63 degree curve prior to surgery. Had a posterior fusion from T6 to L2 with rib resection to remove the hump. Not sure what the correction is yet until I have my appt for the standing X-ray but the lying down X-ray they did the day after surgery looks fantastic. I am hoping 23 degrees or less!

The operation took about 4 hours and I was back in the ward that night.
The first 2 days are a bit sketchy, lots of pain medication, observations every 1-2 hrs. I had low bp and low oxygen levels for the first 3 days but then they became normal. My children come to visit me on day 2 so I was well enough to see them.

I saw the physio the day after the surgery and I was able to sit up and stand before I felt nauseous and had to lay down. The following day I was able to stand and take a few steps and then I was on my way-slowly. Each day I had physio and was able to walk further, practice going up and down stairs and getting in and out of a mock car.

Pain levels in the hospital were tolerable. As I was already quite skinny, my coxyc is still sore from laying on it. The most painful part for me was the gas pain in my stomach and the constipation. I even had a few enemas to relieve the pain. I found that hot packs were a godsend and helped enormously.

I was in hospital for 8 nights and was so glad to get home into my own comfy bed.
I can now do a mix of sitting, standing and walking for up to 2 hours then need a rest in bed.

I am a lot more mobile than I thought I would be and actually in less pain than I thought as well. The pain is more to do with the rib area than the incision.

My surgeon was fabulous. I think a lot of us on the forum from Melbourne share the same orthopaedic surgeon. He visited me every day in hospital to check my progress. The brace was optional. Having kids (and a dog) I thought I may as well have a little extra protection and support. My plan is to wear it during the day for the first 6-8 weeks. I should also be able to drive around 6-8 weeks as well. Yay!

I have my mum and dad staying with us doing the school and kinder runs and cooking so my husband can continue working as he has his own business. I am very lucky that I have this support, but honestly, I can still make their lunches and do a lot of things.

If you have any specific questions, please ask away as so many people have helped me on this forum.

Do you know what your curve is? It is scary facing surgery, but when you are on the other side it is brilliant!
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:57 PM
Christine Christine is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

So good to hear you are ok!

Sounds like you are doing great, and extra good to hear you are happy with the result. And I know what you mean about the ribs hurting more than the spine I was pretty surprised about that.

Being up and about is a good sign and is so very important in the recovery process...stay strong as muscle strength will help repair your body and it is good for your mental health also. My first surgery (fusion T4-L1) was almost six years ago and I am still working on my physical strength, so don't let that slide...it is a life-long commitment and you will notice when you are slacking off ( I get a bit lazy oops when working in my day job a bit too much ) so don't underestimate what good muscles can do for your fusion and general spine health. Keep it going, no matter what.

I lost track of which members had which surgeon in Melbourne ... but I still have the fondest thoughts of my surgeon. His care and skill changed my life.

All the best with your ongoing recovery, and biggest of congratulations!!!! It is like coming to a huge fork in the road where your life takes a monumental turn for the better xxx
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2017, 06:19 AM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Thanks Christine.

I was quite strong and fit prior to the surgery. I have found that most of the muscle tone has gone, especially on my arms but I guess my core muscles and leg muscles are still working and has helped enormously with the log rolls and going from sitting to standing, but are definitely weaker after the surgery that's for sure. I also lost 5kg following the surgery so I am trying to regain that as well. Luckily, my appetite returned a few days ago.

I don't really have a plan on what medications to reduce first when I feel I can though. I think I will just keep going with them all till the 4 week mark and reassess. My next challene come Monday is to venture outside for a walk..

I must say that I was extatic when the surgeon said the brace was optional and I could drive before the 12 week mark!

Christine, what do you do to keep you active and strong now or since surgery?
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:04 AM
Christine Christine is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

I was also pretty fit prior to surgery, although my scoli/hump pain levels were getting in the way of exercising, so I wasn't at my peak when I went in to theatre. I struggled a bit apparently, and took ages to come out of recovery which freaked my husband out! He wasn't coping at all

(I had two surgeries; fusion in June 2011, then thoracoplasty July 2012 and took a long time to fully recover from both)

I had prepared myself to wear the brace but the day after my op my surgeon said I didn't need to! So all of those baggy clothes I'd purchased were not worn he he. It did make me super cautious when I moved around though as I felt quite vulnerable during the first couple of months.

My weight dropped from 62kg to 56kg and haven't put anything back on, which is great and makes for less stress on my back. I also grew a couple of cms.

My levels of fitness fluctuate lots...mostly due to work demands which exhaust me to no end. But, I recently resigned and will finish up at the end of June. One of the reasons was to focus on my health (no idea how to pay the bills!) as work was really draining me and ended up that my back copped the pain/stress of my job. I've just started to get back into my daily stretching and will get back into my walking again soon (to complicate my back pain - I had both bunions removed in January and wasn't able to walk for about a month, and has been a painful recovery that meant my body was sooo achy!) but walking is my favourite thing to do.

Don't rush reducing your meds until you feel in control of pain levels. I stayed on Oxycontin for about 7 months or so...it was very hard to come off though but it really helped recovery while I was on it. I think I came to a point where I though the pain was the same with or without it, and that was the turning point. Then I stayed on paracetamol for quite a while.

Think it was about 4 months before I drove. Even now, I have a bit of trouble twisting to see around tricky dogleg turns.

You will love your outside walking adventure on Monday! I looked forward to that so much!
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:34 AM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Christine, wow you have done so well to face another 2 surgeries since the spinal fusion. Did you find that you can only take little breaths when sitting or standing? Lying down I can breathe in a lot deeper but when I am sitting especially, I just can't fill my lungs, which reduces my sitting time.

May I ask what type of work you are leaving? I have taken 8-12 weeks off
pending recovery and I have no intention of rushing back, however, like you, I am not sure on how I will fund this!

The operation has certainly made me reassess the important things in life and although my mum is doing everything to look after the kids, I love how much time I get to spend with them at home, instead of always being in a rush to get to and from work.

Is here anyone else recovering from recent surgery?
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2017, 05:11 PM
Jules Jules is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

I'm so happy you've recovered sooo well!!! I'm over 1 and a half years post surgery with the same surgeon as you... gosh, you reminded me of that mock car... I got stuck! See, I'm very tall and I "grew" another 2-3cm post surgery so it was interesting trying to get out of the car post surgery and wearing that brace, lol! I remember the Physio saying "bend through the hips!!!" Haha! Glad this is all over. I took 3 months off work but kind of had to as I'm a Physio and bending, lifting etc is part of my job. I hope you recover quickly and that you have the chance to maybe pace things a little bit more so you are not running around stressed out all the time. Easier said than done though. About the meds, I strongly suggest you see your GP and make a plan. I was almost completely off meds by week 6, I remember this because that's when I was allowed to drive again too. Last drug to wean off was Targin and what a pain that was. I got lots of withdraw symptoms for a couple of days, it wasn't for long but it wasn't pleasant at all. A plan will help you cut down the doses gradually.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2017, 08:55 PM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

Jules,
I must have read your posts a million times before my surgery to help me prepare! We had our age, # of kids and their ages, our surgeon and our curve all in common, although you had anterior and I had posterior surgery!!!
I'm good, getting there. I am most comfortable laying down- with no pain sometimes, but walking or sitting I struggle (3 weeks post surgery tomorrow) mainly to breathe and fill my lungs- 5 rib resection will do this I guess...
I'm still on targin and panadol, but I also take an endone and a tramadol during the night. I am hoping to stop these over the next week or 2 if the pain is better.

Yes that mock car! Still there... I was 173cm before surgery and I struggled to get my head under the bar! Also, my kids were addicted to collecting the biscuits in the hospital! They were extatic when I had a stash of Tim tams!

Did you struggle with regaining any weight post surgery? I just can't seem to put sny weight on even though I am eating quite well.
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  #10  
Old 13-05-2017, 11:43 PM
Jules Jules is offline
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Default Re: Surgery Tomorrow!!!

I'm glad to know my posts have helped! That's the reason why I wrote them, to provide some sort of support to others who are going through it as well. To offer a bit of hope

Haha, I survived on the dry crackers and cheese after the surgery. Wasn't even tempted by the TimTams, and omg that's rare! I am quite overwheit but lost about 10kg on those first two weeks. But not to worry! I've put it all back on soon enough! In my case this is something that I didn't really care for haha! But I understand that if you are a healthy weight and then lose a lot, you would be worried about getting back to that healthy weight again. I wouldn't worry too much if I were you though. 3 weeks is pretty early and you have to remember your body is in overdrive and using all that energy towards healing itself. But you will put it back on in time.

I'm glad you are tolerating lying on your back a bit better now. It took me quite a while to lie on my left. And lying in my right wasn't comfortable either because it would pull on my incision. So I was on my back all the time. Takes a while but you will get there. I also had super sensitive skin around the incision for a while. That's much better now but I still have a good part of my stomach area that is just numb. I resigned to the fact that it will most likely stay like that forever. Small price to pay though on the grand scheme of things!

Omg 5 ressected ribs you say? You are a brave lady! I had 2 ribs taken out (partially) due to the anterior approach of my surgery and till today I feel a bit of pain around the area when I drive for too long. Can't imagine what you are feeling!

I have to go now but will try and log in more often.

Keep us posted on your progress anyways!

Take care,
Juliana
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