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Old 30-05-2013, 01:47 AM
Jake2298 Jake2298 is offline
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Default Scoliosis Surgery

Hey I thought I would share my scoliosis surgery and recovery with some people on here because I know before I had mine I liked to read as many personal stories as I could for guidance, and enjoyed hearing from the patients rather than the parents (no offence).

Firstly my scoliosis was discovered late 2010 by a chiropractor, he then sent me off for X-rays a few days after we got the results back and found out I had severe scoliosis with two curves, the top curve being 80 degrees and the bottom being 72 degrees. After seeing my specialist a few times I decided on having surgery late 2012 early 2013 after I finished all of my schooling as I didn't want any of that to be affected and eventually received a date to have surgery, February 5th 2013.

On the 4th of February I went into hospital and had a neurology appointment, then I was given a room to stay in for the night.

Before I start talking about the surgery due to the severity of my scoliosis I had to have both anterior and posterior spinal fusion so if you're reading this I believe a lot is different between the two and everyones experience is different.

On the 5th I was awoken by the nurses around 5:30am had to shower with a special cream and get changed into the robes, I was then give tablets to calm me though I wasn't too nervous with was surprising to me though my parents always tell me that those tablets made me go on and on about nonsense. I was then wheeled down to theatre and talked to a few of the doctors and anaesthetists, then I had to say bye to my family. The last thing I remember was the anaesthetist saying to me while injecting me with a drug "this is just going to make you drowsy and won't knock you out" looks like he either lied or I was just that drugged up I can't remember.

My surgery went for a total of 11 hours and I wasn't awoken until 1:30am the next morning where I was in ICU. Waking up I expected to be a lot worse, yes it was a bit painful but I was on that many drugs that I was out of my mind. I had a pipe down my throat and through my nasal cavity which got taken out immediately, and then my dad walked through the doors about 10 minutes later but from what I can remember he wasn't allowed to stay long. I then went back to sleep. I spent about 2 days in ICU which mainly involved sleeping and pressing my morphine button as much as I could which definitely eased the pain. Most of ICU is a blur to me as I slept so much and I can't remember that much.

After the 2 days in ICU I got moved into the High dependency unit, here was basically the same as ICU I had a morphine button heaps of other tubes going into my arms and neck and due to having anterior spinal fusion one of my lungs were deflated and I had a drain into my chest. In high dependency there are many patients in the room and it gets really frustrating with others screaming but it is just something you've got to get over. The medication at this time is really good it eases the majority of the pain and makes you really drowsy so the only thing you want to do is sleep.

After spending a couple of days in high dependency I got moved into the orthopaedic ward. Where the took away my morphine button and a lot of the other medication going into me. Once you get rid of the medication you realise how much it was actually doing. The pain is really bad for a few days after getting rid of it but then the pain slowly eases. After a day of me being in this ward they got me to sit up for the first time and this is seriously the worst pain I have felt in my 18 years of life, my heart rate went up to 190 and then laid me back down immediately. Then the next day they came in and I had to stand up again which was just as painful. The best thing to do at this time is listen to the physios do everything they say no matter how much it hurts because the sooner it is done the sooner you get out. Then the next day I done the same again and walked with a frame to the door and back with was a major accomplishment for me.

After being in the ward I then got moved to another department of the hospital a fair distance away so I was put in a patient transfer van and taken to (name of hospital removed by admin), here my medication dropped off a lot and started only taking medication orally and only was given strong medication when I asked for it. Here the physio was great help taught me how to get out of bed properly and trained me in walking with the frame. I then got a brace made and everything was going well. I got the clearance to leave and an hour before the paperwork was finished my temperature spiked to 39 degrees and I had to go for X-Rays and blood tests, eventually I was told I had pneumonia caused by my lung being deflated during my operation. I was then put on antibiotics and had to stay at hospital a few more days, during this time I was capable on moving myself once again though there was still difficulties and pain. I ended up spending 2 and a half weeks in hospital which I know is much longer than those that have had just posterior spinal fusion.

At home I have recovered really well, I wore my brace for 3 months (only got it off under 2 weeks ago) and I'm back to do most things an 18 year old does. Though a lot is different like simple tasks of bending down to pick something up and just having to put up with pain sucks a lot, but this is only the beginning and i'm sure things will get a lot better.

Also in hospital there a lot of things the nurses have to help you with like for me going to the toilet and getting undressed. Also sometimes if your bowels aren't working properly you're in for a surprise. You'll lose all your dignity but it is all for a positive outcome.

I hope everyone who reads this gets some form a help from it and thank you to everyone who posted on this forum for the years prior to my surgery it helped so much and gave me a lot of guidance.

If you have any questions just private message me.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 01:06 AM
ReneeS ReneeS is offline
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Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Hello,
I read your story and my have you been through the wars but am glad you've come out the other side well. It certainly is good to share your story and before my surgery in April, it was so helpful hearing other people's stories and made the whole experience less daunting.
I had my curve fixed in April and was in hospital for 11 days, the one thing that used to s*^% me was that damn morphine button because the minute you fell asleep you couldn't press if of course which means my pain would flare up again. I think I spent most nights crying with how much pain I was in..
Now though, I'm out of course and its been 2 months and the pain is not bad at all. I'm in a brace as well which is now covered in my friends and kids writing and my kids think I wear a jet pack lol.
It's amazing how the right attitude and an awesome bunch of people can get you through times like these..
Thanks again for sharing your story and take care,
X x renee
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:47 AM
sueham sueham is offline
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Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Wow, what an ordeal you've been through! Thanks for sharing your story, glad to hear you're doing well now.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:38 PM
Eliz Eliz is offline
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Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Thanks Jake,
You are definitely an inspiration. I think you had a worse time than most! Your positive attitude is amazing, well done for getting your story out there!
Liz
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2013, 12:15 AM
Jake2298 Jake2298 is offline
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Posts: 6
Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Hey again everyone

I'm sure it wasn't any worse than anyone else's just different circumstances.

I agree Renee having great family and friends definitely does help the recovery, if it wasn't for them I think my time would have been much harder. Hope everything else goes well for you and the rest of your recovery, once the brace is off it all feel so much more free though it does feel a bit odd for the first few days.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:17 PM
ReneeS ReneeS is offline
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Posts: 55
Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

I know this sounds really bad but because I was having a hard time after the surgery emotionally, I ended up telling mum to do the tough love stuff instead of sympathy. She now occasionally jokes and calls me Tin man and says I need to change my oil especially since my back creaks and cracks quite a bit.
I'm looking forward to getting the brace off in 4 weeks after 3 months of having to wear it but when I shower it feels like I'm carrying a ball of metal on my back and I can feel all the muscles move when I put my arms up to wash my hair. It is so freaky and I imagine it will take getting used to.
I think the funniest thing about my experience is that the surgery made me 2cm taller and I was already 6"4'.
Thanks for the well wishes and I'll keep you posted on how many times I fall once the brace comes off permanently l.o.l. especially if I'm trying to get to the floor.
x x renee
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2013, 08:50 PM
Jen Jen is offline
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland,
Posts: 448
Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Great story Jake and love your attitude. I am sure you're going to have a great outcome from this surgery. Twelve months from now you'll be unstoppable.

Take care, follow instructions, walk a lot and keep up the good attitude.
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  #8  
Old 15-06-2013, 12:05 PM
Liesel Liesel is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 37
Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake2298 View Post
Hey I thought I would share my scoliosis surgery and recovery with some people on here because I know before I had mine I liked to read as many personal stories as I could for guidance, and enjoyed hearing from the patients rather than the parents (no offence).

Firstly my scoliosis was discovered late 2010 by a chiropractor, he then sent me off for X-rays a few days after we got the results back and found out I had severe scoliosis with two curves, the top curve being 80 degrees and the bottom being 72 degrees. After seeing my specialist a few times I decided on having surgery late 2012 early 2013 after I finished all of my schooling as I didn't want any of that to be affected and eventually received a date to have surgery, February 5th 2013.

On the 4th of February I went into hospital and had a neurology appointment, then I was given a room to stay in for the night.

Before I start talking about the surgery due to the severity of my scoliosis I had to have both anterior and posterior spinal fusion so if you're reading this I believe a lot is different between the two and everyones experience is different.

On the 5th I was awoken by the nurses around 5:30am had to shower with a special cream and get changed into the robes, I was then give tablets to calm me though I wasn't too nervous with was surprising to me though my parents always tell me that those tablets made me go on and on about nonsense. I was then wheeled down to theatre and talked to a few of the doctors and anaesthetists, then I had to say bye to my family. The last thing I remember was the anaesthetist saying to me while injecting me with a drug "this is just going to make you drowsy and won't knock you out" looks like he either lied or I was just that drugged up I can't remember.

My surgery went for a total of 11 hours and I wasn't awoken until 1:30am the next morning where I was in ICU. Waking up I expected to be a lot worse, yes it was a bit painful but I was on that many drugs that I was out of my mind. I had a pipe down my throat and through my nasal cavity which got taken out immediately, and then my dad walked through the doors about 10 minutes later but from what I can remember he wasn't allowed to stay long. I then went back to sleep. I spent about 2 days in ICU which mainly involved sleeping and pressing my morphine button as much as I could which definitely eased the pain. Most of ICU is a blur to me as I slept so much and I can't remember that much.

After the 2 days in ICU I got moved into the High dependency unit, here was basically the same as ICU I had a morphine button heaps of other tubes going into my arms and neck and due to having anterior spinal fusion one of my lungs were deflated and I had a drain into my chest. In high dependency there are many patients in the room and it gets really frustrating with others screaming but it is just something you've got to get over. The medication at this time is really good it eases the majority of the pain and makes you really drowsy so the only thing you want to do is sleep.

After spending a couple of days in high dependency I got moved into the orthopaedic ward. Where the took away my morphine button and a lot of the other medication going into me. Once you get rid of the medication you realise how much it was actually doing. The pain is really bad for a few days after getting rid of it but then the pain slowly eases. After a day of me being in this ward they got me to sit up for the first time and this is seriously the worst pain I have felt in my 18 years of life, my heart rate went up to 190 and then laid me back down immediately. Then the next day they came in and I had to stand up again which was just as painful. The best thing to do at this time is listen to the physios do everything they say no matter how much it hurts because the sooner it is done the sooner you get out. Then the next day I done the same again and walked with a frame to the door and back with was a major accomplishment for me.

After being in the ward I then got moved to another department of the hospital a fair distance away so I was put in a patient transfer van and taken to (name of hospital removed by admin), here my medication dropped off a lot and started only taking medication orally and only was given strong medication when I asked for it. Here the physio was great help taught me how to get out of bed properly and trained me in walking with the frame. I then got a brace made and everything was going well. I got the clearance to leave and an hour before the paperwork was finished my temperature spiked to 39 degrees and I had to go for X-Rays and blood tests, eventually I was told I had pneumonia caused by my lung being deflated during my operation. I was then put on antibiotics and had to stay at hospital a few more days, during this time I was capable on moving myself once again though there was still difficulties and pain. I ended up spending 2 and a half weeks in hospital which I know is much longer than those that have had just posterior spinal fusion.

At home I have recovered really well, I wore my brace for 3 months (only got it off under 2 weeks ago) and I'm back to do most things an 18 year old does. Though a lot is different like simple tasks of bending down to pick something up and just having to put up with pain sucks a lot, but this is only the beginning and i'm sure things will get a lot better.

Also in hospital there a lot of things the nurses have to help you with like for me going to the toilet and getting undressed. Also sometimes if your bowels aren't working properly you're in for a surprise. You'll lose all your dignity but it is all for a positive outcome.

I hope everyone who reads this gets some form a help from it and thank you to everyone who posted on this forum for the years prior to my surgery it helped so much and gave me a lot of guidance.

If you have any questions just private message me.
Hi Jake

It was so good to read your story. You are such an inspiration and so courageous. I am still pre surgery and next week go for a second opinion. I know I will have to have it done this year, but just need to be right in my head mentally! I will p.m. you for surgeon's name
Cheers
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  #9  
Old 28-06-2013, 11:08 PM
Marsha Marsha is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 44
Default Re: Scoliosis Surgery

Hi Liesel,
Good luck with your next appointment. I've sent you a private msg.
Marsha
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