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Old 27-11-2013, 09:34 AM
Marsha Marsha is offline
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Default 4 weeks post-op

Dear all,
It has been exactly four weeks since my operation, and I think it's timely for me to give you all an update. I am 35, have 2 young children (4 and 8) and live in a two-storey house in Sydney. I had a T12-L3 anterior approach fusion on 30th of October. My curve was 63 deg, and is now 20. I cannot believe that I finally have a straight back, even waste line and am 4.5cm taller! I love the way my body looks after being crooked all my life. I hope my story will help those contemplating surgery or counting down to their date, as others' stories helped me.
Firstly, I'd like to thank Forum members for their support leading up to my surgery. I was a mess and imagined all sorts of complications. The responses to my questions and private messages really made the lead-up/count down bearable. As others have said before, for me waiting for surgery was by far worse than the actual op/recovery.
Now to my progress. So far, everything has gone way better than I expected. I was in hospital for 8 days and then went home. I could do most things for myself, including showering, dressing, walking up/down stairs, getting snacks together etc by week 2 post-op. I stopped taking pain meds (other than occasional panadol) by week 2. I am now able to walk 3.5 kms and go to Hydrotherapy/Physio for building up my core strength/endurance. All these things leave me utterly exhausted and I need to have a fairly long nap every day. I find it uncomfortable to sit or stand for longer than 30 minutes and need to lie down for rests throughout the day. I do feel myself getting stronger every day.
In terms of preparation for surgery, I will be repeating what others have said, but it's now coming from my own experience. 1. Find THE BEST doctor that you feel you can trust. People from this forum will private msg you their doctors if you need the advice. Get as many opinions as you feel you need. Once I found my doctor, I went for several consults with written questions. He was patient and addressed all of my concerns at every visit. I had every confidence in him, and he has lived up to my expectations. 2. GET FIT - I was lucky and had no pain pre-op. I was able to do long-distance running/walking. Closer to the date, I did daily squats to strengthen my legs, sit-ups and push-ups. I believe that being fit really helped with my relatively smooth recovery so far. 3. Expect to be in pain/fatigued/unable to do basic tasks - if your expectations are unrealistic you will find it difficult to cope with set-backs post-op etc. I read all the posts on this forum to find out how people managed post surgery. Also, ask people as many questions as you need as this information will really prepare you.
What now? I am now hoping to build up my stamina and strength without compromising the fusion. Apparently, the first 3 months are crucial for the fusion to start taking. I am not allowed to twist or bend my lower back. Otherwise there are no real restrictions. I am being cautious so that all the hard work does not get compromised. I am enjoying being at home with my family and not worrying about pending surgery.
Thanks again for your support. I hope I can help those waiting/deciding, the same way that I was helped.
Thanks for reading my story,
Marsha
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Old 27-11-2013, 11:22 AM
TKW TKW is offline
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Default Re: 4 weeks post-op

Hi Marsha,

I am new to this forum as of today and posted a message asking for people's advise on surgery. I am 42 with 3 children suffering with constant pain with a 68 degree and 40 something curves (need new xrays taken to confirm). I have suffered for many, many years but have been told that surgery was such a big risk and that the benefits may not outway the risks. I feel I have exhausted every other avenue with excercise, physio and osteo. Your post has made me feel confident enough to explore further options with surgery. Thank you.
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Old 27-11-2013, 01:41 PM
Marsha Marsha is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 44
Default Re: 4 weeks post-op

Dear TKW,
From what I understand surgery is indicated when the curve is progressing, when it's causing issues with lung function, and when there is pain. From what you are describing - surgery is indicated. Of course I am not a surgeon... but I would certainly seek an opinion from one. There are quite a few people on this forum who had their surgery in Melbourne, so I hope they can send you private msg with recommendations. I have no doubt that you will find an adult scoliosis surgeon who will give you confidence. Seek several opinions if you are not happy. It is a huge decision, but if surgery goes well, the outcome can be life changing. You are still very young, and living with constant pain must not be fun.
I hope you get lots of responses to your other post.
Good luck with your journey and looking forward to your future updates.
Marsha
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Old 28-11-2013, 06:56 PM
Heathpal Heathpal is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Default Re: 4 weeks post-op

Hi Marsha - so good to hear you are doing so well. I am off for my appt on the 8th in Brissy to see what can be done for me. Reading you post is encouraging. Keep posting your progress.
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