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Old 20-06-2017, 05:52 PM
Chrissy in CT Chrissy in CT is offline
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Question Post-op questions

Hi, all - I'm brand new to the forum, and writing from the U.S.! I had a 50-degree at age 54 and was living in so much pain I opted for surgery. Procedure in two parts: May 25 (posterior fusion, T-10 to pelvis, plus rods) and June 8 (anterior lumbar fusion). I have several questions and haven't found anyone around here who's had the same procedure. Hoping someone on the forum can help! Here are the questions:

1) Ever since posterior surgery almost 4 weeks ago, I've had abdominal bloating that is through the roof! It's worse since the anterior surgery and I'm afraid it's going to pop my anterior stitches. Anybody else with this problem? Suggestions?

2) How long should I expect to have to use a walker?

3) Do most people get back to work within 3 months? I sit most of the day at my job as a one-on-one special ed teacher.

4) Best sleep positions?

I have more, but I'll stop there. Hoping someone here can help me!

-Chrissy
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Old 20-06-2017, 06:23 PM
Christine Christine is offline
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Default Re: Post-op questions

Hi Chrissy and welcome!

I am also 54, 55 in Sept. Surgery in 2011 fusion T4 to L1 and thoracoplasty in 2012.

I remember being very bloated and presumed it was due to the Oxycontin and constipation. It wasn't very comfortable but wasn't over worrying. I think it settled down after a couple of months as I became more upright and my walks got longer.

I didn't have a walker or a brace.

I returned to work bit by bit, I think four months after my first op and three after my second. It took another two years to go full time. My job was pretty physical and haven't been able to do the same stuff since. Actually finished up at work on Friday and will write up a post on that soon.

Sleep? What is that? I went from a side sleeper (pre-ops) to being a back sleeper after my surgeries. I've not had very good sleep since I was young as I've never found sleeping a comfortable exercise. But I do find that stretching and keeping active makes sleep better but don't worry about being active until you are long past the early stages of recovery. Take things slow and listen to your body is my advice. Don't push yourself. I am now 5 years post-op and only really now just getting my strength and exercise regimen sorted out. My hips are a problem now, which is adding to movement and sleep problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissy in CT View Post
Hi, all - I'm brand new to the forum, and writing from the U.S.! I had a 50-degree at age 54 and was living in so much pain I opted for surgery. Procedure in two parts: May 25 (posterior fusion, T-10 to pelvis, plus rods) and June 8 (anterior lumbar fusion). I have several questions and haven't found anyone around here who's had the same procedure. Hoping someone on the forum can help! Here are the questions:

1) Ever since posterior surgery almost 4 weeks ago, I've had abdominal bloating that is through the roof! It's worse since the anterior surgery and I'm afraid it's going to pop my anterior stitches. Anybody else with this problem? Suggestions?

2) How long should I expect to have to use a walker?

3) Do most people get back to work within 3 months? I sit most of the day at my job as a one-on-one special ed teacher.

4) Best sleep positions?

I have more, but I'll stop there. Hoping someone here can help me!

-Chrissy
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  #3  
Old 20-06-2017, 10:20 PM
Chrissy in CT Chrissy in CT is offline
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Default Re: Post-op questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
Hi Chrissy and welcome!

I am also 54, 55 in Sept. Surgery in 2011 fusion T4 to L1 and thoracoplasty in 2012.

I remember being very bloated and presumed it was due to the Oxycontin and constipation. It wasn't very comfortable but wasn't over worrying. I think it settled down after a couple of months as I became more upright and my walks got longer.

I didn't have a walker or a brace.

I returned to work bit by bit, I think four months after my first op and three after my second. It took another two years to go full time. My job was pretty physical and haven't been able to do the same stuff since. Actually finished up at work on Friday and will write up a post on that soon.

Sleep? What is that? I went from a side sleeper (pre-ops) to being a back sleeper after my surgeries. I've not had very good sleep since I was young as I've never found sleeping a comfortable exercise. But I do find that stretching and keeping active makes sleep better but don't worry about being active until you are long past the early stages of recovery. Take things slow and listen to your body is my advice. Don't push yourself. I am now 5 years post-op and only really now just getting my strength and exercise regimen sorted out. My hips are a problem now, which is adding to movement and sleep problems.
Thanks for the reply, Christine! You don't know how relieved I am to be in contact with someone else who's been through this! Your timeline sounds doable. I have to learn additional patience (I already have a lot, but I guess it's time for more!) in order to work through recovery over the coming months and years. Sleep might be one of the top things on the list of priorities for me -- back pain had been such an issue before surgery that I already had insomnia going into this! I think I may already be sleeping better now than before...partially because of the meds, and partially because this pain is, somehow, more bearable than the pre-surgery pain.

I've made walking three times a day for about 10 minutes my exercise regime for now. Does that sound about right? Before surgery, I was an avid athlete (cyclist, hiker, etc.), but in the 6 months leading up to the surgery I was only able to ride a recumbent bike in the gym for about an hour a day. So walking feels like silly exercise, sort of. I guess I just have to come to terms with that! I don't plan to ride a bike again, to be honest, but I would like to be able to hike long distances, eventually.

I hope your sleep improves! It's so important for our health to get good sleep! My therapist is big into "sleep hygiene" -- she has recommended that I read a couple of books (I forget the titles right now) and modify my approach to sleep. So far, so good.

Again, thanks for the response. Glad to hear from you!

-Chrissy
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:26 PM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Post-op questions

Hi Chrissy,

I'm 10 weeks post t6-l2 surgery.

So we have a lot in common at the moment!!


I'm doing the same as you- sleeping in my back, walking as exercise but I am going back to work next week to see how I go for a few hrs.

Linda
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2017, 10:51 PM
Chrissy in CT Chrissy in CT is offline
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Smile Re: Post-op questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucyharry68 View Post
Hi Chrissy,

I'm 10 weeks post t6-l2 surgery.

So we have a lot in common at the moment!!


I'm doing the same as you- sleeping in my back, walking as exercise but I am going back to work next week to see how I go for a few hrs.

Linda
Hi, Linda!

So glad to hear from you -- I feel like I have no perspective on my recovery, as I don't know anyone who has had scoliosis correction surgery (fusion, rods, etc.). It sounds like you are ahead of me in that you are returning to work so soon! I'm a teacher, and I don't even know if I'll be able to go full-time in September, when the school year starts. That's almost two months from now! Today, I was able to walk for about 45 minutes (and navigate the three flights of stairs to and from my apartment). I'm still in a fair amount of pain - mostly leg at this point (hip and sciatica complications from the surgery). Are you still experiencing pain? I feel like they are expecting me to be back to "normal" sooner than I can imagine! If you have time, can you fill me in on your progress re pain (back, abdomen, legs)? Thanks ahead of time!

-Chrissy
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  #6  
Old 24-07-2017, 09:52 PM
Lucyharry68 Lucyharry68 is offline
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Default Re: Post-op questions

Hi Chrissy,

Thought I would check in and see how you are doing...
I'm back at work 2 days a week and 1 day from home and coping quite well.

You asked about pain levels, so other than rib pain from where I had 5 ribs cut, I only get pain down one side, right side of my neck, like a burning pain. I'm trying to pin point why I get it and what causes is and I'm pretty sure it is from carrying things with my right hand. Although this pain is annoying and does cause a fair amount of discomfort, I had s similar pain before surgery, just a little lower into the shoulder. On a more positive note, I do not have any of the rib hump pain I used to have.

I got the ok to start doing some gentle walking in the pool. First time in a bikini looking straight. Quite an exciting moment for me.

Hope you are doing well and your pain has subsided. Look forward to hearing from you.

Linda
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