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Old 26-07-2011, 12:26 PM
MaggieG MaggieG is offline
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Default Recovery after, say, 12 months

My 15yo daughter is scheduled to have rods implanted at the end of September. She has a thoracic curve of 59 degrees and a lumbar curve also 59 degrees. It seems that the rods will run from the base of her neck to below her waist. I would like to hear from anyone who has had a similar operation. Our main concern is finding out just how much, and in what ways, her movement is going to be limited after the recovery period. Will she be able to bend from standing to pick something up off the floor or touch her toes? Will she be able to draw her knees up to her chest? If sitting in the driver's seat of a car will she be able to turn her upper body to look out through the rear window? Will she be able to arch her back at all?

She has a lot of back pain every day and hopes the surgery will make her pain-free but is *very* concerned about movement limitations. We are thinking about asking that only the thoracic curve be corrected and that she will try to live with the lumbar curve. What do forum members think of this idea?

Thanks very much!
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:50 AM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Re: Recovery after, say, 12 months

Hi MaggieG,
My 16 year old daughter had surgery in March. She had a similar curve to your daughter, she is fused from T5 -L1. She also had a thoracoplasty, a resection of 4 ribs, which have now grown back. Her spine is now straight and her lumbar curve has derotated. She can touch her toes from a standing position and has started to learn to drive, she has no problem turning to look over her shoulder. Three months after her surgery she started back at dancing/ballet doing a limited amount, but is now able to do a lot more. Cate started back at school in term 2, firstly for a couple of hours then half days for a few weeks and gradually back full time. It is a worry not knowing what the limitations will be as we asked the same questions as you. I hope this has helped answer some of yours.

Angela.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:29 PM
MaggieG MaggieG is offline
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Default Re: Recovery after, say, 12 months

Thank you so much for writing, Angela. It is a relief to read about what your daughter is doing. My daughter has always done a lot of gym and dancing but we had sort of accepted that she wouldn't be able to go back to those activities, and have mainly been worrying about to what extent she will be able to do the necessary, everyday things. My girl will be thrilled to hear that she might be able to do a little bit of dancing.

She does have a very large rib hump but I am not sure how that will be dealt with.

Thank-you!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:46 PM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Re: Recovery after, say, 12 months

You're welcome. If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask. I'm sure your daughter will be able to resume her activities after the surgery. She can also look forward to not having any more pain.

Good luck with everything, keep us posted. Which state do you live in?

Angela
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:02 AM
MaggieG MaggieG is offline
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Default Re: Recovery after, say, 12 months

Hi Angela,

Thanks for your follow-up. We are in Brisbane.
One of my major concerns is how the limitations that come after this operation will affect my daughter mentally. She has always been able to do pretty much anything she wanted physically and I think she has been in denial until recently - e.g. she has been saying things like: "I will still be able to do back-flips, right?" even though she has seen a spine model with rods in place! It seems to be hard for her to understand what having a rigid spine will actually be like. And I find it difficult too, which is why I was so interested to read that your daughter is back at ballet. I thought ballet and jazz etc. would be out because it does require some flexibility in the back, so I have been telling her that gym and ballet/dance are over for her. She is pretty upset about this, but if she can do some ballet even though maybe not at a very high standard, she might be not so low.
The big, big hope she is clinging to is that eventually she will be free of back pain.

Thanks again,
Maggie
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:12 PM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Re: Recovery after, say, 12 months

Hi Maggie,

I would probably suggest that you write a list of questions to ask your surgeon as to how much dance/gym your daughter will be able to do after surgery. Also how long before she can start again. Everyone is different and he will be able to advise you. Cate started back at dancing slowly, about 10 weeks after her surgery. Firstly doing limited ballet exercises which didn't involve too much bending or putting pressure on her spine. With tap she sat on a chair and just used her feet. Then gradually increased what she could do, week after week. She is not back to doing contemporary as there is too much rolling and bending involved, maybe next year. A couple of weeks ago she started doing some pointe, but only holding onto the barre. Other than that she does ballet on flat. She can't bend back because of the rods, so maybe your daughter will not be able to do too much gym. Cate has a really good ballet teacher who looks after her and is always concerned about her progress, so maybe talk to your daughter's teachers as well.

I have sent you a private message.
Take care,
Angela.
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