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Old 01-04-2011, 05:59 PM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Angela

Hi Everyone, I've been following this forum for a couple of months reading all your experiences with scoliosis so thought I would join. Three & a half weeks ago my 16 year old daughter, Cate had a T5-L1 posterior spinal fusion with thoracoplasty. She had a 50 deg thoracic curve, and a 38 deg lumbar curve which we hope will unwind by itself. The surgery went really well and she was in hospital for 8 days. When she was in ICU she had fluid on one of her lungs so had to have an xray. We couldn't believe how straight her spine was one day after the surgery. She is still in a great deal of pain mainly from where she had the ribs removed and is still on Endone 6 hourly. She says if it wasn't for her ribs hurting so much she would probably feel a lot better. She also finds it very painful to sit up for too long. Did any of you have this much pain for so long? She knows she will feel better soon, but just frustrated and sick of being in pain for so long. I would love to hear from anyone else.

Also a message for Georgia, lots of luck for your surgery next week. I have been reading your concerns and was really worried about you. I was going to reply earlier than this but did not get around to it, sorry. Hope everything goes well with your surgery, I will be thinking of you on the 5th. Will someone be travelling with you when you fly back to Tasmania? Let us know how you are.

Cheers,
Angela.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:12 PM
katherineP katherineP is offline
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Default Re: Angela

Hi Angela and cate,
I had my surgery a year a go and I also had a rib removed I vividly remember the pain in that area it gave me more grief than anything .I also had to lie down a lot , but tried hard to walk around as much as I could. The pain eased off at about six weeks but I'm a lot older than your daughter so hoprfully she will feel better soon. If you have questions please ask away. This forum is fantastic . Good luck kathy
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:29 PM
Jen Jen is offline
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Default Re: Angela

Hi Angela and welcome!

Having a rib removed is very painful. Your daughter's right, if she hadn't had that done, she would have much less pain. But she will have a nice flat back (no rib hump) and the pain will subside with time.

Everyone heals at a different rate, but young people seem to do very well, very early out from surgery. Some patients are still on painkillers after six months or more. Most seem to be off narcotics by about 2-3 months. I know this from an American forum with hundreds of members. I started reducing at 6 weeks and though I had become dependent on the oxycontin and suffered withdrawals, it only took about 2-3 weeks to stop taking it altogether.

It's all well worth it in the long run. Best of luck to your daughter!
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:16 PM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Recovering slowly

Hi everyone,
Thanks Kathy & Jen for the welcome. Cate is progressing slowly and getting better every day, although some days are better than others. She is still in a lot of pain mostly from where she had ribs removed. She is trying to walk around a bit more every day but is unable to sit up for too long, so she is still laying down most of the day. We are going to see the surgeon in less than a week for her six weekly review, only hope she can get into the car by then.
We started reducing the medication a few days ago to see if she could go longer between doses, so is now only taking Oxynorm with panadol three times a day instead of four. She is looking forward to getting back to school after Easter, even if it is only part time at first.
How is everyone? By the way we are in Sydney.

Angela.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:56 PM
Jen Jen is offline
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Default Re: Angela

Hi Angela, Unfortunately, it is to be expected that Cate's still getting a lot of pain from her rib removal. From my reading, it usually takes months for that pain to go, long after her surgery pain has eased. But the benefit is, she's going to be rid of any rib hump she had.

Also, sitting was the worst position for me, for weeks. I started off sitting for 5 minutes, then 10. It wasn't really until three months that I could sit with reasonable comfort for any amount of time. Some don't have this problem, but I did. My tailbone hurt for a while too, I remember. I am fused T4 to pelvis.

Is Cate walking outside each day? The walking, especially outside, will lift her spirits, increase her fitness and feeling of well-being, increase her appetite (so important she gets plenty of nutrients right now and the medication can kill appetite,) and help her heal, thanks to increased blood circulation. A little further each day will do wonders. It was the only instruction my surgeon gave me. I think he was spot on.
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Old 13-04-2011, 10:29 AM
Angela Angela is offline
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Default Re: Angela

Hi Jen,
Thanks so much for your reply.
Yes Cate is walking around outside each day for a while and spending some time in the sun as it is also important for Vit D after being inside for so long. Her appetite is very good which I am pleased about as she is looking a lot thinner since the surgery and seems to have lost a bit of muscle tone, but should build up again once she gets back to moving around. She does ballet and other dancing so that will also help when she is finally able to get back to it.
Her rib hump is already gone and looking normal again, and her shoulder blades are no longer uneven and sticking out. It will be really interesting to see the xray she has next week before we see the surgeon. The surgery is definitely worth it, but it is very hard to watch them go through so much pain.
Cheers,
Angela.
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