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Great 6 week checkup report to share! Anybody need a brace?

kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Went for my 6 week post PLIF/spinal decompression checkup. Doc said I was doing great and even showed early signs of bone fusion which is huge. He has lifted ALL restrictions with the admonishment that I "listen" to my back and try not to overdo. Even the trusty old brace is retired so I am a very happy camper. OK to exercise including swimming and stretching as long as they are "gentle." I've been walking at least a mile a day and I can increase that to as many as I want to!

Before surgery I knew that I had severe stenosis and grade 2 spondy. But my doc didn't mention the fact that in the MRI he could see what he thought was a fairly small synovial cyst in the facet joint. At my appointment today he advised me that the synovial cyst that he removed from the vertabral facet joint prior to fusion was enormous - much larger than it showed on the MRI which is why the 3 - 4 hr surgery turned into a 6 hr surgery. That means that there is a likelihood of some permanent nerve damage but at this point it probably won't be really bad and won't require intervention with drugs. Just something I'll get used to like occasional muscle spasms, feelings of weakness and burning, etc. But the discovery of the cyst only underlines the critical need for surgery - in my case it was not optional at all. And the terrible pain in my small back is pretty much resolved! My neurological symptoms are gradually improving, too. I feel very fortunate.

And so - I feel very happy. I'm fortunate to have early fusion beginning. Yay to my magnetic bone stimulator , the walking and all my vitamens, I'm sure. Not a bad way to end a really crappy 2008 and roll into a 2009. And I can even drive myself. Yippeee!

But I do have one question - here I am with a $500 brace that I no longer need. I offered it to my doc for someone without insurance but he said he couldn't take it. Is there anyplace I can donate this thing to for someone who might be able to use it?

Happy New Year, all. Kathy in Atlanta

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Comments

  • Congratulations Kathy! That's a great way to usher in the new year :)))
  • That is great news.

    If you find somewhere you can donate the brace let me know because I have mine too that I hardly wore and I don't know if I should hold onto it or donate it. It was more uncomfortable with it on that off. My brace was $900 but thank goodness I only had to pay $80.
  • Unfortunately most of these braces were fitted exactly to our bodies, and would be unlikely to fit properly on someone else. You might want to hang on to it, cause sometimes getting out of it isn't so easy. Our muscles get weak and lazy from wearing the thing. Many docs have us wean out of the brace gradually instead of all at once. It gives the muscles a chance to adapt gradually. Good-luck, Cali-Sue
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