Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement
advertisement
Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Full Fusion due to Curvature

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:28 AM in Scoliosis
Well ...... As of March 08 I had a 38 degree Curvature in my Lumbar Spine, The Ortho Doc wants to do a Full Fusion ... Top to Bottom !!! It's a wicked surgery. He said I would lose about 45% of my mobility Plus The Spine would be obviously fused ( no more bending )Complete with rods and screws.
My Gosh !! This is just terrible. I am 57 years old with several back issues ( OA, plus 2 herniated Disc ) just simply a mess.
Is there anything I can do to slow this curving process down ? I can actually feel the spine as it is moving ribs etc out of it's way as it curves.
I'm just really upset about the whole deal.
Any suggestions ? Anyone else know of someone who has had a Full Fusion ??

Blessings to all
Rich
advertisement

Comments

  • My understanding was surgery was done for curves 50% plus. Why would he fuse your whole spine for a lumbar spine curve?
  • I think for such extensive surgery you should get more Neuro opinions. That's alot to think about I wish I could help but I haven't had surgery or fusion. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am fused 9 levels. I don't bend, twist, etc. It was a brutal ordeal. it is one year and my 22 screws are giving me a run for my money. definatley get several opinions. I did not want to be stareing at my toes permantly. I am 52, and would be glad to talk to you. my email is wbrigode@gmail.com
  • I had a full fusion t2-l5 at age 26, due to a progressive s curve of 67 degrees. It had progressed 20 degrees in 5 years. If I had it to do over again I would wait until I was crawling around the house on my stomach, before I would having the fusion. The pain and problems of before the fusion are nothing to the nightmare I have had afterwards. I know the pain for you is bad now and I am sure there are other people with positive experiences of total fusion.....but you can't go back. I would do EVERYTHING possible to cope with the pain you have now and wait until you are on your death bed before having a total fusion.

    PS-you could have a lumbar fusion and maybe lessen your pain but I would not let anyone fuse you above your lumbar spine.

    I wish you very well!
    Sunday
  • Thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments.... I've had some computer problems , so I haven't checked in for a while ... (Thanks for listening to me Wendy !!)
  • I had a 2 day, 28 hour surgery to correct my scoliosis in March of this year. It was brutal! I had several complications, the worst of which is a foot drop due to damage to the sciatic nerve. After 4 months & some therapy, it has not improved. I am getting an AFO (leg brace) next week. I have been real down about it but everyone tells me I should be grateful now that my back is straight!
    Supposedly, my surgery was a terrific success & in many ways, I know it was. I had an 87 degree curve at T-7 & am now 4" taller! BUT, I am still wearing a 10 lb plastic brace & living with this during the summer in South Florida has not been fun to say the least. Everyone tells me to be patient, that I am still healing from this HUGE surgery.
    I am almost off of narcotic meds after about 12 years which has been really tough. Now I am extremely depressed & hardly leave my bed. I thought the stiffness & inability to bend was temporary but after reading some of the comments, I am not so sure.
    I won't go on forever, although I could, but am hoping to get some support here. I live alone & have no support from family. Any feedback would be helpful!
  • another opinion or two is warranted in your case, Rich. But you need to see an orthopedic surgeon who specialises in scoliosis.

    I had a 68 degree thoracic curve but had only moderate pain. I am now fused T4 - pelvis. My surgeon does two of these surgeries a week and is brilliant. I've had no post-surgery problems other than a drug dependency when getting off Oxycontin. I'm nearly 5 months post op and doing almost everything I did prior to surgery. I guess I am lucky but I put my success down to surgeon's skills.

    Would I do it again? Absolutely! The loss of flexibility is an easy trade-off. The only thing I can't do is cut my own toenails and I struggle a bit shaving my legs, but I have a loving partner who's happy to do these things for me.

    Fusion with instrumentation isn't always brutal but if you do go with this surgery, my suggestion is to choose your surgeon carefully and get as fit as you possibly can pre-op. Good luck!
  • I just finished reading your post. I'm sorry you had to go through this without support from family. My surgeon specifically asked the question about post-op support. It's so important. No wonder you feel depressed.

    Try to think of how you felt when you first came home, and compare it with how you feel now. You say you are almost off narcotics after 12 years. This would indicate success to me and something that should thrill you, except that you are depressed. Please see your doctor and try to get help with that. Perhaps it's your depression that's more debilitating than your post-surgery spine?

    I hope you can get some help because if you can get off all meds after 12 years, this is really a wonderful achievement. Good luck!
  • but Foxy, you really NEED to get outside and walk. Walking is the best thing you can do for yourself post op. It loosens up your back and the fresh air and sunlight lifts your spirits. I wish I was nearby, I'd come get you and walk with you. Please try.
  • Hope you got my PM. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I have come a long way! Going to get OUT of the house today & into the pool (weather permitting). Have a good day!
    Foxy
  • I got your PM and replied to your email address, hope you got it ok.

    The pool will be so good. Is it outdoors? I'm very happy to hear you sounding more positive. I hope you start feeling less stiff and brighter generally and can start feeling happy about almost being off narcotics after 12 years. That would be a wonderful achievement.

    What you've been through is massive, and it's bound to leave you feeling a bit down as you wait to feel some benefits. But I am sure they will come. Ask for help when you need it. I've found people really want to help and are simply waiting to be asked.

    Good luck Foxy and keep us up on your progress!
  • How are you going Foxy?
  • I, too, am facing a large scale fusion, from T10 to S1 and have been scared to pieces. My first fusion was 2&1/2 yrs. ago from L1 to L5 but the pain only changed, not better. I'm seeing a new specialist & like him a LOT better than the dr. who did the first fusion. He does a lot of these procedures & sees a lot of patients who come to see him after having minimal success with other docs. I have been so worried about what life will be like after the surgery, after the recovery period. The idea of never bending & twisting again is more than I can imagine. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who now has plenty of practice in taking up all the things I can no longer do (thinking about sending him to cooking school, though, lol) but I've been very concerned about the realities of never being able to bend again. Can you still drive? Can you work? How is your day-to-day pain levels & what meds do you still need to take? Don't mean to drown you with questions but I don't know anyone who has had such extensive fusions. Any input & advice would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Hope you continue to do so well. Hearing of your success gives me hope that I can do so well, too :)
  • Hi AnnieM
    Just thought I would let you know that you are not alone. There are several people around that have huge fusions. I am fused from C/4 to L/2. This is 18 levels.
  • Rich57 said:
    Well ...... As of March 08 I had a 38 degree Curvature in my Lumbar Spine, The Ortho Doc wants to do a Full Fusion ... Top to Bottom !!! It's a wicked surgery. He said I would lose about 45% of my mobility Plus The Spine would be obviously fused ( no more bending )Complete with rods and screws.
    My Gosh !! This is just terrible. I am 57 years old with several back issues ( OA, plus 2 herniated Disc ) just simply a mess.
    Is there anything I can do to slow this curving process down ? I can actually feel the spine as it is moving ribs etc out of it's way as it curves.
    I'm just really upset about the whole deal.
    Any suggestions ? Anyone else know of someone who has had a Full Fusion ??

    Blessings to all
    Rich
    Hi all, I am a new member of forum. Would a newcomer be warmly welcome here? Good day you guys!!!


    __________________
    Watch Legion Movie Online Free
  • You are very welcome, jezzicaz789.

    Reading this again, I wonder how Rich got on. I would have thought his 38 degree curve as quite minimal, in fact below what most surgeons would touch. Certainly not warranting a full fusion top to bottom, which I think is what he's saying. I do hope he got another opinion with a scoli specialist surgeon as opposed to a regular orthopedic surgeon.

    Rich, if you're reading this, I'd love to know how you're getting on. I have a long fusion and I certainly didn't lose 45% of my mobility. I'm practically normal (well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) ;)
  • katecarrkkatecarr Posts: 2
    edited 12/14/2015 - 12:23 PM
    I am fused from C1 to T2 and from T10 to the sacrum and can tell you it's much better than the pain from herniated discs. However, there are few (2-3) surgeons in the country I would allow to do such extensive surgery. They are at [edit]. There may be a couple more I don't know about. This is very serious surgery, usually involving pedical subtraction osteotomies, with major recuperation time. I wouldn't dream of having it done without a second opinion by another spinal reconstruction surgeon.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,940
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

advertisement
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.