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Spinal Fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Scoliosis
I just found out that I need to undergo a spinal fusion. I have scoliosis with an 80 degree curve. My question is to anyone whose had this surgery or scoliosis. How long was your operation. Were you in the hospital long. How long was your recovery period?! What tests did you have to undergo before you had the actual surgery? How bad was your curve?! Did you notice an improvement?! I am sorry for all these questions in advance. Just would like to see how everyone elses experiences went. =]


  • I have scoliosis and my fusion was 2-24-09. My surgery was 8 and a half hours long. It was a spinal fusion posterior - from the back and also from the front - anterior all in one operation.

    I had 2 curves, the worst was almost 70 degrees. I was in terrible pain. I couldn't force myself to stand up straight anymore. All of my discs were blown. I also had a discectomy in the same surgery.
    My fusion was from just below my shoulders clear down
    to where the tailbone starts. Then they curved around and my incision goes from straight down my back to where it curves around to my left side in the front. They also removed a rib.

    The tests I had were lots of xrays, a bone scan, 3 hours of MRI's and then 2 very long exams from the surgeon and then preoperative bloodwork and last minute bloodwork. I had to have 3 blood transfusions. But that was one of my complications from surgery - the fusion went very well. The physical therapists and nurses who have seen it have all said it was the biggest fusion they had seen and how great it looks, it's so straight and I had 50
    staples. Even though the scars are extensive, they don't look bad - that sounds kind of crazy but they don't.

    Because of my complications I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and then they sent me to a rehab hospital for 8 days. I just wasn't strong enough to go home before then. I had 6 weeks of pool therapy and am still having land therapy. I am over an inch taller and my clothes fit - beautifully - you'll be thrilled to try on clothes. Even though I am still having pain,it's getting better. Not only do I notice the improvement but no one I know can quit telling me how great I look. I looked at some pictures taken on my anniversary a week before surgery and can see now the pain and how it showed on my face - I didn't see it at the time but can see it now.

    It's a huge thing to face but when curves are like ours, I don't know if I would have had the courage to Not have surgery. They told me I would suffer terribly and I was running out of time. My spine was pushing my diaghram out of place and I was constantly out of breath. Good luck. It's a big thing to do but I got through mine. I still have a lot of recovery time ahead of me but the surgery is over. Sometimes I still can't believe I faced it and had the surgery. It is such a relief that I actually did it. Good luck.
  • Hi Megz,

    I just had surgery almost 4 weeks ago. I had a 44 degree curve. I was diagnosed at age 13. I was at at 19 degree curve when I stopped growing.Over the last 10 years or so my curve has progressed. My pregnancies probably contributed...I was so sick of the chronic pain, back injections, depression, rip hump,and overall yucky quality of life, I decided to have the procedure. It took a lot of planning and now here I am. :jawdrop: I am now 39 (almost 40 next week) wife, a teacher, and mom of two kids ( ages 13 and 9) I was told that I would probably be in a wheelchair by the time I was 50 and my spine would continue to move. I literally started planning my surgery over a year ago. You need to have at least 3-4 months time for recovery. Your curve is so great I would NOT hesitate any longer. My fusion was Thoracic 2 down to thoracic 12. The surgery was ten hours, and the hospital stay was horrible. I am still in lots of pain, very stiff and have a tingling/numbness feeling in my upper legs. Vicodin is my friend! My surgeon called me his "masterpiece", which makes me feel good. I have quite the scar, but if my life improves even slightly, I feel like this will be worth it. Please add me to your friends list. I would like to continue to help you in any way. Or if you just want to rant! :-C
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