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T10-S1 - anyone out there?

maybaby05mmaybaby05 Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Scoliosis
Hello, I recently had a fusion done from T10-S1, the dr also anchored my spine to my pelvis/hips for added stability. Also, my rib cage on the left side was twisted. After surgery, my rib cage is normal again! I'm just wondering if anyone has had the same or similar surgery done. If so, how is your life after? Noticed things you can't do? How is mobility, sex, etc?

Thanks in advance!!!


  • Hi,

    I am fused L1-S1 also with a bolt to my pelvis. I am not quite as fused as you are but close.

    I had 3 fusions to get to where I am. Bending is a thing of the past but I have learned to squat to get things done. I bring my knees/feet up to my hands to do things too, like socks, painting my toe nails!!

    I love to swim and thankfully that is something I can still do. Being weightless is wonderful. I can ride my bike but am now having SI joint problems so its not as easy as it used to be.

    Walking, hiking is good but again the SI joint is limiting that too. I walked a lot before it became a problem.

    I had to give up running. I do stretching and flexibility exercises and upper body and core strengthening.

    Sex is kind of an individual thing. Your doctor or PT can give you help with this. Once I started healing and the fusion was fusing well it was fine.

    I sleep with a wedge in my bed for my legs to go over at the knees. This takes the pressure off my spine.

    Let me know how you are doing.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Thank u for sharing your abilities with me. I did buy a wedge but I think it's too high as it really strains my hip muscles and causes spasms. How high is yours? I start PT next fri so I will keep u updated. Thanks again!
  • Mine is a wedge with a pillow over it as I like more knee bend. We are all different. Maybe just a pillow or a different placement of the wedge would work. Ask your PT too. And keep in touch.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Hi Jani,

    PT is going well, 4th visit tomorrow. I am sore!! haven't worked these muscles in a while! I am surprised of what I can do though. my PT did say that i am very weak and she anticipates about 3 months of therapy. I figured as much. I got rid of the hospital bed and am now sleeping in my own bed. how i missed my bed!! i still can only sleep on my back and look forward to when i can roll around again. my next dr visit is on 11/17. he is supposed to tell me when i can go back to work. i am aiming for the end of the month, we'll see if he agrees. hope all is well with you!

    talk soon
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    As to movement and limitations when your entire lumbar is fused. I'm currently fused from L,2 all of the way down.
    On the 29th of this month they'll fuse L,2-L,1 and L,1 to T,12. So the entire lumbar will be fused.I currently have a lot of nerve damage. And I have arthritis issues. I have been fused over time. And there is a lot of scar tissue, I've been cut on many times. So I really wonder about my mobility. all though I know we are all different.
    It will be interesting how this all works out for you 2. Please keep me posted.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Great to hear you are progressing so well. Yes ones own bed is always the best I think.

    PT never really ends it seems as you are always doing the core strengthening. At least I am.

    Let me know what the doc says on the 17th. Hope you will be able to return to work.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • hi jim, being fused is so new to me. i am just a little over 90 days post op. i just started pt last friday. up until then, the dr had strict instructions of no blt. i will keep you updated on how mobility seems to be. i have 2 HUGE screws in my hips that are anchoring my spine so my pelvis/hips don't flex too much. best of luck to you on your upcoming surgery. keep me posted on how you are doing and i will do the same. we'll be fused pretty much the same once you have your surgery. i am t10-s1, i also had some wedges put in as well as some other things that i cannot pronounce!
    look forward to keeping in touch!
  • Hi Jim,

    Looks like there are 3 of us in the multi level fusion club. Altho you two have me beat by a level or 2. I most likely have my SI joints fused soon.

    I had my last surgery the end of march and other than too much pressure from the lump of bone stacked on my SI joint it went really well.

    I have had cortisone injections in my SI and they actually worked. I have never had much luck with cortisone. Unfortunately those were my last ones so now I will have to try and control the pain with drugs or have RFA which I have had before with limited success. Some people get good relief, I never have but haven't had the SI joint done.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • One thing that has REALLY helped me after this extensive fusion is the discovery of assistive devices! I didn't know they even existed. When I changed to slip-on shoes because I could no longer reach my feet to tie laces after the fusion, I found a 3-foot long stainless steel shoehorn through Amazon.Com that I can use with minimal bending. The curved end of the handle is also helpful in picking up clothes that fall on the floor. I bought a handicapped grabber, but found that the longer trash picker-upper with rubber grabbing tips available from hardware and home supply stores are much more effective for picking up anything from a coin or credit card off the floor to cans off lower shelves in the kitchen. Of course, a half-tube sock puller with rope handes is a must, and wider versions for people like me with big feet are available from some medical supply stores (e.g. pattersonmedical.com), but shop around or improvise! I previously bought a long dowel and put a coat hook (the kind that screws into the wall) into one end to help me pull up and push down my pants when I couldn't bend at all after surgery, but I no longer need to use it. One sensitive but REALLY important topic is how to wipe after using the toilet; that's an embarrassing problem because I can't bend enough to reach after my T10-S1 fusion. I found there are assistive devices through medical supply stores (e.g pattersonmedical.com, again). One item, called the "Bottom Buddy," has a handle with a crooked head that pinches to hold toilet paper, but I found that the head was kind of big for my comfort. Instead, I found a pair of 15-inch tongs with plastic-coated tips that can be wrapped in toilet paper and easily used. I keep the Bottom Buddy, which comes in a pouch, in my backpack when I go to work. These items solved this embarrassing problem for me, but everyone is differnt. Some of these things may also be improvised with a little creativity. My latest acqisition, called the Antioch Clipper, is a nail clipper with two long vertical handles - one to hold the appliance and the other equipped with a button that can be pushed by the user to clip toenails. It comes with an attached magnifying glass to enlarge the cutting site, but it can also be removed if not needed. I haven't mastered it yet, but think it may be helpful. I previously bought a toenail clipper that worked by squeezing a handle, but it was flimsy and didn't work at all. I also tried angled scissors with an extended handle, but they just didn't work on my thin toe nails. Nobody really talks about how to get around the disabilites after such an extensive fusion, so I've had to learn as I've gone along. Once again, everyone is different and each person needs to find what works best for him- or herself. The important thing to know is there there are tools available to help compensate for most disabilities that may follow T10-S1 fusion.
  • I was fused a year ago next month: Day 1 surgery through the back and Day 2 surgery through the back and stomach. Before surgery, I had a failed lumbar fusion (L5-S1) and the rest of my spine became so twisted that I lost 5 inches in height. I still can't sit or stand for long periods of time, but my employer purchased a desk for me that raises and lowers as needed! Resultant disabilities: slight difficulty walking, can't raise legs very far (this may be continuing function loss that occurred before surgery), trying to trim toenails can be my new Olympic sport, continued leg swelling from the abdominal surgey (water pills help) and continuing intermittent muscle spasms in my calves and feet at night. Nothing helps the spasms except walking. I also have suppurative spondylitis (inflammatory spine disease), and a neck fusion (C5-C7). Worst of all, I've had horrible pain immediately above the fusion and now have a ruptured disk at T9-T10. The pain seems to be more from chronic inflammation, however, than from the bad disk, and prednisone helps a lot. Inability to lift my legs very high, bend my back or my neck really complicates getting into and out of cars! I have to swivel to get my legs out, place both hands on the seat to support myself, slide my rear off the seat and out of the car, bend my knees slightly to get my head to exit the car, and then try to stand up. It's cumbersome but workable. I hope this information is helpful to someone. By the way, the doctors and nurses were all fantastic. I had absolutely no infections or surgery-related problems.
  • First time posting, I have had back problem for last 30yrs, started off with ruptured disk L5 - S1, over the years have had several operation, last op two years ago, mechanical fusion now S1 - L2. had a fall six months after that, fractured a vertebrae now looking at fusion up to T10. Anybody out there similar and if so, what restrictions does it put on you and your ability to work?
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    This is a very old thread, for the best responses and support I suggest you create a new thread of your own....see create forum post on the left hand column

    Welcome to Spine-Health and how to get started here

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had the laminectomy and fusion s1-t10 in August 2007 and it was a lifesaver and changer. I do think it depends a lot on the doctor doing the surgery and i had a great on in Illinois. Unfortunately after i had rehabbed from the surgery in 2009 I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis which means that from T10 on up to the base of my skull all the vertebraes have been perfectly fused with arthritis meaning basically that i am now fused from S1 to the base of my skull. I am fortunate in my mind that my head is still upright that i can see where i am going and have had to recently give up driving as I can't turn my head to either side or up and down. that had nothing to do with the laminectomy and spinal fusion, i would do that again in a heartbeat as the pain i was in prior was relieved and i am a happy person now. (except for giving up driving)
  • Hello...On 10/1/2015 I had my 4th back surgery, 3rd fusion. I am also fused from T10-S1, the doctor also anchored my spine to my pelvis with 4 screws.  I continue to have difficulty walking now.  My legs are heavy and I have very little stamina.  I can only walk a short distance, about 300 feet.  I continue to have some numbness in my right foot.  Also continue to have lower back pain.  I use tramadol and percocet to help ease the pain.  I've been told my recovery will take 1 or 2 years.  So I was wondering how "maybaby05" is doing about 5 years later?

  • I had surgery for scoliosis several years ago, L1 - L3. Found out recently L2 - L3 failed. Surgery planned October, fuse T10 - S1. Not really looking forward to it. Found previously stretching and walking important. Found aquatic therapy nearby. Plan to use it again. Really good for muscle spasms. Also ice and heat for pain and spasms. One good exercise lying flat on floor for 10 minutes. Hope this is not considered verboten advice. I'm not a medico of any kind. Worked for utility company. THAT work finished what I appear to have been born with. Oh, by the way, I'm 65; now retired on disability for several years. 
  • My recovery has been slow, but I am improving.  I have been told it may take me 2 years to recover. Walking distance remains difficult.  I am 62, retired and am considering looking into social security disability.  Doctor told me I'm was done working.  Not sure if I qualify.  Good luck to you.  I'm in Dayton, Ohio
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Hello gjackson !
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Hello Spider !
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