Hi! My name is Kim, and I had spinal fusion 3 years ago at the ripe old age of 49,to help my scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and on and on.
I was originally dx with Scoliosis when I was 17. But by that time, surgery was the only option. So my doc said, we can operate now, or wait till you are older.
So I waited.
Well the pain increased over the years. Went the pain pill and pain management route. This seemed to help.
Then about 3 years ago, i had had enough. The pain was intense, well over a 10. Could not stand for more than 5 min. Had a hunch in my back, and a pinched nerve that made my left leg feel like it was being twisted.
So I had pain management doc do an MRI. Results came back, and his expression told me everything. He said, "You have the back of a 90 year old woman."
So he referred me to a surgeon who gave me 2 options. Because of my age an operation could be risky. He said "I can write an rx for pain meds, and a wheelchair now. Or we can operate."
I thought for about 5 min, and then said "Go for it.!"
In hind sight, it was the best decision I ever made.
My pain, on a bad day, ios now maybe a 3. They didn't totally correct the curve, but they did a damn good job.
I actually had 2 operations. First the fusion, which took 8 hours. They used cadaver bone. I now have to titanium rods and 28 screws hold me together.
The second operation, 6 days later, they went in my left side and put in what they call a "cage." It looks like a slinky, and it allowed them to remove some of the bad discs.
I was basically in a drug-induced coma for a month, then 6 weeks in rehab. Rehab would have been less, but I also have MS, and I tire easily. They kept having to give me nasal oxygen. lol
The first thing I remember, when I came to in rehab, was the nerve pain was gone.
I consider myself blessed that my operation went well. I have some limitations. Can't bend..obviously..so I squat. Can't lift more than 5 pounds. and can't twist.
I use a walker due balance issues from my MS. If I didn't have that you would never know I had surgery.
Except for the scar that runs the length of my back.