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New to forum - 6 weeks post T2-L2 fusion

Hi -- I'm new to forum and starting my recovery

Prior to my surgery I checked out this site for helpful tips to get me prepared for surgery. Well...I had my fusion July 16 and am now about 6 weeks post-op. My fusion was T2-L2 and most of the work was done at the top and at the bottom because my Scheuermann's kyphosis caused pretty dramatic changes to my neck and lumbar spine. I have my first post-op appointment with my surgeon in a few days and I'm starting to get nervous. I guess I just worry about all the screws and rods being in the right spot and I worry about everything healing correctly. My initial curve was about 80degrees and I'm anxious to find out what it's at now considering how much straighter I look.

Anyway, after following this forum for awhile I figured I'd actually sign up and say hi and introduce myself. Since I've made it through the first several weeks and now feeling like the real recovery starts, I was hoping to get some insight into what I can expect over the coming weeks.

Nice to meet you all!!



  • I was just wondering how your feeling and if you feel like you'll be able to bend? I'm getting a spinal fusion starting at t2 then I will get a rod put down to L2. I'm just extremely nervous that I'm not going to be able to bend and do my jobs. Since its something that can't be reversed lol that would suck. My degree is about 74 on top and 71 on the bottom but they aren't doing anything with the bottom.
    Ashley Van Dieren
  • Hi Ashley,

    I'm not sure if you've already had your fusion or not and I just noticed that you responded to my post so I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

    I'm at about 7.5 months post-op and I think I'm recovering surprisingly well. I won't lie....the first month was really challenging and for several months after that, there were things that I couldn't do or could do but with serious pain. Sleeping was a big challenge for me because it was hard to roll over in bed and I couldn't stay in one position for very long. Then getting up to move around was excruciating as sitting up after laying down was really painful. But things got better and better and now at the 7.5 month mark, I do feel like I've made huge progress. I can usually sleep through the night or most of the night with a few interruptions to turn over or reposition.

    I was told that I couldn't bend, left, or twist my back for about 3 months after my surgery. I would lift light things without a problem and I got really used to squatting down instead of bending. At this point in my recovery, I can bend down to tie shoes and pick things up off the floor. Reaching while squatting/bending is still very difficult and I'm not sure that's going to change. With modifications, bending is possible. For instance, I can bend to pick stuff up off the floor, but I do have to squat down quite a bit. Tying shoes was something I didn't do for quite awhile (maybe at like that 4 month mark) because I opted to wear slip-on sneakers. I still feel that tying shoes can be a challenge but it's definitely doable. I've learned that sitting on a chair/stool and then bending forward is easier and less painful than outright bending at the waist. So I'd say, bending is definitely possible after the fusion but you just have to learn to listen to your body and make slight modifications. And remember, I'm at the 7.5 month mark and still recovering so the rehab process takes a long time. So don't be discouraged if you feel unable to bend or move much for awhile.

    That said, there are things I am still really struggling with or just can't do. Sitting for long periods of time, leaning back (like in a chair or couch), standing for a long time, and stiffness. I find that sitting in straighter chairs is more comfortable than on a couch or chair that is more angled or leaning back. I'm sure this is because my back is permanently straight and I can't just lean back since my back won't curve or conform to a seat that is more reclined. But this is pretty easy to work with by using pillows as back support to keep things more straight or choosing straight back seating.

    If you've already had your surgery, I hope you're on the path to a speedy recovery. It's definitely a scary procedure because it's hard to predict how you will feel and manage with your new posture but I do think the rehab process is manageable and the outcome is worth it. My curvature was actually in the mid 90 degrees and went down to about 30-35 which is pretty incredible. But with that dramatic change comes having your muscles, tendons, and other joints learn to work with your new curvature. So it took awhile for my hamstrings and shoulders to get used to being in a new position and working to hold my body up differently. I still get incredibly stiff and sore in my shoulders and hamstrings but they are getting better.

    Anyway, I kind of went on a long tangent here but figured I'd share my recovery with you in case you had questions or concerns. If you have had your surgery, how are you feeling? If you haven't but will be, I wish you a successful procedure and recovery!

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