Welcome, Friend!

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

In this Discussion

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.

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

Ten days to fusion surgery, scared as hell

ArenmaddAArenmadd Posts: 3
edited 10/03/2015 - 7:09 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am an eighteen year old male, and my spinal fusion surgery is scheduled for October 13. Here's a bit of my story.
(just go to the last paragraph if you don't like reading)

Ten years ago, my sister and I were diagnosed with scoliosis. My curves were minor, two curves around 20 degrees. Hers were more severe, two curves around 60 degrees; although in a way where it didn't really show. We were horrified by the x-rays - both of us had pretty good posture, no one thought we'd both have scoliosis. My sister was scheduled for the surgery, and got it a year later at the age of thirteen.
She spent about eight days in Shriner's Hospital for Children. I remember the pain she went through, physically, and psychologically. It was pretty hard for her to come to terms with a permanently fixed spine.
Anyways, my spine progressed quite a bit as I developed. I was braced for about two years, starting when I was eleven, but that didn't really work; my curves progressed at the same rate. When I turned fourteen, my curves slowed down to the point that my doctor thought I wouldn't even need the surgery, which was a huge relief, as both curves were around 35-40 degrees.
I started ballet and tai-chi to keep my back as healthy as I could, and it worked for awhile. Although, when I turned eighteen, I went to Shriner's for my routine 6-month checkup, and both curves had surpassed 50 degrees... They had progressed over 5 degrees each in six months, due to a "late growth spurt".
Another six months later, I'm sitting down behind a computer screen at 1am, unable to sleep, just like the few weeks preceding, scared out of my wits. I keep having nightmares about my legs being paralyzed during the operation, or having uncontrollable twitches that turn my spine and bend the rods, and other related things. I have spine related nerve damage, and although I know that my nightmares are unrealistic, my current conditions just want to amplify themselves in my subconscious.
I've battled with clinical depression for a long time, but this is pretty hard to push through... I feel like I've had ten years to prepare for this, and I had thought I'd left the fear behind after seeing my sister go through it. I've talked to five other people who've had it, all of them close to me, but the experience is so different for everyone. I've had the same doctor/orthopedic surgeon for as long as I've known my spine was crooked, and although I trust him like a family member, I still can't shake my fear.

I need help... I know all I need or want to know about this surgery and the alternatives, and its too close to call it off (not that I want to), so I don't need facts; thats why I've left out most of the specifics of my condition. If you've had the surgery, or personally know people who've gotten it, I'd like to hear about the personal troubles you went through during it, and how you got through that week or so in the hospital, and beyond that. I'm just looking for a bit of hope :)

From a sleepless boy-man,

--Thank you


  • RunnerHKTRRunnerHKT Posts: 231
    edited 10/03/2015 - 7:46 AM
    I do know a coworker who had a similar spinal fusion for scoliosis. She is doing great, had 2 children after, and runs marathons. I can also relate because I had similar fears prior to my first spine surgery (which was relatively minor) in February. I had a very good result from surgery and wish I had done it sooner.
    What helped me was to focus on the things I could control prior to surgery. (And this is what I'm doing now as I will have to have a fusion in November, I tried to avoid that but my back has deteriorated.) So I have been making sure my home is totally cleaned up, so there is nothing to trip on, etc. Making sure I have the meals I will want, and snacks. Getting stocked up on some books and some movies. It helps. The week in the hospital will be the easier part because you will have a lot of help. Just make sure the staff actually wash their hands before they touch you...(sorry that's my hospital job). The other thing that is helping me a lot right now is the fact that I am in constant difficult to manage pain. i focus on the benefits of the procedure, and remind myself that it is done frequently and that I have a good physician. Another thing to keep in mind completely is that a lot of techniques/medications etc have changed over the last ten years, and it's likely your experience may be easier than your sister's!
Sign In or Register to comment.