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recovery timeline

I'm new to this but wanted to see if anyone out there has had spinal reconstructive surgery due to scoliosis and ddd.  I am 5 months post op (60yrs old) waiting for the day to say the pain is dramatically better.  There are times when I think I've turned the corner and can go a week or more and feel decent but then the pain gets worse again.  I'm still on what I think are low dose pain killers so I'm not driving.  I walk between a mile and 2 a day depending on my pain level.  Haven't had pt yet and from what I'm being told that won't happen until they confirm the fusing has taken place. (t-9 to the pelvis)  I'm told the recovery takes a year.  Sound familiar to anyone?
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1

Comments

  • rae1112rae1112 Michigan Posts: 143
    What is ddd?
  • memerainboltmmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 1,790
    Meg@56
    DDD is degenerative disc disease.
    I have not had scolosis surgery even though I do have it.
    One of the best places to answer some of your questions is go to December surgery buddies. Also to a post titled My scolosis by WLLady. She had this surgery in December and is on her way back to work next week.
    There are others that are still struggling, but everyone is different.
    You can also go to the top right of this page to the search engine, it will take you to articles, videos and other discussions.
    Also, click on the welcome link below to help you get started.
    Welcome to Spine Health
    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • rae1112rae1112 Michigan Posts: 143
    Oh gotcha. I didn't have the degenerative disc disease, but I had scoliosis surgery on March 9. Mine was T4 to L5. 
    My dr isn't sending me to PT at all. Says walking is enough.
    It has not been fun for sure and I have heard one to 2 years for full recovery. 
  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 10
    I had a similar fusion last summer (20 hours of surgery in two days) for post menopausal scoliosis and ddd. (T8 to pelvis) I have trouble walking without poles, my right leg is still quite numb as are my feet. I think being able to walk two miles is terrific as I am still working on walking one and am pretty tippy. They tell me it is nerve damage because of the xlif.  However, I don't really have pain. I have discomfort by the end of the day and  with the usual little things like putting on shoes and socks, getting in and out of the tub, and gardening are challenging. I was also told 2 years for full recovery. I had intensive pt in the hospital after surgery and continuously until the beginning of March. It helped me learn to function with my lack of flexibility. I discarded pain meds early on because I needed to drive and hated the way they made me feel. Occasionally, I need an OTC pain reliever to take the edge off, but try to work my head through the discomfort. In my case progress is very slow and at times it seems I am not making any at all and then all of a sudden I can do something simple more easily, like picking something up off the floor.
    I am hoping that my recovery continues to progress, I don't want to settle for where I am now at eight months out. Good luck and keep going.
  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 425
    Hi Meg@56!!!
    I have been told by my surgeon up to 2 years recovery.  I am just over 3 months out. I am very happy my pain is much better than before surgery, but i am looking forward to a bit less muscle pain that i have now. My surgeon grudgingly is allowing me to go to physio which after the first week is proving obnoxiously difficult. Just simple things like standing up straight!!! By evening i am hunched over and sore and trying to stand up straight. Oh i am fused t10 to s2 with pelvic screws as well.  Physio is tough....muscles still getting nerves connecting to them. I still have some numbness across my back in places and some aching in my right thigh. But the blasted leg pain from stenosis is gone and my left leg works again. O even if i have to be like this forever its better than before surgery.   I am walking 3 miles a day 5 times a week....driving is okay...some bumps are obnoxious but doable. And i start back to work tomorrow part time. Very slowly back to work.  I am still early days too and am geared up for 2 years until i can do most things. I honestly feel better than before surgery...and have since 4 weeks after surgery. I take an occassional tramacet before bed and muscle relaxants still...and finally am only waking up  5 times a night!  All i ca really offer is hang in there and if it hurts dont do it...especially if it hurts the next day!!! I found out yesterday that restraining a bouncy puppy at the vets followed by removing bale wrap from a big round hay bale and then an hour drive to go out for dinner and another hour home with a small walk in there and then helping minimally with farm chores plus physio exercises is way too much for a day. 
    Taking it one day at a time and trying to listen to the body.....
    Hang in there!! Hopefully the good days greatly out number the bad. 
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, decompressions, facet joints removed. cages L4-5, L5-S1, rods, screws, scoliosis reduced to 0*.
    June 2015: Inflam facet arthrosis L1-S, pars fractures L5 and L2, 70* lateral scoliosis with 110* rotational scoliosis on reduction, facet cysts with nerve impingements bilaterally L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, spinal stenosis L2-L4

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  • Thanks for the replies!  It's great to have this support.  I don't know anyone personally that has had this surgery so this helps a lot.  I think I'm getting there but just slowly. I also can not sit in a chair other than a desk chair.  I assume that will eventually improve.  It feels like the rods in my back that are making it so uncomfortable.  I think my age is not exactly working in my favor but I have been determined from the start to keep moving forward.  I can have some really good days and feel like I've concurred this thing then the bad days come and have to remember that it's normal.  Not so sure I like normal but at least it's a temporary normal.
  • memerainboltmmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 1,790
    Meg@56

    It will get better, give it time. If you keep up with WLLady's post My Scoliosis, it will help you understand the healing process of this type of surgery. And what she is doing to help herself.
    I had surgery when I was 60 on L2-L6, nothing compared to yours. But yes, age does have a lot to do with it. We don't heal as fast.
    I also had surgery in Jan for a pain pump implant and I'm still trying to get over that.
    With your determination to keep moving forward it will get better.
    We are here if you need us, take care.
    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 425
    i think the most accurate thing is "3 steps forward, 2 steps back; and the total recovery is about 100 steps forward".
    we will all get there.....in the words of my surgeon: "patience"
    and in the words of my one nurse "be gentle to yourself, and then be gentle on yourself for being gentle to yourself".

    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, decompressions, facet joints removed. cages L4-5, L5-S1, rods, screws, scoliosis reduced to 0*.
    June 2015: Inflam facet arthrosis L1-S, pars fractures L5 and L2, 70* lateral scoliosis with 110* rotational scoliosis on reduction, facet cysts with nerve impingements bilaterally L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, spinal stenosis L2-L4

  • I was told the recovery would be long.  It was never defined as to what "long" meant.  I had a micro-discectomy a year earlier which I heard would be a quick recovery.  After that was not successful the surgeon said it is either this surgery or a wheelchair and I wasn't about to go down without a fight.  I guess it's good I didn't know it would be this long beforehand.  It would have just made the decision harder to make.  Now I'm just taking it a day at a time and being grateful that each day brings me closer to being the best new me I can be.  It does take a lot of patience.  I have not met anyone that has had anything close to the surgery I had so this is nice.  
  • It will take a long time
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