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T10-S1 fusion

StClergySStClergy Posts: 1
edited 03/11/2018 - 10:00 PM in Scoliosis

Hi. I'm having T10-S1 spinal fusion on 3/14/18. (Day after my 60th birthday) I'm pretty nervous. I've read forums trying to find positive outcomes to little avail. If someone has had this procedure in the last year or two, could you please let me know your outcome. How is the pain? How is your mobility? How long did it take for you to feel good? How long before you were off medication? (Or at least narcotics). Thanks. Looking forward to hearing from you.



  • stClergy:

    Go to the scoliosis forum on this site.  WLLady has posted her progression over the last 2 years following her huge fusion.

    I'm recovering from a 5 level fusion L1-S1, and I'm doing very well. Surgery was 3 months ago.

  • StClergy - here is a copy of one of my comments regarding my recovery.  My recovery has actually been excellent since day one.  Never had any real pain, mostly just an uncomfortableness (is that a word?)  Took me several weeks to get any speed and/or distance in my daily walks.  Just couldn't get my legs to move any faster. Now I walk a couple miles a day at a pace of about 18 - 19 minutes/mile. After 18 months I still have a 3 - 4 inch wide band across my lumbar area where my skin is numb.  I can feel the muscle underneath but the skin surface has no feeling - weird.  My Dr.  still wants me to limit myself to no more than 20 lbs in anything I lift and definitely no twisting.  He says there is no point to lifting more and there is risk to the newly forming bone.  That is probably the most difficult part as I was always physically active and just a strong person in general so a 20# limit seems restrictive but in my everyday life I don't really have much occasion to have to carry more than that.  I went straight home from the hospital, no rehab and no PT beyond the basic instruction given in the hospital.  Always struck me as odd that you go thru this major surgery, go home after really just a few days and the parting words are "we just want you to walk as much as you can, see you in 2 weeks for staple removal".  But that seems to be the norm and it actually was fine.  Just living my new normal.  Cheers!

    10 level fusion T9 - S1 with pelvic fixation. Two titanium rods, 24 screws, 4 cages.

    Firm believer in PMA

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  • scoliogirlsscoliogirl Augusta Posts: 36

    Thanks for the very encouraging news about the outcome of your surgery. Can you tell me the degrees of your curve

  • Thanks so much urb and Steffie, I'll go look! I'm brand new at the site so I'll do my best. 

  • StClergySStClergy Posts: 1
    edited 03/11/2018 - 9:58 PM

    Urbmshr, mind if I ask your age when you had the surgery?

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  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12

    I too have had this surgery (almost identical to urbmshr) and she is right to say "new normal." I can reiterate that is is "fine,"  not without challenges. It seems that each surgeon has their own set of cautions and instructions. I did PT immediately after my surgery and walking is still a challenge because of nerve damage. I walk every day and sometimes use trekking poles. It seems I have a knee replacement in the near future, which should help with the walking. 

    I was off of narcotics after about 8 weeks and have not taken (or needed) medication since; including OTC meds. I am lucky I don't need it and if I am a little stiff,  a walk or a really hot tub takes care of it.

    The best news is no pain, just "uncomfortableness" and my back squeaks and creaks (sort of silly.) Being positive and taking it one day at a time is important.  I recently came back from a trip to China to visit family. It was a long flight and a few big airports to negotiate, but no problem! I feel like I got my life back, just not exactly the life I had before. 

    Try and do some fun things before surgery to keep your mind off the looming date. I was lucky to take a road trip right before mine and it forced me to focus on beautiful scenery and family time. It was a blessing.

    Good luck, those of us with 10+ level fusions, cages, rods, screws, disketomies, laminectomies, facetectomies, osteotomies are alive and well and moving in the world.

    Good luck.

  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,493


    good good luck on the 14th!  and happy birthday too!  i had my 10 level fusion T10 - s2 and pelvic fixation (2 bars, 21 screws, 3 cages) just before christmas in 2016.  I'm still healing, but back to doing just about everything i want.  It's a long slow process.  BE PATIENT!!!!!  let things heal. follow your doctor's orders and be very very gentle on yourself for the first year. 

    I was in severe pain prior so the pain after surgery was already a lot better.  My entire story spans 3 threads-my scoliosis, and my scoliosis parts 2 and 3.  Everything is there, everything.  all the good all the bad, everything.  Please take a read through.  I consider myself a success story-i'm not in a wheelchair (where i was headed in short order), and have minimal pain (some days i do still need the occassional ibuprofen, tylenol or tramadol, but they're rare now), am still in physio at 15 months, but i think that will be coming to an end soon!  i'm doing GREAT!  and i have my life back.  do not expect to be pain free.....but if you can accept that you will have some pain, and some mobility restrictions long term (aka, no bending lol), and be creative to find ways to do things, then you will be just fine. good good luck, and please, let us know how it goes, how you are doing, and stop in with any questions!!!!

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

  • StClergy and scoliogirl - here is a copy of my introductory message from 11/22/17 - I've been lurking for awhile now but feel I should "out" myself.  In Feb. 2013 while getting just a general check-up at a GP I had a bone density scan.  I was 55 and they wanted a baseline.  The technician kept asking me to "lay straight" and I didn't know that I wasn't.  When I mentioned this to Dr. she sent me for spinal xrays but beyond her telling me all was good with my labs and my bone density, nothing else was said.  I felt great so didn't pursue anything else.  About 1-1/2 - 2 years later I start having mild pain in my calf, tired feeling in my lower back, tingling in my toes.  These symptoms gradually got worse over the next year.  The pain in my calf was my biggest complaint, it got to the point that I couldn't stand for more than a couple minutes at a time.  I felt pretty good walking or moving around in any manner and the pain would completely disappear in a matter of about 20 seconds if I bent over and touched the ground.  I started asking myself "if I had to live with this pain for the rest of my life, could I?"  One day the answer was "no".  I thought back to that bone density technician's comment and wondered if it was all related.  Turns out it was.  February 2016 xrays at the spinal orthopedist's office showed a 51 degree curve in my lumbar spine.  He pulled up xrays from 2013 and those showed about a 20 degree curve that was likely there for decades.  Things were moving fast and I was now 58 and post-menopausal.  Time to do something!  In May 2016 I went in for a 6 hr surgery on a Monday where they went in from the front (vascular surgeon) and the side to remove disc material and place 3 - 4 cages.  Then a second 6 hr. surgery 2 days later on Wed. through my back where they inserted 2 titanium rods and 24 screws.  My 51 degree curve is now 1 degree and I am close to an inch and a half taller.  No more pain in my calf, only slight tingle in my toes every now and then.  I feel great.  I am somewhat glad that I don't feel I really had a decision to make regarding having the surgery or not.  It had to be done.  My 10 level fusion goes from T9 - S1 with pelvic fixation.  I'm glad to be here, get a lot from reading of other's experiences and am happy to share my own.

    10 level fusion T9 - S1 with pelvic fixation. Two titanium rods, 24 screws, 4 cages.

    Firm believer in PMA

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,472


    It's not too late to join March Surgery Buddies. There you will find other members waiting on surgery and some in recovery. There are daily conversations, a lot of support and great advice (which you have already been provided by other members).
    Go to the right of the page under Forum Topics and click on Surgery Buddies, go to the left and click on March. Go to the last page, scroll down to comments and introduce yourself.

    Hope to see you there.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • StClergy:

    I hope the surgery went well; I had mine in July 2017 and I am 54. So being a bit older does mean healing takes a little longer, but I can walk without pain! Even though I have ongoing challenges with moving pain (neck, shoulder, hips etc) I am so much happier being able to walk. So, I think the outcome is good. I was in a lot of pain in the beginning but by three months better and maybe six months much, much better. You really do have to be patient. It's such a long, arduous and frustrating process. I am exhausted many days by the afternoon and I sometimes forget why. I've been told by a couple of doctors that this is one of the worst surgeries one can have. So please stay positive and visit this forum...it's loaded with great tips and optimism.


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