SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

Possible fusion T-10 - Coxxyx

Started by Jill1519 on 02/14/2016 4:53pm

Hi all ...

I've been having back pain for years, and was first diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disorder 13 years ago. My recent MRI confirms the disc problems, with severe arthritis and stenosis as well. I cannot stand in one place much more than 5 minutes, and can't walk much more than about 10. I can last a bit longer in a grocery store because I can lean on a cart!

I've seen a neurosurgeon who told me I have degenerative scoliosis too, and he feels the only way to go is to fuse me from T-10 down to my tailbone. It sounds so incredibly restrictive to me. i know I won't be able to bend over to put my shoes on ... perhaps I won't be able to bend at all!

There was a lengthy discussion on this website back in 2010 - 2012 of people who had this type of fusion. I am wondering if anyone lately has been confronting a decision like this, or has actually had such a long fusion. How has it been for you? How difficult was the recovery? How soon could you begin working again?

I'd appreciate any input from anyone who's actually had such a surgery, or anyone who's passed it up, to know how you feel about your decision. I also am overweight right now, and I wonder if anyone struggling with back pain has lost weight and then NOT needed the surgery ...

Thanks so much!

Do you find this discussion helpful?
0

8 Responses

Like/Dislike
0

Hi! I have decided on having surgery... T11-S1 Fusion for my chronic pain for over 6 yrs and scoliosis. I have done all the injections, nerve ablation and pain meds...and I am DONE with them all! I live in St Louis, and have a Top Doc in the country at Washington University doing my surgery. My fate is in his hands, and I have all the confidence in him. I have gone from running 1/2marathons and 100mi cycling racing to just doing an ellipitical and weight training to keep my core strong for my upcoming surgery.... I want my "normal life" back! I work in the healthcare field, and have seen it all in my 35yrs of my work . Saying that, I think I've made the right decision. I know there are people way worse than me, but I don't want to wait until I'm like them. I'm only 55yrs old, and have a lot of living to do! I pray to listen to my doctor, heal fast, and get on with my life again.
My surgery is in 6weeks

Like/Dislike
0

Hi Debbie ...

Thanks so much for sharing with me. It sounds like you've found an excellent surgeon, and that seems like it's allowed you to be really confident of going ahead. That's great! It seems to me if I could find some consistency among the various opinions I'm being given it would help me be more clear about going forward. I can relate to being in pain for a long time ... I, too, would really like my mobility back. I guess I just worry about trading one difficulty for another. Can I ask how long they anticipate you'll be recuperating and/or rehabilitating for? I was told 6 months, but I'm not really sure what that actually means.

I wish you good luck with your surgery. Six weeks isn't too long anymore ... I'm sure you have a lot to do to get ready for it. Will you be going to rehab afterwards?

Again, thanks so much for writing ... I appreciate it!

Jill

Like/Dislike
0

My surgeon told me 7 months before I can lift more than 10lbs...
The 1st 3weeks , my friends have offered to take turns staying with me so my husband can still work ... They very great friends!❤️ I hope to be back to works in 8wks post op...light duty. I pray that I can go back to work...I'm a CT Scan Technologist...my line of work involves heavy lifting and moving patients, but my supervisor has eased my mind and said I can do light duty tasks until I recover.... I just worry I'm not going to ever come back full strength as before...it has taken a toll on my back

Like/Dislike
0

Hi Debbie ...

I understand your concern ... I've had 3 big surgeries in the past 4 years ... a knee replacement and 2 major foot surgeries (my feet were essentially completely re-structured). Until I had these surgeries I didn't understand how much work was involved in getting back to full strength. Since I haven't had back surgery yet I know I can't speak to how much like your old self you'll feel. But you sound like you're really committed to getting back to full strength, and I think that's half the battle right there. (I don't love exercising, so I really have to push myself. I'm impressed that you're doing so much to be in shape for your surgery.) I think you are very brave. And it sounds like you have found the "right" surgeon, someone you really trust. That's awesome! (Is it an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon?)
Thanks so much for corresponding with me ... I have felt pretty alone with the magnitude of possibly doing this surgery.

Take care ... Jill

Like/Dislike
0

Hey Jill

My dr is an orthopedic surgeon.. He is very selective with what patients he will do surgery on.. Once he saw my MRI and X-rays, he got me right in for a consultation
Wow you've been through a lot... you must be one tough woman!
Where do you live? I'm outside St Louis, MO
Besides wanting to feel better and a good outcome, I am lucky to have a very understanding and helpful husband.. and a couple of friends are taking off work to help me the 1st couple of weeks, so he can still work. ..
Have you decided yet about your surgery?

Sending you positive thoughts,
Debbie

Like/Dislike
0

Hi Debbie ...

Thanks so much for your kind words. I actually live in the North suburbs of Chicago. I'll be 65 in April. Sometimes I think I'm strong, but at other times I feel like a giant wuss! This potential surgery has me very nervous. It's so dramatic. And of course I've had 3 different surgeries described by 3 different doctors, so I'm still unclear as to what needs to happen. The orthopedic spine surgeon said he'd just do laminectomy and not need to fuse me. The first neurosurgeon is the one who told me I have 3 issues: herniated/degenerative disc disease, severe arthritis and stenosis, and "degenerative scoliosis," which apparently developed as a result of my compensating for the other issues. He was VERY insistent that if I try to just correct one of these issues, the other two will continue to cause pain and further deterioration. He showed me on the films how my vertebrae were twisting. I thought I saw it too. The 3rd doctor, another neurosurgeon, told me he didn't see any scoliosis at all, and would do decompression and cleaning out the stenosis. (I forgot, but I think he too said No Fusion.) It's confusing, of course. And it's all exascerbated by my need to lose a great deal of weight ... I'm determined to do that, only I tend to be an emotional eater, which has made it difficult to make great inroads in that endeavor!

How soon is your surgery now? I love it that you've got a strong support network. That's going to be so helpful. I live alone, so I'll go to Rehab for awhile after whatever surgery I decide upon.

Thanks again for writing with me. It's nice getting to know you, and REALLY nice to share about this process of anticipating and preparing for spine surgery.

Take care,
Jill

Like/Dislike
0

Hi

Oh wow... I love visiting Chicago! The last time we were there was for a Bon Jovi concert about 7 yrs ago
Regarding scoliosis... Either you have it or don't .. Usually there's no question and is pretty obvious on X-ray. (Being a CT tech I see this every day

Like/Dislike
0

Hi Debbie ...

Yep, I love Chicago. It's a good city ... LOTS to do!

Thanks for your input. That's why I'm confused. I think I saw a section of MRI, not the xray. I'm just going to have to keep talking to doctors, I guess. I'm thinking I may go to Mayo Clinic or something like that, if need be. It's too big of a surgery to do without being clear about it.

Hope you have a great rest-of-the-weekend ...

Jill

SHOW MAIN MENU
SHOW SUB MENU
Cancel
Delete