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11 level fusion from pelvis to T8

Hello out there!  I had spinal fusion in mid January from pelvis to T8 to correct scoliosis that was causing chronic pain and threatening to cause loss of bowl and bladder function.  Having the fusion rooted in the pelvis is taking a lot of getting used to.  Is there anyone out there who has experienced this?  I am still doing PT, but I wonder, what are realistic goals for function and movement?  For example, can you tie your shoes?  Shave your legs?  Pick up a piece of paper from the floor?  How long does it take for the nerve pain that was present pre-surgery to subside?  I've heard a everything from 6 months to 4 years.  Feeling lonely in this.  It's my first time ever in an online forum or chat of any kind.  Thank you in advance for any advice!



  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033

    hi PhillyBear,

    Welcome to S-H, I remember when I joined this site approximately 11 or 12 years ago, it was the first time I had ever joined an online forum. I have found a lot of valuable information and it's been beneficial in helping me with all my spine surgeries. I know there are others here having similar fusions to yours that will respond to this post.

    I'm just over a year post-op of posterior fusion from T11 to S2 and pelvic fixation. I'll admit it's changed my approach to getting things done, but I'm able to get things done. I didn't have much back pain before or after surgery, most of my pain was at the knee and below however it's almost non-existent now. I can tie my shoes although not as easy as it used to be, getting down on the floor and back onto my feet is a bit awkward. For the most part I'm very happy with my results.

    For the past 10 years I've made fitness and core strength a daily part of my life and it definitely has in helped my quick recoveries. There is no set time table for recovery, we are all different, we all have different tolerance to pain. At 4 months post-op you are still in early stages of recovery, patience is a virtue.

    Hope you continue to do well, keep us posted here on your journey.


  • hi phillybear

    welcome to spine-health

    that is an extensive surgery and as ranger says, patience is a virtue.

    it is hard to not have a definitive answer to recovery, but that is not given because all bodies react differently in recovery.  that is frustrating at times and you have my sympathy.  i had a tlif l4-s1 and lumbar fusions are challenging.  i hope you find this site as helpful and supportive as i have since i found it.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research on spine-health that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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  • Hi PhillyBear - I have been on this site for about 5 years, however it has only been in the last few months I've been able to get on here without crying from all the horror stories. I am set to have fusion surgery - T4 on down for scoliosis. My surgery is scheduled for June 26. So you are ahead and me and we can share experiences.  There are also many helpful/supportive people on this site who have been through everything that you have and that I will go through.  WLlady and xrobynx have also been very helpful and encouraging.  Let's stay in touch.  We can even send private messages through the Inbox.  We all need the hear the positives in addition to the stories which aren't so happy. Julie

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