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Insight wanted for quick positive recovery of fusion T10 to S1

Currently, I have cervical fusion of 1,2,5-7 vertebrae. The 5-7 was unexpected due to a bone spur against my spinal cord in Sept last year. Took 4 weeks to get a handle on that one.  Unfortunately, genetics set me up to have both knees replaced 9 years ago and a hip replaced 2 years ago. Now part 2 for the DDD, scoliosis, stenosis, and etc fusion of T10-S1 will take place this June.  Not looking forward to this one but wrapping my head around what it takes to recovery the fastest is my goal. I am somewhat of a gym rat and love my spin class.  I am trying to focus on core strength and being as healthy as I can in the next 2 months. My challenge of the joint replacements to doing the necessary work in recovery is frustrating. I am trying to be aware of what I have no clue about to recovering.  I had to sleep in the recliner for a month for the cervical fusion.  I imagine the same will be for the other back fusion.  I know to do the PT and will have to refrain from overdoing which is not part of my personality. I could drive in 2 weeks after knee replacements and had hip replaced on Tues, went back to work on Monday.  Not released for the cervical for 6 wks but I am told the one coming up is a doozy! So what would you tell me to be aware of or have on hand to help ease the way? I have told others that I will be the straightest older woman they've ever seen! I also intend when all healing is done to have a zipper tattooed on my back.  Might as well have people stare at something interesting! 



  • challengercchallenger Posts: 1,206
    edited 07/17/2019 - 1:06 PM


    Welcome to the Veritas Health Forum

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    My lumbar fusions are nowhere near that long, but we do have several members here that have long fusions, and i am sure they will be along shortly to offer guidance. good luck and keep us posted on your progress


  • Thank you for the links, Chip.  Yes, David I read about one of the guys having had this surgery who lifted weights and wanted to continue. We just forget that one cannot go back to what use to be without unfortunate consequences.  I was painting the ceiling leaning my neck pretty far back when I felt electrical currents running down my arms briefly.  Hello, what in the world was I thinking.  So hard to not do what you've always done.  I do follow directions as specified by my medical team but I try to be as mentally and physically prepared before that day arrives for a quicker recovery.

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  • irishsmilez

    If you will go to the main forum and look up WIlady, she has a very long fusion and has posted quite a bit about her journey.


  • Irishsmilez, I had a l1 to l5 fusion in September of last year. Recovery has been a slow but positive process. I spent lots of the early time reading and doing su doku puzzles. Physical therapy has been very important and walking. I felt well enough to get a knee replacement in the middle of March. Actually my knee was holding back my recovery from spinal surgery as walking was becoming difficult. Now I’m recovering from both surgeries. Maybe not the ideal situation but that’s the way it is. I’m well enough to drive, do spring yard clean up, and take care of a new puppy, big puppy. I still need plenty of time, heat on my back ice on my knee. Recovering from lower back surgery is a slow process, do your best to fill that time with activities that allow the healing to occurs. I look out my windows at a ski area, but no skiing for me this season, I’ll be ready next season.

  • Chip, can you give me the topic and year that I can find Wllady's posts? tmm1: I know multiple surgeries to recover from can be challenging but you are doing very well.  Ice was my best friend with the knee replacements.  I'm still working on managing the cervical fusion as it relates to limited neck rotation and standing up straight. It feels like there is an extra 5 lb weight pushing forward especially when I get up in the morning. Really need some longer therapeutic neck massages than the one min. shoulder rub I occasionally get!  I have found that it is imperative that I keep moving forward.  I am fixable!  Some medical problems are not so what do I have to complain about.  If I am lucky, I am young enough at 64 to recover more quickly than later in life when this may not be able to be done. I love my mom, but I've managed to get all the genetic problems that she has had.  She can barely walk and bent over at least 40 degrees. Did I mention she's 92 and still trucking!  I will endure the next spinal adventure just to not be where she is down the road.  Just want to prepare as much as I can for this one. It's definitely going to challenge my life style as I currently know it. Wish I had found this site to wrap my head around what to expect with the cervical fusion surgery.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443

    I have requested from WLLady her links so you should hear from her soon. I like your attitude!! Be positive and you will have a positive outcome.
    When you know when your surgery is, join us at June Surgery Buddies. Below is the link where you can sign in.
    June 2019 Sugery Buddies 

    Take care and keep us posted.

  • irishsmilez

    I love your attitude and that alone will take you a long way during this next recovery, we see it on here quite often when members get down because of having surgery, personally I think that hurts recovery greatly, the folks that stay upbeat and are willing to do the work after surgery do the best.

    Sandra has sent you a very good link for surgery buddies, and she has also contacted WIlady for you.

    Take care and keep us posted.


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443

    Here are the links to WLLady's discussions. There is a lot of detailed information here for you to read.

    my scoliosis
     my scoliosis - Part 2
    my scoliosis -part 3
    My scoliosis -part 4

    Take care

  • Thank you for the links.  I'm amazed how our bodies can accommodate medical issues over time.  I didn't know my spine was also twisted. Yuck!  Probably why I can turn around so far without moving my feet! LOL!  What I got out of her info was that this isn't something that is going away anytime soon but eventually there will be some normalcy.

  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,480

    hiya!  sorry i'm late to the game here.  in the other post in the scoliosis topic you were looking for tips for a "quick positive recovery".  i don't want to ruin your positivity, but i think you do need to know that this will be anything but "quick".  LOL.  i went back to work at just over 3 months and it was very difficult.  very very difficult.  if you can take a little longer than 2 months (june post surgery and july)....anyways, your surgeon and your body will let you know when you are ready.   one common theme with the long fusions is it takes its own time to heal.  i'm over 2 years now and doing really well, still have some stubborn rib pain but the fused area itself is great!  it's not just the fusion, but relearning balance, and retraining the body.  my balance was a good year before i could be in a canoe and not dump it!  we get so used to our twisted selves!  LOL.   being positive is so important, and looking forward!  the mental game is much harder than i thought it would be.  every day was a new challenge...but over time we get there.  so anything we can do, help with.....we're here!  i can say proudly now that i do not need any aids to help me get dressed!  my left sock was the most irritating and stubborn thing....but finally i can put that on without any help, or  small steps. one step forward, one step back is what it's going to feel like.  but focus on the positive, and look forward!!!!  we have lots of life to live yet!  oh, and sign up to the surgery buddies for your month of surgery.  it really helps to talk with people going through it as you are.  anything we can help with, just drop us a note!!!!

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