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Fusion Surgery Updates

Tomorrow I will be going in to have T6/7 and T10/11 fused. I have had a hard time finding anything about this surgery anywhere so I thought I'd make a thread and update when I can on how it went and the recovery.

A little back story, 2017 I got rear ended 2 times. I have had a Cervical disc replacement, and SI joint fusion on both sides. My second car accident is what injured my thoracic spine. This has been the most painful of all my injuries. It has also been the hardest to find treatment. I saw 2 surgeons in my area that didnt want to do the surgery. Then went 3 hours away to a well known teaching hospital. I have been with the new Dr. for over a year preparing for tomorrow. This is a last resort for relief. I know that recovery will be hard and slow. I have done my best to prepare for the next few months. I have lined up for my husband to be off work, my mom to come help for a few weeks, and have 30 dinners all prepped and frozen to be made in the crock pot. 

I will update this thread as I am able to.

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,634

    leed2501

    Thank you for starting this thread. What you said is true, there is not a lot on the forum about thoracic surgery. All of the information you give will help other members, which is greatly appreciated. And all of your prep work!! Good for you!!

    Take care and post when you can.

  • Hey Everyone!  

    Surgery went well they were able to do everything that they needed to do and keep my nerves, they thought that they may have to remove them but they were able to do it without it.  Typing and texting is really hard so I'm using talk to text. So I hope this comes out well :)  Pain after surgery was very very difficult to control, I am still in the hospital all but I will be going home today.  I had to really battle with the pain management team to get my medication to where it would control my pain. The 1st 5 and a 1/2 days there was not very many moments where my pain was controlled.  They told me at 1 point that giving me any additional medication might create dependency. They weren't as concerned with getting my pain under control as much as they were with creating dependency. Which was really sad because physically I could not handle the level of pain I was in and they weren't willing to work with me until yesterday when my husband finally talked with them. 

    I will be having a home nurse and physical therapist come out to my house to work with me. I don't have much else to report other than that but wanted to give an update as to how it has gone so far. 


     Thank you all and have a good day XO

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,634

    leed2501

    Sorry you had to go through so much pain but sometimes it does help when someone else steps in. At least the surgery went well and you are going home. Below are 3 articles you will find helpful in your recovery.

    Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: 1 to 4 Weeks After

    Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery,

    Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery

    Take care and keep us posted.

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 104

    Hi leed2501,

    I'm assuming it wasn't minimal invasive surgery? I could understand what you mentioned about not being able to find a doctor to help. I've been dealing with my chronic thoracic pain for 3 years now. Pain management finally said they can't do anymore.  I have a pain pump which is useless, doesn't provide any relief anymore and they said they aren't willing to change dosages or medication.

    I've seen multiple doctors/surgeon's and no one says they can do anything to help me. I've lost all hope at this point. My only other option is to start looking in a different state.

    What made this third doctor want to help you?  Was it surgery right away or did he try a few things first? Let me know please. 

    I wish you the best on your recovery and hope it all turns out well when your back to yourself.

  • Jbower

    It was not minimally invasive. This 3rd Dr was at UCLA. I think his confidence in providing relief was greater. Neither of the first 2 surgeons felt like I would get at least 50% relief so they didnt want to preform it. 

    It was not surgery first. I had injuries to my SI joints as well. He wanted those taken care of first so I wasnt batteling both low back issues and upper back issue. So o had both SI joints fused. I started seeing him in May 2018. This was my 3rd surgery with him. 

    I had previously had epidural steroid injections, which were extremely painful btw. There was no other minimally invasive treatments for my thoracic spine done.

    Hope this helps!!!

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  • Today is day 11

    The pain is still at times unmanageable, but at times tolerable. Just today I found relief in laying down by using a lift chair with electric chair back and leg controls, along with 6 pillows all over lol. The swelling on my back has a large painful  hump preventing me from laying on my back. Laying on my side has very difficult because I cant have my back on uneven padding. Still having to be on a cocktail of pain medication every 2 hours however at this point mostly it is making it so I have tolerable moments. Hoping to be able to decrease some of it this coming week. I do have more tolerable moments than not, or at least about even. 

    I have to have help with almost every level of personal care. It is really hard to have to need help in certain areas. My husband has been such a huge help. My mom is coming out today to stay for 2 weeks and help❤❤ this is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. I have my first post OP appointment this Thursday. I'll report back then.

  • I am glad thing's are starting to calm down a little, you are right, it is a marathon and takes time.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,634

    leed2501

    Thanks for the update! As we tell everyone from our own experience, time and patience. And you have found this out, thank goodness. Let other people help you for a change. I know being a woman we feel like we have to take care of everyone else. But when it's our turn it's hard to accept. You need te extra care Mom can give, so good for her!!

    Take care and keep us posted.

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