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T9 fusion anyone? would LOVE some feedback on recovery

This is my second spinal surgery. I always had neck issues and finally, in my 40's, someone realized I had scoliosis that was never diagnosed. Sadly it was too late by then and I ended up getting C2-3 to C6-7 fused. That surgery was not too bad really, except for wearing the brace for about 2-3 months. 

I also had an issue for at least the last decade or so, where I would get a "dislocated rib head" and was always the same spot. My primary care sent me to a chiropractor and one easy adjustment and all was well. then every 3-6 months since i get the same injury. 

fast forward 1 year ago and I ran for shelter in heavy rain and it felt like I was stabbed. very sudden onset but the same pain level as that dislocated rib head and same spot. my doctor sends me to PT and a slight improvement but soon back to where I was. I see him again and realize he had no clue WHY my back hurt (or why I did PT) so I pushed for an MRI as X-ray shows nothing. MRI denied, escalate to my surgeon who also is denied for MRI but insurance wants to send me to another 6 weeks of PT. I end up paying out of pocket for MRI and its lit up like a Christmas tree on T9, exactly where it hurts. It sometimes takes me a good 10 minutes to get out of bed in the morning.. sit up, get mentally prepared, and stand (grabbing nightstand for balance. jabs of pain as my back locks down as soon as weight is on my feet. I cant go do dinner without preparing ahead with meds, and a waiter at a local place knows if I sit outside he needs to get me a well-padded seat from inside the restaurant. I HATE being "that guy" and I just want to sit in a normal chair, and be able to enjoy a nice dinner without bad pain, or watch grandkids play with no care about seat quality. 

I first have to do two epidurals and it did give a few days of relief but nothing lasting. I was so tight the first epidural that the needle bent going through the muscle. 

I have my surgery in a week. they are going to fuse at T9-10 and I also have foraminal narrowing that they will address as well. 

My question: my doctor said recovery is harder from the T9 surgery than for my neck as its a more aggressive surgery (cutting muscle vs moving it). I was hoping someone else has had this done and can tell me the straight scoop on what the recovery is like. I did buy a Toto Washlet Bidet toilet seat for during my recovery. I feel that makes caring for myself a bit easier. 



  • Hi Mike - four years ago I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 58 and had 10 levels fused (T9 - S1) to correct a 51 degree curve. My recovery was excellent and I had very little pain. It mostly hovered around a 2 or 3 for the first few weeks. I was VERY careful though and followed Dr's orders exactly as far as no bending, lifting or twisting (BLT's). I also took pain meds as prescribed to stay ahead of the pain for the first 2 weeks, then only first thing in the morning and just before bed for the next 3 - 4 weeks. Off all meds by 7 weeks. I walked everyday, several times a day, from the first day home and to be honest, this was probably the best thing as far as healing goes. Today I'm just living my life like I never had a surgery. Hope this helps :)


  • that is awesome! I plan to take off the entire month of October to recover and try to catch up on some lost sleep lol.. I feel its best if i can treat my recovery as my sole "job".

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  • Welcome mike-littlerock we’re glad you’re here!

    I have not had thoracic fusion surgery, but did have T12-L1 discetomy, the thoracic area is a very sensitive area but my surgery and recovery went well and my hope is your's will also

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you seen the Spinal Fusion Health Center on Spine-health? Spinal fusion surgery comes in many forms, and you’ll find a number of doctor-authored resources here, including Types of Spinal FusionPostoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery, and tips to help Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery. It’s a great resource for anyone considering spinal fusion. I hope you find it helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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