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massage, acupuncture after thoracic fusion?

saamsonitessaamsonite Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Does anyone know how long one should wait before having massage after thoracic spinal fusion surgery? I am also interested in acupuncture; has anyone tried it?

I had surgery 3 1/2 weeks ago (April 1st), had T2-T10 fused, and am having pretty bad muscle spasms and shoulder pain. Meditation works wonders, but I was thinking massage might further help. I would like to try more holistic approaches and less pharmaceuticals. I can't find any info online and my doctor is quite unavailable...


  • Yes, I too have found that it is hard to find much information regarding thoracic surgery online.

    Are you wearing a TSLO brace? I had to wear the brace for 3 1/2 months, but was told by my surgeon it was to support my spine from the repair work on my muscles and also due to my many fractures. He rarely advises wearing the TSLO brace for fusions, so I hope you don't have to wear one.

    You need to be really careful with twisting, turning, reaching, etc., right now. I twisted wrong (even with my brace on)and wound up in the hospital 4 weeks post op. I pulled a muscle and boy oh boy did that hurt!

    Meditation is awesome... it provides so much relief. Keep that up.

    Please check with your doctor about massage and accupuncture. It takes a while for the thoracic muscles to heal. I hope you have a good muscle relaxer for the spasms.

    Take good care and don't over do it.


  • Thanks for the advice Tammy- I am taking it extremely easy!

    This is actually my 2nd spinal fusion because the one I had a year ago did not fully take in some areas because my spine is osteoporotic (at 24 years old! WTF?). Last time they fused T3-T9 and this time it is T2-T10. I have had to wear the brace both times, but more recently my brace does not have a C-collar type thing, thank goodness! Last time I despised it, but I don’t really mind wearing it now; I call it my turtle shell and am actually thinking of painting it just for laughs (people stare anyway, might as well give them a good reason!). My surgeon, different from my 1st surgery, said that I did not have to wear the brace in the shower this time but I prefer it because I bend and twist unwittingly. Now that I have heard what happened to you- I will for sure wear it and be vigilant for the BLT!

    Good luck with your recovery as well, and hit the PT hard!
    I can’t wait until I am there!
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  • How's it going over there?

    I've read your posts and I sure do feel for you! How is your ankle doing? When I was in the hospital after my fall, I thought my left foot was broken... but, it turned out to be severely sprained. You certainly have had a rough year... wow!

    I am glad to hear your prognosis is good. The first thing I asked my surgeon was, "Will I ever be able to ski again?" He told me yes and that was music to my ears. It's a long healing process, but we'll get there. Where were you skiing at... the time of your accident?

    I had Penelope (Pepe Le Pew's girlfriend) airbrushed on my turtle shell... lol. What color are you thinking of painting your shell? You are wise to keep the shell on while showering. I was so anxious to take a shower without the brace, but sure am glad I kept it on. I remember how much it hurt to just lift my arms at 4 weeks post op. I took forever to be able to just brush my hair.

    Take it real easy and keep up the meditation!

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