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What to expect in recovery from a ten level fusion

I am five weeks out from an xlif and a day later a ten level fusion for scoliosis.My spine was shifted from a 68 degree curve to ground zero. I currently need a walker to walk and am wondering how long it could take to develop the muscles and strengthen my core to be able to walk normally unassisted. I am 65 and want my life back. (I know, I know, it has only been five weeks!)
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Comments

  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    Kimmy, They actually started my PT in the hospital and I went to "boot camp" two days after the fusion. I had 2-4 hours of PT every day in a acute rehab. They were moving me all day long. Considering I had 20 hours of surgery in two days I thought getting up that soon was amazing.
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496
    Estevez

    You are amazing!  Your post seems so up beat, and you have been through a lot.

    Like Kimmy, my three level (2 at a time) fusion was nothing.  Good luck, I would love to hear how you are doing in a month or so.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    Well Bruce I have to be upbeat, at this point besides ongoing, ubiquitous PT the only thing going to get me where I want to go is attitude!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496
    Esteven

    Good for you!  Keep it up.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 991

    Emily

    You're a remarkable woman... 20 hours of back surgery and 2 days later doing PT boot camp!!!  That goes beyond amazing... especially for someone your age.   With your spirit and spunk I have zero doubts about your recovery... and I'm sure in no time you will be throwing that walker in the trash... and will be running circles around the 25 year olds at the disco.  Are you walking outside every day?   Are you off the pain meds?

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    Harry,

    I am now almost six weeks out from surgery and using Tylenol to manage pain, the heavy duty pain meds are not being used. I walk for an hour a day, divided into 20 minute sessions and I keep moving inside and outside all day. I don't need to run circles around any 25 year olds, but I do want to jump on a plane and visit my children in China and that is a very long flight from Washington State. I am having to relearn almost everything I do and be patient with the fact that tasks just take longer that they did before surgery. I know that my surgery is new and frankly after reading posts on this forum I can't complain. Six weeks out, an xlif followed by a ten level fusion,  and relatively little pain, just discomfort. I gained three inches in height, so am stretched while my body adjusts.
  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    It will be more amazing when I train my muscles to walk independently again--learning to walk is challenging.

  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    At my six week check up I was told that the vertebrae above my fusion has a fracture! Has anyone out there had this happen? They suggested an additional fusion, but were not definitive. It was discouraging.
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 991

    Emily

    WOW... that sucks... you were doing so good.  If the fracture isn't giving you lots of pain you might want to ask your doctor about something less invasive than fusion.  There are lots of options available for repairing fractures...

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • esteveneesteven WashingtonPosts: 12
    Eleven weeks out from my xlif and ten level fusion...Still using assistance to walk and frustrated by that fact. I ditched the walker for treking poles, but walking with them is hard. I have worked my way up to 30 minutes of walking, but my arms are pretty tired at that point. Still no pain, but minor discomfort at the end of the day. 
    Anybody out there have a similar experience and can confirm that they are now walking without assistance and when?
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