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Upcoming total fusion surgery in 2 weeks

prettybirdpprettybird californiaPosts: 3
edited 09/12/2016 - 5:51 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello my name is Sharon I am new and hope to find helpful information and others experiences with their recovery from spine reconstructive surgery my fusion will be c3 to L5 due to my scoliosis curves.  I hope someone can share with me how was their recovery in the first 2 weeks after surgery.  Was there difficulty going to the bathroom on your own, and the pain tolerance.  I know I will have alot of pain meds for the control of my pain levels.  And will work real hard towards pain management when all possible.  I am focusing on being strong in mind and spirit before my surgery so I can be strong after surgery and get thru what lies ahead for me.  I am older 61 and also hope to hear from anyone my age with their recovery as I have been told by my doctor and read the older we are the more risks we face.  I appreciate any response.


  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496

    welcome to the spine-health forums.

    it sounds like you have a plan in place for your surgery, which is good.  my fusion is only three levels, so i probably don't have a lot of advice for you.  hopefully other members with experience with scoliosis will jump in with advice for you.

    please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started welcome to spine-health


    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.

  • CandyDCCandyD WisconsinPosts: 31
    HI Sharon, I don't have scoliosis and all my surgery was in my neck, so here's hoping someone else answers you with more details. I did want to ask if you have someone to help you at home. I had 5 levels fused in my neck. I was in the hospital for 4 days and then in Rehab for a week. When I came home my daughter stayed with me to help with anything that involved reaching, bending or lifting (shower, washing hair, cooking, washing dishes, etc.). I also had therapy at home. At first there were two ladies, one for Occupational Therapy (getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, how well I could sit and get up from the toilet, if I could get in and out of the shower (grab bar and shower seat). I was not allowed to lift my arms higher than my shoulders until they healed. The other therapist was for Physical Therapy (worked on getting my muscles moving, etc.)  I had OT for about a week and PT for a month at home. 

    Plan to have easy-to-put-on clothes. It was nearly impossible for me to put any shirt on over my head for awhile. Everything needed to button in front. It was easier to pull my pants on when lying on the bed. Leaning over and reaching were no fun for awhile.

    I found that recovery takes longer than I thought, and I had a lot of emotions. Once I hit the 4 weeks post surgery I was feeling better, and again even better by my 6 weeks check up. I am now 4 months post op and doing well. I can drive (though my neck is still stiff and I can't look over my shoulder---I can look side to side, though). I can cook, clean and shop on my own. I've had 2 X-rays since my surgery and the bone graft and fusion are good. My doc said I am fused and healed. Not everyone fuses that fast. Try to stay positive and come to the forum often to ask questions if you need. Good luck with your surgery! By the way, I am 66.
    Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy
    05/05/16 Posterior Laminectomy and Cervical Spinal Fusion C3-C7 
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  • prettybirdpprettybird californiaPosts: 3
    Thank you for your reply you gave me much helpful information and resurrance especially sharing your age I do have help at home my son and his family will be staying with me to help me thru this time in my life I will keep in touch and thank you again for your reply!
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 992
    edited 09/13/2016 - 7:28 PM


    I'm your same age and have been through 2 lumbar fusion surgeries in the past 3 years.  Recovery is a tough road with the first couple of weeks being the worst... at first it's like being run over by a train... but you seem to have a good mindset which is critical... along with good family support.    For sure you will have lots of emotional and physical ups and downs during your recovery... that your family probably won't fully understand... try to stay calm and just roll with it as best you can... and in time the ups and downs will fade away.  It's also important to be very patient with your recovery.  Fusion recovery is a marathon of months not weeks... where slow and steady wins the race.  I'm sure your doctor will have instructions on this but daily walking is a must for a good recovery... it helps rebuild your muscles... promotes blood flow and avoids stiffness.  Attitude and patience is everything...

    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
  • prettybirdpprettybird californiaPosts: 3
    Thank you for your reply truly appreciate all your advise I will definitely keep in mind all you said and will walk as much as possible as my goal is to strengthen my back and help with the healing process thank you again and again!
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