I have read that some people have a to wear a brace after a fusion and some don't. If you do wear one, you either wear a soft corset or a hard one that makes you more immobile. I go in 1 week and a 1/2 to my 2nd opinion. I know it will be very uncomfortable to have a brace, but I feel more safe w/ one on. I would even feel more safe w/ the hard one. I guess if it is decided that i will have the fusion, i want to make sure it grows right and if I move the wrong way that it will not heal right. Does anyone know the cost? All I know is that I want the new neuro to do right by me. I am in my mid-twenties and something needs to be done! Also, my previous neurosurgeon feels this needs to be done. I am glad he sees that there is still something wrong and not in my head. Oh to be normal . You all i am sure are saying that, right? . Thanks for your input.
I have been longing to be "normal" for years now. I am 27 and just had a two level fusion. I have to wear the "turtle shell" brace. It was made specifically for me. It is in two peices with four velcro straps. I loved it at first, but now I wish I could just go without it. It does help me not to be too mobile and it prevents me from doing the bending and twisting that if I had not had it, I know I would have done it. I am coming up on three months and hopefully, I will get clearance to take it off in three weeks. (actually a few weeks past the three month mark) The only things that my bad back has changed for me is the kind of work I wanted to do and the kind I can do. Plus, before surgery, I couldn't wear heels. I think now I can. I wake up every morning and the pain I had low back is never present anymore. It is a great feeling. We all heal different though and even though we might have similar surgeries, does not mean we will all come out the same. I wish you well and will be on and off if you have any more questions!
Every doc has a different method, so some insist on a brace and others feel that when they tell you no bending, stooping, etc that you should follow instructions. I've not had a brace with my fusions and they've gone just fine and I am one extremely active person. I just make sure that in getting in/out of a chair or getting down in the floor, I keep the back straight and use my legs for the work.
My surgeon did prescribe a corsett type brace before any surgeries he did but I could not tolerate it as I have birth deformed ribs. However, that one soft corsett with spines in it was over $200 about 4 years ago. What I use now if I am going to do yard work, or any strenuous work is one of the wide heavy elastic braces that workmen wear in the lumber yards. I get those for about $25-30 at places like Wal-Mart or similar stores. The doc said this was good for me to use.
Understand that a hard brace would give more security and certainly see it's benefits. So long as the doc writes a script for it, then most insurances will cover at least 75-80 percent of the cost that they authorize. If you are dealing with a preferred provider, then of course your expense if limited to what they authorize as the appropriate amount.
Have had hard brace on my arm from wrist to shoulder. Just molded plastic & foam made from a casting of the arm. It ran more than $1000 about 10 years ago. Since a back brace doesn't come with a hinge it may not cost nearly as much. Hope some of those who have had hard braces have more current estimates for you.
Great question for discussion with the doc when you go for an opinion. Glad you have that second opinion already in the works.
My daughter wore a hard brace with the velcro front this past fall as one of our non-surgical interventions. My insurance co paid $600 - 700 and I paid less than $50. I know the insurance co was billed much more than that. Hopefully if she needs a brace after surgery she can use the same one, but if I remember correctly since she's having instumentation her dr. doesn't use the brace. I guess we'll see for sure in June.
I Had A 2 Level Fusion And Wore The Turtle Shell Brace. I Couldn't Wait To Get It Off. Mine Was From A Company Called Hanger. It Costs About $2000 . Now With Instability On The Level Above The Fusion I Have't To Wear It Again. I Learned To Live With It. From All My Experiences The Hard Shell Is Better. Good Luck!!!!!