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Old 02-25-2007, 07:00 AM   #1
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Justoneofus........thoracic pain

You said, "After my lower back fusion surgery, I began to have pain in my thorasic region. Apparently it is very common for lower back surgery patients to get their upper back region a "tad out of whack" because of the changes in and lack of exercise."

Thank you for posting this. I have been a little worried about this because I am having thoracic pain when I sit. It almost feels like I have a rod stuck in it. Very uncomfortable.

Forgive me, I forget what level you had surgery on. Mine was L5/s1 hardware fusion and s1/s2 was fused without hardware in 1982.

I was doing better with sitting but the past week it has become extremely painful. I figure it is just healing???

Since you have been thru this, do you have any tips for sitting.

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Old 02-25-2007, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: Justoneofus........thoracic pain

Hi -Pepper. My level fused is l4/l5 with rods, screws also. The whole spine has to adjust to new mechanical changes and readjust accordingly. So very common to have other aches and pains throughout the spine as "adjustment pains" occur along with surgery recovery pains.

Umm.. i think sitting is also one of those things that is individual comfort for each person. I really dont have any "tips" for anyone on this one to be honest, other than I try and sit straight and aligned as much as possible, so I try and keep proper posture as often as possible.

Before surgery I had a computer chair that I sat in and preferred over all others (to include a back chair I spent almost $3k on. That was returned because I just could not sit in it).

Post surgery, I can't sit in the chair that I used prior to surgery. It makes my back hurt. I am now sitting in a much flatter bottom cushioned desk chair and I use my "granny style" electric lazyboy recliner when watching tv. I would not be able to handle a regular recliner. And it was 4-6 weeks before I could even sit back in the recliner for any length of time. (Im a tiny person, so I really have to sit way back in order for my back to be resting on the chair properly). I can now stay in it for an evening of tv, but am constantly adjusting it and sitting on the edge, laying back, etc. Also turning on the heater (vibrator part I dont like) and I also have a heating pad on the side as well that I have been using during the winter months.

I am sorry that I was not of more help on this one. Tammy
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Old 02-25-2007, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: Justoneofus........thoracic pain

Hi Pepper,
My therapist told me I would have less sitting pain if I could get my knees lower than my hips. Tucking my feet under the chair or around the sides helps. But after a while, that gets uncomfortable, too. I find that I do best by alternating between perching on the edge of the chair with my feet tucked under, and sitting back (in a straight backed chair). I think this is going to be the new normal for the rest of my life. It's the pressure on that area that's fused that would normally have some give when you sit down that causes the pain. By regularly shifting, you change that pressure, so you'll at least minimize the pain.

Just standing up for a few minutes, too, makes a difference and then I can sit again for a while.

You guys are getting snow again today? We're getting absolutely nothing, not even rain. I guess we're just on the other side of the line that goes through VA. Hope it melts quickly for you!


Old 02-25-2007, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: Justoneofus........thoracic pain

Thanks Emily and Tammy. Yes we have gotten 5 to 6 inches of snow today. However, it is on the borderline of freezing so I don't think it will be here for long. sounds like I might be normal afterall. Sitting in my recliner is not working. Sitting at the dinner table I can handle -- maybe I will have to try all the different chairs in the house.

Today I sat down in a lower chair and my hubby had to help me get up. I was stuck. It was so funny -- I feel like such a granny!!

Old 02-25-2007, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: Justoneofus........thoracic pain

Yep, I'm with you on that. The only chairs I could sit on for a long time were the kitchen table chairs. After a while, I could perch on the rocking chair, and it's only within the last couple of weeks that I can actually lean back in it comfortably. I haven't tried the sofa again since early on when I tried to sit down and had to beg, "get me up, get me up!" But I'm seeing faster and faster progress now. Once I'm completely out of the brace, it will be much easier, anyway, and at that point I'll start figuring out what's what for the future.

However it turns out, the surgery was well worth it. I'll take the sitting pain over the back pain.


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