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Old 10-17-2005, 12:27 PM   #1
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dawest58 HB User
Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

Has anyone encountered problems with wearing their brace post-op? I'm to have 3 level fusion on October 20th (what's with all the October fusions?) and am supposed to wear my brace now to see how it it to sit and move, etc, but I can't stand it more than an hour. I am claustrophobic to begin with and have always needed something for my MRI's. My neurosurgeon says I'm to wear it for 12 hrs/day. As soon as I put it on, I immediately start itching or something else where I need to wiggle out of it. I know I won't be wiggling for too long.
To top it off- don't laugh- I'm an RN- so everything's magnified to the umpteenth power! I guess my fears are getting the best of me but having a degenerative spine (the discs, spine, cartilage- all pressing on my sciatic nerves!) is driving me to the OR. I'll be having laminectomy & spinal fusion L2- S1.
I believe I have a great neurosurgeon who will be using the new bone protein (no cage- that worries me as to how that goo & brackets will hold me up- Oh- the brace!) so I won't have the hip to worry about, but this brace is driving me crazy.
Just let me know that it'll be my friend after surgery- or I'll need more of the drugs I'd like to get off of.
I've already called my Pain Management Guy (Neurosurgeon Guy doesn't Prescribe & PCP isn't open Monday's) and he hasn't called back. They always treat me like a baby when I go for my MRI's. I can't help it if I have claustrophobia, really!

 
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:23 PM   #2
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caszyman HB User
Re: Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

My daughter didn't have to wear a brace after surgery, but she wore a hard plastic brace as non-surgical treatment months before surgery. She also hated it. She had to wear it all of her waking hours. I found some tank style undershirts without side seams for her to wear under the brace. That seemed to make it a little more comfortable for her. Good luck.

 
Old 10-17-2005, 01:33 PM   #3
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flyonthewall HB User
Re: Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

My posterolateral fusion, L3-S1, was done with BMP on sponges that were laid on either side of my spine. I also have two rods and eight screws. It worked.

 
Old 10-18-2005, 11:51 PM   #4
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ukiahvalleymom HB User
Re: Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

My surgery was done by an Orthopedic Surgeon, it was 14 levels from C7-L4, I have rods and 2inch screws. My brace was made of fiberglass, my surgeon said its really only for looks, so that others will be careful around me, especially my 5 year old son. She also said once the machinery is in place, it is strong enough to hold everything in place until the fusion takes hold.

Oh, when I first came home post-op, I didn't have the brace on for around 3 weeks, I was in a hospital bed with a port-a -potty next to it. The only time I wore the brace was when I got up to stand, sit or walk.

What I found interesting in you message is that you have to wiggle out of your brace. I can't see how that will be possible after your surgery, how will you be able to wiggle?

My brace was made after my surgery so that it fit correctly. At the beginning I had help with putting it on and taking it off, will someone be there to help you?

Make sure you eat healthy bone growing food and take supplements like calcium and iron. You may also want to take a stool softner and laxative initially, it makes things a lot easier. Especially if your on pain meds.

I wish you the best, and hope the your surgery will be successful along with a speedy recovery. uvm

Last edited by ukiahvalleymom; 10-19-2005 at 12:01 AM. Reason: spelling errors

 
Old 10-19-2005, 04:53 AM   #5
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Re: Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

I've worn a brace for fourteen yrs. Not the hard plastic one, but the elastic
kind with staise in it. They are hot in summer, I admit, but I'm in pain without it on. I have had 5 fusions. After the fusions, I don't have to wear the brace either for about 2 mos. Sooner or later the pain starts back up. You may not have a choice but to wear it. You want to get a good fusion, don't you? You should be honest with your surgeon about this. It could make you so you don't fuse. I've heard of this hapening. Good Luck
Fancylady

 
Old 10-19-2005, 08:47 AM   #6
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ukiahvalleymom HB User
Re: Having Spinal Fusion & Nervous in NJ- Claustrophobia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fancylady
I've worn a brace for fourteen yrs. Not the hard plastic one, but the elastic
kind with staise in it. They are hot in summer, I admit, but I'm in pain without it on. I have had 5 fusions. After the fusions, I don't have to wear the brace either for about 2 mos. Sooner or later the pain starts back up. You may not have a choice but to wear it. You want to get a good fusion, don't you? You should be honest with your surgeon about this. It could make you so you don't fuse. I've heard of this hapening. Good Luck
Fancylady
Fancylady,
Did you say you had 5 different fusion surgeries, was it for Scoliosis? or something else? Does your pain have to do with muscle spasms? or has there been permanent damage? Could you have Chronic Myofascial Pain?

So sorry about all the questions...just, I can't imagine having to wear the brace for the rest of my life. I was out of the brace after a year.

Have you tried Physical Therapy, especially Massage Therapy? Find someone who can be gentle and soothing, who by smoothing out the different muscle groups can get them to release enough before getting into the deep tissue massage. I have had great results, since I started therapy.

Hopeful, that you may find today's treatment options that may help get your full life back, uvm

 
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