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I Hate Spiders 09-12-2019 12:51 PM

Big back surgery coming up soon.
 
October 23, 2019 I am scheduled to go into surgery to have about 3 inches of my thoracic spine removed and fused together, 2 ribs from both sides removed and a rod placed through my entire thoracic spine. Doctor says this surgery requires a rehab stay. I'm definitely ok with this because I live alone. what can I expect recovery to be like?

teteri66 09-21-2019 06:31 AM

Re: Big back surgery coming up soon.
 
Welcome to the board. Iím sorry no one responded to your post. I have had four lumbar surgeries including two fusions. However the thoracic spine surgery is more difficult due to the location of rib cage, etc. You are smart to go to rehab until you are able to care for yourself!

It is impossible to say what YOUR recovery will be like as every body is different...even within an individual, each surgery is different! It is difficult to handle the pain medications on your own when you first leave hospital as they need to be taken consistently around the clock.

But they will have you up and walking a few hours after surgery...probably using a walker. Will you be in a back brace after the surgery?

My best advice is to be prepared for the first days after surgery to be rough. It is MAJOR surgery and your body (muscles, soft tissue, fascia, etc.) will need to learn some new alignment afterward. It will take awhile for your energy level to return to something approaching normal. Healing will take up to a year for the bone to set up and become strong and hard! You may be in rehab for a week or two...perhaps a bit longer depending on how things go. But you will gradually begin to feel stronger and more energetic. Many feel quite OK around the three month mark...but again, healing will continue on for 12 months or even longer.

I found it is very important to be patient and to learn to listen to your body. Do not try to rush the process ó doing things before your body is ready only ends up causing nerve pain and a temporary set-back. Also, maintaining a positive attitude is VERY important. Learn to take it one day at a time!!

I wish you the very best. Oh, I should add, if you are very nervous about the surgery, you might want to look into a guided imagery CD. Iím not normally into that sort of thing, but before my third surgery I bought a cd called something like Meditations for Successful Surgery that I listened to every night before falling asleep. It helped so much. When the body is calm, it helps the surgical team do their work. BP remains stable etc. The nurses couldnít believe how calm I was! And as a result, I think my recovery was easier!

I Hate Spiders 09-21-2019 08:03 AM

Re: Big back surgery coming up soon.
 
Thank you so much for your reply. I so appreciate everything that you said. I will take it all into consideration and do my best to do what you are saying because honestly, I have had 21 surgeries and all of them (other than the first four) have been in the last 5 1/2 years and this oneís going to be the toughest by far. Iím not a meditator, but I listen to meditation every night. That is what I fall asleep to every single night. Again...Thank you!

teteri66 09-22-2019 07:51 PM

Re: Big back surgery coming up soon.
 
Glad you were still checking in. A couple years ago I was checking in constantly, but Iíve been on here over ten years and things arenít nearly as active as they used to be...plus now, I am busy doing lots of other things!

Like I said, I have no experience with thoracic issues but I have had tons of unique experiences through my lumbar issues, surgeries, etc. Nothing about my situation was typical. I ended up having to take things into my own hands after my medical team pretty much threw up their hands and said ďmaybe this is as good as it is going to get...you must learn to live with this.Ē So I just kept looking for answers through both traditional and alternative methods.....

I canít imagine 21 surgeries...yikes! I assume they arenít all spinal surgeries!!

Iím happy to try to answer any questions you might have....

I Hate Spiders 09-23-2019 05:33 AM

Re: Big back surgery coming up soon.
 
Thank you for your response! To answer your concern, no, all 21 surgeries have not been spinal surgeries. The only ones involving my spine are a disc removal w/an artificial one implanted, spinal cord stimulator implant, spinal cord stimulator X plant, and then Spinal cord Stimulator MRI compatible implant. This one coming up will be the biggest of all, on my back or anywhere else for that matter.


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