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  • Better post op treatments for thoracic fusion?

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    Old 11-29-2013, 07:36 AM   #1
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    Better post op treatments for thoracic fusion?

    I have recently had 2 surgeries to finish the fusion of my cervical spine and fusion of my thoracic spine. I have hereditary degenerative disk disease. In Sept. 2013 my doctor fused C2-C3 and did a revision of the already fused C-3 to C-7. My total cervical spine is fused, except of course C1-C2 (which I understand is never fused). Then 3 days after that fusion, my doctor fused T1-T2. I am having a harder time healing the thoracic fusion. [B]I wonder if I should be wearing a brace to promote properly aligned healing and support for my thoracic fusion? Does anyone have any experience with using a brace for thoracic fusion and believe for good reason that a brace should be used post op, instead of going without a brace?[/B] I have osteopenia so my bones are not strong and I also have hypoparathyroidism (failure of my parathyroid glands) and so I have calcium absorption problems. I am now 3 months post op and find that I have pain searing to my elbow and wrist because I leaned to far to reach something or slept wrong...I don't know exactly what brought the pain on because I didn't feel any pain until hours later. This is my 3rd day with pain. I didn't have such pain after the surgery but notice that I am starting to have different pains that I did not have immediately post op. I think this is happening because I am moving more. [B]Tell me what you think. Is this normal pain for post op healing of a thoracic fusion?[/B]

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    Old 11-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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    Re: Better post op treatments for thoracic fusion?

    Welcome to the board.

    Bracing is becoming optional in the minds of many spine surgeons. With the newer technologies in hardware, surgeons have more confidence in letting patients go without braces. I have not had thoracic surgery but have had two lumbar fusions. With my first one the surgeon did not believe in the use of braces. My second surgeon was more conservative and always used a brace --just for extra protection, if nothing else.

    Given all your health issues, I would think a brace would be a good idea, unless there is some specific reason to not use one. Bracing is used by some surgeons for thoracic surgeries --a thoracolumbar brace for a number of weeks to months post surgery -- to decrease the motion of the neck to help with fusion. It may be that there is no physical reason to have a brace, but given the condition with your bones, if nothing else I think it would be comforting to have it -- it is so easy to forgot to keep the neck immobile and to not bend or twist without a brace to serve as a reminder.

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