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    Old 07-11-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
    Remmers
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    Question t6-t7 surgery question?

    My dr as told me that they have to go thru the side of my chest to preform the surgery, and the herniation in pressing on the spinal cord itself, not the nerves.

    Has any one been thru this, he told me i would be in the hospital for about a week, and 6 to 8 weeks to recover. I recover quickly for surgery's, i have had 5 in the past 2 years and it doesn't seem to bother me. 3 on my knee one on my elbow and one on my foot

    this is going to be major thought so what should i expect

    Thanks

    Rich

     
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    Old 07-12-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: t6-t7 surgery question?

    I don't know what to tell you except that I may be facing the same thing myself. Just had an MRI yesterday. Can I ask what your symptoms are? I've been in the ER with pain wrapping around my side and chest so bad I can't move. Worse than a kidney stone. But everything inside checked out okay so they are looking to my spine. Already have 3 herniated disks there with some cord compression but I suspect they will find it's worse.

    But I can tell you something about spine surgery as I've had 2 major cervical spine surgeries and I'm fused from C3 to T1 already. You may read in some of the other threads that fatigue after surgery is a big thing. The anesthesia they use for spine surgery is different from any other surgery....very, very deep.....don't want any movement while they are in there. So that is the first big difference. Second, you may very well be in a body brace for the first few weeks depending on the surgery they do. Ask. And the biggest thing I find is that the spine itself is a slow forgiver of injury. It takes a long time to heal so you may find that you are having all kinds of zaps and pins and needles and muscle spasms for weeks. But it beats paralysis.

    I am the veteran of 22 major orthopedic surgeries including having both knees replaced at the same time. I had 7 surgeries in 2 1/2 years between Aug. of 2004 and Jan. of 2007 so I know a thing or 2 about bouncing back. I usually do. But not after the last neck surgery. It was big and brutal and it took a long time. Mind you I had 5 dislocated vertebrae and 3 fractures so it was bad going in but I was unprepared for the amount of time it took.

    So I look at it this way and share this with everyone......the spinal cord is part of your brain. Would you rush recovery from brain surgery? No. You'd take your time as it's the #1 vital organ in your body. Treat your spine the same way and you'll do just fine.

    take care and gentle hugs.............Jenny

     
    Old 07-15-2009, 02:35 AM   #3
    Jema X
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    Re: t6-t7 surgery question?

    Hey Remmers,

    I replied to you on the back boards, feel free to pm me if you like. I've had thoracic surgery and it certainly is major. And you are having the most major of the two types of thoracic surgery - it doesn't get much bigger than this.

    If they're only doing one level, it's very unlikely they'll use a back brace - more common with fractured vertebrae etc. I didn't have a brace. My thoracic locked itself up and I learnt to log roll out of bed. You'll have to do this on the one side because of the incision on the other. You'll probably find that your arms are pretty weak for a while and lifting is out of the question. NO driving for minimum of 6 weeks. Trust me on this, my thoracic fusion has not fused and driving is one of the causes, or so they tell me. They should look after you really well in hospital and make sure that your pain is under control - it's quite difficult to get control of the pain after a thoracotomy so make sure you ask for as much as you need. I had lots of problems dressing - could put t shirts on but not lift them back over my head....I still have this problem with tight tops.

    Have you got a long couch that you can lie on your side on? Facing the tv preferably You'll probably spend a fair bit of time on it.

    I must warn you, the surgeries that you've had are pretty minor compared to what you're about to go through. I'm having another thoracic surgery (same as yours) at the end of the year if the surgeon's get their way and I dread it. It's hard going, about the toughest surgery to recover from that there is. Please make sure that your doc or someone will be managing you pain for the months after your surgery...unlike other fusions in your neck or lumbar, you'll need pain meds for a few months and possibly longer.

    Being a fast healer helps. Mum and I walked around an indoor shopping mall the day I came home from hospital and I did this each day (inside is warmer and feels safer) for two weeks before I started walking outside. The more walking and stuff you can do, the faster you'll recover. Last, but not least, you'll be pretty tired for a while and breathing will be painful...please tell all friends not to make you laugh - my friends weren't very accomodating lol

    I'm writing an essay here, so I'll let you go. Let me know if I can help in any way.

     
    Old 07-15-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
    jennybyc
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    Re: t6-t7 surgery question?

    Jema...can I ask what your symptoms were? I'm waiting for the results of my thoracic MRI but my previous one showed 3 herniated disks and cord compression at T7-8. I just recently developed severe pain on my left side with some now on my right. I was having muscle spasms for months prior to this. When it gets bad I have a lot of pain breathing and am in so much pain I can't lie down, sit or walk....I just stand not knowing what to do. Even IV Dilaudid barely touched the pain. I'm taking muscle relaxants around the clock with some pain relief as needed(I try NOT to take anything for pain). But it's allergy season here New England and with each sneeze or cough I seize up with pain.

    Any ideas?

    very gentle hugs...............Jenny

     
    Old 07-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
    Remmers
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    Re: t6-t7 surgery question?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
    I don't know what to tell you except that I may be facing the same thing myself. Just had an MRI yesterday. Can I ask what your symptoms are? I've been in the ER with pain wrapping around my side and chest so bad I can't move. Worse than a kidney stone. But everything inside checked out okay so they are looking to my spine. Already have 3 herniated disks there with some cord compression but I suspect they will find it's worse.

    But I can tell you something about spine surgery as I've had 2 major cervical spine surgeries and I'm fused from C3 to T1 already. You may read in some of the other threads that fatigue after surgery is a big thing. The anesthesia they use for spine surgery is different from any other surgery....very, very deep.....don't want any movement while they are in there. So that is the first big difference. Second, you may very well be in a body brace for the first few weeks depending on the surgery they do. Ask. And the biggest thing I find is that the spine itself is a slow forgiver of injury. It takes a long time to heal so you may find that you are having all kinds of zaps and pins and needles and muscle spasms for weeks. But it beats paralysis.

    I am the veteran of 22 major orthopedic surgeries including having both knees replaced at the same time. I had 7 surgeries in 2 1/2 years between Aug. of 2004 and Jan. of 2007 so I know a thing or 2 about bouncing back. I usually do. But not after the last neck surgery. It was big and brutal and it took a long time. Mind you I had 5 dislocated vertebrae and 3 fractures so it was bad going in but I was unprepared for the amount of time it took.

    So I look at it this way and share this with everyone......the spinal cord is part of your brain. Would you rush recovery from brain surgery? No. You'd take your time as it's the #1 vital organ in your body. Treat your spine the same way and you'll do just fine.

    take care and gentle hugs.............Jenny

    Jenny

    Sorry I didnt get back to you sooner.

    My biggest symptom is I have major pain between my shoulder blades and then i have pain that shoots down the whole right side of my body. When it is really bad, I have his pain right between my breast bone, it feels lie I have swallowed a horse pill that got stuck in my throat. That is killer.

    I also have other issue with my spine that causes some other issues but this one is a biggie

     
    Old 08-13-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
    inthegrapevine
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    Re: t6-t7 surgery question?

    Hi Rich, I have just went through the t8-9 surgery through the side and had it pressing on the spinal cord also. I was in the hospital for only two days. They will be putting you in the I.C.U the first night due to having to collapse the lung and you will probably need a chest tube. My lung would only fill up 33 percent so they had to do a chest tube and fill it the rest of the way up. That was a bummer, but not as bad as I had expexted on removing it though since it was a pediatric type chest tube. I actually barely felt it come out and was extremely afraid of this procedure because I heard it was very painful coming out. I just took a deep breath and coughed and they took it right out.
    I had surgery on July 24th 2009 and am almost 3 weeks post-op. Still in need of a lot of meds though and hopefully will start to feel better soon. I was told the surgery was a complete success and am hoping to start getting more active soon, but am still very sore due to the ribs being stretched to get to the fushion. I also had pluriersy the night after I got home and had to return to E.R. for a few hours, but that got cleared up. Aparantly this is a pretty common occurance after this type of surgery. I wish you lots of luck if you have not already had the surgery! Let's just hope we finally get some relief from this horrible pain.

     
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