Spinal fusion: T5 ->L3

Posted by cmo @cmo, Aug 18 9:51pm

I have severe kyphosis that is causing me horrible pain. After 16 months of conservative trials, it seems the only viable option is a 10-level spinal fusion. Anyone have something similar in scope/size?

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Only fused S1 – L5, two years later L5 – L4, last fusion was L1 – First T level. So the short story each level fail due to the weight shift change and ruin the level above the fusion. Now I have urology issues which is nerve damage at the first T level.
Good luck with your major surgery; I have no ideal how you will do PT after this operation.

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@cmo Welcome to Connect. Have you had any second opinions? That is a big surgery you are thinking about. I am a spine surgery patient, but mine was a single level cervical surgery. I am guessing you have done a lot of physical therapy to try and help. Recovery on a lumbar surgery is much more difficult because it is bearing most of your body weight. I am sure there is a lot to consider. What questions did you ask your surgeon?

I thought you may be interested in this discussion on myofascial release. This can release tight tissue that is holding your body in a bad ergonomic position. I don't know if this can help you, but it may be something to try before you head to surgery. My dad had kyphosis and this helped a bit, but he went back to his old habits.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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I’ve tried lots of conservative treatment and multiple rounds of PT. I’ve consulted with a spine NS at Mayo and a spine NS at Duke…..both recommend the same thing. Living in horrible pain is no way to live. Major surgery freaks me out, too. I am not quite 50. I am seeing a local spine orthopedic surgeon this coming week.

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@cmo

I’ve tried lots of conservative treatment and multiple rounds of PT. I’ve consulted with a spine NS at Mayo and a spine NS at Duke…..both recommend the same thing. Living in horrible pain is no way to live. Major surgery freaks me out, too. I am not quite 50. I am seeing a local spine orthopedic surgeon this coming week.

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I was fused T4 to S1 three months ago.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be and I’m doing well.

It’s still early, but as of now I’m glad I did it.

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I am glad to hear you are doing well and that you’re glad you did it. Was your surgery done by spine neurosurgeon or by a spine orthopedic surgeon?
Any helpful hints would be very much appreciated.

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My surgery was done by an orthopedic surgeon , Dr Nassr.

I’m 58 and have scoliosis. I was able to manage my pain before surgery by doing my best to stay in shape and staying active.

My surgery was done over three days, two surgeries. The first was through the abdomen (ALIF) the second was through the back. I was home within a week with great support from my husband and family.

Be as healthy as possible before the surgery and get moving asap after the surgery. I was able to walk 1 mile three weeks post surgery, although slowly. I wore a brace full time (except when in bed) for six weeks and weaned off by 10 weeks.

Recovery is frustrating more so because of the difficulty of doing everyday activities. I’m still not cleared to bend forward so simple things like getting dressed take time. I’m also missing being able to do activities, other than walking. So, I walk, a lot.

I’m confident it was the right time for me. I could have waited, but I have osteoporosis, and wasn’t getting younger.

It was a scary decision with a lot of angst, but the closer I came to the surgery date the more calm I became. Good luck in your decision making.

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