T11-L4 spinal fusion experience- 1 year out

Posted by beinghuman @beinghuman, Sep 29 11:10am

First time exploring support groups, and how wonderful to see the exchange of information. I have clinical osteoporosis and have yet to start medication. Reclast was presented as best option for me, after endo work up. Curious about other's experience with this medication. I am 60 years old and had a burst vertebral fracture in addition to multiple compression fractures after a ground level fall. Doing lots of treatments (PT, diet, exercise, acupuncture, cognitive therapy and meditation for anxiety/depression), and was previously healthy (still, always hopeful). Just interested in how other's have experienced their healing journey's. Does anyone follow the bonecoach.com and any thoughts about this program. Always a bit skeptical about online "programs"

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@beinghuman I wanted to welcome you to Connect. I see you have a very similar post in the Osteoporosis group, so you will likely get responses there about medications. Sometimes it takes a year to get to maximum improvement after spine surgery. I am a cervical spine surgery patient and remember that first year and needing rehab to strengthen muscle after being in a neck brace for a few months.

Was your T11 to L4 fusion done after the injury from the fall and the fractures or was that a separate incident? Did your surgeon give you any indication on how osteoporosis affects healing from spine surgery and any spine hardware attachments?


Thank you for your reply! My fusion was after the fall, I had a previous mild compression T12 fracture over 10 years ago, after slipping on a mossy log. I had an MRI, but no other work up and it healed with PT. I wasn't aware of the osteoporosis diagnosis until after the surgery. My surgeon noted at that time that my bone quality looked "poor", and the endocrinologist saind that if you have a ground level fall, even if my dexa scan shows osteopenia, I have clinical osteoporosis and meds are being recommended. (It took me a long time just to get in with an endo)! My neurosurgeon did say recovery time is 1 – 1 1/2 years. I guess I was hoping it would be quicker and I am still hoping that the pain and mobility will improve. He didn't specifically say it would take longer because of Osteoporosis, but I assume it greatly affects healing time. Thankfully my hardware is all intact and graft looks good.
I hope you are doing well and I have discovered that it doesn't take long to lose strength and mobility ( was in a big TLSO brace for about 3 months), and it takes a lot of rehab to gain it back ( which is both a motivator and exhausting).
I know I need meds and am relying on my endo, but at the same time its scary to think about. Didn't expect this is how things would be at 60, but now it is all part of my life story.
Thanks again.

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