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Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266190 05/05/14 11:20 AM
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Jeff, what good news! Our prayers continue for your full recovery. You'll be one of our main "go to" folks for advice on this kind of surgery, you know! Maybe being able to help others in similar situations is one of the positive things about all that we spondys go through.....?!


Joani; 72-year-old with undifferentiated spondylitis and erosive inflammatory osteoarthritis in hands & wrists; taking low-dose prednisone, Vitamin D, use Voltaren gel for hands & wrists; other meds for heart, thyroid, allergies & sinusitis. Blessed with great husband, 5 kids & their spouses, 11 beautiful grandchildren.
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266191 05/05/14 12:36 PM
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Jeff, what a fabulous update - thanks for letting us know how it went!

I will now make a joke I've been sitting on for a week - I didn't like your mention of seeing us "on the other side" :p

I'm very glad to hear your pain management is effective. I know that can be a serious concern in folks who are already taking significant amounts of chronic pain meds before surgery. Glad you have the wherewithal to create that med checklist; it's downright scary that surgeons don't do something like this proactively, to avoid accidental overdoses!

Will you need any OT/PT/etc. or mainly just rest and heal? Looking forward to your future updates as you feel better & better!

Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266192 05/05/14 03:58 PM
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so glad it went well. thanks for posting the post-op! wishing you a full and speedy recovery.


AS, U C, Iritis, migraines. HLA-B27neg. Yoga (instructor) & spin. No meds at this time. Dx 1989. SAA member/donor since 1993. All my posts are personal opinion/feelings and do not represent the SAA. Help find a cure & support others by donating to the SAA.
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266197 05/05/14 09:37 PM
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Great news Jeff! Glad to hear all went well. I hope your recovery goes well too!


Beth
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266207 05/06/14 06:46 AM
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Glad to hear it went well. Wishing you a smooth recovery.

Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266233 05/07/14 03:16 AM
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Great to hear you came thru surgery so well, arms and legs functioning well! Thanks for the update and keep up the great recovery. Keep us posted of your progress.


Poppa John:
Symptomatic since 1988, diagnosed with Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, probable IBD March 2013. HLA B27 neg. Sacroillitis, Osteitis, Fibromyalgia
Fused T 2-12, Fused C 5-7, HNP L4-5 with laminectomy/discectomy 2014.
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266294 05/11/14 07:39 AM
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I got out today for the first time since surgery to buy Mother's day cards, balloons, flowers, and keepsakes. The problem with walking isn't any better - the store felt like it was revolving in circles which after a time made me nauseated like sea sickness,and that was with hiking poles to help me balance. But, I did get out with my son driving me to shop for about 30 minutes altogether (10 minutes at a time).

In addition, the neck pain hit 7.5/10 wearing my Aspen hard collar for that long while walking/being vertical for that 30 minutes.

Finally, I noticed that my skin is numb all up and down the back of my neck where the surgeon made his cuts through the skin. But, overall, for 11 days after major spine surgery, I am doing quite well. At least I can get around inside my house without too much trouble and I'm not bedridden! But, I'm a long ways from thinking about hitting the golf course or hitting the lake to go fishing anytime soon. I'm just counting down the days to the 6 week appointment where I hope x-rays will show the cadaver bone is fusing with my spine and i can say goodbye to the Aspen cervical collar, and praying I can return to work before my FMLA runs out. I'm a bit concerned about how Remicade will affect the desired/necessary fusion, but we'll find out in a few weeks how it all is working out!

Last edited by Jeffn; 05/11/14 07:43 AM.

Dx w/ AS in 1985. HLA-B27+. Left total hip replacement in 1998, lost 2" of height due to osteoporosis. Relevant meds include Remicade, Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma.7 hour spine fusion surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy and radiculopathy but have residual myelopathy. I have generalized osteoarthritis and have worn out hips, knees, big toes, and some fingers are fused or growing bones. Disabled since 2015. Chronic pain patient on a high dose of opioids. Live in zero gravity chair.
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266298 05/11/14 06:50 PM
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Jeff, sorry to hear you're still dealing with so much pain as well as the numbness & walking issues. I'm sure that knowing this type of healing takes a lot of time doesn't make it any easier! It's good that you got out, though - I'm sure it felt great to breathe the fresh air! And I'm sure your wife really appreciates you going to all that effort.

Do you know yet when you'll be able to go back on the Remicade? What is your concern about the Remicade vs. post-surgical fusion? From this study it looks like inhibiting TNF-alpha could actually help with acceptance of the allograft (cadaver bone) - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678042/


Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266301 05/12/14 04:03 AM
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Hi Jeff and hooray!

I know it feels so good to get out of the house after surgery, even if it's not very long. Glad you're able to get up and move a little bit. Keep us posted.


Sebeth
---------------
AS onset at age 13, finally diagnosed in 1989, age 22!
Currently awaiting Cosentyx.
IBS, Polycythemia Vera, Anticardiolipid Syndrome,
Myositis, Adrenal Insuffiency, Asthma, etc...
Re: Major spine surgery tomorrow
Jeffn #266351 05/14/14 06:06 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Today marks the 2 week point since surgery, and I continue to heal a bit each day, some days better, somedays worse. My pattern seems to be 3 steps forward, 2 steps backward.

The one thing I found out and I'd encourage anyone thinking about having spine surgery who has advanced AS is to make sure your surgeon has operated on an AS patient before, preferably many patients. Looking back, I think the biggest variation in what approach would be taken had a lot to do with what each surgeon had seen regarding AS patients in the past. Even with a neurosurgeon who had operated on the spines of multiple AS patients in the past, took twice the amount of time setting me up prior to surgery than he originally estimated. As one surgeon who had no prior experience stated - "with your fusion, we could kill you just putting you on the operating table". Thus, you really want someone with that experience!

Last edited by Jeffn; 05/14/14 06:07 AM.

Dx w/ AS in 1985. HLA-B27+. Left total hip replacement in 1998, lost 2" of height due to osteoporosis. Relevant meds include Remicade, Oxycontin, Percocet, Lyrica, Soma.7 hour spine fusion surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy and radiculopathy but have residual myelopathy. I have generalized osteoarthritis and have worn out hips, knees, big toes, and some fingers are fused or growing bones. Disabled since 2015. Chronic pain patient on a high dose of opioids. Live in zero gravity chair.
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