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Thread: Tethered spine surgery recovery?

  1. #1

    Tethered spine surgery recovery?

    I am brand new here and I am not at all an expert at this whole tethered spine situation. To be honest if I had any idea what I was getting myself into I would have seriously reconsidered the surgery.

    Here's my questions.

    1.How long is the average recovery from a tethered spine correction surgery?

    2. What are the common complications after the surgery?

    3. Does anyone ever fully recover?

    4. Was I supposed to have a "patch" where the surgery site is?

    5. Is it common to loose function in other areas after the surgery?

    As you can tell I am clueless. I was told that this surgery would be a breeze and the only recovery I needed to deal with was the wound site. Unfortunately that is totally wrong. Before the surgery I couldn't walk from the radiated pain in my lower back and I had bladder issues. Now I can walk with a lot of pain in my right leg and total numbness in my right foot. But now I am unable to lean over, lay flat on my back, turn my neck quickly or look down at all, and I now am unable to hold anything in my left arm. If I do any of the these I listed I get a crippling pain in my head that feels like a vice is crushing my temples.

    I haven't gotten any answers from my surgeon yet, but advised to lay down in case it is spinal fluid. It's been 6 weeks since the surgery and I am nearly done with my rehab to regain mobility, but the rehab crew is concerned about the pain in my head. I see the surgeon next week, but I am afraid he will think I'm nuts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    I have had two post-traumatic detethering surgeries. In both cases I had 3 months of post-surgical restrictions - no rehab, only ADLs. I did not lose function or experience an increase in pain post-surgically. I had decreased pain and spasticity and regained a satisfying level of function. I don't know what you mean by a patch. I had allografts to prevent csf leaks, when I developed one anyway and then developed neurological symptoms, the surgeon closed it. What you're describing - the positional very painful headaches - sounds like the headaches I got when the csf leak became symptomatic. Best wishes for a quick resolution.

  3. #3
    I would call your surgeon. I agree that the headaches COULD be from a CSf leak that is increased with thoe positions. It is pretty much the norm to have an allograft to help prevent leaks, but there is no guarantee. In the meantime, if you can't get some answers from your surgeon, I might consider not doing therapy until you do. I would discuss this with your therapists. Most people do get a return of function - it may be slow and the pain definitely is decreased, if not completely gone for most. Everyone' s recovery is different, but generally 3-4 months.
    Please call your surgeon Monday morning. I know you have an appointment with him, but he should know what is going on.

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