That Time I Had My Back Cut Open

It actually happened this Tuesday! I had spinal fusion surgery to correct the spinal curve I had from scoliosis. I just got back from the hospital yesterday. The basics of the operation is that they make an incision down the length of the spine then attach screws and rods down the spine and then by tightening the rods they make the spine straight again. They then fuse the part of the spine so that It doesn’t curve again. Here are links if you want to read more. I went to the hospital at 6:30 AM and entered surgery around 7:30 AM and was in surgery until about 4:30 PM.

The hours after surgery I really didn’t know what was going on because the anesthesia and probably also the spinal morphine I got but by 2:00 AM that night I was pretty much aware. They inserted a couple IV’s so I could get more drugs and a Foley catheter so I didn’t have to get up to go to the bathroom. I got morphine and Valium every couple hours for my pain. The pain I felt was pretty manageable with the drugs. The worst parts were probably the other things that happened during surgery. Since i was on my front for 9 hours my chin was pretty sore and it still feels kind of weird even today. I also injured my rotator cuff in my left shoulder because of how I was positioned on the table. Also because I had to have a breathing tube inserted during surgery my throat was sore after and my tongue was pretty swollen.

Recovery is really slow. The only reason I left the hospital was because I can walk now. I stood up and sat in a chair on Wednesday. I walked around a little on Thursday. I walked more and went up and down stairs on Friday. I wont win any speed walking races though. I’m basically like an old man now. I move super slowly. I can’t bend over. I have to get out of bed weird. I need drugs every 5-6 hours or my back hurts a lot. Also I can’t really poop because anesthesia turns off your bowels and narcotics cause constipation. One of the goals I had to reach before I could leave the hospital was that I had to poop. That didn’t happen until Saturday and I also needed a little assistance…

I should be able to go back to doing regular things in 4-6 weeks but it could take up to a year for my spine to fully heal. All the nurses at the hospital were very nice and helpful. They basically had to do everything for me because I was pretty helpless. I have a follow up appointment within the next 2 weeks where my bandage comes off and my super sweet back scar will be visible. Also I’m 6 feet now, I was 5′ 10″ before the surgery. I do not recommend spinal fusion to get taller. Also I have before and after xrays. Just message me on Facebook or something if you want to see them. This post was fully written under the effects of Percocet so if anything is weird in this post it’s the drugs. Also here is what I look like when I’m lying in bed now.