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Harrington rods for a Senior
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Harrington rods for a Senior

Hello,
I have searched this site for anything to do with my situation but can't find anything other than cases to do with spondylosis, accident treatments and broken rod queries.

I am 65 years old and had Harrington rods inserted into my lower spine nine weeks ago after waiting seven months and four op cancellations.

I spent nine days in the hospital and fourteen days in a rehabilitation hospital - I did suffer acute severe pain bouts in both (we're talking crawling up the bed here!) and I was released on Hydromorph 18mg twice daily and Gabapentin 600mg three times daily..along with the usual anti-infammatories and rheumatic strength Acetaminophen just for good measure.

I did think I should have been at least reducing the meds by now but did try recently, with disastrous results. I felt as though I had the 'flu and was as weak as an kitten but the pain and numbness came back in my left leg along with the nerve pain..not as bad but really uncomfortable.

I am so much worse off compared to before the operation. Then at least I could stay walking, say shopping, for an hour then have to lie down for an hour. Now, without the meds I can't walk anywhere.

Am I being too impatient? i have no experience in orthopedics and have scoured sites for help.

My surgeon took an MRI after the op and hecan't see ant reason for the pain which occurred afterwards. He is on vacation now and I know it will take forever to get an appointment with him in the future (no care plan).

Any seniors out there who have had this op and can advise me of the time of recovery/time to come off the meds?

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4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
How many level procedure did you have done? Sounds like you've been having a pretty rough time of it. Nine weeks really isn't that long in the world of back surgery recovery.

At 8 weeks my Doctors were expecting me to walk a mile a day and being going to Physical Therapy every day. I could barely stand for 15 minutes.

Give it some more time, you should begin to start feeling better soon.


Take Care
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello!
I had 2 done......L4 and L5 I THINK with a spacer put into the sacral area. Honestly, I have a high pain threshold but the hysterectomy I had was a cakewalk compared to this!

I think the main worry is that I'm still on strong meds and boy can I tell if I'm late with them....so I obviously need then still. I am a bit obsessed with getting off them purely because after my laminectomy four years ago I was discharged from the hospital without any Duragesic pathes or prescriptions (long week-end too) and had to go through cold turkey till I saw the doctor on the Wednesday ....ten pounds lighter! Don't ask!!

anyway, this time around, I have not been given any physiotherapy or advice to follow...but have gone from a wheelchair to a walker to a stick to walking...so there is progress. I went to a store the other say and am aching all over so I'm telling myself this is like going to the gym and I'm in a 'getting fit' process.

I feel that apart from the surgery....this is a Do It Yourself recovery!

Thanks again Kalvin....my aim is now to walk a mile a day! Hey..I have a personal trainer!!

Carole
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my L4-5 fused several years ago, it was a long and hard recovery. Laminectomies are a lot easier to recover from and quite a bit less shock on your system.

You should be able to start decreasing your medication as you begin to feel better. It sounds like you've made quite a bit of progress so far, and you're attitude is great. Thats so important, some people think their never going to get better, and they don't. Self fulfilling prophesy. Do you think the Surgeon is waiting for you to regain your strength before sending you to physiotherapy, sometimes they do that?

Well, take care of yourself and I hope your recovery goes well and fast.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you are so right...listen to your body and all that! Impatience has been my downfall plus info relating to folk getting back to work before this time period.

Anyway, I only hope this helps any other senior out there contemplating Harrington rods in the future. It takes more time to recover...and here's a confession...as a smoker, I know that the habit slows the recovery even more, so giving up speeds the process.

Watch this space people...I have a cruise in September...that's my aim for fitness!

Best wishes to all.
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