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Spine Surgery/Removal and Replacement of Harrington Rods


JessieD wrote at 2012-12-23 22:17:33
To let you know a better estimate of time, you will be out of work for much longer than 8 weeks. They have to cut through muscles, tendons, move nerves out of the way from (in your circumstance) both the back and chest. You need to plan on a full 12 month recovery period. I am having my Harrinton Rods extended which they have to remove and replace them with longer ones to do this. My doctor explained it to me like this: you will be bed ridden (minus going to the bathroom) and in excruciating pain for 5-6 weeks. Then you will have significant  pain and severe muscle soreness/weakness for another 6-8 weeks. During all of this you should be walking a lot to strengthen your back/leg/abdominal muscles, amd most likely he/she will start you on a physical therapy regime. He summed it by bluntly saying that I will not be able to resume a normal (full time) work schedule until 1 yr after surgery, at least. This is if everything goes smoothly and textbook as far as having no complications during the actual procedure. 8 weeks? Really? You're talking about your spine here, the largest and most complex part of your body! I'm not a doctor, but do have 8 1/2 years of medical experience and I would say not to take any answers on here as your final one, ask your doctor, he/she knows your specific history and needs. I hope this helps, though! I wish you all the luck, and pray that God will heal you quickly!  

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Jerry Ryan, Ph.D.


I am a C5-7 quadriplegic resulting from a rollover auto accident in 4/94. Prior to that injury, I had a L4-5 fracture that caused low back and leg pain. Although I have served as a member of trauma/transplant surgical teams from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Oregon Health Sciences University, I am not a physician and cannot diagnose conditions nor prescribe treatments or medications. However, I can make recommendations and refer you to appropriate information sources for the proper courses of action.


Having served as the President and Hospital Liaison for the Oregon Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, I have extensive knowledge of spinal cord injuries, spinal surgery of various types, complications such as autonomic dysreflexia and pressure sores, mental health issues related to spinal cord injury, and the common medications used by paraplegic and quadriplegic individuals. In addition, I was a member of surgical trauma/transplant teams in several medical centers across the nation including Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Oregon Health Sciences University. I performed in that capacity for over 20 years.

Paraplegia News - PN magazine Accord - The Journal of Quadriplegia of Australia

Baylor University/US Armed Forces Institute of Health Sciences - Surgical Technologist credit hours, 1976 Associate Degree in Applied Science - Computer Assisted Drafting and Design, 1990 Bachelor Degree in Natural Health, 2000 Master Degree in Natural Health, 2001 Doctorate in Natural Health, 2005

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