I wish I’d known…scoliosis surgery

Surgery for scoliosis

I thought we were prepared for surgery. We’d packed for the hospital, and then some. We had a team in place that was invaluable. We asked the surgeon every question I could think of. We were in the uncommon position of having actually seen family members (my brother and sister) go through similar surgeries.

And there was still so much I wish I’d known before-hand.

Little facts like your child is practically a newborn after surgery. We had to help her turn and to get comfortable for about two weeks. I helped her shower for at least six weeks, and get dressed too. Bathroom help will be needed.

And that coming off of Percocet is horrible, even when you wean off carefully.

Emotions will run high. For everyone. A lot of grace will be needed, all around.

It was hard to get her eating again after surgery. Favorite foods no longer tasted good and her appetite has been much smaller.

Things can go wrong. Four weeks after surgery number one, we went back because of severe pain and ended up in surgery a few hours later. The girl now has five disturbingly large screws in a bio-hazard bag that were removed from her back because something shifted a bit and they started putting pressure on nerves. She’s lost a little bit of correction because of that, but she’s still a lot straighter than she was before.

Their bodies will change. Most kids lose a significant amount of weight. I was told by our RN’s that about 80% of girls will start their cycle after surgery, regardless of whether or not they’ve gotten it yet or when they had it last.

Because of the movement of their spine, their muscles will hurt and possibly spasm. It’s not just recovering from the surgery, but the radical realignment of a part of the body that affects everything.

While we’re thankful to have had this procedure and know it’s something that will give the girl a better quality of life as she ages, it was a huge trauma to her system and for our family.

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