Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Surgery and Recovery

As many of you already know, I had major back surgery last week.

I have had a bad back since I was a teen-ager, not unusual for those of us who have ridden horses all of our lives. My getting back into competitive riding again last year did contribute to the worsening of my symptoms, but I have always known that eventually I would need back surgery. I do not the normal disc compression problem, my problem is more than that. My spine actually slipped at L5/S1 (a grade 2+ slippage) and along with the resulting disc area complete destruction, I was experiencing severe nerve damage down my left leg and into my left foot. I had developed foot drop in my foot and was having trouble walking and standing. So, the time had come to get it fixed once and for all.
My screws from the back.
From the side. My spine was pulled back into place and screwed into place. My prognosis is great and I actually should be better than ever once I heal.

It looks like it will be a year before I can get back into the saddle- but I am just thankful that I am will be able to ride again. Jedermann will continue competing with my sister Sarah in San Diego- I will be their groom. It is going to be a fun year for Jeder and Sarah!

I spent two days in the hospital and am now on 30 days of bed rest at home. It is extremely important that I allow the screws in my spine to fuse and hold, so I cannot do anything except rest. I am able to get around and walk, but am weak and in pain.

I will try to update everyone with the Shiloh Happenings from here. We are keeping things quiet and low key at the ranch for now, nothing major will be going on. Sally is bearing the brunt of the ranch work and is also dealing with the county inspections of our new ranch homes. Of course, we have been waiting for our house inspections for months and now they are finally moving forward when I am not there to help!

We really appreciate the extra help, understanding and support our hard working volunteers have been giving. We really can't thank everyone enough!


Eric's Mom said...

Hope you have a speedy recovery and long lasting results.
Wishing you well.

MichelleL said...

I hope your recovery continues to progress smoothly and you can get out and about, pain free, soon.

Ranch Saddle said...

It's fun to see those horses and a cute fellow in their dresses.

Anonymous said...

God Bless You, girl ... you just take it easy and do exactly as your surgeon has told you to do. Shiloh will be taken care of because you have great help and great volunteers!! Those x-rays are amazing ... Wow!!

BJ Sanders said...

Good morning, Jill!
I'm so sorry you had to have this back surgery and your x-rays look scary! However, I'm sure it was the right thing to do so that you will be able to go back to enjoying your active life when you have healed. God bless you, dear lady.
Brenda Sanders (a horse-lover in Independence, Mo.)

Anonymous said...

Jill: I hate to be nosy, but was this surgery to correct a spondylolisthesis? I have one, so am curious.
I hope you rest up and heal well.
Valerie in Western Oregon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Jill! Yikes, that's a lot of metal in'll have fun trying to get through airport security from now on. Hee hee! Take care of yourself.
Best wishes,
Heather and Sully

Shiloh Horse Rescue and Sanctuary said...

Yes Valerie, it was to correct a spondylolisthesis. I had a slippage of +2 and was developing major nerve damage in my left leg and foot.

Although I still have pain from surgery, my back feels way better! I literally feel myself standing straight, which is so weird!

I am very happy I finally got it corrected!

Jimbo k said...

I had a disc shaved in my L5-S1 in 2003 due to a work related injury. In 2008 I had a severe injury to the same disc causing a fully herniated disc. I had the same left foot symptoms and leg too. My right side hurt down the center of the buttock to upper thigh. I have a fusion and symptoms lessened but I still have issues. I also fractured my t12 and it causes chest and rib pain. I hope you recover fully and don't suffer anymore. I still have 5 bulging discs and a log way to go.

Tammy Geake said...

Just wondering if we can have another update. I had the same fusion surgery at L4/L5 for Spondylolisthesis that was causing weakness in my left leg, plus pain of course. I am a lifelong horse person and also a competative runner. It's been just under 8 weeks for me, and like you, much better after surgery, but can't wait to get back to horses and running How are you doing now? Thanks!