You have been warned in the title but if you have found yourself here by mistake there is still time to click back before reading on ...
Some of you are interested in what exactly I am going to have done to my back. You can in fact google and find videos of the procedure being performed on youtube (presumably edited...) but here is a brief summary.
I've got a scoliosis - spinal curvature - of 66 degrees, worsening at a rate of about a degree a year. It's painful, debilitating and affecting my breathing as my lungs are getting squashed. Left untreated the prognosis is not great...
Mr Stewart Tucker - one of the top spinal surgeons in the UK - has recommended surgery. An anterior release by right thoracotomy and a posterior instrumental fusion. This means an incision in my side to remove and shorten some ribs and rotate my spine, followed by a long incision down my back to expose the spine. Bits of my ribs will be used to fuse the vertebrae from T2 to L3 and titanium rods and screws will then be used as scaffolding to hold this work of art in place. Six hours in theatre and three days in the HDU then a further two weeks or so in hospital.
The fusion takes six months so I will have to wear a brace for that period of time. The rods and screws could theoretically be removed but most people keep them in unless they are causing trouble.
Apparently it is very painful, I will be pretty dependent on others for six weeks, and off work for 12. The pain should be controllable in hospital (bring on the morphine!) but I'm less sure about when I get home!
That's about it as far as the gruesome bit goes. I am pretty scared but guess it's an awfully big adventure. I'll try to post some pics for you all to see!