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Old 01-03-2005, 07:35 PM   #1
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byrdleg HB User
Question Spinal fusion and weight gain??

Hello Everyone!
I am scheduled for my l5-s1 fusion on the 14 of January. I am off all pain meds now but Tylenol(which does absoulty NOTHING) and WOW it HURTS! I have a very high pain threshold.
I have been reading all the stories on here but I have never heard anyone mention weight. I am very weight conscious and I run and lift weights every day...............I push myself thru the pain But the Doctor told me it is so damaged in my nback that I can not make it worse.
My question is.............how do you keep your weight down while not being able to do anything. I know to watch what you eat but when your body is so used to exercise it it bound to respond with weight gain when you can not exercise for MONTHS!
I would appreciate hearing from anyone on how they dealt with this. I think I am also getting scared and worried about the rapidly approaching date. I know the surgery is for the best but it is still very scary.
Thanks!

 
Old 01-03-2005, 07:49 PM   #2
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Losy HB User
Talking Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

The obvious response is to watch what you eat. For me meal replacement drinks were a great way of reducing my food intake and keeping my wieght down during periods of inactivity. If you are going to go down that track you need to do your reserch in relation to what works and what doesnt before you have surgery. I also have learnt to sustitute snacks with fruit or low fat low sugar foods that are good for you. Hope this is of some help

Losy

 
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

you will lose mass after surgery. I look sick right now, though I haven't lost a pound. I have dropped atleast one pant size. Now, I was on a liquid diet for, I kid you not, five days. I had my first meal day five of my hospital stay. My appetite is just now coming back after nearly three weeks post op. I def cannot eat as much as I used to. When we go to Applebees, hubby and I will share the ultimate appetizer and two nights ago I couldn't hardly eat! I didn't eat all the chips and dip, I ate 1/2 of one small quessadilla triangle, two mild chicken bites and that was it. Usually I am fighting hubby on the extra chips or something, and we usually try to get a dessert. We did bring home shakes though, I was only able to drink 1/2 of mine when we got home. Keep in mind, my tummy is small and now it can't expand b/c of my brace, so I really get full fast. Before surgery, I could put away three plates of chinese buffet, now I bet I'd be lucky to eat 1/2 a plate. I am in my ideal weight range, btw, don't let my appetite fool ya!
Now, after a few weeks, your appetite will return and you will get bored. You will start filling out again the more active you get and the more food you eat. So, the key is to like said above, watch what you eat so you don't gain more fat, then after you are able to, hit the gym lightly again. Most people lose weight after certain surgeries, especially b/c of muscle atrophy. When you don't use them, they shrink. I didn't lose weight or mass after my microd, but def did this time. I am getting chatty as my pain is increasing. So, please excuse me, I need pain meds. Sorry if I got a little choppy or off subject or whatever!

 
Old 01-03-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

oh, COUNT CALORIES! that is the key to weight loss or maintaining. I drink a lot of diet or low sugar/no sugar drinks. Pretzels, granola bars, lite popcorn, beef jerky. I love ice cream though, no substitues there-gotta get the real stuff, but I watch the rest of what I eat.....tonight I ate a lot though-craving sweets too, that is not fun.NEED ICECREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 
Old 01-03-2005, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

Lots of luck with your surgery! I hope everything goes really well for you. Although you want to watch what you eat, make sure you eat well because your body will need plenty of calories in order to heal.

 
Old 01-03-2005, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

byrdleg,

Jessie is so right,it is very important to eat good healthy meals because you body is recovering and you need all the things the food provide to help insure a good recovery.

It sounds like you are already a pretty health concious person. Don't worry about the exercising. You will get back to it eventually and any pounds you gained, if any, will come right off. But, please don't rush it. Just because you feel better after your fusion doesn't mean you are better. The fusing is just starting to take and grow and up to six months, you should be very careful. Follow your doctors instructions to the letter. No bending, twisting, lifting, keep getting out of bed the right way and in and out of a car as well. I couldn't sit up for more than 30 mins at a time, preferably in a recliner. I knew when the 30 mins was up because my back began to get tired and laying back down felt so good. And remember, after a fusion, you aren't supposed to take an NSAID's for a year. They interfer with the bone growth.

The most important thing you can do it to keep getting out of bed and walking around the house. Every time I went to the bathroom, I walked all over my house, around in each room then back to bed. This is an essential for insureing that no blood clots form. Just don't do anything that will mess up the work they have just done. Remember you are healing a tiny bit every day. Once you are doing better and your doctor gives the OK, you will be able to return to the gym. Just be careful and don't do anything too strenuous that could injure the work you have just had done. They will have you up and walking the next day and do it as much as you can in the hospital. You will have a walker and that is so helpful.

I have a question for you. You mentioned you went off all your med as you are having surgery in two weeks. Was that just NSAID's,? Were you on any prescriptions med, especially one for pain?

I was told not to use asprin a week before my surgery, as well as a yr after the srugery, but I was on five prescription meds when I went in for my surgery and I didn't have to stop ay of them. One of them was the Durgesic path Fentanyl. I was on 25 mcg patches and in the operating roon they changed it to a 50.

Good Luck to you on your surgery on the 14. Hope it all works well and that you will no longer be in pain.

Best Wishes,
Casey

 
Old 01-04-2005, 08:14 AM   #7
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

Good luck with your surgery. I will also repeat much of what Mel said, in that at 3 weks post op, I am just barely begining to regain any appetite. I ate very little in the hospital (the milkshakes were all I ate there- as the surgery breathing tube cut up my mouth alot and I could not chew or swollow for several days) and the pain meds mess with your appetite. I have gone from a "normal appetite" to now eating maybe 600-800 calories per day. I am drinking meal replacements to get THAT in. I'm sure everyone is different, but I just am not hungry AT ALL. Plus, I think you body burns calories trying to heal. I don't know if I've lost weight (today is my follow up), but my brace which was very tight is now loose.

Just my experience
__________________
StMishl Failed Bk Fusion, facet joint/hip issues & RA -Wish I could Jump like him!

Last edited by StMishl; 01-04-2005 at 08:16 AM.

 
Old 01-04-2005, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

I am in the same boat as you. I tend to push through the pain in order to get my exercise in. I have ran a few marathons and I truly think that my running days are over with. I am very sad when I think about it because it is such a release for me. I have taken up a walking program and focused on core strengthening over the past 4 months. I have thought long and hard about being able to run again and I have decided that being well for my family who needs me is so much more important than the feeling I get from the exercise. I am 31 and I have a long life ahead of me. I have surgery on the 19th and we will both be doing alot of walking after that!!!! Good luck, Melinda

 
Old 01-04-2005, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

You know...I was very fortunate in that I had a room set up post surgery with a computer....a hospital bed....a tv....and a treadmill.

I could watch tv or listen in on the headphones with the PC and be on the treadmill. I started out really slow....but now I know it helps more than anything. During the winter its great having one in the house.

I think eating right is key but exercise is a must. NO matter how miserable you feel MOVE MOVE MOVE! Even if its ONLY for 10 minutes a day at a slow speed just MOVE....every day you will build up stamina and its great for everything including your constipation issues.

I have actually been able to after 2 surgeries in 2 years keep my weight exactly like prior to surgery. I know its that treadmill. In the summer after my first surgery even with intense pain and no real pain meds I was walking a mile a day....I made myself outside because I knew it was good mentally too but this 2nd surgery has me indoors this winter with the treadmill but its still doing the job.

That old saying...IF you don't use it you lose it is sooo true. I deal with pain and have to force myself to do it many days but we have to keep moving people...what we do after surgery determines how our bodies will cope down the road.

 
Old 01-04-2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

I had two laminectomies before fusion 4 years ago finally stopped the debilitating pain and constant reliance on muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. I swear Lilly's here in Indiana built a new wing with the profits from my Rx bills! LOL Fusion was the best thing I ever did for my back pain and yes, I did gain 10 pounds and lose some flexibility and muscle tone (not to mention 40 + yards off the tee)! Diet, exercise and attitude are the keys.

 
Old 01-07-2005, 07:24 PM   #11
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

Ok Ok so I am the only one who seemed to come out of spinal fusion bloated like a stuck pig...hmmmmmm and I also am 10 days post op and eating like always....I think I am going to grow fast

 
Old 01-08-2005, 04:57 AM   #12
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byrdleg HB User
Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

[QUOTE=quidamqqs]Ok Ok so I am the only one who seemed to come out of spinal fusion bloated like a stuck pig...hmmmmmm and I also am 10 days post op and eating like always....I think I am going to grow fast[/QUOTE]

What caused the bloating? I go in for my fusion the 14 of January and am wondering how it will go. How are you feeling pain wise? How much are you able to do? What area did you have fused? Mine will be l5-s1.

Hope you are feeling great!

 
Old 01-11-2005, 05:19 AM   #13
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Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

Hey sorry it took me a little while to get back to you. I had l4-l5 fusion with instrumentation. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago and I am doing wonderful thus far. I keep a positive attitude and it has been very helpful. Of course I am in pain but it is going to keep getting better and I would do it all over again. Since my posting my bloating has gone down. My dr said it was normal and due to the fluids they pumped me up with. Let me know if you have any questions. I am here for you Oh sorry to answer your question as to what I am able to do....I am actually able to do a bit. I do need help with certain things but never anything that makes it soooo difficult to get through the day. The first few days of course I needed more help, I have now been home a week and a day and I am hanging in there.

Last edited by quidamqqs; 01-11-2005 at 05:22 AM.

 
Old 01-11-2005, 09:08 AM   #14
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Casey5 HB User
Re: Spinal fusion and weight gain??

quidamqqs,

I don't know what instructions your surgeon gave you for post op, but you really need to be careful for the next several months. Just because your pain is better and you are feeling better, doesn't mean you fusion is better. It is just starting to heal and it takes 3-6 months to take and a year to fully fuse. You need to take good care of yourself. A positive attitude is wonderful, it means a lot. You didn't say what you are doing except you are doing quite a bit. You are only two weeks post op. You shouldn't be doing much of anything. You need to rest and let your body recover from surgery and begin to heal. It is a long process, it doesn't happen over night. My doctor told I could only sit up for 30 mins at a time, preferably in a recliner, and you need to walk around the house so you don't get blood clots. I did it everytime I got up to go to the bathroom. No bending, twisting, and absolutely no lifting. Those things will be in affect for months. I had a double fusion and I was not allowed lift anything heavier than 1/2 gallon of milk. You should not be up on your feet doing things like cooking or cleaning. Everyone told me this too and they were right. You will get a day when you feel great and want to take on the world, and just like others told me, cooking dinner didn't bother me when I did it, but I sure paid for it afterwards, back flat on my back for several days.

Don't do anything to jeopodize you recovery, you don't want to undo anything that the Doctor has done. Let people wait on you for a while. Before you know it, your recovery will be behind you.

Best Wishes for a full recovery,
Casey

 
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