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Old 01-25-2005, 06:23 AM   #1
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Mistina HB User
PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

I am now 3 months post fusion and starting PT this week. I'm wondering what I will be doing and what everyone else does post fusion. Are you guys stretching your back muscles now and hamstrings. Most importantly, are you starting to bend. I really really want to be able to put my shoes and socks on sitting down and to bend over a bit, well that would be great. My cousin had a fusion in August and is sitting down and bending over and putting his shoes on. Are you all bending yet or staring to??? I am really curious as to what everyone is doing.
Also, I am to get massage of my back and legs there too. If anyone else gets massage at PT, do they massage around the hardware in your back? I would think that it hurts but know that the scar tissue needs broken up.
Please get back to me on this!!!

God Bless, Christina

 
Old 01-25-2005, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

[QUOTE=Mistina]I am now 3 months post fusion and starting PT this week. I'm wondering what I will be doing and what everyone else does post fusion. Are you guys stretching your back muscles now and hamstrings. Most importantly, are you starting to bend. I really really want to be able to put my shoes and socks on sitting down and to bend over a bit, well that would be great. My cousin had a fusion in August and is sitting down and bending over and putting his shoes on. Are you all bending yet or staring to??? I am really curious as to what everyone is doing.
Also, I am to get massage of my back and legs there too. If anyone else gets massage at PT, do they massage around the hardware in your back? I would think that it hurts but know that the scar tissue needs broken up.
Please get back to me on this!!!

God Bless, Christina [/QUOTE]

What you learn in PT (and should have long before now) is that you don't bend to put on shoes and socks but rather you bring your foot up to a spot where you can manage to do it (foot acros the knee while sitting)
Are you going to a PT place specifically for spine patients? I did and I think it made a great difference as they know specifically what back patients go through and how/where to be gentle.

I'm 5 months post-op and there's still not a lot of bending. Instead I've learned the right way to get to things.. with more of a squat. It's not real lady-like, but I guess those days are gone. Bending and lifting incorrectly is what got us into this situation in the first place.

I've been stretching and doing hamstring exercises since 3 weeks post-op (per doctor's ok). It's been great and I truly believe it's gotten me better this quickly.

Things lighten up a bit (with regard to bending, lifting, and twisting) once you're 100% fused - which I now am. But still, it's important to follow the correct way of doing things now.

 
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

My husband had an L4 & L5 Fusion with erector set. He is now six weeks post op. He is not bending at all. He props his feet up sideways on a chair to put his shoes on. He went for a walk today because it is so nice outside. He uses a back brush to wash his feet and back. At least he is becomming a little more independant now. That takes a lot off of me because I am working full time, caring for him, and the house.

He still gets tired very quickly. We went out to dinner with family last Friday night and it wore him out.

We found out yesterday the reason his back pain has increased so much is because when he had his surgery, the surgeon gave him an injection of steriods in the surgical site. Now the steriods have worn off and the pain is back.

He is better but still has a long way to go. I dont think he will be ready to go back to work in eight weeks. It will be more like 10 or 12 weeks.

To all of you that have had back surgery, I will pray for you. I pray that you will recover quickly and that your pain gets less and less with each day. Good luck to all of you and God bless.

 
Old 01-25-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Thanks guys.
I don't intend to really bend just hope that it will be easy some day to put on shoes. My cousin must be really lucky. He just flops right over and ties his shoes. I'm just hoping that PT will really help the stiffness and soreness I get in my sacrum. I get it horribly after like my walks and such. Does anyone else get this, I have to post a thread on this cause it's really annoying. My doctor says if probably the scar tissue building up back there that needs stretched out.

Hoping and praying PT really helps me a ton!!!!

 
Old 01-25-2005, 12:12 PM   #5
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

I planned ahead. I wore flip flops.
fly

 
Old 01-25-2005, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

I had my 1st session of PT yesterday and I can hardly move today. The took all my measurements as far as how far i can raise my leg or how long I can stand on one foot and how much pain it caused. There was a lot of testing for these things that really hurt me a lot. I am about 17 weeks post op 2 level PLIF and have not had relief from my pre-op pain, so this may be why PT is bothering me so bad. At my 3 month check up he said I could lift up to 20 pounds. But my physical therapist said absolutely no lifting or bending right now. No cleaning, vacuuming or scrubbing.

I have only been taking my pain meds when I absolutely couldn't tolerate it. She (PT)
said she wanted me to take it regularly at least 3 times a day and to also take a valium at night with the trazodone I just started, that is supposed to help me sleep. I told her I didn't like taking the meds because I thought it just masks the pain and how would you know if you were getting better or if it was just the pain meds. She said she would explain it all at my next appt. tomorrow.

After all the testing I had hydrotherapy which really makes it easier to walk while in the water. But all the excercises and reps and weight lifting in the pool really did me in. After that she showed me how to do some exercises to do on my own. Then did the eletrical stimulation with ice pack on. She told me how to make the heating pad with a ziplock bag and a wet towel and also how to do the ice pack the way Carl told us how. I watched a film while I did the electrical stim and had a POP QUIZ after that.

Finally went to sleep this morning at 8am and slept until 1pm. I was hurting too bad and was too exhausted to do any exercises or walking on my own today. I will probably get chewed out tomorrow but oh well.

Well that was my experience with my 1st day, but I'm sure it's different at every place.
Good Luck,
Memaw

 
Old 01-25-2005, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

I am working on month #2 post op so no bending for me yet, though I really want to! I can only imagine how good it will feel. I know it will hurt,but it will be one of those it hurts but feels good kinda things. I really really want a deep massage.....

 
Old 01-26-2005, 06:09 AM   #8
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Rhonni HB User
Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Memaw: I remember feeling like every part of me ached after my first PT too, but eventually I did better. Actually I got to the point that every time I went IN to PT, I would hurt but by the time I left I felt great.

I understand your position with the meds. I don't know that I'd go back to the actual pain meds again. If it were me, I would take some extra strength tylenol to get through the achey times. In fact, I would take them, on occasion, about an hour before PT and it seemed to help. As far as the valium at bedtime, are you having trouble getting to sleep? What on earth would you need valium for bedtime for? A muscle relaxer, maybe.

Hang in there. My physical therapy is all done (I'm now at 18 weeks or something like that) and I wish I was still going. I'm trying to be disciplined enough to keep doing what I'm suppose to, but being accountable to the PT kept me honest.

I'm also surprised about the no cleaning, scrubbing. Gosh, I have been cleaning up a storm with my newfound energy and ability. I don't know about the vacuuming - I just let DH think I still can't do it HA

 
Old 01-26-2005, 11:16 AM   #9
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Memaw,
Sorry, but I've just got to ask. Did you pass the pop quiz? If you did, did they give you a sticker?

Puddin

 
Old 01-26-2005, 04:25 PM   #10
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Yep, had my 2nd session today. Still not fun. I got a little ribbing about not doing them at home, but not too bad. I was just so sore and my normal everyday pain is just intensified. I even got a massage today and it hurt too, boohoo.

Txhunni.
I don't like taking the meds and told her that, but she insisted I take them at least 3x day. Yeah, the valium is for muscle relaxer. Am I having problems sleeping? Nah, no trouble sleeping cause there is no sleeping, lol. Last night I took 2 vicodin, a valium, the trazodone they gave me for sleep and was still up until 5:30 this morning. I took another trazodone and finally dropped dead I think from exhaustion. Then I had to get up at 11 so I could get ready for PT. And to top it off I have to do all the exercises again at 7:30. Oh man it's almost that time now. Plus she wants me to go to the track and freeze while walking 10 minutes 3x day. Then on the days I don't have PT I have to do the walking plus do the sets of exercises twice. I think they want me in the hospital, lol.

Puddin,
After sweating over taking that test, cause I have no short-term memory, she didn't grade it before I left and didn't mention it today. So no, I didn't get any stickers. Man was I upset over that one, lol.

Well, I hope you guys have a pain-free evening.
Memaw

 
Old 01-26-2005, 05:22 PM   #11
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Rhonni HB User
Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

if you're not going to do the exercises at home (and forevermore after that) then you're wasting your time in physical therapy.

Just my opinion.

And yes, PT is going to hurt.. you're not going to feel good the first couple to few times. Those muscles have become weak and tight. Only stands to reason that it's going to hurt to work them.

 
Old 01-26-2005, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

OK, I just finished an hour of my at home excercises and I honestly feel like crying.
Txhunni, please tell me again it will get better. I soooo need to hear it. PLEASE!!
And this is after taking 2 vicodin before I started.

This sucks. Sorry guys, I needed to have a little pity party.
Memaw

 
Old 01-26-2005, 05:48 PM   #13
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Memaw,
It might help if you took a warm/hot shower to get your muscles warmed up before you start your exercises. NO STICKER??? Here, you can have these!

 
Old 01-26-2005, 06:46 PM   #14
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

Thanks puddin, I really needed those. They have me lay on heating pad before I exercise, then I ice after. Thanks again!

Txhunni, I don't plan to waste my time at all. I do everything they ask me too and then some. My problem is as far as I'm concerned my surgery has not been successful, YET. I'm still holding out hope though, trying to stay positive. And yes, my muscles are very weak and that does hurt, but the part that I am having trouble with is the disc pain in my back, and extreme sciatic pain in both legs still. So some days, just as before surgery, I can barely get up from bed to make it to the bathroom. That's when it's hard to push myself to exercise.

Thanks for the encouragement,
Memaw

 
Old 01-26-2005, 08:31 PM   #15
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Re: PT post fusion....are you'all bending yet?

didn't mean to be hard on you... I know you hurt. So many times people don't do their homework and PT fails and then they think it's bad PT or whatever. I really think it's too soon to know if your surgery failed or not. I know it's hard to stay patient when you hurt. But reality is.. the doctor did what he was suppose to and what he did is suppose to take care of the problem. Sometimes people just don't realize that the pain they have afterward is just muscles fighting them, inflammation from fighting muscles, and surgery.. and it just takes a long time. Truly, the more you do the better you'll feel. That's not to imply to overdo it or push through when you can't manage.. but try to drug up and do what you can for now...you've got to retrain your body into thinking it can do these things.

 
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