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Old 02-14-2005, 09:31 AM   #1
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3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

I am 3.5 month post L4 L5 fusion. I am doing rather well. No real pain just have soreness, stiffness and pressure in my si joints and low low back/sacrum area at the end of the day more so when laying down and getting back up. It's weird, I'm not sure what this is. But, I wanted to get a little bit of info on everyone else as far as when you are starting to bend and all.
I haven't been really bending and really want to start bending a bit like when you sit on the couch and bend to tie your shoes. Is anyone else doing this around this time post op.
My PT said that it is all in what you can handle and what feels right, no pain and all. I'm just afraid to do it. My cousin is 6 months post op and does all that and did it at 3 months post op. I just want to know who bends and how far post op are you?

And, does anyone else get the stiffness and pressure in the SI joints in the evening and after getting up after laying down?

Christina

 
Old 02-14-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Bending is no longer the option it was once before. You should be bringing your shoe to your knee and tying it, not bending down to your shoe.

As back patients (and everyone actually) we developed bad habits that caused us to get in the situation we're in. Don't go back to those bad habits.

I am 5 months post-op and I have to remind myself how to sit, how to squat instead of bend (no, it's not ladylike, but it saves the back) how to turn my body and not twist it. These are lifelong adjustments. You can't go back to old habits and expect your back not to kick up a fuss down the road.

Are you in any physical therapy. They should be teaching you new ways to do things in order to not compromise your back, posture, and newly repaired self.

 
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:59 PM   #3
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

crisitna

to add to Hunni's comments, its pretty normal to have achiness at night do a search on my mine and Hunni's thread on this same matter about a week ago. AS far as your SI joint is concerned , i just found out last week from my Phisical therapist , that if you are a woman and have lower back problems its very likely that you SI joint will flare up right before or at the begining of your period, she then showed me some excercises to ease the discomfort, if you are in PT have your therapist show you some excercises to ease the achiness there..
Have a good one
Anne

 
Old 02-14-2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Christina, one of my closest friends is almost one year post-fusion, and although she is able to bend with no pain, she is still very careful. I think she started bending around 5-6 months post-op, maybe a little later than that. She and I had our fusions done by the same surgeon (I am 6 weeks post-op), and we were both told not to bend at all until we were completely fused. Otherwise there is too much risk of disturbing the fusion. Even afterwards you want to be careful because it places additional pressure on the discs adjacent to the fusion, which are already under more stress than pre-fusion. I agree with Hunni, putting your shoes on is best done by bringing your foot up to your knee. I know it's a pain in the rear (I'm already tired of it), but it's a small price to pay for saving your back.

To try to answer your question about the stiffness in your SI joints, I think it's pretty common to have this after fusion. My hips tend to be a little achy in the mornings, which I think is due to muscle stiffness from inactivity during the night. I do try to change positions several times during the night, and I've found it helps a little bit. As time has passed since surgery, it's gotten better and better. Maybe try using a heating pad to help your muscles? Good luck, I hope you feel better every day! Please keep us posted!

If I remember correctly, aren't you from Michigan? I live in Grand R****s- are you close to there? Just being nosy!

 
Old 02-15-2005, 06:39 AM   #5
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

I don't really mean bending bending. Like bending at the hips kinda thing. Like if your in an SUV/car and need to reach under and adjust your seat. You have to kinda bend for that. Or when I start cleaning, when my legs are better/stronger, If I squat down and reach to try to like wipe something off the floor. You have to kinda bend for that. Or gardening. And here is another one, Like if your sitting on the couch and you want to bring your foot to the coffee table to paint your toenails, you have to reach and bend a bit for that. Will I be able to do this stuff soon cause you to kinda bend for that stuff. Are any of you doing this kind of stuff?
I don't mean standing up and bending to the floor. I never did do that. I just wander what is safe.

Btw, I'm not from Michagan. I'm from PA.

 
Old 02-15-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Oops- must have been thinking of someone else!
I can reach under the seat in the car and adjust it now- I'm just REALLY careful about how I do it. Maybe I shouldn't be doing it, but I always have my brace on and it doesn't cause me any pain. Believe me, if it caused me pain I'd stop! Don't know about the other stuff- I can't even think about cleaning or gardening yet. (Darn! )

 
Old 02-15-2005, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Necessity and pain will determine when you can reach under the car seat and do household tasks, etc. Each day try something.. if it hurts, just know not to repeatedly do it. That's not to say if something hurts, stop entirely. Stretching those unused muscles will hurt a little. You'll get the signals as to what to do.

By the way... I'm the one originally from Michigan. Lived there 36 years. Was in the Lansing/Owosso area and then a Detroit suburb.

 
Old 02-15-2005, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Well, it doesn't hurt. I need to get over the initial fear. I think it is doing me more harm than good. I am just always so afraid of screwing something up. My PT told me that pain will determine if I should do it. I just have to get that into my head and quite being so reluctant.

 
Old 02-17-2005, 03:13 PM   #9
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

Hi, I'm from Michigan, between Lansing and Grand R****s. I had a spinal fushion last October. I've been doing the "bring the foot up to tie the shoe thing", also. After 3 months of wearing the brace, I've learned how to bend, or NOT bend. I'm using my legs more for lifting (within my weight restrictions). I have better posture now, thanks to the brace, and I, too, am afraid of messing up the fushion. My sister had the same thing done about 4 years ago, and she can even hula hoop again! Boy, I'd love to feel like I could do that again. I'm hoping to be somewhat "normal" again, someday. Still have foot pain, which started about 2 months post op. Am hoping it goes away soon. Jean

 
Old 02-17-2005, 07:29 PM   #10
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

I am 2 months post surgery for my lower back fusion and I too still have alot of pain - mostly in the evening, and feel like I can't even move at all once I have laid down.

I can bend more now (trying to bend at the knees only) than I could right after the surgery. If it hurts or feels like it is pulling something, I stop immediately. I put my shoes on by pulling my foot up on my leg too - there is no way I could possibly bend to put my shoes on.

I am hoping that all of this will pass some day and I can live my life as I use to prior to my surgery. I had no idea that this surgery was going to put so many obsticles in my life. Dr. told me prior to the surgery that I could expect 2-3 days in the hospital, in 2 weeks we would talk about me going back to work, and that I would not need a walker when I went home. Well.....I was 7 days in the hospital, just went back to work part time (after 2 months), and I did require a walker to take home. So all of this has been more than I ever expected it to be. Slowly I think I am getting back to some normality - but it is slow. I see the Dr. again in 4 days and I am hoping to see some progress from the x rays.

I just found this healthboard and have learned, and I am so happy to have such a tool. I wish I would have read it prior to my surgery so I didn't have to learn about all the little helpful things by trial and error.

Thanks for listening and hang in there everyone.
Deb

 
Old 02-18-2005, 06:57 AM   #11
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

My doctor told me or I have heard that it can take up to a year for complete recovery. I am only going on 4 motnhs post op and have a long ways to go. I am not in alot of pain or anything just major weak muscles from not using them for three years. It's going to be awhile. I never realized that it would be so hard to get things working again and get my strength back. I guess we all just have to hang in there, be persistant with our excersises and think positive. Atleast that is what I'm doing. I wish you all well and pray that we all see some kind of normalacy again!!!!

Christina

 
Old 02-18-2005, 06:27 PM   #12
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

My sister had this surgery done also, and didn't warn me how long it would take to recover. I found that even crawling on the floor, to try to play with my grandchildren, or to pick up something, I can tell my back muscles are weak, I feel like a swayback mule, about ready to be put out to pasture. I hope the physical therapy helps me get back to "normal" (and all of you out there, too!), and that it doesn't take a whole year. I was expecting to be able to do some spring cleaning this year, but it doesn't look promising. My house has not been cleaned properly for almost three years (my daughter tried to give it a cleaning once or twice, to no avail). I need to clean out my attic also, but I have to lean up there, the ceiling is so low. No way that's getting done anytime soon.

I'm glad to have found this board, it's nice to talk to others in the same boat-though I wish we weren't in this position.

Take care all, Jean

 
Old 04-12-2005, 12:20 PM   #13
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Question Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

[QUOTE=Mistina]My doctor told me or I have heard that it can take up to a year for complete recovery. I am only going on 4 motnhs post op and have a long ways to go. I am not in alot of pain or anything just major weak muscles from not using them for three years. It's going to be awhile. I never realized that it would be so hard to get things working again and get my strength back. I guess we all just have to hang in there, be persistant with our excersises and think positive. Atleast that is what I'm doing. I wish you all well and pray that we all see some kind of normalacy again!!!!

Christina[/QUOTE]
[SIZE=2][COLOR=Red][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Are you still using a walker? My husband is 4 month post fusion and can't walk without holding on to something. He bends some but he had L3-L4 fused,doc said it was ok. But is very weak and off ballance. PT 2 times a week but only walking with the walker[/FONT]?[/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=Magenta][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Sharon[/FONT][/COLOR]

 
Old 04-12-2005, 12:29 PM   #14
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Re: 3.5 Month post fusion, when did YOU start bending a bit?

I am almost 2 years out and still don't bend too well
but, I never fused
I had the same type S1 pain you've described, mine lessened but never went away.

I think I was sorta bending or able to ..from the surgery by the time your at...but I know I spend most of my cleaning on by butt scooting around after fusion you should NEVER squat Rhonnie said it best - you will learn to adapt to your new limitations & use your own body to guide you through any restrictions you may have.

are you walking?!???!!

Good Luck, hope you FUSE and remember DO NOT overdo!

Last edited by Bionicwan; 04-12-2005 at 12:36 PM.

 
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