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Old 04-08-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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Question Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Hey, it's me again! I'm 10 weeks post op from my 2nd surgery (fusion) and my doctor said I should be able to start physically therapy/rehab in a few weeks. What should I expect? I'm kind of scared of what they are going to make me do? If it hurts should I stop or just work through it. I went through PT a few times after knee surgery but it was stuff I could do at home. I thought it was a waste of time. But I know/hope the PT for my back will be VERY helpful.
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Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
Old 04-08-2006, 07:24 PM   #2
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

For me, my first time around w/ P/T there thought was work through it. I was not getting better and at times I thought I was getting worse. After 12 visits, my surgeon said that it obviously was not helping and we went to the next step. However, after my surgery (fusion), I started P/T at 12 weeks post op. I went to a different place and they had a different approach. They told me up front to let them know if something hurt. I agreed to try everything, but if it was hurting we tried a new excercise. Basiclly, I knew that if I said something hurt, we would stop (but it would be replaced with something else...so it wasn't like I could get out of there by saying it hurt) Then at the end, I always got an ultra sound, a massage and an electrical stimulation. (That was like being at the spa). They also had water therapy...that was also very good. So, I suggest asking questions before you pick the therapist you go to. Ask them what their practice is when an excecise hurts. Ask them if they use ultra sound and elec. stimulations at the end? Do they have water therapy? These are things I knew to look for, the 1st time around.

Good luck,
Lorie
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

I am in therapy right now. They always ask me if what I am doing hurts and if it does they stop. I lay on my back and do leg excercises and it takes a lot of AB muscles to do. They said it helps strengthen all the way around. But if it hurts you are not supposed to do it yet. They are very nice................cyndi P.S. I also work with an excercise ball.

 
Old 04-09-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Lorie & hoymam, thanks for the info. I'm just trying trying to prepare a little on what to expect.
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DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
Old 04-09-2006, 04:25 PM   #5
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

The main things they are going to want to work on are excercises to strengthen your core muscles. Because there are so many different types of excercises and different ways to accomodate your individual situations...there shouldn't be a problem if one hurts to just switch over to a different one. Your first appt. will be to measure what you are able to do and not do and then set up a plan for your next 12 or so weeks.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Lorie
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:43 PM   #6
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Thank you for your replies. I was wondering if they would do anything that was not exercise related. Ultra-sound, massage, etc.?
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DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
Old 04-11-2006, 06:27 PM   #7
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Yes, they do the ultra sound, electrical stimulation and massage...but from my experience it is in combnation with the excercises. The use it at the end of you session to ease any pain the excercises may have led to. I know that there were a couple of days that I wen in with a lot of pain and could not do any of the excercises so they did the ultra sound at the beginning of the session and then just did lite excercises for the session. The ultra sound is only a temporary relief and your body gets use to it. My therapist said that it usually only gives relief for 20 times or so. But, if you get relief from the electrical stimulation...they can give you an Rx for a TENs Unit to use at home.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Lorie
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:22 PM   #8
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Lorie
Thank you for your responses!! Approx. how long did each visit last? How long (weeks) did you have to attend?
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DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
Old 04-12-2006, 03:16 PM   #9
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Hi-I went for 6 weeks (twice a week). Each session lasted 45 mins. (5 mins. warm up; 20 mins. excercises; and 20 mins. electrical stim. and ultrasound). My insurance only allowed the 12 sessions, and I was very disapointed at the end. Those last 20 mins. made it all worth while. If I could afford it, I'd pay to go and get a massage weekly.

Hope this helps.

Lorie
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:16 PM   #10
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

I think PT is helpful... They show you how to strengthen core muscles and also stretch properly for your condition so that you dont injure yourself... For example, sometimes extension is better than flexion and vise versa... They first get to know you for the first few visits to see what hurts you when you move in certain directions, etc... Then, once they find the correct combination of excercises, you keep doing them... So, I suggest going at least 2 times a week for 6 weeks and then you can learn what to do from home.... The most important thing they taught me is correct posture (when sitting, standing, walking, picking up things), stretching and core strengthening exercises....

But, if after 6 weeks you dont feel any better, or are worse, then you need to go back to your Dr and re-assess the issue...

M

 
Old 04-13-2006, 10:31 AM   #11
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Thanks
I am sooo ready to start, but I also don't want to overdo it. I'm so afraid to do certain things. I know most of it is in my mind. I'm afraid going to "break" something. But I know everything is going to be fine. You go through so much and you don't want to mess it up doing something stupid. But I am soooo ready to get be to normal. But I also know I will NEVER be the way I was before. My poor two year old, itís so hard for her to understand that I can no longer pick her up. It has been such a challenge learning to do things. Grocery shopping by my self with my two year old (which put me down for a week ) is out of the question, at least for a while. We are going to Florida to visit Grandma and the kids don't understand why we can't go to one of the theme parks. I used to be able to run circles around those places from the time they opened to the time they closed. Now I [B]KNOW[/B] there is no way I could do that. I would have to get a motorized scooter. As fun as the kids would think it is, I would be soooo embarrassed. A mother 33yoa with 3 kids in a scooter!! But then I have to remember I am only 11 weeks post op from my [B]SECOND[/B] surgery (17 weeks post op from the first). I'll quit rambling. Thanks for the info. I'm sure once I start PT I'll have more questions.
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DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

Last edited by scbmxmom; 04-13-2006 at 10:32 AM.

 
Old 04-13-2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

It does sound like you are on the right track. I will keep you in my prayers. I just wanted to share with you, that although it is embarassing at first...using those electrical carts can give you some extra mobility so that you can do things with the family. I can not go shopping any more so I do 1 of two things. For my major shopping, I have to have them delivered by the store. For 1 or two items I have to use those carts. (It took me a long time to actually break down and do it...but it has given me the opportunity to go to walmart, gorocery stores etc w/ out anyone having to help me). Then, instead of being laid up for a week, you can spend that week w/the kids etc. (For the 1st time I used one and needed to ask for help to teach me how to use it...I went to the store in the late morning when I knew there would be very little customers and they were happy to help).

I hope you can enjoy your vacation

Lorie
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:05 AM   #13
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Lorie,
[B]THANK YOU[/B]! I never looked at it like that, duhhh!! It makes since to get over being embarrassed and be able to spend quality time with my family. You know my husband tells me the same thing, but it sounds different coming from someone else. ha!ha! He always says, "That's what I said, too!" How do you get your groceries delivered? Is it a service your store offers or do you do it on-line?
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DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
Old 04-14-2006, 02:38 PM   #14
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Wink Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

HI-I get my groceries delivered from the grocery store itself. We have Giant Foods and Safeway here and both deliver. The delivery charge is between 5.00- 10.00 (depending on how much your bill is) so I order every 2-3 weeks with a large order and only pay 5.00 for the delivery. It is well worth it for those of us who have spine issues. (It's also a great way to order the large bags of pet food, laundry detergent etc. that weigh just too much to carry up to the house).

I hope you are doing well today,

Lorie
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:54 PM   #15
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Re: Physical therapy after lumbar fusion

Lorie
WOW, I'm going to have to check into that with some of my local grocery stores. We do not have either that you named. Thanks. Keep in touch!
We are in Florida visiting Grandma. My husband really needed the break. Grandma has been spoiling him. He deserves some pampering.
__________________
DD
Dec 05 - Discectomy L3/L4
Jan 06 - TLIF Fusion L3/L4
May 08 - Ruptured C5/C6
Jun 08 - Fibromyalgia
Oct 08 - Artificial Disc C5/C6
July 09 - Ruptured L4/L5
July 09 - Spinal Stenosis

 
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