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Old 03-18-2007, 11:05 AM   #1
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PT After Fusion

Hi!

What kind of PT has the doctor prescribed for you for those who have had a fusion?

My surgery is March 27th and the doctor hasn't said anything about PT yet. I do have another appt. tomorrow so will ask him, but wondering what you all were prescribed and at how many weeks after if you had it. Do they ever come to your home if you are unable to get there?

Harmony

 
Old 03-18-2007, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: PT After Fusion

Hi Harmony,

I will be just over 4 1/2 months post op from my fusion when I start PT this Tuesday. It looks like it will be for 6 weeks 2 times a week. Looking at my prescription it is saying "stretching, Strengthening and something called PRN..not sure what that is yet. Not sure about them coming to your home.

This will be my second attempt at PT...tried once before about a month ago and it went just horriable, so the therapist refused to treat me due to my level of pain at that time and all we did was the evaulation.

Good luck with your surgery on March 27!!!

~hugs Niki

Last edited by Nikirae; 03-18-2007 at 11:20 AM.

 
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: PT After Fusion

Thanks for your reply Niki! I can imagine PT after a fusion would be hard and like you, sounds like is best to wait a few months, other than walking. I hope you are doing well and the PT helps you and not hurts too much. My best to you!

Harmony

 
Old 03-18-2007, 02:43 PM   #4
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Re: PT After Fusion

I tried pt after each of my three surgeries. Each time i was asked not to come back because it only made me worse. Scar tissue i now know had formed around thesurgery site and was squeezing my nerves causing pain. I now pedal water in the pool and do a water cross country ski exersize. The weight offf my spine makes this possible. all weight bearing exersizes just make things worse. check to see how much your insurance pays. i found it cheaper to just join the club to exersize because each of my pt apptments had 75 dollar copay. i can exersize for only 40 a month as often as i like and most pt is just simple range of motion movements. good luck

 
Old 03-18-2007, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: PT After Fusion

Love Life - I luv your name!! Welcome to the boards.

I thought I responded earlier to this thread but I guess I forgot to hit the submit button.

My doctor does not believe really in pt after a fusion. He believes the best therapy is plenty of walking and pool therapy for the first year. After the first year point, he said I could add the eliptical and exercise bike. He told me that he would show me the proper techniques himself.

I am finding out my surgeon is very protective of his patients.

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:16 AM   #6
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Re: PT After Fusion

Some fusion patients get PT and some don't. It's partly doctor preference, partly the extent of what you had done and your need for it. I have a huge fusion, so my doctor and I both agreed that some PT was necessary. I asked him, though, for a therapist who wouldn't just give me a workout on expensive equipment that I don't have at home. I wanted someone who had experience with fusion patients and who would give me an exercise regimen that I could do at home for the rest of my life.

The therapist he sent me to is fantastic! She listens to me well and customizes exercises for my particular needs. She has used her spine dummy model and her own spine to help me understand why I have certain pains and why some of them will continue. She has taught me how to isolate particular muscle groups and which ones to tighten before doing certain movements. She doesn't try to give me a workout at all. She goes through what I've been doing, sees if she can help me with anything that's come up since the last time I was in, makes sure I'm doing the exercises correctly, usually adds a little more to my list, works my incisions to release scar tissue, and then sends me home to do the exercises on my own. I spend anywhere from 1/2 hour to an hour there. She is exactly what I wanted!

Nikirae, PRN is medical jargon for "as needed."

As Pepper said, PT or not, walking is really important for all of us fusion folks. Actually, it's supposed to be the best exercise for anyone overall anyway. Glad it's getting nice out. We'll all be out shuffling along!

Blessings,
Emily

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:35 AM   #7
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Re: PT After Fusion

Hallo Harmony,
For the first two surgeries (laminectomy) I begun pt one month post surgery, I had assisted postural gymnastic, I don't know if you call it so, three times a week and tecar therapy ( a antiflammatory machine) the insurance covered 90 days after surgery and I took advantage of it.
Now I'm 8 week post fusion and still waiting for the the Doctor to give me the permission to start pt, he said I should begin it after two month, on wednesday I'll have the check and I hope he will let me take the brace away and the permission to start pt, he said one time per week on the fist site, just assisted postural gymnastic, and swimming two times per week..then we will see....best wishes for you! Keep us informed!

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:45 AM   #8
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Re: PT After Fusion

After each surgery I had my doctor had me joint PT. insurance pain everything , they only had me walking on the treadmill , stretching , and the row boat excersize , no lifting or anything just trying to build up core muscle's
It's all stuff I could do at home but didn't. We don't have a pool to exercise.

I'm sure if your insurance will cover the therapist comming to your home they will. Is there a reason you can't get there ? A physical reason ?

Good Luck

 
Old 03-19-2007, 09:44 AM   #9
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Re: PT After Fusion

[COLOR="Navy"]Welcome to the board.

I know that if you are "home bound" the therapist will come out to your house. But this means that you are not able to get out of the house AT ALL. The day that I started water babies-as my hubby calls it, my home therapy stopped.

I am lucky as my PT is unlimited with my insurance..and with the issues I have had, I will be going another twice a week for another two years. My therapist is great. She has gotten me from clutching the walker in a death grip to walking in on my own from the car. I still have ways to go, but we are getting there. slowly just like the tortise... much as I hate going there...it has worked for me.

My therapist spends 30 min. working me over...touching me is what i usually say. When my leg is really bad and it hurts to touch it, I will say to her"you're touching me." Well, it must have been a bad week because she looked at me and said "that's the part of physical therapy that we are in!" After I have her., then I have about 60 minutes of workout on machines and with resisitance bands. She is working on having me carry weights. I am up to 12 lbs (With my dr. approval). I am hoping that I am going to be able to carry my new grandson some day....

[/COLOR]

 
Old 03-19-2007, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: PT After Fusion

L5-S1 tlif and I started PT 12 weeks post op. Got rid of walker after 4 weeks.

 
Old 03-19-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: PT After Fusion

Hi Harmony,
As a Physical Therapist Assistant, we see alot of back patients after surgery. Most of the orders are for stretching and strengthening of the core (abdominal) muscles. The P.T. instructs and makes sure the exercises are done in a safe and correct manner and advances the patient as ordered by the M.D. I think my M.D. orders P.T. 6-8 weeks out of surgery. Hearing about all this nerve pain is making me nervous about my surgery and recovery. I don't have alot of nerve pain now just back pain. I hope I don't regret this decision. Harmony, let me know how your M.D. appointment goes. Mine is the day before surgery, since I live 4 1/2 hours away.

Nicki, I think the PRN that is on your order refers to As Needed. The Therapists can determine how often to come in with a PRN order.

Bailey07

 
Old 03-19-2007, 06:20 PM   #12
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Re: PT After Fusion

As Dietdrpepper stated earlier my daughter's dr didn't send her to pt post op. He used it a few times prior to surgery but not after. His only therapy was to walk walk walk. When she was cleared to go in a pool at about 10 weeks, we began pool walking. She loved doing that. Around six months post op he let her use the treadmill and the Y and I think he said ok to the elyptical, but not sure if that was a little later or not. Around 10 months she began to jog some. She did fine without pt. I kept waiting for him to send us, but he never did. cas

Last edited by caszyman; 03-19-2007 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2007, 05:46 PM   #13
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Re: PT After Fusion

[QUOTE=bailey07;2868825]Hi Harmony,
As a Physical Therapist Assistant, we see alot of back patients after surgery. Most of the orders are for stretching and strengthening of the core (abdominal) muscles. The P.T. instructs and makes sure the exercises are done in a safe and correct manner and advances the patient as ordered by the M.D. I think my M.D. orders P.T. 6-8 weeks out of surgery. Hearing about all this nerve pain is making me nervous about my surgery and recovery. I don't have alot of nerve pain now just back pain. I hope I don't regret this decision. Harmony, let me know how your M.D. appointment goes. Mine is the day before surgery, since I live 4 1/2 hours away.

Nicki, I think the PRN that is on your order refers to As Needed. The Therapists can determine how often to come in with a PRN order.

Bailey07[/QUOTE]

Hi Bailey!

I wasn't able to get an answer yet about PT except for of course walking. I will have to gradually do that too since I have not been use to walking much for several years. That is concerning me. My dr. appt. went well and he took his time answering my questions and explaining everything until the very end when he was called to an emergency surgery. I didn't want to take the time then to ask about PT. I'll find out I'm sure in the hospital. He wants me to have an updated MRI so I will have that tomorrow. Also had to have an updated x-ray and the lab work. I had both of those done the same day as my appt. My x-ray showed a herniated disk at T11-12 and looks almost bone touching bone. I do have pain in that area so that is why the Dr. ordered the thoracic and the lumbar. My fusion is L5/S1. We'll see what the MRI shows. My insurance only approved 2 days in the hosp.! So the dr. wrote a letter to them trying to extend that to 3-4 days or more if needed. First he told me I'd be in 5-7 days which seemed kind of long. I have a prob with being sick to my stomach and fainting as I did my last back surgery and needed to stay longer. Hopefully, this time, that won't be the case.

I'm thinking of you and your surgery - knowing you are having the same feelings and fears I have; both having the ALIF too. I am thinking how much better we will be after. Well, this is long, hope not too long. LOL! I'll look for your posts.

Harmony

 
Old 03-22-2007, 05:55 PM   #14
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Re: PT After Fusion

Hi Harmony,
Don't let the insurance company worry you. If you're not medically cleared to be discharged, your doctor will make sure it's written so it will be covered. If it concerns you, ask him what will happen if you need to be in longer than they've preauthorized. There are procedures to follow, because that happens all the time. He'll know what to do, but it will give you peace of mind to ask. (I was in for 8 days for the same reason, fainting spells after surgery. No problem at all from the insurance company over the longer than expected stay.)

You're getting close. Yea for you! You're finally going to get it dealt with! I'm sure it will be a big relief to get it over with and start recovering. Let us know how you're doing as your day comes up.

Hope you're feeling better.
Emily

 
Old 03-22-2007, 06:00 PM   #15
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Re: PT After Fusion

Thanks, Emily for encouraging me on that! Yep, not long now! I am nervous about it naturally but at the same time, so glad I'm finally having it done. I have waited too long - years. I'll keep you posted. I wish I had a laptop but I don't. I'll have my hubby post for me.

Take care!
Harmony

 
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