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Old 05-02-2007, 12:20 AM   #1
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Bending, Twisting, Lifting

When were you able or allowed to bend, twist and lift after having a lumbar fusion? Things like taking things in and out of the oven or bottom shelf of the refrigerator; tying shoes, etc.

Just wondering how long I will be limited by this. I mainly am referring to bending.

Thanks!

Harmony

 
Old 05-02-2007, 01:30 AM   #2
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

I was told never again to do any bending, twisting or lifting more then 10 pounds. Physically I can do it but they told me that you put strain on the rest of the discs and vertabrae which can cause damage to the part not fused. If I have to bend I make sure I use my legs correctly. I use the Gopher grabber alot. I pick things off the floor etc. with it. With the oven I kind of slide the stuff in without too much bending. It's not easy to get use to.

 
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:38 AM   #3
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

The bending is tricky. You can bend at the knees and keep the back straight. Just make sure you have something to help lower yourself and raise yourself like a chair to use your arms to pull you back up.

I am 9 weeks and was told at 6 weeks that I could lift but not much and if I felt a pull or hurt not to do it.

Twisting- again you learn to turn your whole body. This is real tricky when you start to drive again.

Sounds like you are making progress I am glad you are feeling better just be real careful.

 
Old 05-02-2007, 02:52 AM   #4
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

A year after my fusion i still can't bend or twist or pick up heavy things. I was told never to do it.
Sometimes i try to put pat on a stove which is about 5-6 Pd and i have to give it up, because i feel strain on my spine.
Be careful!

 
Old 05-02-2007, 04:29 AM   #5
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

I think you really have to follow the direction to a T as your doctor dictates them and each person case is different. With that said, I was told to never bend again at the waist to just squat. Don't know if this is because of the double fusion or not. After my first fusion in 1982, I never gave it a second thought and would bend all the time.

As far as lifting I have not been released to lift over 1 gallon of milk and I am out 13 weeks. I might be restricted with the lifting because of the new herninated disc though.

As far as twisting, always try to use proper body mechanics and turn the entire body.

Hope this helps.

 
Old 05-02-2007, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

I think diet is right, follow your doctor directions, I wore a hard brace for two months, this helped me to prevent any twisting or bending, then I wore an elastic brace for another month, I started to bend on my knees and sometimes to twist just a little, my doctor said to do what I can but never, never exagerate! Little by little I find my old movements, but I have to say that I'm still very flexible thanks to dance, gymnastic and swimming I did in my youth! don't overdo!!!!
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:02 AM   #7
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

[COLOR="Navy"]When they first told me no BLT I was devistated! I love BLTs. Why can't I have them? What does a sandwich have to do with my back? They gave me a blank stare until they figured it out and deciphered it and said, NO BENDING LIFTING OR TWISTING....NOT BACON LETTUCE OR TOMATOE!!!

I am two years out and still am extremely careful of how I lift. I turn my entire body, never twist. I am limited to about 15 lbs. of weight for lifting right now and will never be able to carry more than 40 after I finish with therapy.[/COLOR]

 
Old 05-02-2007, 06:24 AM   #8
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

Hi all! I'm two weeks today after my ALIF,I feel pretty good,I do have leg pain on the left side.Im walking as much as I can ,I need to loose weight so here I come.lol Do any of you forget,I walked into the den this morning and went to the window and opened it,not even givinig it a second thought.Yesterday I wash a few dishes,very slow,no bending or twisting,was wiping off counter and all my napkins feel to the floor,I stood there and cried.I thought "What do I do now?I picked all napkins up with my toes and through them all away,a person just forgets.My grandbaby is four months,I held her on my lap,wanting so much to lift her and play,its hard,Iam goiing to get that grabber thing,maybe that will help.wishing you all the best Jaylynn

 
Old 05-02-2007, 06:38 AM   #9
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

Hi Harmony,
Yesterday, I was trying to get grapes out of the lower drawer of my frig. and bent slightly and felt a pain in the lowback that about brought me to my knees. It really scared me and I didn't have my brace on. At 5 weeks post, I was kind of blue yesterday thinking I shouldn't have pain, but still do especially in the abdomen region and feeling more back pain than before. My husband thinks it is because I am trying to take less pain medication. I just take two darvoset a day with one flexoril at night. Maybe I should still take pain meds more often. Harmony, does you incision still hurt as well? I walk once a day for 35-40 minutes. Thanks,
Blessings,
Bailey07

 
Old 05-02-2007, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

[COLOR="Navy"]Bailey,
You are only 5 weeks post op. I wouldn't get so discouraged. Also, if you have pain, take the meds. Look at it this way. Your body is fighting on two fronts. It is trying to fight the pain and to heal your sugery. By not giving it the pain relief, you are forcing it to divide it's resources in half to fight two battles. If you give it pain relief, it can then devote itself 100% to fight to heal your incision. As your body heals, you will need less pain meds. Don't worry about becoming dependant upon pain meds. You haven't been on them that long. It hurts me to see you suffer just because you haven't taken pain meds. It irritates me when people say, you don't need pain meds....when they have no concept of what you have gone through. Don't let anyone tell you that you have no need of these meds at this time in your life. If you have need, take the pills.

Sorry, I will climb down off of my little soap box-can't get up on the higher on yet! And yes, I think you would do better if you took your pain meds more often.
Jill[/COLOR]

 
Old 05-02-2007, 11:13 AM   #11
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

I forgot about BLT. The therapist in the hospital said to remember that. I thought it was only while healing but the physical therapy doctor and therapist told me never BLT ever again. The reason was that you can damage the discs and vertabra that was not fused. Since the fusion part is not flexible the stress is put on the rest of the discs and vertabra.

 
Old 05-02-2007, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

Thank you Jill,
You are right and I need to remember this was MAJOR surgery and keep up with the pain meds. I was told by my P.T. and an RN just today that I won't become addicted to Darvocet and to increase them to what my body needs.

Thanks for your soap box.

Blessings,
Bailey07

 
Old 05-02-2007, 12:53 PM   #13
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

Thanks for all your replies! They are all very helpful. I'll have to try bending a little from my knees if I need to get in the refrig. or stove. Guess I better get use to it as it sounds like we are never to BLT. Better than doing without BLT sandwiches. That was funny! LOL!

Bailey, my incision hasn't been hurting since the 2nd week. I'm sorry yours is. That's good Darvacet doesn't upset your stomach. Maybe I should try it. I'm sorry it hurt you to get those grapes out - be careful!

My pain is so bad today and I have nothing to take but Tylenol since Percocet I have makes me too sick. I called the doctor and he going to prescribe something - not sure what. It's nerve pain on my left side and has flared up since yesterday. It's discouraging as before that, my pain was very minimal.

Bailey, does your pain feel like nerve pain on one side? Anyone else have this after a fusion? I know Pepper, you do because you have a herniated disk - sure hope I don't. And I hope it's not the screws pressing on the nerves.

Adding after I wrote this: The doctor called and precribed Ultram.

Harmony

Last edited by Harmony5; 05-02-2007 at 01:28 PM.

 
Old 05-02-2007, 01:47 PM   #14
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

[QUOTE=jaylynn5;2958034]all my napkins feel to the floor,I stood there and cried.I thought "What do I do now?I picked all napkins up with my toes and through them all away,a person just forgets.My grandbaby is four months,I held her on my lap,wanting so much to lift her and play,its hard,Iam goiing to get that grabber thing,maybe that will help.[/QUOTE]

The grabber was my best friend for about 4 months. It's worth way more than it's weight in gold! I used it so much that I finally went out and bought a second one so I could have one on each level of the house. Now that I'm 7 months post-op, I have one on a permanent hook in the kitchen and the other on a permanent hook in the laundry room. I NEVER bend down to get clothes from the back of the dryer anymore! I should have gotten one of those years ago!

That's funny about picking up the napkins with your toes, though. I've learned to do all sorts of things with my feet and toes. My husband just looks at me like I'm crazy, but hey, it's better on my back and I didn't have to ask him to pick something up for me!

We do what we have to do!

Emily

 
Old 05-02-2007, 02:48 PM   #15
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Re: Bending, Twisting, Lifting

My daughter's post fusion instructions from her dr were no blts for six months. At her last appointment ( 21 mo post op) he talked to her about how she needs to treat her back through out her life since she had surgery at 15. He told her no heavy lifting ever. We talked at moving furniture and boxes - that's a no no. I can just picture her this fall at her dorm room moving things. He said no! She feels great and needs to know how to take care of her back for the rest of her life. cas

 
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