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Old 11-16-2007, 06:35 AM   #1
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Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Hi Everyone, I recently had a fall from height, followed by a spinal fusion of T10-L1 on 7-28-7. I am 16 weeks post op. Pain is much better. No restrictions. Although I get tired easy. Have been walking 3 miles a day but am looking for more to do w/out compromising my back and my fusion. I was a runner prior to surgery. Anyone have suggestions for exercise? How about back and Ab workouts??? It is so hard to find information about this surgery after a trauma. Thanks, Korie

 
Old 11-16-2007, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

The best exercise you can do is walking and getting into a pool/hot tub and doing leg movements without twisting you body. I put a intertube around my mid section, go in the deep end and pretend like I am walking or running.

 
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Korie, you might ask to be put into rehab physical therapy to help you better with this. There are some techniques that can be learned to help you get that good workout you are looking for, but also protecting your spine at the same time.

And walking is the best for a spine.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 11-17-2007, 08:36 AM   #4
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Its so strange because my Dr does not believe in rehab and you don't want to do anything to hurt your back. He even says I can run if I want to but it is pretty sore after just walking. I don't value his opinion much.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Korie, my surgeon does not believe in PT either. He feels that doing the water exercises and walking are the key to recovery. No running, no leg lifts, no stretches, nothing else until the one year point.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Korie. If you dont value the doctor.. dump him! Get a new one! It's that easy to do, and rehab therapy can do you wonders. You want to exercise and be healthy as you've expressed, but you also need to do it such a way to NOT harm your body in the process. Nothing is ever absolute, but proper techniques is the premium choice.

Keep us posted.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Last edited by Justoneofus; 11-17-2007 at 01:57 PM.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Could you describe the water exercises in more detail? I am having a one level fusion in January and I want to do something between now and then and have access to a warm water pool. I get the feeling I am not going to get much direction from my surgeon regarding what I can do in recovery. He pretty much says "You can do what you're capable of doing...anything you want, as long as it doesn't hur." So I would like to know what exercises you do in the pool during your recovery.

Any description is appreciated!!

 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:43 AM   #8
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Boy do I know how you feel. My doctor told me that I could run or do anything that I want. I am lucky that I am intelligent enough not to or I could really get hurt. We have all gone through way too much to hurt ourselves just trying to be fit and healthy! Its nice to know that I am not the only one who is frustrated.

 
Old 11-19-2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

I think the surgeons have probably seen too many times patients coming back in pain and maybe damaged from doing something they shouldn't have done. That's why they don't give us specific recommendations. Or they're just tired of us whining! I'm frustrated with that, too. I'm having a revision surgery in Jan. and I will do everything I can to reign myself in. I think I was too active after the first one. I'm not sure that was the entire reason I'm having the second, but I want to play every card right this time. I'm thinking of paying out of pocket for a PT or personal trainer for some very, very mild exercises just to keep my mind occupied. Like isometric contractions or something? Anything? I feel like I have my grandmother's body these days...

At least I have you gals to commiserate with. And my husband never, ever says a thing, the saint that he is...

 
Old 11-21-2007, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

I'm curious why you have to have revision surgery and how you knew?
Korie

 
Old 11-27-2007, 01:57 AM   #11
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

I know I've overdone it on the back posts tonight. . I just got back to the boards and I feel needy. Sorry!!

DrPepper. .I was just curious about your comment about no stretching, leg lifts, etc for 1 yr. I started PT about 2 weeks ago and the main thing I do is stretching, mini leg lifts.

The stretching I do is mainly my hamstrings and hip flexor muscles. . I do most of them laying down or on an exercise ball. No BLT involved. The leg lifts I do are on my back, knees bent, bring my knees to my chest while holding my ab muscles. Maybe I shouldn't consider them left lifts?

I trust my physical therapists since it is their job, but I also value your opinion since you've been through this a lot and this is my first (and hopefully last) back surgery!

-KT

 
Old 11-27-2007, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

Sarah - you crack me up! Not that you hurt yourself, that your are so funny writing about yourself. How are you?

Korie - sorry I didn't see your post. (I'm a T6-7 fusion in 2/07, scheduled for revision in 1/08)
1. How did I know something was wrong? My back improved for a while (3-5 months after surgery, then started getting worse. I had pain on the left where I never had left sided pain prior to surgery. The radicular pain was worse on both sides. It increased with any movement and the severity progressed to restrict my movements to virtually nothing. I joke that I live like a cat. Folding a load of laundry lands me in bed for a day now. I cannot stir soup or chop carrots without a day or more of pain. Bending side to side or backwards (even slightly) or twisting is excruciating. These are signs of non-fusion or a hardware problem. A myelogram confirmed that there was no fusion.

2. Why revision surgery? You have to have fusion. The hardware I have in is not designed to hold in the event that I don't fuse. In fact, I hurt because the hardware is loosening. Once you go into the spine and start messing around, fusion is the ideal outcome for long term stability. So, this revision surgery in January will try again for fusion. I'll probably be asking for some good thoughts from the board when my time comes!

BTW, my doctor totally supported me hiring a personal trainer to get an exercise program tailored to me. I'm calling tonight! I know it will be very low-key, but I hope it will help keep some tone. Should I let you know how it goes? I used to run half marathons and lift weights! I'm a little stir crazy!!!

I hope that answers your questions. Margaret

Last edited by chatterboxsd; 11-27-2007 at 06:15 PM. Reason: clarification

 
Old 11-20-2009, 08:09 AM   #13
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Re: Help...exercise after spinal fusion

What excersises can I do 1 year post op?

 
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