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Old 12-11-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

Hi everyone, I was wondering what others experience is to getting back to an active lifestyle post L5-S1 fusion (posterior w/spacer and pedicle screws w/rods). I'm at a month an a half, no more medication use, and hoping by 3 months to be back to work (strenuous) and back on the mountain skiing. So far I'm able to walk for quite a while, although I do get some random sciatica when I sit after being on my feet for a while but otherwise I've seen some positive improvements the past 1-2 weeks. I know that it takes up to a year to have a complete fusion. Just curious what others have experienced time wise?

 
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

If you were to fall or have some sort of impact accident prior to the bone setting up, you cannot count on the hardware preventing you from damaging the fusion. There is a chance it might hold, but you cannot count on it. This could happen as well after you are completely fused too, but chances are much less. A greater risk is in damaging the next level up, which in your case would be L4-L5 that is now having to carry not only its own stress and the brunt of all spinal movement, but now that the adjacent level is a solid block, it must pick up that lack of mobility, too.

I think six months is a dividing point for many people, when they resume most activities.

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Talking Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

Thanks, teteri66! I was wondering the same thing! I'm about 5-1/2 weeks out post L4-5, S1 fusion (still wearing a brace). I'm walking on the treadmill but nothing else and probably won't start PT til after my postop check at almost 8 weeks. I would really like to go back to work at a sitting, sometimes walking, job as soon as I can postop for a couple of hours a day. I don't know much about the healing process w/the fusion so I appreciate reading what you wrote about the completion of the fusion. I'm trying to get ahead of myself and reading your replies always helps me remember I have to heal before I can resume my "previous life"!!

 
Old 12-13-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

[QUOTE=lorileamc;5103072]Thanks, teteri66! I was wondering the same thing! I'm about 5-1/2 weeks out post L4-5, S1 fusion (still wearing a brace). I'm walking on the treadmill but nothing else and probably won't start PT til after my postop check at almost 8 weeks. I would really like to go back to work at a sitting, sometimes walking, job as soon as I can postop for a couple of hours a day. I don't know much about the healing process w/the fusion so I appreciate reading what you wrote about the completion of the fusion. I'm trying to get ahead of myself and reading your replies always helps me remember I have to heal before I can resume my "previous life"!![/QUOTE]

Hi to stockli & lorimac, Im so happy that both of your recoveries are coming along so well! You've both been so patient all this time.... keep it up! I can still hear my old neurosurgeon say " Gmak, you must recover like you are stacking blocks, you get that stack pretty high with patience one by one then, if you get impatient just once it comes crashing down & you have to start over again! So, patience ladies! Remember, pain can be an indicator that you are going too fast, imo! You have come a long way.... just a while longer! I want your individual surgeries to be a lifelong solution to your back problems! Hang in there! And stockli, that's not hanging on a mountain slope! Lol God bless you both!

Last edited by gmak; 12-13-2012 at 11:28 AM.

 
Old 12-13-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

Thanks ladies, I'm not one for patience and being out of work for as long as I have been I'm going stir crazy. Had my 6 week and skiing is shot down for the season (which sucks cause I've been waiting for this winter since I took my boots off last winter).. Won't even let me start PT, swim, nada for another 6 weeks due to the type of work I do he wants to make sure my bone is healed and strong enough.. What had me positive was the fact of getting back out there.. being on the mountain, skiing is my escape to reality, fresh air with nothing but beauty surrounding you, all the worries and cares of the world are gone. You are in control.. you go as fast or as slow as you want and that feeling of your skis under you at your control... Nothing but you and the wide open terrain.... Instead it's me on the couch, with my remote in hand.. Getting back into the frustrating stage of everything... I've been feeling so good I was hoping to get released to pt at least...

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:39 AM   #6
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Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

Stockli, I had the same surgery, 9 weeks ago. I'm glad u r doing well. It's great to hear u talk about the mountains like that. I live in Utah and snowboard, well 30 yrs now. I love it. Almost makes my pain go away for a minute thinking about it. I don't get to go to much anymore,so its sure good to hear about it. I hope you get back at it soon.

 
Old 12-15-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Re: Return to activity post lumbar fusion?

Hi. I am 5 months post op, still in PT and can't imagine skiing. I can do dishes or one load of folding laundry and small errands or light shopping. I am.on Tramadol 100 mg er and Nuerontin only at night. I see so much progress as I can do treadmill at PT for 15 min but have cut back on squats, etc as PT was making me hurt more.
I can tell I need another 6 months to feel better at least. I miss working, etc too.
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