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Old 06-03-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
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Smile lumbar synovial cyst removed

I had a laminectomy with removal of a synovial cyst exactly 17 days now and feel wonderful. Last weeks follow up visit actually was an eye opener because i found out I was doing too much, like bending for example, and I am really suppose to take it easy so the scar tissue can form a strong bond.
My cyst was large and sitting on the nerve root. As soon as it was removed the compressed nerve popped right back up, all good news.
I am wondering how soon before i can start doing other things besides resting and walking. I understand the golf is not happening for at least another 6 weeks and thats ok, but can I swim or when can i ride a bike?
I have basically no pain aside from a little muscle spasms.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

I had my partial laminectomy, facetectomy and synovial cyst removed exactly one month ago today. What exactly did your doctor say about bending interfering with scar tissue formation? I was not told anything specific by mine, but have been curious about this. Did he mean the incision scar, or internal scar around the joint? My doctor just said that I could exercise but "go easy."

As far as biking, that never interfered with my cyst or caused pain because I don't move my back much -- I use an indoors exercise bike where I sit up straight. Golf twists the facet joints. which is where these cysts form, so personally I would hold off for awhile. I've read swimming is okay once the incision is totally healed, like 2-3 weeks.

Last edited by CT06405; 06-03-2013 at 06:22 PM.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

My doctor explained that he wants the scar tissue to fully form around the disks for support and strength. So when I left the hospital he didn't want me to bend at all and definitely no twisting of any kind. On my follow up visit on day 13 he said I kind start bending a little. So I assume that meant I was not to be picking things up off the floor yet.
How are you feeling? Do you have any pain or numbness? They keep asking me and I don't have any at all. I guess just the obvious after surgery soreness.
My incision was sealed with super glue so i was able to shower 2 1/2 days afterwards but no baths so I assume that meant pools too.
I am walking 3 miles in the mornings and another 1.5 in the evenings but that is all I do.
Tell me how you are doing.

 
Old 06-03-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

My doctor explained that he wants the scar tissue to fully form around the disks for support and strength. So when I left the hospital he didn't want me to bend at all and definitely no twisting of any kind. On my follow up visit on day 13 he said I kind start bending a little. So I assume that meant I was not to be picking things up off the floor yet.
How are you feeling? Do you have any pain or numbness? They keep asking me and I don't have any at all. I guess just the obvious after surgery soreness.
My incision was sealed with super glue so i was able to shower 2 1/2 days afterwards but no baths so I assume that meant pools too.
I am walking 3 miles in the mornings and another 1.5 in the evenings but that is all I do.
Tell me how you are doing.

 
Old 06-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

I am doing well - no numbness, no pain or incision soreness - except that I notice I have a sciatic ankle twinge and lower back twinge occasionally. It seems to be based on my activity level or after I sit for awhile. I try to avoid bending, but since I am 28 days postop, maybe it's okay to bend once in awhile.

I ride my exercise bike for about a half hour 5 days per week and also take quite a few short walks throughout the day. I am going to try taking some longer walks and see how I do.

I had a synovial cyst removed from the same joint in early December which recurred in two months, right after I tried playing tennis again. So I can tell you that in my case, playing 6 weeks after surgery was too soon, even though the doctor okayed it. I think the constant rotation of the spine from tennis may be what caused my cysts, unfortunately.

Since golf involves some spine and facet joint rotation, if I were you, I probably would not go back to that for awhile. I have seen some posts on here where men were told not to golf for at least 3 months after laminectomies. I think in our case, the facet joint capsule has to regenerate, and that can take a few months.

I'm praying that this works! If it recurs again, I have a choice of A) living with it or B) removal of the facet joint and fusion. Do you have any idea what caused your cyst?

 
Old 06-04-2013, 03:35 AM   #6
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

So you are riding a stationary bike, thats interesting. I can see where tennis could get to you. You are lucky you still have your knees intake!
The doctor would not commit to any one reason why these things happen but there is the active lifestyle of boating and golf, along with some arthritic degeneration. I wonder if heredity plays any role.
I am glad you found a doctor to just remove the cyst. I had gone to several other doctors for opinions and they all wanted to do fusions. When i asked why they all replied it was because I had movement and weakness of the joints. I asked them how they could know that just looking at me and they said they are going to take xrays and it will show. I took these x-rays to my surgeon and he said my joints looked fine with no movement at all. You really have to be careful out there....can't trust anyone! Which is a pretty scary thought.

 
Old 06-04-2013, 03:41 AM   #7
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

So you are riding a stationary bike, thats interesting. I can see where tennis could be bad for the back. You are lucky you still have your knees intake!
The doctor would not commit to any one reason why these things happen but there is the active lifestyle, the pounding of boating and golf, along with some arthritic degeneration. I wonder if heredity plays any role. Anyway, I plan on returning to golf when healed because it is a passion but I have great concern since I already have another cyst in the same joint. Its just asymptomatic right now.
I am glad you found a doctor to just remove the cyst. I had gone to several other doctors for opinions and they all wanted to do fusions. When i asked why they all replied it was because I had movement and weakness of the joints. I asked them how they could know that just looking at me and they said they are going to take xrays and it will show. I took these x-rays to my surgeon and he said my joints looked fine with no movement at all. You really have to be careful out there....can't trust anyone! Which is a pretty scary thought.

 
Old 06-04-2013, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

I have another smaller cyst above the same joint also! But it was tiny, and looked like it was positioned well inside the joint capsule instead of poking into the spinal canal, so doctors said it was not worth chasing. They'd have to do too much digging to even find it, as it was barely visible on the MRI.

I know what you mean about the crazy medical opinions out there. Alleged "instability" and fusions seem to be oversold; it's like a lot of neurosurgeons are brainwashed that fusions are the way to go for everyone. I ran into one doctor who would have done a 3-level fusion if I'd wanted it, despite my having no slippage on testing.

The bigger frustration for me was that some doctors think synovial cysts and a bone spur poking the nerve are no big deal and say you can "live with it" and "that cyst may not be causing your pain," despite my MRI showing a sciatic nerve that was getting absolutely squashed.

Other doctors will tell you that you can end up in a wheelchair if you do too much exercising with one of these things in your spine that has become enlarged.

I would love to return to tennis, but think it's too risky. Both times my cyst happened after I had been playing a lot. My plan is to continue the exercise bike, some fast walking and maybe some aerobics classes later on that are low impact and don't involve bending or twisting. But I am going to wait maybe 4 months after surgery to try those.

 
Old 06-04-2013, 08:52 AM   #9
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

[QUOTE=CT06405;5183460]I have another smaller cyst above the same joint also! But it was tiny, and looked like it was positioned well inside the joint capsule instead of poking into the spinal canal, so doctors said it was not worth chasing. They'd have to do too much digging to even find it, as it was barely visible on the MRI.

I know what you mean about the crazy medical opinions out there. Alleged "instability" and fusions seem to be oversold; it's like a lot of neurosurgeons are brainwashed that fusions are the way to go for everyone. I ran into one doctor who would have done a 3-level fusion if I'd wanted it, despite my having no slippage on testing.

The bigger frustration for me was that some doctors think synovial cysts and a bone spur poking the nerve are no big deal and say you can "live with it" and "that cyst may not be causing your pain," despite my MRI showing a sciatic nerve that was getting absolutely squashed.

Other doctors will tell you that you can end up in a wheelchair if you do too much exercising with one of these things in your spine that has become enlarged.

I would love to return to tennis, but think it's too risky. Both times my cyst happened after I had been playing a lot. My plan is to continue the exercise bike, some fast walking and maybe some aerobics classes later on that are low impact and don't involve bending or twisting. But I am going to wait maybe 4 months after surgery to try those.[/QUOTE]

 
Old 06-04-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

Hi Golfbabe, it looks like your last post did not come through.

I wanted to ask you if you found that playing golf aggravated your synovial cyst or caused more pain. I had been thinking of trying golf once I'm totally healed, but probably won't do that if it is tough on the area. Thanks.

 
Old 06-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #11
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

Golf is very hard on the discs and facet joints. Just like tennis, it involves some degree of force just as the spine is in a twisting position -- when you strike the ball. The exertion of effort as you are twisting is apparently about the worst motion one can make in terms of impact on the lumbar spine. The swing of the arm or arms across the body apparently makes the twisting motion more intense.

 
Old 06-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

Now that I am older and have had spine surgery, it seems I will only be able to bike and walk - and those aren't real social sports.

Teteri, can you do much exercise since your fusion? What bothers your back least?

 
Old 06-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #13
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Re: lumbar synovial cyst removed

I had pretty much gotten out of the habit of doing much of anything because my leg pain was so bad for so long. I can now walk as long as I want, which is something I had almost given up hope I'd ever do again and I swim. I can use the machines at the club, but don't go that often. I mostly go to swim.

I probably could do more than I do. I just haven't been that interested in testing it. I have friends with fusions who still play tennis, go kayaking, and other active things...but I think they all just have one level fused. I was just go grateful to be able to walk without pain that I haven't wanted to chance messing things up.

 
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