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What should I be doing post fusion?

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Old 02-11-2005, 08:39 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Papillion,NE
Posts: 31
Question What should I be doing post fusion?

I am 2 weeks post op fusion. I am bored to death. I think the discharge instructions that I was given at the hospital or I was really drugged out. I was told not to sit for extended periods of time. I can't drive for 4 weeks. I can't go outside because the weather is snowy and icy (I live in the midwest). I feel like all I am doing is laying in bed. I was given no exercises to do. I get up and put my brace on and try to just walk around the house. Is this normal behavior? Any ideas to pass the time until I can drive to the health club and walk around the track? I have my post op follow up with my doctor on 3-2-05. Is it normal to be this bored?

Posterior Lumbar Fusion L4-L5-S1 on January 28, 2005

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Old 02-11-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 76
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

Yes, I think with the restrictions right after fusion it is very normal to be bored. You unfortunately have the weather to deal with, walking outside or having someone take you to the store if only for a few minutes is good for the mind, but you certainly don't want to be slipping on ice. I read alot, do you have letters to write to long lost friends, or have someone pull out photo albums to look at or put together photo albums while laying down in bed. I should have done that! If your anything like me it should take about a week or so to get all the pictures in albums. Hope I helped a little, take care!

Old 02-11-2005, 09:47 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 60
jpecot HB User
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

Amen Megan

PLIF L4-L5 on 2/1. I have the same instructions as far as no driving and only limited sitting. I'm BORED to tears !! I live in Ohio and it's cold and wet outside so going out to walk is hard to impossible. I'm pacing the house like a caged cat

I lay and watch TV until I'm going insane, then play playstation until I can't stand it either. My work at home wife is about to KILL me if I don't find something to do. I've been home 10 days and finished to books also. I'm starting my third

If someone has some ideas to beat the bordom, let us know !!!


Old 02-11-2005, 09:54 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 764
Rhonni HB User
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

I remember the feeling well.
Your discharge instructions are fairly accurate. I could drive at 3 weeks though.

Is there someone who can take you to a mall to walk for 15 minutes or so?

I had the advantage of having in-home physical therapy from week 2 on, so I learned some great exercises that I feel helped tremendously. Basically they were leg stretches, ab and core toning, hamstring things. Don't do them if your doctor hasn't given you the go ahead though. Different doctors have different opinions. I'm glad mine was open to the exercises early because I think a lot of the aches and pains people get in the weeks that follow are really muscle issues.

I found a laptop computer helped my boredom. At least I could half lay with it and do my surfing.

While you're not suppose to sit for extended periods of time, you do want to gradually increase the amount of sitting time you do. (I went to the movies at 5 weeks and that was a bit long)

I had purchased a ton of DVD's prior to surgery so I didn't have to be subjected to daytime TV. Although I have satellite and a TiVo thingie so I managed to record shows I couldn't watch at night and watch them during the day. I'm not a reader and my meds screwed up my vision so much that I couldn't focus anyway HA.

Hang in there... just gradually increase your activity. At about week 16, it will all be a distant memory. I'm at week 20 now and am feeling great.

Old 02-11-2005, 03:13 PM   #5
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Jessie1 HB User
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

I'm 5 weeks post-op from an L4-L5-S1 TLIF, and I totally understand what you're going through! I was bored out of my skull, especially since I am NOT a person who's good with being inside constantly. I read a lot, watched TV (rotted my brain), and had friends visit to entertain me. I also got friends to drive me to the mall to walk (you'll be surprised that 10-15 minutes will wear you out). I live in the midwest also, so I could only go outside to walk on days when I was positive there was no ice. I had people go out and scout it out for me! My doc did allow me to go back to work part-time at 2 weeks though, and also to drive, so that helped a lot. I found that I had to be careful or I'd overdo it though, so watch out for that- especially if you're a high energy type A person like I am. I felt better so I assumed I was better-NOT! Make sure to pace yourself! Good luck!


Old 02-11-2005, 07:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Papillion,NE
Posts: 31
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?


I too live in Nebraska. Omaha. My surgery was done by Dr. McClellan at the Nebraska Spine Center. I have thought about going down to the basement to do the treadmill but I figure (we live in a 2 story) by the time I got down there I would be too tired to even start up the treadmill. Take care. Keep us up to date on what your Dr. says.

Posterior Fusion L4 L5 S1 January 28th 2005

Posterior Fusion L4-L5-S1 (January 28th, 2005)

Old 02-12-2005, 02:58 AM   #7
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flyonthewall HB User
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

I wasn't supposed to do anything for three months. It helped if I could get someone to drive me to a store that had shopping carts so I could walk around and have a change of scenery. I was so happy when I was allowed to drive myself at six weeks.

Old 02-12-2005, 10:08 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Papillion,NE
Posts: 31
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

I have gone out for 3 "rides" since my surgery. I just lay the seat back a little. I still am on pain meds but I am weaning myself down so I should be off by next week. I can take vicodin for break through pain. He went through my back. So I have a 6 inch incision back there. I hate the back brace but couldn't live with out it.

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Posterior Fusion L4-L5-S1 (January 28th, 2005)

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Old 02-12-2005, 01:59 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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sandollar HB User
Re: What should I be doing post fusion?

I too am 14 days post-op from my S1 & L5 single level fusion. Thought I was going to go nuts. Since I live in Florida, I craved the sunshine, so I went out long enough to walk down our driveway to get the mail ( I am still in trouble over that one), Hubby is being over protctive now cause the mailbox is at the bottom of a steep hill.
So me and Ice Cream are getting along GREAT
It's amazing what things you can do with ice cream. I am planning on putting a treadmill on layaway as soon as I get the Doctors orders. Thursday is my first post-op appt, for a wound check (even though I have 1-2 nurses here everyday).
I was told I could drive right away and long as I don't go far, just around town for a short distance.
He said he will take off the brace at 4-6 weeks and start PT at 2-4 weeks.
I can hardly wait
My Nurses have told him I am WAY past thier other patients, YIPPEE!!

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