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    Old 07-23-2007, 01:19 AM   #1
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    Wink 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hi folks,

    Just a question to ask about sitting, I am 8 weeks post fusion and find I can only sit for about 40minutes, I feel as if all the weight of my spine is crunching down and hitting me at the base of my spine. I am sitting on a kitchen chair and use my back seat which makes it comfortable for me.

    I just wish the sitting would improve as I feel I could remain up longer in the day, cant use a recliner as my hamstrings are so tight I cant put my legs out in front of me. I am managing to stay up around the 8 hours in total throughout the day, God if they were alltogether I would be thrilled....

    When should I notice an improvement on the sitting?
    Tried driving yesterday, and its a definite no for awhile, its not an automatic car so I find the clutch causes the pain.

    To all my spiney friends, Would love an update of 8 weeks. I can hear you all telling me its early days !!!!

     
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    Old 07-23-2007, 05:00 AM   #2
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Wow, I am impressed that you are sitting 8 hours at 8 weeks. You are way ahead of the game and may in fact be pushing yourself a little hard which is causing you some pain in my opinion.

    I noticed a big turn around in sitting around the 12th to 15th week time frame. You have to remember that they moved alot of muscle and nerves around and it takes time to heal.

    Good luck and may you continue healing with no set backs.

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 05:31 AM   #3
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hi dietdrpepper,

    thanks for the reply, I am just getting impatient with it I think.
    I see other posts and some people are just flying it and going back to work. Would love to know how Donna and kaddy or doing, havent seen a posting from kaddy, so you kind of take all is well.

    Now I just want to know how you are doing now after your staining the shed?
    has the pain eased out any bit for you. I hope that today is better for you, you seemed to be in an awfull amount of pain.


    I laughed when I read the comment about your poor hubbie not the most carefull (think you used an other word)
    I know exactly what you mean. When my husband paints which I have now stopped, we end up with white ceiling okay, but also the ceiling paint is also where the wall paint should be, not the most steady hand for the paint brush !!!!

    Let me know how you are doing, and I hope abit better.
    Round 1

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 05:59 AM   #4
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hey Round1,
    I'm ten months post-op and sitting is still the hardest part. I find that sitting so that my knees are a little lower than my hips and my feet are tucked under the chair puts less pressure on my lower back. Sitting like that makes me able to sit a little longer, but not every chair works for that. I still have only certain chairs I can sit in. I don't sit anywhere low or too soft.

    At 8 weeks, like you already said yourself it's still early on. I think you're doing great, being up for 8 hours but not all at once. I spent most of the first 3 months lying down, then for the next 2 months I laid down for at least a few hours during the day at some point. At 8 weeks, I was probably up for less than 8 hours, maybe only half that some days. It's boring and frustrating, but keep hanging in there. It gets easier. You'll continue to heal and get stronger and you'll figure out how what your new limitations may be.

    You take care,
    Emily

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 07:30 AM   #5
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Thanks Emily,

    It is good to hear that it is normal enough (as it seems to be the only thing normal about me !!). Thanks, it really is hard to get a good picture of where I should be as everyone here has a different story and at a different stages.

    How are you doing pain wise?

    round 1

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 07:50 AM   #6
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hi Round1

    Being just about 8 months post op of L4 - S1 fusion myself, I have to tell you that sitting is the hardest thing!! 40 min at 8 weeks is pretty darn good!! You are right it is still early for you! Friends of mine always tried to offer me a seat when I am around, but I always tell them I like to stand ( its more comfortable ). You will find sitting to be easier as the weeks roll on. Just think a couple of weeks ago you could only sit for 10 min or so. You sound like you are doing great!!!! Try not to get to frustrated I know how hard that is!! Take care of you.

    Rose

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 08:25 AM   #7
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Round1,
    it can take a long time for you or maybe not... 18 month after my surgery i can't seat for long time, i have to change position all the time, hurts too much! I read about a special donut pillow to seat on, but i never came accross of it, but i always, absolutely always have a very comfortable pillow behind my back. Pillow which holds my spine in a straight position and supports my back very well. No matter where i go i learned to take it with me otherwise i end up with so much pain.
    Nothing can help with the pain at tail bone area while sitting still...
    Do you strethch you hamstrings every day? Stretching is such a great excercise, just don't push to hard if hurts, do it slowly as far as you can tolerate. Tight muscles give more pain.
    Good luck on your recovery.

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Thanks folks,

    Moldova, how are you doing, shingles etc., ?

    I dont use a pillow but I carry everywhere my back seat "othorest" it is a blessing for those uncomfortable seats. I will just have to give it more time and not give in to the frustration.

    Thank you all.
    Round 1

    Last edited by Round1; 07-23-2007 at 01:25 PM.

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 05:41 PM   #9
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    [QUOTE=Round1;3114204]Thanks Emily,

    It is good to hear that it is normal enough (as it seems to be the only thing normal about me !!). Thanks, it really is hard to get a good picture of where I should be as everyone here has a different story and at a different stages.

    How are you doing pain wise?

    round 1[/QUOTE]

    Yes, that's a really good point, and something we should all remember. Everyone IS different, even if they had the exact same surgery. The board is great for getting a general idea of where we should be at, but none of us ought to be comparing too closely.

    I still take a Vicodin every morning and another at night. I could use one by late afternoon or early evening, but I don't want to take more than I absolutely have to, so I usually just grit my teeth a bit and hold off 'til bedtime. Then I can sleep better and don't get too sore until close to time to get up. But a lot of people have this surgery and eventually get off all pain meds. I have a couple of friends who have been through it and take nothing at all now.

    Like Moldova, I have that tailbone sitting pain that is just going to be there. I've learned to sense when I'm reaching the point of no return and get myself up and moving, even if it means standing in a corner at the back during the sermon at church or standing in the family room while we all watch a movie together. That felt really weird at first, especially in church, but you get used to it as a routine for the things you regularly do and it becomes no big deal.

    I hope you feel comfortable with where you're at now. It's good to ask questions like this. The doctors don't see us day to day, but the folks here have been there and know what it's like.

    Later,
    Emily

     
    Old 07-23-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    HI Round1. I think you are right where you should be, and don't expect too much from your body. I did too, and it too a bit to realize that my body was just going to take it's sweet time in responding. I am 15+ months post fusion at l4/l5 with cage/rods/screws.

    I am one of the success stories on here, but it's taken a long time getting there. I am still not pain free, but pretty darn close. Even now, while my fusion has been solid since 7 months.. I continue to have healing improvements and my body can do more and more and with less pain and reprocussions (from overdoing).

    I am normally the "snap back quickly type", but not with this surgery. It kicked my butt, my back, my entire body. As it does to MOST of us. There are a few that bounce right back and are painfree within a few weeks. But on the whole.. it just takes "time", and lots of it.

    At 8 weeks.. my body was really starting to get stiff as a board and that too makes sitting difficult. Has anyone mentioned physical therapy to you and if so, take full opportunity of it. It was the single most turning point in my healing at that stage. I think I began PT between 9 & 10 weeks post op. I had the best rehab therapists on the planet if you ask me. They were experts in rehab spine surgery and used unconventional techniques at times to promote healthy healing to include (using a breast pump over my incisions on my back to loosen the skin and minimize scarring). I had to ask her to repeat herself when she said what she was going to do to me.. and it worked like a charm!! So, again.. therapy made all the difference and was the beginning to giving me back some normalcy and reducing my pain.. through strengthening and stretching. IF you go thru therapy.. it comes with several significant flare ups along the path to recovery. Expect, Respect and Move on from them. Just communicate thoroughly with your PT.

    Things will get easier in the coming weeks for you and you will begin to see drastic improvements.
    __________________
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    A Success, but still improving!

     
    Old 07-24-2007, 12:38 AM   #11
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hi thanks for the replies,

    Yes started PT once a week, I really think I should be going twice a week, but I suspose what she is giving to me I really can do at home, except for having my leg in a sling moving backwards and forewards.

    Thanks for all your advice and reassurance, my main concern is if this is as good as it gets, I dont think I could cope. If I know I am going to continue to improve and it will take 3 months more, I can live with that. It is the unknown that freaks me out !! But I have improved since the first few weeks of surgery looking back over my diary I can see that. Just lets hope we will all improve as the months go by.

    Round 1

     
    Old 07-25-2007, 12:14 AM   #12
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Oh no.. where you are isn't anywhere close to "as good as it gets". Like I said, my fusion is done.. the bone is done doing it's healing and is solid solid. BUT, my body is continuing the healing process of the 3+ years of damage pain and suffering and surgery it was put through. And Im now 15+ months post surgery.

    You will heal SOOO much FASTER with positive thinking. Also remember how long you had suffered with the pain up to your surgery. With this thought should ease the "rush to heal" thoughts a tad and just let your body mend itself in its time. It's going to anyway, so just stay on your regimen, weather the ups and downs (and it's ok to get a bit frazzled and frustrated.. all normal), and really take focus of the little improvements you see. And soon you will notice more significant improvements etc.

    Glad to hear you are doing PT. You can do the sling thing at home. Take a look at the tool they are using, be it a towel, a cloth, a strap, the rubber stretchy things (hahaha can't think of their names). Other than her stretching me on certain moves, everything I could imitate on my own at home. Ask your PT if that particular sling thing would be of benefit for you do perform at home and if so.. what can you fashion to use to make it useful for you. AND.. have you asked the PT if you could come twice a week, or is it an insurance restriction thing? With my crappy insurance, one thing I was fortunate to have is extensive PT offered, and the gal that was treating me is considered top in the US.. so maybe that was partly why. I went 3 times per week, and then tapered it back to 2 weekly. I was in PT up to my 7th month post op. It was "going to the gym" time! hehehe.
    __________________
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    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; 07-25-2007 at 12:15 AM.

     
    Old 07-25-2007, 01:38 AM   #13
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Justoneofus,

    Thank you thank you, your post came at the right time, I just closed the door my husband and son are heading off for a long day trip, and my son will overnight with his cousins, he just said "mum i wish you could come"? I put the best smile on and said "I will be able to soon love I promise", closed the door and did not cry. The I turned on the computer and say you post, then I cried, you are right, it will get so much better. I was really glad to see your post you are doing so well, and it is a comfort to the strugglers to get the words of wisdom from you.

    In Ireland once you have medical insurance all operations etc or more or less covered, and since I was referred by my surgeon for PT it is also covered.

    Question about the sling on the leg, did you just put a hook on the ceiling and suspend the rope down, or have you another way?

    Also at eight weeks were you is needing to lye down ?

    Thanks again for the advice, I am not going to spend my day wishing I was with them, I am just going to plan for when I am with them !!!

    Round1

    Last edited by Round1; 07-25-2007 at 01:40 AM.

     
    Old 07-25-2007, 05:15 AM   #14
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    Re: 8 weeks - post fusion, sitting ability

    Hi Round1,
    I used doors for quite a few exercises and equipment. I don't know what the sling looks like, but it might be easier to create something hanging from a doorframe than from the ceiling. I used inexpensive pulleys from the local hardware store, clothesline, resistance tubing I got on the internet, and "handles" made from short pieces of pvc tubing that the guy at the hardware store made for me from scraps and didn't even charge me for. Some things I looped over the doorknobs, some I closed into the top of the door with a knot over the top to keep it from sliding out, and some I closed into the hinge edge the same way, moving it for different heights for different exercises.

    Your therapist might have some suggestions on how to mimic at home what she's doing at PT. Maybe Justone has some suggestions, too. She's pretty good at this stuff!

    Blessings,
    Emily

     
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