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Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Zinnias HB User
Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery


I had Dynesys at 2 lumbar levels in November 2007.

The tightness you wake up with after surgery -- I still have that -- 95% of mornings -- to the point of tears.

I go to PT weekly -- still! -- and do water therapy at least once a week.

Every morning, it's the same thing -- I can barely move until ~10 or 11am.

I have to take my pain pills as breakfast. The oxycodone & lyrica make it so that in 45 minutes, I can bend the back a LITTLE.

It's on BOTH sides of the back, running STRAIGHT DOWN the spine. Every morning. All I do is scream inside my head and wait for the kids to leave. Being vertical is TOO MUCH until lunch time.

Yes, I do my stretches! Hot showers - everything.

Why would someone still have that post-surgical stiffness 8 months afterwards????

When does it get better????

My surgeon was ignorantly talking to me about maybe going back to work in some form soon --- I can't drive until around 10am!!

What's going on here?? Anyone else w/ this??


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Old 07-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
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Justoneofus HB User
Re: Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery

It takes us all different amounts of time to heal from spine surgery. I can't speak about the Dyneys that you had done as opposed to the fusion I had done. Your's allows movement, where my fusion does not.

Based on the surgery I had, it was the best option possible for me, by stopping movement at this level.

It could be that is also an issue for you too. I dont know. I just wanted to throw that out there.

Now you say you are "stiff". What is your pain levels during this time and once you get less "stiff" later in the day?

What is your therapist saying about your stiffness? Have you tried seeking out another therapist? I continue to utter that there are alot of really good ones and several GREAT ones. I've been to gobs of the cookie cutter types and then I was lucky to have my surgeon recommend my current PT and there is nothing like her. She has managed to help me in so many ways, to include working on helping me identify in my last PT a few months ago, that some of my issues were my own fear of working out more, for fear of injuring my spine further. She was sooooo right! At the moment.. I am doing fantastic! I am enjoying every minute of life at the moment. Hope it keeps going.

Umm.. There has to be a reason why you are still so tight and stiff each morning and I would suggest you get another surgeon's opinion to what might be causing it. And also look at your therapy.. is it the best for you, or should you try a rehab therapist that really knows their stuff on spine rehab.

I hope you get some more relief soon. Keep me 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; 07-23-2008 at 05:07 PM.

Old 07-23-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 876
Re: Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery

What are Dynesys?

Old 07-23-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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mznell HB User
Wink Re: Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery

You are so, so right about how much difference it can make when you finally find a great physical therapist. Before my surgery, I went through 2 courses of PT that really did very little, and sometimes even made things worse. This time I went to a place that only deals with spinal issues and it made all the difference in the world. It would be like learning to isolate one digit in your finger vs moving your arm in a windmill motion at the first place. At the first place it looked, and I thought I was doing the exercises correctly until I went to the new place. There I think I spent the first six weeks moving about an inch or so as I learned to isolate my various abdomonal and pelvic floor muscles. Really amazing difference it has made, too.

I too would be interested in hearing a further description of your stiffness. When I hear others talking about their surgery scars, I think I ended up with quite a small one -- my MIL had the same surgery I had and hers is probably twice as long as mine, even though I am 9" taller!! My incision never hurt for a moment. I did not have staples, just a couple layers of dissolving stitches and a big band-aid. Anyway, I never really had anything I would describe as stiffness -- I felt pain when I turned over in bed, etc. but it wasn't stiffness. My quads were stiff for awhile...but when people see me now, they can't believe I had surgery 6 months ago, because you can't tell from my movements.

If I were you, I think I would investigate this further.

Old 07-23-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
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spineman HB User
Re: Sooo Stiff and Tight 8 Months after Lumbar Surgery

I am also extremely stiff. Feels like someone clamped my back down since surgery. I am 1 yr 2 months after surgery and still dealing with that problem. I have been going to pt and that has caused the pain to shoot through the roof. pt also exacerbated the nerve pain - pain doctor says that stretching is pulling on the nerves. He said for me to take it easy on pt and not let them over do it. He mentioned gentle pt and to back off when the pain starts to ramp up.

Hope you feel better.


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