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PRE Surgery tips anyone?? exercise, calcium???

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Indianola, IA
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Tatiyana HB User
Unhappy PRE Surgery tips anyone?? exercise, calcium???

I am scheduled for a L4/L5 discectomy & fusion on Dec 29. The post surgery tips are great but what about things I could do now to "condition" my body for this procedure? Does anyone have any tips?
I have wondered about upping my daily calcium intake, Vit C, leg & back strengthening....only problem is, I havent had a good enough day to start the excersises.

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Old 11-05-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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ms_west HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

Hi there! Before my surgeries, I asked my doctor the very same question concerning diet and vitamins. He simply said, try to eat well balanced meals and after surgery start the calcium.

I was also told that if I could walk, it is a good thing but if it causes more pain, don't do it.

My biggest advice before surgery is to stock up on food and tolietries. Try to buy bottle water, soda, down to toothpaste for at least 12 weeks. I made sure that I had six weeks of meals planned out. I don't know your situation but I have a family of 4 so I made up as much pre-cooking as possible so that my family simply had to slide it in the oven or toss it in the crockpot. Fortunately, my Mom came so these pre-cooked meals helped her out when she was tired or running on low after chasing the grandkids around and before she left we did a major grocery run at 6 weeks (yes, Mom was here from out of state for 6 weeks -- I was truly blessed) so that I would be stocked up for the next 6 weeks and she made up meals as well.

We also moved a bed into the family room so that I could be with the family instead of being stuck up in my room. It was amazing because I was always a light sleeper but since doing this after my last surgery I can sleep thru alot more noise than before.

Oh one last thing is a laptop was the best gift my hubby brought me. It allowed me to chat on these boards so that I felt less isolated from others that truly understand.

Good luck and I pray that you have the support and love from your family and friends to help you thru the next few months. It truly makes this journey much easier.

I have written your surgery date on my calendar so I can pray for you and your surgeon.

Last edited by ms_west; 11-05-2008 at 07:20 PM.

Old 11-06-2008, 07:28 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Anna, Tx United States
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tami36 HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

Hi Titiyana,

I was reading your message. I too am having a fusion on Dec 29,2008. My surgery will be a two level fusion at the level of L3-S1. They are doing an anterior and posterior fusion. I have had two diskectomies in the past. I just was told to make sure what medicines to take and which ones not to take prior to surgery. I was never told anything else to do. Sorry I was not much help. But it seems to make it a little better when you know others have went through what you are going through or are about to go through what you are, even on the same day. Good luck with your surgery.


Old 11-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #4
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Location: Old Greenwich, CT
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laf761 HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

If you are unable to walk far which is very possible 'cause for me closer to surgery I couldn't walk very far...My Dr. encouraged the upright stationary bike and laying on the floor on my back doing straight leg lifts, one knee bent and the other outstretched and lifting about 3-4 inches off the floor..Also laying on the floor doing what they call marching (ask your PT person to describe)..What's important is strengthening your core...stomach muscles etc. to keep the back supported.

Also very important is to strengthen your ARMS...after surgery you will rely on them more than you can imagine...whether it's pulling yourself up, getting in and out of the car etc..

ALso look into the satin bottom's been 9 mos..since my one level (L3-L4) fusion and I still use it..It helps to slide and move in bed without tugging on your back.

ALSO..the raised toilet seat...($25) well worth it...check the internet you'd be surprised how far down the toilet is. without one...Speaking of which when they suggest laxatives after surgery..TAKE do not want to get constipated....Sorry to get graphic....the strain of a bowel movement can be follow your Dr's (nurses) orders...

Not sure how much help you have at home....but set up your kitchen to put pots. dishes you use often at waist level so you won't need to bend...same deal for medicine cabinet.... and bedroom dresser draws....Any sticky drawers...use a bar of bath soap on runner and you won't believe how beautifully it will slide...

Just know we are all here for you if you have questions and WE'VE BEEN THERE...You will get thru it.

ALSO don't be afraid or feel quilty to take your meds...if you manage the pain you WILL heal faster..You must save your strength to heal.My family intimidated me a bit saying I was taking stuff too often, but I did follow Dr's orders and stayed on schedule.

After surgery try to get up as much as you can to walk..walk.walk...even short distances..SItting WILL be difficult..and you'll feel you can find a comfortable chair or position...but this will pass too..

All the best...we're all praying for you..And yes start the calcium now..also if you are donating your own blood they'll explain taking iron beforehand before the donation and then NOT right before surgery...ALSO no aspirin 10 days before..Ask your Dr. for details...



PS...Don't forget the "graber" don't bend for anything...

Old 11-06-2008, 07:22 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Indianola, IA
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Tatiyana HB User
Question Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

Thank you guys, for the tips & the prayers. No one really understands back pain like fellow sufferers.
These tips are great, and with the support of my husband & 2 daughters (18 & 20) I should do fine as far as meals & basic help around the house. I do wonder about what I will need while I am alone during the day. My daughter is taking off work to be with me the first 2 days - Will I need someone with me beyond that? I know everyone is different, but I want to be prepared.
Another thing I worry about is pain management, I am sure I am like most and already taking pain medications so I have somewhat of a tolerance.
Has anyone had problems managing surgery pain because of a built up tolerance to pain meds?

Old 11-06-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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Location: MN,USA
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megss HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

My chiropractor, who is also very heavily into nutrition, got me some supplements that help with broken bones and promote bone growth. I plan on taking these after my surgery. (They wont do me much good now since there is no way my fracture will heal due to the vertebrae slipping forward... the space is too big betweeneach piece).
Also, as far as pain meds. I too am worried about that. I have been on vicodin for 5 weeks now and I have already built up a tolerance to the point that they aren't as effective anymore.
Good luck!

Old 11-07-2008, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? excersise, calcium???

I can't think of anything our other back buddies haven't already said except to be careful with those calcium supplements. I have osteoporosis, diagnosed at only 46, and told my doctor how much calcium I was taking, what dairy products I eat almost everyday, etc. His caution was not to take too much at one time. Your body can only absorb 600 mg at a time. If you take more than that, you may develop kidney stones. I still take as much as I always have, but I space it out through the day.


Old 11-07-2008, 03:51 PM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2005
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onyxgates HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? exercise, calcium???

I don't know about after surgery recomendations as I am heading to surgery Jan 09 but I do know that your body does not absorb calcium unless you also are taking vitamin D along with it. That is why you will see that most of your cheese is fortified with it as well as milk. Just a helpful note. Good luck and prayers to all. I am having a fusion done at l4/l5 utilizing BMP. Entering in from the back and wrapping around front to place a cage to seperate the space and lessen the narrowing. How is everyone going ****REMOVED*******

Last edited by Mod08; 11-07-2008 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Please start your own thread for your own questions. Thank you.

Old 11-10-2008, 01:40 AM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Freeland, WA, US
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Somaticman HB User
Re: PRE Surgery tips anyone?? exercise, calcium???

It may be possible to for you to do some functional type of movements which will help you relax your nervous system so your muscles will be more relaxed before you enter your surgery. And since surgery is a trauma, you'll already be in more relaxed state so that after the surgery you can regain your function muck quicker. Movements like Feldenkrais and Somatics relax the muscles and may help prepare you for an easier adjustment afterwards.

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