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what to do

backtonormalbbacktonormal Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Recovering from Surgery
This is my first post, so I'm hoping for some good advise. I am now 6 weeks post-opt from having a L5-S1 fusion. I am no longer using any assistants for walkng (i.e. walker or cain) and have not warn my brace for almost a week. My last Dr. visit was at 3 weeks post-opt and I was told everything looked perfect. The material used to replace my disc didn't move and should be as hard as cement, and the screws/rods used in my fusion were set and strong. So now after 6 weeks, I want to get back to normal and at least try to bowl one last time and get out to the garden and plant some flowers. I am not scheduled for any PT and my next Dr. visit isn't for another 2 months. So if everything went so well and I don't have to worry about anything breaking or moving, what really can go wrong if I try to push myself back to some normalcy?


  • Please do NOT try to bowl this soon, and I would recommend against gardening too - it takes up to a year or even two for a lumbar fusion to be solid, and in bowling you are twisting and bending. Gardening is more physical than you might think!
  • Thanks for replying to my post, but I still am not clear as to what could happen, especially after the Dr said that nothing is going to move.

    Between the pain and the restrictions, I cannot say that I am glad I had this surgery, becuase despite the pain, I was still able to do things before the surgery.

    I'm just anxious to get back to my normal routine, and with no other PT planned for my recovery, I feel the only way to accomplish that is to push myself to do more.
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  • Is it too soon even for PT maybe?
    I mean no disrespect, but patience is important for a proper recovery, or you may find yourself regretting your decisions and back in the OR..Déjà vu
  • Thanks for the advice from both of you. As you can tell, I am NOT a very patient person, but I'll try and not over do it until my next Dr. visit.
  • What is a "typical" recovery time? I've been reading all these posts about a year or more and still this the norm, or the exception? How long have others waited before increasing their activites?
    My family and friends have all commented on how much better I'm walking and gettting around, and I have felt better over the last week, enough to push myself to do more...and I admit that I did push myself pretty hard yesterday and was really sore by the time I went to bed, but didn't feel any worse than normal this morning when I woke up.
    I also have to admit that I was still thinking about trying to throw my bowling ball on our last night of the league, but even my kids are now telling me no, so I guess I'll wait ---at least until the season starts again in the fall, then I can't promise anything.
    Any feed back about quick recovery times would be appreciated.
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  • im in exactly the same position as you although i wouldnt even contemplate bowling.

    like you, im a l5/s1 fusion and at the 6 weeks mark also.

    ive been told recovery fully is up to 2 years. Being a ward nurse where CPR is common place due to acutely poorly patients i have been told no ward nursing for 1 year.

    Although bowling and cpr are not remotely the same, the action and stress on the spine can be likened as you bend using both upper and lower body, with arms stretched, with the spine as the pivot.

    I start physio tomorrow, where i'll be starting table work. For the last 4 weeks, physio have had me just doing pelvic floor tightening and short walks.

    So as not to damage anything, im sticking at just brisk walks. i increased my activites dramatically 2 weeks ago, then ended up in a 10 day stretch of agony and muscle spasms. the key now to pace.

    wishing you a good recovery
    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • Hi there,I have had a lumbar fusion revision,which means the first lumbar fusion didnt work & I have had to have a second one.I am now 3.5 months(14 weeks)and cant even lower my medication without being to sore to even walk.
    I have also heard of a particular lady,that has just had her third lumber fusion,due to moving to much in the early stages.She admitted to a friend.She is not a smoker so it wasn't that.
    Now that you have had a fusion op ,you need to see it out,or you could end up paying a bad price,& your operation not being a successful one.
    Take care,get a hobby,walk as much as you are able to.Be bloody careful.Best of British to you.
  • Hi

    Recovery from fusion will teach you how to be patient because you can't hurry up the healing process. As other members have said, it takes a LONG time for bones to heal and become strong.

    If you do too much too soon, you'll get a pain flare and forced to rest completely for a while. It's also possible to injure yourself and some people have had to have revision surgery and then it's back to square one in the recovery process.

    I'm 18 months out and recently I went walking in a pair of MBT shoes, which are designed for people with back problems. They were wonderfully comfortable and I could walk so much further without any discomfort. I was fine for a few days and then the crunch came and the levels either side of my fusion let me know that they weren't happy and I started having extra pain in my back as well as leg pain. I had to rest up and now I'm starting to feel much better. The mechanics in our backs change after fusion and we always need to keep that in mind when we increase our activities.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • After being out of work for 4 months and now 7.5 weeks post opt, I have been offered a terrific job that I can't turn back, new job....who would have thought?
    Anyway, I just want to say that I'm so glad that I found this site and greatful for all the comments, and advise that has been given.
    Thanks to all, it is very much appreciated, and I now know where to turn (other than my Dr) when I need answers to the various stages of my recovery that I may be going through.
  • Congratulations on your new job offer <:P
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