Sports after L4-L5, L5-S1 TLIF fusion
I'm a 29yo female in good shape that played sports all my life, even college basketball! I had a 2-level TLIF fusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1 in August, 2011. I'm doing well post-op going on 9months. I've been doing some spin classes at my own tolerance level, minimal jogging, moderate ellipticals, and alot of walking. My back muscles feel VERY tight when attempting to run. I still have slight numbness in my left leg and foot when it touches objects, but the sciatica pain is now gone! My sciatica pain was so bad that i had toe weakness in my left big toe, was unable to sit, stand, lay or walk without intense shooting, burning pain. My procedure lasted 5 hours. I had 2 ruptured discs, a fractured vertebrae, a disc that was shifted forward (spondylolisthesis), early signs of degenerative disc disease and a disc that didn't fuse right at birth. I think a few of the discs had multiple issues. I am happy that I had the surgery and am satisfied with the results. However, like i said, i still have slight numbness and my left calf tends to cramp alot easier these days. My question is: How long before I will be allowed to play sports such as softball and basketball again? I am beginning to get very frustrated b/c i'm going on 9months since my surgery and feel like i'm nowhere near where i used to be. The most time away from sports I ever missed before this surgery was 2 months for an ankle surgery. Has anyone gone through a similar procedure? If so, have you been able to get back to sports? Does anyone know the average recovery time before you are released for sports? Any information would be appreciated. I go back to my neurosurgeon in the next few wks, but every visit I get the same answer "fusion is looking good, no pain is a good sign, we'll talk about sports next visit."