Laminectomy and Physical Therapy/Exercise
I'm 4 weeks out from spine surgery due to spondylothisthesis at L5-S1. I had decompression surgery with instrumentation. I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - a connective tissue disorder that weakens tendons and ligaments, and makes me dangerously hyperflexible (dislocated joints, joint deformities, etc.). EDS also causes terrible chronic pain and gives me poor balance.
My first follow-up visit with my neurosurgeon isn't until 5/7/10 - so over 5 weeks after surgery. I had a physical therapist come in once a week for 3 weeks, and his overall advice was to just take it easy and not push it. He also gave me a thera-band to work on my upper body strength.
Today I had another physical therapist come in and he is much more of a drill sergeant. He wants me to start doing a group of exercises for both flexion and extension that are pretty intense. He also wants me to take much longer walks than I have been, and to stop using my walker and/or wheelchair completely. After doing the exercises today, my pain and leg weakness was much worse.
My surgeon didn't give me any instructions about when I should start exercising and at what intensity. I was only told to take 2 or 3 short walks a day, and mix rest with activity.
My question is this: How soon after spine surgery is it safe to exercise? My hyperflexibility makes it look like I can do all sorts of things that most folks probably can't do right after surgery, and I'm afraid that even though I can do these things, maybe I shouldn't be, maybe I'm hindering the healing process.
I'd appreciate any advice anyone has! Thanks very much.