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3 Years Post Op Lumbar Fusion - Still Scared to Move

Started by 100000592613447... on 02/08/2013 5:51pm

3 Years ago this July, I had a lumbar fusion L1-S5 with a bone graph from my hip. I was in a rigid brace for 3 months and have had my ups and downs. All in all, I feel like my surgery was a success because the sciatica is gone! But since the surgery, i've had lots of pain in my hips and across my back at the base of my spine. From what research I've done on my own, this soreness and pain sounds like my sacroiliac joints are becoming sore from the shift in it's role of support. I'm so confused over what I should and shouldnt be able to do. Exercise is good but how much? Can i twist? bend? flex backwards? I have been given an elliptical and want to try that. Does anyone have any advice on using one after a fusion? Should i expect more soreness as i begin to work out? Geez the last thing i want to do is mess up this fusion. I've been so careful and actually i'm beginning to think i've been too careful and less flexible than ever.

I didn't go to physical therapy for 2 reasons. My doctor wasn't too excited about it becasue he felt that it wasn't much more affective than everyday activities. The other reason was cost. So unfortunately I dont have the experience of what a physical therapist would have recommended for exercise. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

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4 Responses


hi jennifer I had my lumbar fused and screwed together and rods. I also have these Issues with my hips and my left leg. when the weather changes I notice it more. You are prob rite about about the joints. becoming sore from a shift. I went to rehab I was there 21days, Did lots of walking and peddling. things like that. what really helps me is to walk. my surgeon is always telling me to becareful. I also think its muscles also that are moving different also. anyway Im not suppose to bend over anymore did they tell you not to bend?


Yes...I've heard lots of no blt. But just about everything I read is referring to immediate pot op care through about a year. What about long term??? There is so little info that I can find. I have started very slow using the elliptical...like less than five mintues a day. My sacro area is sore by the time I go to bed but when I wake up in the morning its better. I guess that's within acceptable limits of getting sore. I just wish I understood what is truly expected and acceptable. I mean...at what point is exercise a detriment?


Ms. Crowder -
In 2001 and 2003 > I had a Laminectomy done on L-4-5 , S-1 with Fusion / rods & screws . Left with severe
chronic pain to this day 24 / 7 . Iv'e tried *everything available but it has done little or nothing . So am told to "just live with it" . I walk , and pool walk as well , stretches - etc. ... am about to try going to a local town Chiropractor who says he thinks some relief is possible ? Pain is now higher in my degenrative disks in my Back . I have my doubts but what else is left ? *** No M.D. will say going to a chiropractor will help . Thru the years > best they can come up with is nothing but *painkillers . I take hydrocodone 10/325 - morphine sulf. 30mg - *each 3 X daily - 8 hours apart . And still it only brings my chronic pain level down to between a #5 or #6 ... so my ability of what I am able to do , to get around is quite limited . As for physical therapy , I went 37 times / 2-3 times per week / $170 per insurance visit , and as I told the Dr. - I actually felt worse for several days between visits . These visits were no help .
I have heard of this Angled table , but never used one . Good luck to You .


Hello jennifer I have had fusion at 3 levels with all the other stuff they do if I was to get to do it over I would not have the surgery.But can't go back I have best results from walking the more you do the better you will feel I try and go to the gym once or twice a week using all the machines and just end up in more pain and disconfort.Bending down to pick up things really make me feel bad but after laying down for a while it feels better again. So for you to feel your best no bending or twisting you elp machine is ok but walking is much better i think.I just visited with my dr. yesterday I want these rodS out of my back its been almost 5 years he said he would do it and I would get a little more flexabilty. WOW I HOPE IT WORKS. PEACE &LOVE TO ALL PAIN SUFFERS.