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Spinal Fusion & White Water Rafting

From: jules0404 - on 07/12/2011 3:35pm

I had a spinal fusion about 15 years ago, pretty much my entire thoracic section. I lead an active lifestyle and the only restrictions I was ever given was "no skydiving, no bungee jumping". I have an upcoming trip to go white water rafting, I never would have thought of my back being any sort of issue... until I read the warning. So I'm tossing this out there. Has anyone ever gone WWR w/ a thoracic spinal fusion?

( I'm only going to do the "beginner" class rivers. )

In a side note, I have contacted my physician and I am waiting for his response-- I will post his advice when I receive it for other interested parties

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4 Responses

on 07/18/2011 8:09pm

For beginner class "white water", i don't think you'll encounter any more risk than you do with many other activities of daily living, so I can't imagine your surgeon or doctor proscribing that activity. As a precaution, i would advise against tougher white water, though, since i'm no expert on white water classification, i don't know which class is advisedly prohibited for you. As you say you are only considering the beginner class at present, you're fine to proceed.

on 07/19/2011 1:26pm

Well, my doctor doesn't want me to go to full duty as a cop. I can't see him ever approving something that would bounce me around. Then again, if you get thrown out and land on a rock? Slammed against one? I don't think it would be a good idea. I know thoracic is much more unstable then lumbar, which is what I had. I would think when he said "no bungee jumping" that he was indirectly saying don't do anything that could/lead up to being stupid. My doctor came straight out and said don't be stupid to me. Of course that's why I like him... Good luck? I think.

on 07/19/2011 2:31pm

I went white river rafting about 26 years ago in Tennessee. I am now 50 and am healing presently from a L5 S1 Fusion. I was around 25 then. There were 6 people in the raft and it was "a beginners" trip. Out of the 6 were 4 men and the guide and I were female. going through the rapids were very physical I remember the guide yelling at one of the guys that fell while paddling through a rapid to get up and when we were coasting along somehow I flipped out of the raft and was caught between some rocks. A guide in a kayak helped get me back into the raft and thankfully we had only one more rapid to get through. The guide in the kayak had flipped upside down himself on one of the rapids and had he not had a helmet on could have been worse off than a cut forehead. I know many people love this sport but if I am able to go boating I will be in a canoe or somehing with a motor.To me it is not worth the money or time to be healing from something I could have prevented.

on 09/05/2011 1:44pm

My response is similar to the other 50 year old. I went tubing on a course with moguls when I was 32. Since I cant flex most of my spine , my right hip hit a mogul prettly hard. I seemed fine just a bruise after but then I had a bout of siatica that lasted three days. It went away but now at 50 I do experience pain in that hip from time to time. I have never gone White river rafting but have seen it on televison. Chances are you could go with out incident, but there is a chance that your spine could get a jolt that could cause a problem down the line.