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NO limitations?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went to my 12 week post op appt yesterday. (you can read on my sig. what all I had done)-he told me I have NO limitaions now! NONE! No BLT limits,running, playing sports....NO limits! I feel "free" by the news but yet...afraid too! How is that possible so "soon" after major surgery? Anyone else released so soon? I do not even have to see him again until August...1 year post op! He ordered no PT...nothing! I am "on my own". Do you really think it is ok? I'd like to think so-since he said it...but what do you think? Thanks-in advance, for the responses! I am stunned and really could use some input!
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Comments

  • What wonderful news! Yeah!!!

    I had my TLIF in June, and when I went for my 4-month check up, he also told me no restrictions. I don't have to see him again until 4 months out. He did say, though, when you bend, keep the arch in your back, don't round it. I have been to a golf driving range and hit a few balls around with no problems during or after.

    It's probably best not to push too soon...just be careful and treat your spine kindly since you also have other spine issues (arthritis, etc.)

    Way to go!!!
  • At my 4 month appt with my NS I was told I could do whatever I wanted. He saw fusion and I was moving well. I was to complete my PT sessions (3 more of 8) and continue them daily at home. But no limitations. I had a 3 level PLIF with hardware, facetectomy, foraminotomy, and laminectomy. Strange how different doctors have such differnt plans for patients.
  • Shay, I was released from all limitations at 8 weeks! He said well don't try to bench press 500 pounds. I too was very reluctant and went to PT that I requested and I am not returning to work until 15 weeks cause he left that part up to me. I didn't even have fusion yet on xray except for some posteriorlateral fusion, no interbody yet. I am very reluctant to do too much too soon. I have started bending and twisting very carefully, and I still use my grabber a lot. I am sticking to walking and pool exercise for now. I would recommend that you just use caution and common sense and build up gradually. The brace weaning for me brought on a lot of new aches and pains. I weaned over 2 weeks (weeks 8-10). Those muscles get very weak from being propped up in the brace. And with all this new movement my SI joints started hurting. So it definitely is a gradual process. I am just hoping to succeed at getting back to work on the 21st. That is a very stressful task for me as my job is very physical(RN).

    So congratulations on your terrific progress. Just take it easy, a slow progression back to normal. It doesn't happen overnight, that is for sure. It sounds like you have a very proactive doc like mine. Listen to your body and it will guide you as you start to get more mobile. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable by it. I see my doctor 2 months post op, and have to get x-rays done first to make sure everything is in place, then at 3 months, have xrays to check on things, then xrays at 6 months, then a year. I am also going to physical therapy. I have a velcro brace I have to wear for a couple more weeks, and had anterior/posterior surgery... My surgeon is VERY thorough, as you can well see. Lol.
  • I didn't wean off from the brace. Wore it one day then never put it back on again. I had a couple of days where the muscles were screaming, but after that, no problem. The only problems I have now I think are in the SI joints. Are they located on each side of the spine about 4 inches down from the waistline? When I get out of bed--it hurts so bad. After I walk around a while, it eases off. I'm having a hard time with it today, could it be because of all the rain we are getting?
  • Yep Joy, sounds like SI joint pain. I also started PT around the same time I was weaning out of my brace, so not sure which it is, but my SI joints hurt. I thought maybe they are having to move more now that I have no movement at L4-5. Or could it be referred pain from L5-S1 that is under more stress from the fusion at L4-5. I haven't got to talk to my NS about this yet, so I plan on asking at my next appt on the 26th. These joints are literally sore to touch and the soreness extents down my glute muscles. I am doing piriformis stretches and getting a weekly massage. Seems a little better with than a couple weeks ago. I wore my brace for less time each day for 2 weeks. My upper back is still screaming from being out of it. Oh well, time will fix it hopefully. I have been going to the chiropractor with no lumbar adjusting rule. I went yesterday and it did not help, so? This is definitely a long haul recovery even though I do consider that I am doing well. Afterall I can walk without limping =D> =D>

    Have a great day, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Let me know what your doc says about the SI joints, ok? I started having trouble there before I ever got the sciatica. I tried the chiro before, and I think it made it worse! I have read here about shots for the SI? Wonder if they help. If I got rid of that pain, I'd be home free!
  • I have a surgeon who is all about getting his patients "back in the game" as soon as possible without compromising their health. He knows that people can and do interpret the same set of instructions completely different. For some people, "with no limitations" means they go full force back into whatever they were doing if not more and soon they are hurt again. For others it means that they have no limitations as in a 10lb lifting limit, but they won't dare go above 15 or 20. So they never push themselves to improve and soon find that they too are hurt again, because they never gave their body a chance to really strengthen against future injury.

    I don't know if I am making sense with this.

    When you give a person strict guidelines, they can follow them without much thought until it becomes routine. For many, if you remove those guidelines, they suddenly become paralyzed with uncertainty and never learn to redefine their own limitations.

    When post op limitations are removed, we are then left to our own good judgment and to the feedback provided by our bodies. If we listen and strive ahead, we recover quicker and have less chance of injury in the future. We feel better about ourselves and our lives get back on track sooner.

    If you tell someone that they will be limited to the couch, the bed and the kitchen table for a year, pretty soon you will find they don't even make it off the couch.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.

    "C"
  • I think what you said makes a lot of sense, actually. I never thought of it that way.

    But this is why I feel physical therapy is so important... Because THEY teach you and help you do what you can do and can't do, and teach you the correct ways of doing everything. I can't imagine not being sent to physical therapy in a few months or whatever. I can't wait to go!!! Looking forward to being taught first hand, personally, how to prevent myself from getting any further back issues, if possible. To lessen the risk, really.
  • Another thing I have witnessed, is that if you tell a person that they are now "normal" again and can return to normal life, many do and never have issues. If you tell a person that they are forever "different" they will focus on that and always have issues.

    I think PT is a fantastic thing and having someone there to give guidance is awesome. So not having that option is like not having all the accessories on a new car. It doesn't mean the car isn't still a great car. Accessories can be added in later at any time. It just may take a little longer to pay it off.
  • My doc said I should be able to go back to work (light duty) at 6 weeks and maybe full time at 10 to 12 weeks, and I'm having minimally invasive fusion.
  • I do not know....I am the type of person who PUSHES myself. I am afraid NOT to have limits. NO limits to me means literally NO LIMITS! I WANT to be able to do it all! My family is an active one...lots of sports. I just want to make sure that I can REALLY have NO limits. I am getting 2 injections next week for my neck and upper/middle spine-if that takes away the rest of the pain...I am afraid I will be "unstoppable" :) . Is that REALLY ok?
  • Great way to put it :)
  • One thing that I found out about spine injuries and surgery and being an active person living and active lifestyle ... our spines will humble us real quick!

    If I go out and do something and wind up "paying for it" for a couple of days, then I know that I overstepped a limit. So I back off a hair next time and the next until I find out just how much I can do and there in lies my limit. Now that limit can change with longer time since surgery, better physical conditioning and better body mechanics. So it's not cut and dry and will always change. On days when I'm tired and not as strong, then I have to back off or risk injuring myself.

    I was scared after so many surgeries, as to what might or might not happen. What I discovered is that I can't live in a bubble. I have to live my life and that includes taking risks on many levels. I don't do things haphazard, but I do things. Otherwise I may as well shrivel up and be nothing.

    I have always admired professional skiers who have horrific accidents and have those "career ending" injuries, only to return again a year or two later to prove to the world that they cannot be beaten that easily.

    I don't know if any of this helps, but that's how I live my life today.

    "C"
  • does make a lot of sense and I totally agree. When we are given limitations we stick to them but when we are free of those limits we do so much better.
    Our bodies will tell us when is enough. My Dr lifted limitations but said be guided by my body and pain levels.
    Just avoid repetitive movements.

    Shay, if you are one of those "all or nothing gals" then I suggest you keep a graph of how much you are doing so you can build up to it slowly. I mean you wouldn't go to the gym first visit and do a 2 hr cardio and weight workout would you?
    Just plan to add a little extra each day or 2 and see how you go.
    Blessings Sara O:)
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