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New member with a surgery question

moodylinkmmoodylink Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,
Just a quick question. My ortho is now recommending L2 through S1 fusion. Does anyone know how restricting this length of fusion will be after recovery. I am an avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast and was wondering if I will be able to continue doing physical work such as gardening and landscaping in the coming years?
I will only be having the surgery in about 6 months and I don't know the exact procedure as of yet, we will be discussing it further at a latter appointment.
Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance



  • This sounds like a very large - what 4 level fusion?? He your doc given you any further info?? Certainly my othro doc in the UK wouldn't do as large a fusion as this, or so he has said previously, in one go. Risks of failure go up as far as I understand the more they do in one hit - but others on the site (with more knowledge than me) will be able to give better info or may well correct me on this one - we are further behind in the UK with the latest technology, metal work etc etc at times.
    I had a three level fusion in dec 2006 & to be fully fit I would geustimate approx 1 year, could be less if your a very fit person - I had been in agony for 18 months prior to it & not overly fit because of it. I think you might need to curtail your physical activities & ensure you give yourself enough time before recommencing.
    I am sure that you will be able to get back to things eventually - good luck & keep us informed on how your doing! db
  • I have nearly my entire back fused, recently the entire lumbar (adding to my T-level fusion of 30 years ago). You'll be surprised at how much you'll still be able to do after. At 4-months post-op, I can almost still touch my toes (and will be able to in a couple more months). This is because the "bending" is done in the hips and hamstrings, not the back. The secret is to keep flexible in the hips and hamstrings).
    Recovery is a bitch, but you can start simple exercises within days--even just lying in bed.
    good luck,
  • for doing gardening (planting two rose bushes) after my three-level lumbar fusion. I think Dana may be the exception rather than the rule. I cannot and have been told NOT TO bend over and try to touch my toes. Perhaps because I still have discs above my fusion that I could easily injure from trying to bend. I have bought a gardening bench with a pad on both sides of the seat that can be flipped upside down, then the legs become hand rails you can use to lower yourself to a kneeling position for gardening. It works well, but I have to be honest -- it's not very comfortable. I can't do this for long periods of time. Of course, I have been told that it will be more than a year before I begin to feel okay from this whole procedure. The recovery is quite rough.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Wow I have so much to learn in regards to surgery relating to back problems. I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease and Osteoarthritis that had developed into bone spurs in my hips when I was 35, (I'll be 56 next month). I followed all of the recommendations to help control it, weight loss, exercise, NSAIDs, nerve root blocks, pain control, massage therapy, Gradually over the years I have progressed to having 2 herniated discs, degenerative spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and some mild curvature of the lower spine.
    My Ortho and I have worked together over the years to control the pain and keep the back muscles strong with exercise (gardening is one of my chosen exercises)LOL.
    Surgery is a last resource and the only reason he feels it is now time is due to the mild paralysis in my legs whenever I reach up and my back is now seizing up and sending me to the hospital.
    Thank you ever so much for taking the time to answer my question especially while you are having such a rough time with your own pain.

  • It's nice to hear that you are able to do so much after such a short time and I can only hope that I'll do half as much so quickly.
    Could you tell me what the hardest thing about recovery is for you? I don't know what to expect.

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