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PT After Spinal Fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Exercise and Rehab
My 14 year old son had spinal fusion do to a 59 degree curvature from idiopathic scoliosis last October 08 - L3 through T8. We spent less than a week in the hospital before he was released, and the last Physical Therapy he was provided was in the hospital.

At our 6 month check up I inquired the surgeon as to the plan for my sons recovery with regard to PT - at which time he advised me that in his opinion kids tend to "over do" with PT and he suggested normal daily activity to return the muscle strength and stamina. Which I am all for! And I trust my surgeon, but it just weighs on me that with the loss of mobility my son has endured over the course of his recovery...that those muscles surrounding the rods are not being worked/stretched like they should be and I fear stiffness in his future.

Can any of you attest to similar situations? Did you have a PT plan in place post surgery...or is this common? Any advise that could be given would be most appreciated!


  • Wow, I've heard that the scoliosis surgery was really hard. I hope he's doing okay and has had a good recovery?

    Yes, most surgeons have their patients do PT after the fusion takes place. It will actually help with stiffness and strengthen those muscles some. I took my xrays in with me showing the hardware so that the PT that set up my therapy could see what was done. They did evaluate me very well before deciding on what I would be doing. First thing I did upon getting to my appointment was to ride the stationary bike (had a regular chair seat) for about 10 mins, then I would lay on a padded table and do leg and arm exercises, which worked my stomach muscles and low back muscles without stressing them too death since I was laying flat. They were low intensity, but I was sweating at the end cause it was hard to raise your knees up. They would give me a towel to help me pull them up.

    I think he will benefit greatly from some PT sessions. I only had 6 each time (I've had 2 surgeries), but they did help me have a little more flexibility and gave me exercises that I could continue to do at home when I get cramped up or tight.

    Tell him that we are all rooting for him!! I hope he likes PT and it helps him. You can make sure he continues doing some of the exercises if he starts feeling stiffness again.
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