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Intro: Thanks for all the info.-Any skiers/snowboarders post fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in New Member Introductions
I'm getting an ALIF L-5/S-1 with possible PLIF (waiting to hear) on August 6th 2009. Was supposed to be a TDR but after approving, insurance denied the claim. I have DDD, spiral (torsional) scoliosis, and L-5 stress fractures.

If there are any athletic people out there who've had fusions, I'd love to find out about recovery and returning to athletic activities. I work as a psychologist and also as a snowboard instructor and don't want to have to give up teaching.

Although I just finished PT for a shoulder reconstruction, I'm in pretty good shape, am exercising and doing PT daily. Any suggestions for recovery would be great.




  • Hey bud!

    Man if yah gotta get the surgery. Yah gotta get the surgery. For me I used to pound it 100+ days a year. But I tell yah last year, I was miserable, I could barely stand, let alone walk. So skiing was out for me anyway. If I didn't have the surgery maybe I was gonna jump off a bridge.

    Now 6 months post fusion, I'm able to take the dogs on a long walks, grow vegtables, weed the friggin garden, go to a music festival now and again, and Im learning to play the banjo. My overall quality of life is way better than before fusion.

    Ok, there are definitely the downsides to fusion, yeh my cliff huckin days are probably over. I'm sure I'll be able to be mellow in the backcountry and cruise some groomers again, but I will have recoverred a full year before I even think about that. Im six months out, still not bending or lifting anything too heavy.

    The way it was explained to me is that my doc is trying to grow over 1/2 inch of bone where a disc used to be. When you break your leg they put the bones right next to each other and in 8 weeks the bone is back together and your good. If we do something to screw up the fusion ie, bend and try and lift something over 10lbs we break it and it sets are recovery back another 6 to 8 weeks. If it takes 8 weeks to fill a hair line fracture, you could just imagine how long it takes to fill a 1/2 of disc space.

    The reality for me is my body will never be as good as it was before fusion. Hey Im 38 not 23, and there is some residual nerve damage left over from my accident, I know there are some other people on this site that have recoverred a little quicker and better than I have, I hope you are one of those people.

    And I'll tell yah, If you shoulder surgery was anything like my hip surgery, that recovery was a cake walk compared to fusion, but if I can do it anybody can. I'm a wimp.

    Fred, good luck man, I hope I helped, feel free to pm me with any other questions. I was in Crested Butte Co for close to 15 years, do you live at a ski area?
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i can't help answer your question but i do wish you a continued, successful recovery. =D> good luck and keep us informed. :D Jenny :)
  • It's really helpful to get the info and I really appreciate it. I am in Florida most of the year but teach at Vail during the winter months. I'll be 38 in October and have to deal with not being able to do the heavy duty shredding I've been used to. The info on filling up the bone space really helps and makes sense.

    I will do my absolute best and follow the MD's orders to the letter, but am worried about getting down because I can't do physical stuff. This last season I was hurting so much and kept falling, dislocating my shoulder, and eventually fractured it. Recovery was torture but mainly because I felt like I couldn't exercise as much.

    Thanks $1,000,000.

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