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More fusion questions

ScottiegalSScottiegal Posts: 106
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Still doing my research on fusion in case that is what the surgeon recommends. Two more questions:

1) I keep reading that being overweight can negatively affect a fusion. I should weigh about 40lbs less than I do, is that a deal breaker as far as fusion is concerned? With all the best will in the world, without being able to exercise I would struggle to lose that much any time soon.

2) My dad is planning to come back to the UK to live in May or June next year once his chemo is finished. As he is very frail I said I would go back to South Africa and fly out with him. What is the earliest time after a fusion that people would say they could cope with a 13 hour plane trip? I had to fly out earlier this year when I was still using a cane and had a wheelchair and someone to carry my bags - it's just the sitting that worries me.

Thanks in advance


  • post- I am not sure about your weight question. So keep looking- she give some really great and sound advice. as its been my experience in the past anyways. May you have a speedy recovery and your father too!~
  • Oh--I am flattered. As it turns out, I do know the answer to the weight question...and it's another one of those "depends on the surgeon" answers. The first specialist I went to (and the date was mid-January) told me to lose 30 pounds and come back the beginning of April and we would discuss it. At that point, I couldn't walk to the end of our driveway to get the mail, so I couldn't figure out how I could lose that much weight, in three months' time, short of getting my jaw wired shut.

    So I kept looking. The other seven specialists with whom I consulted never mentioned my weight.

    The short answer is yes, people probably heal up better if they are a normal weight, but I'm willing to bet the majority of patients who have fusion are somewhat over their ideal weight and the majority heal OK. It is probably more of an issue as you increase the number of levels you'd have fused. If it is one or two, I doubt it would be too big a problem...but, any amount you can lose while waiting for surgery wouldn't hurt. I know how impossible it is. Every time I have a steroid injection I swear I gain five pounds. :O

    I personally have trouble with flights that long even under the best of circumstances. All people are now instructed to get up every hour or two and walk around a bit (to prevent blood clots)...and that's what I'd say to you to do, too. I think you could go around 4 months...to be realistic maybe six months. I flew half-way across the US, having to change planes and go through security twice when I was 3 months out from my fusion. I then put in four long days looking at real estate with my son and a realtor...and lived to tell about it!! So I think you'd be OK flying that long. But you would need to be sure to sit on the aisle and get up and walk every so often.

    It is a big decision. It took me almost three years to make up my mind. It just sounded like such a drastic thing to do, and I kept thinking I wasn't as bad as some people I read about! Now that I've been through it, I wish I'd done it sooner.


  • that you would get some great advice for gwennie17!
    And you did huh!
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