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mommatialuvmmommatialuv Posts: 269
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,I have been using a walker since my surgery. It was
getting easier and I had mentioned to my physical therapist that I was thinking about getting a 4 footed cane and trying it out. SHe was hopeful because of her concern that i was still using a rolling walker at 9-10 weeks post op. I used that cane for the first time yesterday when I went to get my mail and pick my son up from day care. I also took him to the park. This was no more walking then I would do with my walker on occasion. Buy the end of my outting, I told my husband that the cane was much harder then the walker and i was sore, but i hoped by tomorrow I would be OK. I got in bed to rest. I was unable to sleep, I had a great deal of pain, by back more right then left(unusual) ached at a 8-9 level, and my legs feel like dead weight. I have toes on both feet feeling "shocks" almost constantly still today. I have anly been able to "shuffel" (as opposed to walking) around the house (bathroom). I am supposed to gp to PT today but dont feel up to it. I am wondering if going might help, maybe she can undo some wrong move. What do you all think. Please advice.
I hope you all are healing well,
God Bless,


  • My best guess is that it is the change from the walker to the cane. It shifts your weight to some extent, and after back surgery, even a small shift in muscles that have been on vacation for awhile, can make a BIG difference. (I have a lot of trouble just changing shoes where there is a very minimal change in heel height.)

    Almost all of us with sponylolisthesis have adjustment problems because the surgeon makes an attempt to put those segments of the spine that have "slipped" back into alignment. It causes a structural change that is felt by all the soft tissue (ligaments, tendons and muscles). Prior to your surgery, changes are very good that you overcompensated in your movement. The body does that naturally in an attempt to "guard" the segment that is injured. But the result can be changes in the length of soft tissue. After the surgery, you have to go through a period of adjustment. Sometimes it is noticeable and even painful; other times patients aren't even aware of it.

    You might try taking a nice warm bath or using a heating pad for awhile. Then get on the floor and do that traction position I think I told you about...then some very gentle stretching, again with your back on the floor so you know it is aligned...be sure you are not lying "crooked."

    Maybe take a couple days off and be a bit gentler with your body. Then you might want to try gradually switching over to the cane. Alternate between the walker and cane for a few days...gradually increasing the time with the cane, until you have switched over completely. This may take a while...but don't try to rush the process.

    Have you been satisfied with PT? I stopped for a couple weeks and then returned at 16 weeks because I felt it was hurting more than helping. Of course I kept up with the walking.

    You might want to run this past your PT but I don't believe I have suggested anything that would harm you.

    Hope this is just a tiny flare and that you'll be feeling better in a day or two. Even two years out, I am continually amazed at how a small change can affect the way my spine feels. Who would have thought?? @)

  • Shirley - I think it was the change in the dynamics of walking with the cane as opposed to the walker also. I would still go to PT if you can manage it. I know I always feel better after PT. I hope the same will be true for you.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I wonder if by using the cane instead of walker if you might have used different muscles that have not been used in awhile? I hope that is all it is. Let us know how you make out.
  • I spoke to my therapist (whom I trust very much). She said basically the same think that you all did, however given the very slow rate of my progress she recommended that I stay home today, rest try ice and heat. This was my last session before my dr appointment on Monday. She stressed that I need to talk with my doc about my continued weakness and pain. As today has progressed, the pain has gone down. I think I will be able to sleep tonight, and have a "normal" day tomorrow. I will use my walker :). She suggested easing into the cane, not even one full day at a time, maybe a trip to the mailbox for a few days, then adding other places one at a time. She also wants me to take it with me to the doc so he can see how much leaning i actually do with it. If he orders continued PT i will take it there also. My progress has been very slow, so she is not sure it is worth the money I am paying. At my last visit she gave me an exercise band and more instructions on what to do at home, increasing as I can. I am almost at 11 weeks post op, and while patients cant be compared, I am far behind the average. Thank you all for your well wishes and advice.
    I hope you are progressing well,
    May God bless and keep you,
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