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L5-T11 fusion, what about long term recovery/pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Exercise and Rehab
Anyone out there have a spinal fusion in the L5 to T11 area?
Anyone with multiple myeloma also, and/or peripheral neuropathy?
My patient (husband) is 9 months out from the surgery, finished for the time being with chemo, not sure how to proceed with al the stiffness, scar tissue and tight muscles. Has had PT and OT earlier. Can feel the metal and screws in his back. Questioning whether the PT really believes he can return to golf, etc etc with this extensive an implant.


  • Hi Julie,

    My mom recently had spinal fusion at the age of 77 (a year and a half ago). They did not know she had MM at the time, but she was diagnosed in February of this year.

    She also has terrible neuropathy in her hands. She was on Thalidomide, which has pretty well put the MM in remission but increased the neuropathy so much she could barely function. She's switched to Revlimid now, and the pain is less, but still there. She has terrible burning pain in her hands, especially in the mornings. She's on the 3rd day of Amitriptyline to see if that will help w/ the neuropathy -- we're holding our breath.

    Does your husband walk every single day, several times a day? My mom does NOT like to exercise, therefore, her recovery has not been as quick. It's a struggle to get her to do what she should do to improve. Your husband needs to walk as much as possible. Ice packs and/or heating pads can take the edge off the neuropathy. My mom even likes to dip her hands in a big pan of ice water for a few seconds every few minutes on particularly bad days.

    Good luck to you. I know it's miserable to experience as a patient but also difficult as a caregiver. My mom has lived with me now for about a year and a half when we thought she'd only be here long enough to recover from her fusion surgery in June 2008 and go back home to her life. Such was not the case when they found the MM.

    All the best,

  • Usually a twisting activity such as golf is really difficult with such an extensive fusion. I am contemplating a 3-level fusion from L3-S1 and have been told if I play golf or tennis, it will be almost impossible...as I will be stiff. Bending over isn't bad, but the twisting is difficult to do.

    Your husband might benefit from acupuncture and body work if he could find someone who specializes in orthopedic cases. He will need to do lots of stretching to get the soft tissue used to the new positioning.

    Good luck to both of you.

  • Tess,
    Thanks for your reply. the walking is okay but now that cold weather has set in it is not outdoors as often.

    I know it must be harder on a patient at 77, and that they use a different approach to the MM. Best of luck to you and your mom, she is lucky to have a caring, involved daughter!
  • Thanks for your note and suggestions. We have tried acupuncture but haven't been consistant on the stretching, that is probably where his focus should be.
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