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almost 5 wks out, MI TLIF

laughnsmilellaughnsmile Posts: 60
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey all,

I've been doing very well and considering returning to work next week however I have had a couple of incidents of
quite a bit of pain when I have sat or walked too much.
Problem is I have no forewarning that I am overdoing it.
I feel fine at the time. How have all of you judged your
activities. How have you added time? Has anyone developed
a "schedule" that seems to work? I do what I feel like and
then pay the price. Isn't working and it's concerning
returning to work and not really knowing what activity level
is good for me.

Sounds very silly as I read this but it is so true. Any helpful advice?

Will be starting PT in a couple of weeks. All of you with experience, what kind of exercises and information have been given to you. thanks


  • Hi! I have asked similar questions in the recent past as I suffer loads after doing too much. I had PLIF of l5s1 on 16th October 09.

    You are right about not knowing what overdoing it is at the time. I can feel fine one day then can't get out of bed without pain the next day. My bad days now run together into bad weeks or so. Don't know if that is because I am overdoing it more or because I am not doing the right stuff to get over it! Trouble is you use your core muscles all the time so short of total bed rest how can we recover?? So I can't say that I can judge my activities at all. Except for the obvious like when I actually start to hurt or ache and then I know to have a rest.

    At the start I was adding like 5 mins a day to my walk. Then I stopped adding to my walk and started doing more cooking or drove further instead. Then I added a bit of swimming but that was really hard and, what with the effort of getting changed to be in the water only 10 minutes, that has been the exercise to bite the dust when I need to rest.

    I have been having some physio on and off since surgery. On good days I do the exercises but on bad days not so much. Most of them are for core strength - on bad days those muscles are screaming!!

    Also is it cold where you are? We are having a real cold snap in the UK and I think that isn't helping. I had been trying to keep up my walking but the ice makes me scared so I am tense. Might have been better for me to swap walking for swimming.

    I have had to go back to work this week as a teacher - that has been really hard. Fortunately I am only back half days. As a result I haven't been for a walk at all. Came home each day so far absolutely done in! If you go back next week will you be able to stagger your return so that you can see how you go? My work haven't been very helpful in sorting stuff out for my return - pretty much just expected to be back to normal!

    Hope you get on ok. I am not sure I have been any help but hey ho! Good luck. Helen
  • I'm 8 weeks post op MI TLIF and I can't imagine having to work right now. I'm not in excruciating pain or anything, but I can't sit for prolonged amounts of time and I can't stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, if that. laughnsmile, what type of job do you have?

    I'm doing physical therapy 3x a week. I start with 10 minutes on a stationary bicycle, then my therapist massages my incision to break up the scar tissue a bit. Then we work on stretches, especially on my right leg since I have the nerve pain there. After stretches we work on my stomach muscles and I do some easy exercises to strengthen my 'core' and stomach muscles. I've been feeling great after PT, mentally & physically. I never thought I would enjoy it this much!

    If I do sit for too long, I get a really bad back ache and I'm in a lot of pain the next day. My day pretty much exists of a lot of me laying in bed, light walking (short grocery store trips, lifting or carrying nothing heavy), running light errands with my husband (no longer than 20 minutes in the car at a time), light cleaning/straightening up, and then physical therapy exercises. I take it easy, though I am going to start going to the gym on my own on those 2 days that I don't go to therapy.
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