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L1-L5 fusion and bending at hip/waist

boabboa Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
await L1-L5 XLIF fusion surgery. would like to know recovery time and ability to bend at the waist.


  • Everyone's outcome is different, but here is a thread where someone had something similar. I hope this helps. Good luck on your surgery:


  • A four-level fusion is not a small surgery. I think you will be stiff after surgery and twisting will be very difficult, so I hope you are not a golfer or avid tennis player. Also arching backward will be near impossible. There will be a little movement, but not a great deal.

    Once you recover from the surgery you will learn new ways of moving your body -- you will hinge from the hip and bend with your back in a tabletop position...or like a golfer bends like a fulcrum when he gets the ball out of the hole. And you will use your legs and squat to pick things up off the floor, or to lift, in general.

    Recovery time will depend on a number of things...how soon you'll be on your feet for the initial recovery is hard to say, but you should count on a full year before your fusion is sold, and you can resume most activities, and when you will start to feel more like yourself.

    Just prepare yourself for the first couple weeks being tough...and then it will be a long, slow road until you are fully recovered. Patience is necessary for a successful outcome. Healing will take longer than you think it should...and it does not pay to try to rush the process.

    You'll find lots of support here on the board and people who are willing to try to answer your questions.

    When will you be having surgery?

    xx Gwennie
  • I had a 3 level/360 fusion in 2007 and my surgeon told me that I couldn't bend, lift or twist for at least 12 weeks, but everyone is different, so you need to ask your surgeon about this.

    what I've done before everyone of my surgeries is; bring a list of all of the burning questions that I have, and then I go through them on the pre-op appointment. I will even ask the surgeon when it was OK to take a shower, drive, have sex, etc.... So your best bet is making your own list and asking your surgeon. Good luck with your surgery.
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