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12 week check and x-ray

nelnnel Posts: 402
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well I have moaned on here often enough about stuff so thought I would balance out with some good news.

I saw my surgeon today for my 12 week follow up and x ray. He was pleased with the way my fusion is going. I have quite a bit of bone one side and not so much the other and he thinks that by 6 months it will be solid.

I am relieved as I had been suffering with a lot of pain when moving in and out of bed and was worried that I had broken something. He says it is just muscles and that I need to do more stuff. Although when I told him that when I went swimming I did 8 lengths (200m) he said that was too much to start with! I thought I was being good considering I was swimming 100 lengths most weekdays a year ago!

Does everyone find getting the balance between too much and not enough so hard? I find that in the morning I am too sore to even do my small physio exercises so tend to leave them until later in the day. Then when I do get round to it I feel that I should do extra to make up for it!

So I will continue walking each day and will keep on swimming a little bit most days. Can't wait till I am normal again. 100 lengths here I come!!


  • Be cautious with the swimming. Some surgeons do not believe in letting their patients actually swim strokes until after their fusion is fairly solid. The body is in extension when swimming most strokes except for the side stroke, and I'm willing to bet you were swimming 100 lengths of side stroke. @) Also, do not use a kickboard for the same reason....when you have the body in a prone position with the arms up overhead it creates additional stress on the lumbar spine....just like it is best to avoid reaching overhead and stretching the arms and hands straight up over the head. Particularly if there is any spondylolisthesis involved, one should avoid anything in the position of extension, arching the back.

    We are all led to believe that swimming is wonderful exercise, but it isn't really all that great for spineys. You're better off getting most of your exercise from walking. This will help to build bone and gives the spinal nerves a good stretch so that scar tissue does not have a chance to attach to them.

    That's wonderful news that you are fusing. Just be patient awhile longer, and you will soon be back to those 100 laps.

  • Thanks for the advice Gwennie. I did tell my surgeon that swimming hurt but he just said that it would. He seemed to imply that I was being lazy. I had just taken the advice that if it hurts don't do it! I will continue to take it steady in the pool. I am doing quite a bit of walking - 2 dogs so it's part of my normal routine!

  • It must be encouraging news that the fusion is under way. Hope that you find the correct level for exercising. I think that the very best exercise is walking, frequent and not too long walks.

    Keep healing.
  • Hi Nel

    I bet you're so pleased that you're fusing. Good that you're taking it easy in the pool now. Walking is definitely the best !

    I too found it hard to find the right level of exercise (mainly walking) and tended to do just that bit too much and found I needed to rest up. I've just started taking my dogs out in the evenings over to the school park where they can be off lead. I don't think I'd cope if they were on leads all the time. I'm nearly 3 months out. I leave the physio exercises until the evening.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Glad to hear I am not the only one who leaves the physio till the evening. I feel bad because my physio said little and often but in the morning I am too stiff and sore. Then I have to go to work so....

    Also glad that I am not the only one who does that bit too much and ends up resting for the next (week?) few days! I think that is what has really held me up - I have twice spent about a week of the last 5 weeks getting over the day before! It is just so hard to judge at the time!

    Was going to go to the pool after work today but forgot my stuff. I did go to the park with the dogs this morning though. I couldn't cope with them on the lead either! One is a bad puller - hubby gets her!
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