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L4-L5 fusion, will my golf game suffer?

kat_annkkat_ann Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
well, I'm biting the bullet. I'm going in for an L4-L5 fusion on Nov. 27th. I totally trust my nuerosurgeon,he's known as one of the best. He tells me I will be ready to golf again in 4 mths. Anyone golfing after surgery?


  • Wishing you well on your upcoming surgery. Its so important to have faith in your surgeon.

    We all heal differently after fusion. Some of us have a long road for recovery. Some have been out there doing things they enjoy a few months out.

    There is a lot of information on the site and many posts from those of us who had the same fusion. I personally feel better than I did before fusion, but still have troubles with my lower back.

    Keep us posted,


  • i have not golfed since my L4-S1 fusion, which is rather a bummer for me, since i am/was an avid golfer :OO

    however, i had 2 surgeries prior to the fusion; also, everyone heals differently
  • I had a 2 level fusion L4-L-5 and L-5 S-1, and I cant golf, but I have two more discs with problems that will be fused in Dec. My friend that had the same Dr as I and the same levels, does go golfing, although it wasnt the first year after the fusion, I think it took the second season until she could. But, it all depends on age, etc. Good Luck!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I've had a 3-lvl ACDF in Oct. 2008 and a TLIF at L4/5 this past January and I've been on the golf course almost all summer. I can't play more than 9 holes now, but I'm able to golf most of the days I want to. (I've tried 18 holes and could only make it to 13 as my hubby saw that I was in a lot of pain and made me stop so I wouldn't hurt myself. I was playing the best game of my life and would've kept going, but he was right and I'm glad I stopped. Although I still chalk it up to the fact that I was beating him. :-) )

    The reason I'm able to golf is that my surgeon talked to my PT specifically about teaching me to swing along with my regular PT so I could get back on the golf course this year. My swing is totally different, but the club is now doing all the work, not my back.

    So see if your surgeon will do the same for you by talking to your PT about teaching you a new swing. I'm limited also by my ROM in my cervical area also due to the large plate and fusion, but I'm out there giving it my best and I'm hoping that you'll be able to also. Please keep us updated.

  • Golf at 4 months out? Of a lumbar fusion?
    I wish you the best in that endeavor.

    I miss golfing so much. One of the most relaxing, enjoyable and fun activities I found.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Yes, it's hard for some people to grasp, especially my hubby, that I'm able to golf and was able to at 4-5 months out of a L4/5 TLIF. But the PT guy was fantastic and I feel no pressure on my back, except like I said, when I went too long. Also, my hubby watches my swing each time and tells me if my backswing is too far back or if I'm bending at my waist. He keeps a good eye on me to make sure I'm doing exactly what the PT told me to.

    Don't get me wrong, I have days where I wouldn't even try due to pain, spasms, etc., but at least there are times when I'm able to do it.

    One day we even played with a woman who had serious scoliosis surgery in February and we were paired up with her. She couldn't play all the balls on each hole, but by golly she was out there hitting the ball.

    If you love golf, you might try a special golf teacher/PT that can teach you a new swing. I don't twist my waist at all - the club and my hips go back together and move together through my whole swing. So my legs and arms are making the most movements.

    The biggest problem I have is when I ground the club - that one sends shutters up through my back and neck and can make me stop on the spot. But if I don't do that, then I'm ok. :-)

    Golf is a wonderful, relaxing thing to do - getting outdoors in the warm weather, hitting that little white ball, it's just very nice and relaxing and I'm happy that I'm able to do it.

    Hubby and I kind of relate my playing to an 80+-year-old woman we once played with - she couldn't hit it very far, but she hit it straight and I swear on our best days she could beat us.

    Anyway, if it's possible, like I said, see if you can find a good golf teacher that specializes in spine patients or a good PT that can teach you. You might get back on the golf course yet. If I can do it, anyone can (given they don't have more problems needing to be addressed).

    Take care Paul.
  • I'm impressed that you are able to golf after fusion (and so quickly too) but I do believe that with smarts and not power, you must do well.

    As a female golfer (haven't golfed in over a year due to my back surgeries), I was never a power hitter but consistently straight. As a matter of fact, the less power I tried to use, the farther it went b/c I let the club do the work.

    Do you worry about missing and hitting the ground? Sometimes I do that and would worry the impact of that would cause problems.

    I'm not at a point where I'd feel comfortable swinging but wow, interesting that PT specialist could help ensure you aren't bending or twisting and yet still be able to play. Encouraging.
  • We are all different at healing and age plays a factor.

    I am 60, info in signature

    Could not have and would not have played at 4 months

    Also, worried about jeopardizing fusion with the repetitive movement

    It's not a question of can you, it is long term impact on healing correctly

    Best of luck,

  • Good luck getting out there! After a few negative experiences, I made sure to surround myself with medical professionals who understand that having a hobby you love can keep you healthy, and made efforts toward keeping me in mind (mine is horseback riding, another people can't imagine someone with a bad back doing!)

  • As some have mentioned yes we all heal differently. 4 months and playing awesome! I had mine L4/L5 fusion Oct 7th 2013 and I'm not ready to swing a club yet. I think I'm in the second yr category. Best of luck!!!
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