Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

4 months post-op and nearly pain free - advice within!

lynchpinllynchpin Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all.

I posted some time ago about how I ditched the pain pills and was going OK without them. This was a little premature, and pain came back after a few days.

I had a fusion done on the last remaining disc (L5) that I had left to me, following extensive fusion as a child. Since there's very little movement and it's vital it fuses well, I've been advise to be *very* careful for 6 months.

Immediately after post-op I was in a fair amount of pain; I'd put it at a constant 3 out of 10, which would jump to say 6 if I was out of bed/standing/sitting for too long (say longer than 10 minutes).

At the 3 month mark, my doc said I could start hydrotherapy - so I went along to the local pool and saw a physio. I told him I wasn't allowed to bend/twist, so he gave me some basic exercises to do:

* Walking in the pool, forwards, backwards, sideways
* Marching
* Leg lifts whilst holding a handrail

It's a bit over a month since I started, and I am nearly, oh so close, to being totally pain free. I stopped pain pills about 3 weeks ago and haven't looked back. If you're recovering from surgery, please consider hydrotherapy; I maintain it's the "kick in the pants" I needed to really start healing right.

My first visit was scary; I didn't think I was quite ready, but until you get in you'll always think that, I reckon. And after my first session... I felt like I needed to slip into a coma for a few days! But looking back, it has worked for me.

I just wanted to post my experience with it. If you're a few months post-op from fusion and still have pain, speak to your doc about gentle hydrotherapy.

It worked for me.


  • I should add:

    I've been going 3 times per week with a day's rest in between sessions. Each session lasts around 30 minutes, with me walking across the short end of the pool (maybe 10-12 meters) 4 x forwards, 4 x backwards, 4 x sideways, and 4 x marching. Then leg lifts standing on the edge of the pool (as if I was climbing high steps), x about 10 per leg.

    I've now started doing more exercises too:

    Side leg raises, keeping the leg/torso straight.
    Using a floaty, holding it and kicking my legs in the deep end of the pool, staying 100% upright, for about 10 minutes.

    Hope this helps someone!
  • Thanks for posting this! I have a community center near my home. I will talk to my doctor about how long after my fusion I can do this..

    I'm very happy that your pain med free!!

  • Thanks for sharing. I'm at the 3 month mark and I'm a mess! Sick of the pain (which is worse post op) sick of swallowing 10+ pills a day. I want my life back!
    I've been doing p/t on & off for about 6 weeks on & off due to complications.
    I have not looked into hydro therapy but will now. I have been in the pool a few times (not swimming) merely walking and light stretching on my own and it feels good, much better then regular p/t. I haven't gotten a green light on swimming yet (not that I think I could even do it at this point), but I can't wait, I live in Florida and swimming is a big part of my life ....that life.... I desperately want back.

    Best of luck with your continued success in your recovery!
  • Thanks for the positive update on how you're doing after your surgery and doing water therapy to strengthen your muscles. Best wishes for your complete healing! Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Terrific that you're doing so well. It makes a difference when you've got a physio who understands that you can't bend or twist.

    Wishing you all the best for the rest of your recovery and so good that you're nearly pain free.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • That you are doing so well, it must be fantastic not to put all those dugs in your system.

    I have also done hydro an found it VERY helpful I found I had to watch it though as I can get carried away /:) . Because 85% of one's body weight is supported it's easy to do. I did this when I was doing the exercises on my own and just did too much. I ended up in a bit of a state! My own fault.

    Good luck Lynchpin sounds very positive for you :D
  • And thanks for posting good results. I'm convinced the more sedentary you can be, except walking, for the first 3 months, the better.
  • Thanks for the kind words guys. Things are still going well, but going stir crazy! Only one month to go before CT scans which will let me know if the fusion went well.

    Still hitting the pool of course, and loving it :) Doing a lot more now than I used to, but still a total ban on bending/twisting of course.

    Have a good Christmas everyone!
Sign In or Register to comment.