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

Question about the no BLT restrictions

tracibennttracibenn Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
At my 2 week checkup, my doctor said that nothing is going to hurt my fusion..he said my back is stronger than its ever been and if I was in a massive car wreck my fusion site would be the only part not destroyed (nice huh). So my question is this....if this fusion is so strong, why can't I do any bending lifting or twisting? And how far do you go with the no BLT? There are some moments during the day where i have to twist ever so slightly..like to grab something to the side of me or whatnot. I have to bend to pull my pants up when I get dressed. What are your opinions? I know every doctor is different, but I want to see how strict everyone is with this.

Thanks! Sorry for asking so many questions


  • There may be a misunderstanding or miscommunication between you two. The hardware will keep your spine quite stable. But, the disc space takes months to grow bone.

    There is always a little bending to get dressed. But, you don't want to go out of your way to pick up stuff either. Trust me...better safe than sorry! Take your time and be careful. Let the bone grow in peace!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I am fairly cautious about what I do. I'm not bending to pick stuff up or doing the dishwasher and such. I'm trying my hardest to abide to the rules! I just didn't know what problems could be caused IF some bending and twisting occurred. I think its more a question of the physiology aspect...what if?
  • There are several things that could occur if there is movement in the area where the fusion is to take place. First, any spacer placed in the disk space could move, misalignment of the vertebrae and probably the one thing all spineys fear is non-fusion or whats otherwise known as failed fusion syndrome.

    BUT, those are only outside chances. If your doctor installed rods and screws or plates to hold the bone in place, you most likely will be just fine. There were a few times I thought just by streching my legs that something moved, but it was fine. The best advice I can give you is that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • It is really hard not to do any bending or twisting. I tried my hardest to squat when I needed to get something like the pill that I would always drop on the floor when nobody else was around. Just be careful cause sometimes it's hard to get up! :) My physician started letting me do more bending at about 8 weeks, but discouraged twisting but even that is difficult.
  • Im 3 months out from alif surgery and they still wont let me blt i can do a lil bending but nothing more and im still on 5 lb wt limit! but i guess everyones diff!..i cheat and load dish washer and from time to time will pick things off the floor!! will see when i go back in march pt is still killing me! but i tough it out
  • I noticed today that while going to the bathroom I have to twist to get toilet paper in one bathroom in the house. Its virtually impossible not to twist. I'm making myself crazy trying not to!
  • I asked my surgeon about BLTs, he said that I could eat a Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich when ever I wanted one. I don't understand why your Doctors won't let you eat one!
  • Haha!! That made me laugh, which I really needed today!!! Thanks Mr Fusion!!
  • moving the toilet paper to a place that requies no twisting

    i also think theres been miscommuication between you and your surgeon, yes the hardware may be fixed fine , BUT you are trying to build a bone bridge

    traci you said your a nurse in CCU (hope i got that right, apologies if i didnt), so a suggestion, do a little reasearch on fusions, youve probably forgotton the bone stuff
    dont feel sorry for asking questions
  • Traci, I gotta say that one of the main things I'd re- do about my fusion experience would be that I'd get an in-depth understanding of post op restrictions (like BLT). My doc wasn't clear at all about what I could do or not, and I didn't ask. Now a little over a year later, I'm a failed fusion patient. I think I'm going to have to have the surgery redone.

    I don't know if I just had bad luck of the draw, or if I did something wrong, like twisting for the toilet paper (or riding my motorcycle). The end result is the same for me..more surgery. But it would be nice to know if it was something I did wrong that brought this on me.

    If you have ANY doubt, either don't do it or ask the doc.

  • One thing I've noticed over the years of being on this web site is that you will find more useful information regarding recovery here as opposed to hearing about it from your surgeon.

    I don't think they (surgeons) purposely withhold information, but instead, have never lived through it. As being individuals who have gone through the process, it's much more personal to all of us and therefore we are more adamate about the do's and dont's.

    Something as silly as hitting a bump in the yard while cutting the grass riding a mower can throw your recovery in a tailspin if your not careful. Or, the twist to get the TP and "slightly" bending to put on socks.

    I've seriously considered writing a medical pamphlet to submit to the AMA regarding fusions and the "rest of the story" aspects of recovery. It seems surgeons are all over the place when talking about recovery.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • i agree with what your saying, i think, some surgeons once they have finished thier part (the surgery)move on and dont provide enough grass root recovery info
    having said that, it may be the case, as surgeons are very busy operating, that time is limited to fully discuss the full impact of
    recovery for the patient
    however , since the goal of fusion surgery is a sucessfull union, after care proticol should be paramount

    as the surgeon is the one who has done the surgery, surely thier should be more detailed explanations/guidelines
  • Keith, please write that pamphlet! You sound like you have some insight into this recovery and it absolutely needs to be written! You and Flower are right on the money about after care of the fusion patient. My neurosurgeon did what I thought was a good job on the surgery. Afterward, though, his job was done (or so he acted), but my job as a recovering pt. was just beginning. He has done many fusions, but this was my first time as a patient, and I had very, very little in the way of instruction. Consequently, I pretty much guessed at it and now I'm going to have to go through that surgery all over.

    Flower, if our surgeons are too busy to really guide us in our recoveries, I wonder if they would hand us off to a health professional who could? Who would that be?

    Regards & big Aloha,

  • I wonder, when you think how many fusions a surgeon does, why they don't write a pamphlet themselves to give to their patients.

    They should research first how their patients get on and what causes pain, because I think often their expectations are unrealistic.

    Keith, perhaps you should write that pamphlet and then market it to surgeons for approval and then they could use it for their patients. :-)

  • If surgeons were to fully inform patients of the entire recovery process and the ups and downs that come with it, they probably wouldn't have many patients wanting to go through it!

    I may write something and see what happens. If nothing else, maybe Spine Health would like to market it or advertise in it.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • suggestions....

    fusion classes , run and overseen , by the surgeon, implimented by nurses or P/T or surgeon assistant

    literature, compiled by the surgeon, or in collaboration with and handed out to thier patients

    note... thses would be of a generic nature, as each patient has unique problems ,thus freeing up the surgeon to concentrate on the individuals specific post ops needs eg back brace or not

    also , we have this great resourse here at SH, and i have read some posts which state their surgeons have directed them here
    SH is a great resourse for connecting patients with each other for support on the forums, in addition tons of dr written articles, very informative and helpfull

    flower(just some thoughts)
  • My surgeon was pretty good about explaining the process. He did say the first couple of weeks would be rough. Since it was MIS he tried to play up the speed of recovery vs conventional fusion. Honestly that is a joke. It still hurts. The speed of your recovery is also largely controlled by you.

    No BLT is about physically impossible. Even if you just lay in bed. You still twist during your sleep. This is why people who have discectomy are at such a high risk. They have no hardware to hold their spine in place. Your surgeon is pretty accurate about the hardware. That screws and rods are scaffolding there to hold the structure solid.

    Because you twisted a few times or bent over is not going to stop your fusion.Unless you do blatantly stupid things. Common sense you should keep you from hurting yourself. The lifting is the big one. No weight over your head to compress your spine. No weight from the floor etc.. Follow the weight limitations closely.

    A couple of tips. When you are getting something on the counter. Don't twist to move it. Turn your body instead of rotating your hips. When getting dressed. You can put on underwear, socks, pants, and shoes without bending over. Grab all your stuff and put it on the bed next to you. Lay back and lift your legs in towards your chest. Your back is now fully supported. You can put on all your clothes this way and tie shoe laces. Then just roll off the bed.
  • Have someone install a bidet seat for you. Heated seat, warm water wash with warm air dry, and remote control available...all for about $400-500. Uses about $2-3 per month in electricity. Several brands available that bolt onto existing toilets. Air dryer takes a few minutes, but beats twisting if that's an issue. Warm seat is especially nice in the winter.
Sign In or Register to comment.