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After ALif Recuperation...Beyond the 6 month mark...and BLT

CB114CCB114 Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Apparently it may be too incriminating for a surgeon to specify activities that one can or cannot do, once that 5-6 month mark has passed.
I am unable to ascertain from my surgeon: can we ever do the BLT after wards?
Bending: ''No, no reason to be on all fours, cleaning a floor, picking up, ever.''
''Lifting? Well how much heavy things are you going to be picking up?'' (don't know 10lbs, 30? Not a lumber jack.)
Twisting: as in making normal turns and movements in one's home?
All of this was technically, 'Never to do', no reason.
What does that mean? Never play tennis, golf, mini-golf? Make beds, unload groceries from the trunk?
''Don't do movements if it hurts.''
Well, I never hurt my back, until I apparently needed the surgery.
Now I can not move normally, unless it hurts. hummm



  • This is how I approached the BLT once I had confirmation that I'd fused at 6 months. I'm now 17 months out and fusion has been a blessing for me.

    My surgeon didn't give me any advice for recovery, but by the time I was post-op, I'd been learning from other members' experiences and it worked for me.

    Shopping - until recently, I would lighten the shopping bags and it would take several trips to and from the car.

    Hanging out washing - split up the load from the washing machine into about three lots and take it out to the line.

    Twisting - I only twist around minimally now. Once I feel any restriction, I stop. I've learned to turn right around. Any exercises that involve twisting, I don't do.

    Picking up things - squat down and if it feels too heavy, then leave it there or ask for help.

    Making the bed - I've got an ensemble which is heavy, so I kneel on the floor and lift it up to tuck the sheets/blankets in.

    Garden - no heavy digging but squatting down and doing light tasks, and pruning was ok.

    I don't play sports, so don't know when one could resume those activities, but it would be best not to do them until the fusion is strong and stable, which for me was around 14 months. One could risk injury and the possibility of needing to have a fusion revision.

    It's a matter of listening to one's body and if it hurts, then don't do it or lighten the activity. It takes heaps of patience and at times it's frustrating during the healing process.

    I have my life back again and since 12 months, I've been getting my overall strength and fitness back again. I now do low impact aerobics, Chi Kung and light hand weights (all at home) and walk for an hour most mornings. I also do light stretching every day. I also take my dogs out over the park every morning too. I'm a "young" 65 !!

    The levels either side of my fusion may need surgery at some time in the future, and I've achieved a 90% reduction in pain.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I really appreciate your response. It does help enormously. I'm a young 57 with all this going on almost 18 months now. I am still taking hydorcodone and zoloft for situational depression. I feel totally betrayed by my surgeon. He basically made this out to be a 2-3 month recuperation; never ever mentioning the other post part. That all came from everyone else. I have yet to forgive him for not telling me straight off, the total time-line.
    Thank you again. At least you are honest!
  • Hi CB

    It's distressing when you're given information that's overly optimistic and you make a decision to go for surgery based on that.

    When I had a laminectomy/discectomy in 08, I was told at 8 weeks it was now all up to me, but I wasn't getting better, in fact the surgery increased my pain. It was depressing wondering what I was now going to do. I had to retire from work earlier than I'd planned, but it worked out really well. I went back to the original surgeon who recommended fusion, but said he didn't do them and he referred me to a colleague who told me to learn to live with the pain because I have osteoporosis and said the screws were likely to move. As it turned out, I have osteopenia in the spine and my hardware is fine. The third neurosurgeon is a kind man and was highly recommended by two of his patients who were also friends.

    Do you know if you've fused yet? Are you due to go back to your surgeon for a check-up soon?

    Perhaps you can go forward now in your recovery with a different perspective and take baby steps??
    Don't hesitate to post again and if we can give you support, we will.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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