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After a Lumbar fusion--did your knees suffer----------

sheba1964ssheba1964 Posts: 102
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Recovering from Surgery
~X( Hi there.I'm just trying to figure out if I'm Normal,which is not an easy task at times ,LOL.
I have had to have two Lumbar operations within a fairly short period of time eg---12 months.
With not being able,& not wanting to bend after the operations & during recovery,I would always drop down to one knee & two knees if need be for longer periods of time.
However ,this seems to have caused pain in both knees .Its an aching type pain,quite strong,more from using all of the associated muscles than anything else.
I would have thought they would have got used to the extra demands by now?
Anyone else had to endure this?
Bless you all & Heal to your best.


  • My knee just for the 1 st time give out. And its because i have to bend and the knee. I went down to stretch the legs and hip out and the right knee pain came on. I cant put any pressure on it without realy having severe pain. Barely walking at the moment for the last 5 days. I was hoping i can walk it off without having to see yet another dr but not looking good. Back is fused and now knee. This all sucks. So yes it hapens,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,

  • My knees really flared up after my spine surgery. A year down the line, I now find it better to bend my back rather than squat down using my knees.

    The physio who was helping me with my spinal rehabilitation had to give me exercies to strengthen my knees.

    Have you got a grabber to save having to bend down so much. That really helps to minimise how often you need to get down. I find that going on one knee is better than squatting down.

    Keep healing :-)

  • Yes I do have a grabber,thats helps to minimize a number of times oi have to go down onto a knee.I try to go down onto one knee mostly,but only when I have to.I live alone,so its more often than I should probably,buts thats life.
    After my first operation it seemed to get used to it& stopped hurting so much.At the 10 month mark it was pretty good,but then we discovered the fusion was unsuccessful.3 months later it was back into hospital for revision surgery.I'm 4.5 months post now.I think my knee's are hurting as much as the back is acheing.
    But at least I can get around.Still having to rest quite a lot.Lying down seems to give me the most relief.
    I have a CT scan in three weeks,but don't get the rests till the 6th july.That sucks,I might try ringing him just to hear him confirm the fusion has taken.I don't think I could stand the anxiety,LOL.
  • Sorry to hear you are having knee problems. I am very lucky to have avoided any knee problems with my 3 fusions. I am fused L1-S1. I was a cyclist (and hope to be again someday!!) and I think that helped keep my knees strong. I can relate living alone and all the things that have to be done. I have a grabber and I got a broom that has a long handled dustpan and of course a long handled shoe horn. Every little bit helps!!


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I though I was the only one having knee pain
    Sheba I also have a lot of elbow pain because when i sit for a couple minutes i have to support my body and I use my elbows for support.
  • I had bad knees before my surgery (too much breaststroke as a youngster!) and I have wondered a few times if my back ended up bad because it took some of the shocks my knees should have. I seem to remember a thread on here before where a few of us had both bad backs and bad knees. Which came first seems to vary though!
  • I think most lumbar patients go through it to a point. The problem most likely started when you first started having back pain. You tend to dip down on 1 knee or both. Instead of bending more at the waist.

    4-5 months post-op there is no reason why you can't be bending at both the knees and waist. Unless your doc told you specifically not too. You should be in PT and working all of you. There are some simple exercises you can do to strengthen the knee muscles and ligaments. It'll help with aches and pains some.

    Go to Google and search for "knee strength exercises". They don't have any listed here that I can find. You need to work on the whole leg and knees. The site you should find easily will show you calves, knees, hamstrings, glutes, etc... The exercise routine I do is whole body. Since doing it the achy knee issues are gone. Other than those days that I feel old and tired...

    Good luck.
  • I'm not doing any PT except some walking at the moment,because it is suspected that my screw heads are too shallow & are causing pain.The more often I bend at waist the pain flares.
    I have a scan booked for 2 weeks time,& see my surgeon on the 7 th July.So I guess we will make the plan from there,LOL.Just managing the pain till then.
    At least I'm independant ,but it would be very nice to have a normal pain-free life ,LOL.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you can take a natural supplement - glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM to help with the knee inflammation. I was able to take it, but I didn't have a problem fusing. Glucosamine strengthens the cartilege.


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