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L5 S1 Fusion

barbrablythebbarbrablythe Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having a L5 and S1 fusion. I practice Intermediate to Advanced Yoga as well as Pilates Matt and Reformer work. Light cardio (Intervals/walking/jogging). I haven't been able to do much expect the Yoga and Pilates for the last 2 months because of pain, pretty severe. Its been going on for a long time as well as my neck, C4&5 and C5&6 also need fused but I am waiting as long as possible for that one.

My concern is that I will not be able to do my yoga and pilates at the level I do know once my back is done. Can anyone tell me if they practice these types of disciplines after having this type of fusion? Will this fusion lead to more because of stress on the ones above them?

I have had the physical therapy, epideral floods, chiropratice care, etc. for the last 2 years and no better actually worse. I think the surgery is nescessary to relieve the pain but I'm worried.

Any advice?


  • recovery can be as long as two years .i have recently had ALIF surgery at L4/L5 and as for flexibility i have lost a lot of it {i am no where near as fit as you seem to be so your recovery should be a lot quicker} but remember you don't want to be putting too much strain on your back post op as any fusion is hard on the body .good luck
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • my fiance is a yoga instructor. He plans to format no-bending, no-twisting routines for me in compliance with what the doctor and pt set as limits.

    My neurosurgeon told me at about 8 weeks after two-level fusion that I could bend to pick something up but not to exercise. Well, in practice it is I can bend slightly to pick something up if I want excruciating pain for the rest of the day. A fusion will move stress to surrounding joints, so it seems wise to avoid motion that shoves stress on those joints, while at the same time strengthening all supporting musculature.

    I'm having a personal struggle with the notion that life will now be different. I think it is a common struggle after a fusion and not one the surgeon really likes to dwell on in conversation. I'm 14 weeks post fusion now, so it's very early days, but I think it hits active and fit patients very very hard.

    There was nothing more I could do to avoid either of my surgeries. I have read some stories of bodybuilders who have been able to return to everything but squats and deadlifts, so I do think if you are very cognizant of your new limits it is possible to avoid some of the joint stress and still enjoy your sport.

    There's a lot of experience and knowledge on this forum, so you're in the right place.

    Good luck with what you choose to do next.
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