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Resuming exercise post fusion

I underwent the single level L5/S1 posterior spinal fusion (PLIF), after 12 years of deterioratiing feeling and increasing severe back pain.
I had several injections, which eventually included facet joint rhyzolysis before finally succumbing to PLIF surgery.

I had my surgery on 19th June 2012 and I have to say that the surgery has been 100% successful! Every single solitary symptom that I had has now gone and all I'm left with is post-op pain which is manageable with slow-release morphine. My mobility is improving all the time and I feel that I'm improving all the time.

The only question I have is after 36 years of karate (which probably got me into my current predicament in the first place) I'd like to know when I can effectively commence training and regain some sort if confidence and competence during exercise, specifically karate.

Any advice would be welcomed.


  • Well sounds like so far all is good. So for starter's just keep with your surgeons orders, and don't worry yet about the karate. While I understand it is a passion of yours, you don't want to do anything to mess up the surgery. Your number one thing right now should be to walk and when you think you have walked enough walk some more. Google walking programs and you can find some pretty good ones out there. Once your surgeon has placed your in Pt and they have gotten your muscles and movement working then karate can enter in the conversation. But you don;t want to take any risk on going backwards.

    Congrats on how well your doing. Keep up the good work and hopefully soon this will be in the distant past, and you'll be back doing all the things you love. But baby steps, you have a ways to go.
  • I had discectomy of T7-T8 on May 24, 2012 and have had severe pain since. I went for a recheck yesterday and surgeon said no to any PT or exercise at this time. I have not even been able to walk for more than 20 feet before pain becomes so severe I feel as if I will pass out. I know everyone is different and please listen to your doctor. I would rather be able to walk for a mile than exercise or in your case karate, lol I know when you feel better you want to just jump back into life but go slowly so you can stay in pain free life:)

  • Hi,

    I agree with Tamtam. It is easy to think that you are doing really well when your pain disappears but it is also really easy to overdo things. My (ex) surgeon was really quick to tell me that I could go back to life as normal, so I did. Who knows how much of my current problems are caused by that! Just take it steady, baby steps and you will get there.

    I often think that the docs should inject us with some patience in the recovery period for spine conditions - a lot of us (me included) want to run before we can walk!

    Good luck and keep feeling better!

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