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spinal fusion recovery

Hey there guys I just had a spinal fusion op done on the 30th of this month May 2013. In hospital I climed approx 8 steps as part as physio.

My Doc didn't give me any follow up post op precautions/ excercises/ warnings. I live in a flat widout a working lift and climbed approx 70 steps to go down and 70 to come up. I went to to gym and did aqua cise (walked in chest high water) for approx 30 min

I do feel more pain now...bein a few hours later. Was I wrong in doing so??

Also plz tell me what should I do what are my restrictions as far as my movements are concerned I'm on sick leave at the moment so that's an advantage

I wear my brace when I walk and when I lay in bed its on my side with a pillow/cushion between my knees.

Plz advise me someone......u are welcome to private me as well




  • Hi Willow and welcome to Spine-Health!

    Egad.......no post-operative instructions? Really??

    I am not a doctor.......I am just another spine patient and have had quite a bit of work done, so I'll just let you know what I had to do. Not too many steps at a time, but if you feel comfortable enough and able, then be cautious.

    He told me not to lift anything heavier than a milk jug (1 gallon). He wanted me to walk a few times a day, around 15 mins or so and then gradually increase. He said I could shower the day after I was discharged from the hospital but not to let the shower water run directly on incision site for a few days. No bathing for 8 weeks to ensure the incision site fully closes up.

    Obviously no bending! :-)

    He did have me wear brace for 6 or 8 weeks, can't fully remember as it's been close to 4 years since last lumbar fusion.

    He said no driving for either 6 or 8 weeks. If you have any other thoughts, feel free to ask on here.

    I am totally shocked that your surgeon gave you no post-op instructions! Lastly, please don't take this as professional advice......these are simply the things my surgeon specified to me to do and not to do. :-)

    Have you're feeling relief!

  • Thanks a million Cahrlie :-)

    I'm sure to my surgeon Imean that's obvious steps to follow and I'm supposed to have presumed them I am NOT adhering to. Many of the steps u mentionsed! I'm bending down and twistinh around picking things up and then I'm sitting amd crying at nighT with pain,!!!!

    Bloody hell now I feel vindicated as the N-surgeon has already claimed and has been paid by my med aid!!! Yet there is nothjing about aftercare

    I'm presuming he want me to damage the spine again so he can make anothe R100 000 from me!!!!

    After I posted on here last night I emailed him and will continue resending the email til I get a response!

    You're a * pal! Plz inform me or if anyone wants to help me or guide me plZ fEel free


  • Hi Willow, sorry for asking, but where are you from? South Africa? I see you mentioned R, that is why Im asking. Anyway, I had a fusion done L4/L5/S1 on the 28th of March. I was told no bending, stretching, long walks, standing still for long times, no sitting, no driving for six weeks. Brace had to be on permanently, even when showering. Went back to see my doc for the 6 week checkup and I have to wear brace for another 6 weeks before I will be weaned off it, allowed to sit for 10 min at a time now for 4to5 times a day. Each week I can add 5 more minutes until I reach 30 min. Then never longer than 30 min at a time. Still not allowed to drive or sleep without brace. Can take brace off when lying in bed during the day and when I shower. I walk up to 2km a day, 1km in the morning, 1 in the evening. No gym, no physio, only stretching and strengtening exercises. Will see doc again when the six weeks are up.

    Im from South Africa. I have done lots of research, and noticed that South Africa is a bit 'behind' in recovery techniques. I want to ask my doc about it. Had a fusion 8 yrs ago, and recovery has not changed since then. Please pm me if you have any questions!!
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