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Kickboxing after Fusion?

I was not sure where to put this question. But I got a lot of good advice from this forum before I had my surgery so I thought I would come back for these questions.

I had a one level L5-S1 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in June 2011. I have achieved a solid fusion and my surgeon says I could go jump out of airplanes now if I wanted to. I don't. But anyway, my weight, which hasn't been good for me in years, is getting to be a real issue and I think is behind the lingering little bit of pain I still get occasionally. I have been doing really well since the surgery and it was a great choice for me.

But I am over 100 pounds overweight now and I need to do something about it. I signed up for five introductory kickboxing classes which start this week, just to see if I like it or if it works for me. But I am worried a little bit about injuring my back. I spent ten years of severe pain before I finally had my fusion surgery and I don't want to go back to those horrible days of my life again. Has anyone out there gone back to sports or kickboxing style stuff after a fusion surgery? I am 42, btw, and I "used to be" an athlete, like in high school and stuff like that.

Thanks for anyone's advice.



  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/31/2013 - 6:58 PM
    strenous physical excercising like kickboxing without clearing it with my surgeon first... After all we go through to get through surgery , I wouldn't risk it without making sure that it was something that wasn't going to create more problems for me down the road.
    I applaud the wanting to get back into shape and physical activity, but it might be more wise, to find another program that would be beneficial without being so physically demanding until you are back in shape and ready to undertake more strenous activity.
  • Did the surgen day it was ok to be kicked in the back?
  • The class teaches the techniques but we only hit a heavy bag during class not each other.
    I'm definitely not ready to be kicked and punched by people. Maybe in the future who knows.
    I think I will leave a message with the surgeon today to try and get his ok first though. Thanks for the
    Great replies I appreciate it very much.
  • You scared me. Lots of people ask can they do crazy things before they really know the extent of what's wrong.

    I get irritable and I'm sorry. If my back was healthy I would take very good care of it.
  • Kim, dear, dear Kim :-) I do not think I would be trying to do any kick boxing after a spinal fusion," even" if my fusion was 10 years ago and" even" if I had healed wonderfully. My question is why would you want to take a chance in possibly re-injuring yourself?? I would be scared to even start such a class, I would be afraid I would like it toooo much and want to get into the kicking part--makes me weak to even think about it. One wrong kick to the back could destroy you and you would end up having to go through another back surgery and all that long healing time, until you are fused again.....I would definitely have a talk with my surgeon before I started that class, of course he will probably tell you to go for it since he told you that you were good to jump from a plane if you so chose to.

    As far as loosing weight, you could start today--It is a new year after all!!! You could start walking, I walk at least 2 miles everyday-even in the winter months & in the spring and summer I walk even more. You could start watching what you eat. You could start by incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and drink lots of water...I would think by by being careful about what you put into your body and by walking you could loose the 100 pounds you have gained. I applaud you for wanting to loose the weight, I'm no expert in weight loss--my problem has always been the opposite, in trying to gain the weight and keep it on....I wish you all the best in your endeavor to loose the weight and get healthy--You can do it!!! Take care, Kim & please take care of that fusion!!! :-)
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 01/02/2014 - 11:13 AM
    Kim - pain is like that - you forget it after it has gone.I even overdo things now if I feel ok. But one bad pain day gets me so totally back - I have to make a conscious effort to remember the agony. If you are not in pain - that is a miracle in itself - please don't do something like kick boxing as you are asking for trouble.

    Everyone wants to get back to normal and make life interesting again. I tried salsa which gets you really fit - you meet people and it's great fun and doesn't matter if you are overweight. In fact overweight people can look really good at Salsa.
    My teacher was chubby and she was an amazing Salsa dancer. You meet lots of great people and can do it by yourself as they give you a partner. You just need to be able to count a beat. I had to give it up 'cause I can't put my right arm above my shoulder. There are a lot of classes - it is so much fun - they end up like part of your family - wish I could have kept it up. It's a skill so it's practice that makes you better. Some people practice every day. The people were lovely - everyone looks stupid at first.

    There are a lot of other options - my ex partner injured his back at kick boxing as someone was trying to show off and did kick him really hard. Please don't do kick boxing - they pretend it's not competitive but there are a lot of egos there, who don't care if you have an injury.

    By the way there were heaps of professional athletes at Salsa who had injured themselves but wanted to keep fit. They loved it more than the sport they used to do professionally. They were totally driven and practised a couple of hours a day so they could go into comps. As a group they all went to LA to compete.

    Have a look at something else where you can meet people and have fun. You are so lucky to be out of pain. please don't push it.

    Maybe try something that's more gentle on your back.
  • I am 40 years old and just had my fusion one month ago. I am also a former aerobic kickboxing attendee. I recall a class where we were punching and kicking the bag and the sequence called for five round kicks in a row. I slipped a disc in my back and fell to the floor writhing in pain and spasms for 20 minutes before I could even think about driving home. Since my surgery was more recent than yours, my answer is clearly a whopping "No Way". I wouldn't wish that on myself nor any person, ever.

    Hope this was helpful!
    Coccygectomy 07-12-12
    L5-S1 ALIF 12-03-13
    Bilateral Rhizotomy L4-S1 02-24-15
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    edited 01/03/2014 - 5:08 PM
    done the traditional Thai method is NOT for someone with any spinal condition
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • If I were you, I'd find a more traditional way to lose the weight like walking, dieting or workouts that don't involve extreme twisting and turning. Now if you still have a hankering for boxing, try "Rock Em Sockem Robots". Do they still make those?

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • hollypophhollypop Posts: 86
    edited 01/05/2014 - 5:12 PM
    I had a particularly vigorous physical therapy session on Friday and I felt it for two days afterwards - no way would I chance anything less controlled. I admit that I was never in my wildest dreams an "athlete" (only played bad golf, LOL), but I would think that you can still have an athletic life pursuing other activities. It might require a re-working of how you see yourself. Which I'm finding out is perhaps more difficult than I realized.
  • Re-working how you see your self. That's what I have hard time with.

    Who am I now?
  • I have to constantly remind myself that I am still myself, I just have different abilities.
    But I confess that some days I wish those abilities were the same I had when I was twenty five !!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I need to recognize your post as being one of the more logical and real ones.
    So many times, we read here that because of a back problem , a surgery, we can no longer be who we were.

    Well, I only wish as you stated, that I could do the things I did 25 years ago, 20, 15, 10 or even 5 years ago!
    Even without any physical problems, I(we) could no longer do the things we did when we were younger.

    Thank you for driving home a message so many of us need to understand.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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