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Strength training?

hawk057hhawk057 Posts: 76
edited 08/18/2014 - 4:59 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Ok, first let me say that I will not be doing anything before my 6 week post op, probably later like 2-3 months, even though my doctor has already cleared me to return to most stuff but with a 30lb limit.

I am just curious of how others who were big into strength training prior to their surgery went about returning and how long you waited?

I know everyone heals at their own rate, no one can give me medical advice and that I will never get back to where I was(finished with squat and deadlift). I am just looking for how others went about returning. Cant find anything anywheres else online and my surgeon isnt any help as he says I am fine to do stuff now. I know it is too early and want to be as smart about it and get back gradually.

I would love to hear other peoples stories. Thanks :)

edit: it was a laminectomy, L5S1


  • I also would love to know about folks experiences returning to strength training -- oly lifting helped me build core strength and tone up even with a herniated disc (and honestly I think kept me away from surgery longer than if I'd given up and done nothing to stay healthy)! I want to be incredibly conservative with my return to exercise of any type, as I am not looking to ever have spinal fusion again!, but it'd be great to hear how others have done this.
    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • AnkeJSAAnkeJS Posts: 49
    edited 08/20/2014 - 6:58 PM
    I just had cervical foraminotomy and my doc told me for the first 6 weeks I need to take it very slowly. Only walking (1-2 miles a day, slowly increasing) and perfect form air squats. AT 6 weeks I may be cleared for light activity I hope I will be allowed to do air dyne, jogging, swimming, and rower. At 2-3 months post surgery I may be allowed to start lifting again but need to ease into it. My doc is treating me in accordance to an athlete protocol (the nurses were "shocked' my heart rate fell below 40 at night but then asked if I was an athlete). I do Oly lifting and will keep posting about my return. PM me for my blog.
    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
  • You can start by using bands for resistance before gradually working weights back in. I do modified squats ( no weights added) to help build strength. Walking, swimming and elliptical are low impact cardio exercises that can be tried. Once you're cleared for full activity, you may benefit from working with a personal trainer to help with exercises and proper technique. As long as they are aware of your spinal condition, there are ways to modify workouts to help prevent re injury.

    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • I had physical therapy before my surgery to try and get some strength in my legs (I was on crutches for 5 months) and slow the numbness in my feet (I found acupuncture helped more than PT). On August 1, I had fusions of L5-S1, L4-L5, and L3-L4; and microlectomies and laminectomy's on other vertebrae. I am 63 and Was in the hospital 8 days. During the sixth and seventh days PTwas limited to stretching, leg and foot exercises, walking with a walker and climbing stairs. During the first week at home, a PT came to my house to give instruction on getting in and out of bed, sitting, walking, the brace, and dressing. Actually the third week after surgery, I have been going to a PT facility twice per week and concentrated on my legs, feet, balance, and strengthening my core. I also walk with a cane 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day. PT does not do any exercise with my back! Starting Sept 8, I will be going back to my office job and driving.
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