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concerned and venting

So I got the call today that my surgery will be Sept 11th 2014. I am having a lif? interbody fusion of l5=s1. Along with that I am having the rods and 4 screws from the previous fusion in Aug 2013 removed as they are causing issues with the muscles in my back. I wonder if anyone else has had nerve issues or back pain due to the hardware after surgery like I have. The heads of the screws and the rods themselves are rubbing on the muscles and the left ones are touching a nerve for my right leg which makes driving,walking and standing fun. After some tests I was told that I have about a 40% lose of strength in my right leg and that after this next surgery the nerve swelling should go down and slowly I will get most if not all the strength back.

Ofcourse I am worried about the surgery but the general surgeon that did the open and close for the neuro did a great job. I am hopeful that he performs as well this time. A year after the first surgery and you can hardly notice the area on my side that had contained some 36 staples before. I have not yet been told what my recovery will require for time or anything else. Also have no idea what my time in the hospital may be. I will require another back brace before I can leave the hospital. What really will make me happy is to walk after surgery without needing a cane and not feeling the numbness and tingling in my leg.

Can anyone suggest some exercises that I can do or should do in order to aid my recovery?
I have asked my doctor but been given vague answers thus far. I also have tried to ask over and over what restrictions I may have after my full recover. What I mean is that I have been in auto repair for over 20 years and I dont know what else I will be able to do after release for work again. He says that auto mechanical work may not be the best idea as there is alot of movements involved that may cause further issues. I had thought that maybe I could drive truck instead. I have some experience with that and its not very hard work on the body. Anyway any advice is very welcomed.


  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 09/03/2014 - 8:47 PM
    A thought:
    Transition into bench rebuilds of transmissions.

    I'm not a mechanic but I do it as a hobby on my own cars. I love working on cars but my back can't handle the amount of bending and moving required to crawl all over / under / in a car so I don't do it anymore really.

    I got into rebuilding transmissions and I fell in love with it. I always thought they were black magic but after learning them, they aren't so bad. I use my brain (and not my body) to get the trans onto a bench or a fixture. The trans is out of the car and I'll have helpers put it on a bench or use hydraulic lifts or cranes. After that, all the work is on the bench. Someone else can move the thing off and put it back into the car.

    As far as excersizes, what about aquatic PT? Just make sure the water level is at shoulder level. While doing the movements, try to keep the upper body weight off the lumbar spine by floating the weight.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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