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Sports after ACDF surgery

Hi all,
Just want to ask if any of you who had ACDF surgery in the past have already back to normal sport activity ?
Before my ACDF surgery on October 2013, I was actively regularly doing sports. I did swimming (breast stroke), badminton, yoga, body combat and aerobic. My surgeon had cleared me to do these exercises but I am kinda worry about this, just worry these exercise will caused trouble to my fused bone.

Any insights or experiences or sharing would be appreciated.

Thanks !


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    to fuse C4 through C7 with plates and screws.

    Returning to Sports??? Now that is a big question.

    A lot depends on what sports you are talking about, your age, and a hundred other factors that are difficult to explore in forums.

    For myself, I was able to return to non-contact sports (ie softball ). I never played tennis, so, I can only assume to be same for other non-contact sports.

    Returning is one thing, returning to the level you were BEFORE surgery can be something else. Even after 4 lumbar surgeries, I continued to play in a mens softball league. My swing slowed down, but after playing hard ball for so many years, that was a good thing. Though the ACDFs really slowed it down too much. I sort of lost the ability to hit anywhere what I did before., for that reason, and for the facts that I couldnt catch up to balls in the outfield like I used to, or that grounders may go through my leg because I couldnt get my glove on the ground,etc, I put up my spikes for good.

    I then turned to coaching
    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
  • Dilauro.. thanks for your comment and sharing. I am 39 years old female and I live in Asia region.
    Yes I was actively did non contact sports such as aerobic, yoga and swimming. I really want to get back to my daily exercise life. My surgeon just said.. yes you can go back to your normal life now and nothing to worry. Now I have my own dillema, should I follow his instruction or not.

    May I know when you had this ACDF surgery ? seems like your motion less a lot.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    is telling you up to the point where you find that direction to be very wrong for you.

    Most of the time, after ACDF surgeries, returning to non-impact sports is very doable. For some, contact may be in the future. Look at Peyton Manning, Pro NFL Quarterback. Had ACDF surgeries that put him out for a year. He returned to football even knowing why strong wrong blow could paralyze him. He came back and is doing is good or even better than he did in the past.

    My last ACDF surgery was in 2000. My major restrictions are side to side movement, especially turning to the left. It makes driving a bit harder. I have one of those extra large rear view mirrors to help. But I think I need a larger one.

    In addition to my cervical surgeries, I have 4 lumbar surgeries and have had both my shoulders and hips totally replaced with titanium balls and implants.

    I still garden, I still mow my lawn, I still boat, I still do a lot of things. I just have to remember not to over do anything. When that happens, I will pay a price. (and so will all the others, especially my wife, who has to pick up after me)
    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
  • It will let you know if you're overdoing it!

    As Dilauro said, you may never return to your pre-op levels of activity.

    Good luck!
    4 level ACDF, C3-C7 with iliac bone crest graft with hardware on August 22nd.
  • Dilauro. thanks for your sharing. Well, I have to go back to my sport activity since I gained a lot weight due no sports for the past 1 year. Gaining weight as a woman, yes it is trouble.. hahahaha.. You had done ACDF for 14 years, how do you feel now?

    EA1070, thanks for your comment. Yes I know I should listen to my body. But I really don't know what I am feeling now is recovering or new problem has occured due the sports.

    I already did body combat with a lot of punching, kicking, jumping and also yoga at my gym last week, now I feel strange feeling in my feet. I have no idea if this a new problem because of my sports or the nerves is recovering which is a good news for me. Really have no idea. What I can do now, give it sometimes and let see how it goes

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