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Disney World after Fusion?

I wasn't sure where to post this, but here goes. I had 4 surgeries on my L5/S1 area last fall, including a fusion with instrumentation. To say that last year was rough is an understatement, and as hard as it was on me, it was equally difficult for my 5 and 10 year old and husband. We did nothing except doctors and surgeries and recovery last year. Then in January of this year, DH had some weird heart test results (he's 39) and ended up having a heart catheterization which thankfully, was all clear. So all in all, we desperately need something fun!

Dh got a nice and unexpected bonus at work and so we booked a vacation at Disney this fall (staying at the Polynesian resort, for ease of transportation!). Having been to Disney several times, we are VERY aware of how demanding it is physically. He's fine, the kids are fine and I'm still....recovering. I have lingering nerve damage in my left foot/leg, still can't stand on my toes on the left and therefore walk slowly and with a weird stride/slight limp. We will be using a wheelchair for me as needed (plan to just have it and use it as necessary, walking when I can). We'll just have to take things slower than we are accustomed.

So my question is this: by the time we go in the first week of November, I will be 13 months past the fusion. I will not ride any rides that are particularly jarring (a few roller coasters are most definitely off the list). Most of the rides there are smooth and and very kid-friendly, so they shouldn't be a concern and anything I'm not sure about, I'll skip. By that point, would it be safe to ride on a very smooth (smaller) roller-coaster type ride or is that still out? I want to be able to participate and ride with my kids, but not at a risk to me safety. What do you think? What has your doctor advised? Curious as to different opinions.
Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014


  • the exact same question. I will be there Oct. I'm thinking for sure no roller coasters but most Disney rides are pretty tame so since none of us are experts, my opinion is yes to Disney.
  • My 12 yr old daughter had spinal fusion (almost full length of her back) 13 months ago and we're going to Disney in 2 weeks. She has recovered well, and hasn't had any problems with pain in the past 6 months.

    We wouldn't be into huge roller coasters, (I hate anything that goes upside down) however Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain would be firm favourites so i wanted to check if these would be ok. I rang her surgeon to ask about going on rides, and was told that theme park rides should be fine as long as we didn't go on any mad ones.
    A nurse also rang me about it - she too has had spinal surgery - and said that she had gone on a few quite jerky rides and, although she was fine, she wouldn't be in a rush to do the more jerky ones again. Although she said that Splash Mountain was fine, and that Thunder Mountain could be a hit or a miss.
    Basically, both the surgeon and nurse said to use a bit of common sense - start off with a mild ride, see how you go, and take it from there.

    Hope you have a brilliant time :-)
  • Thank you both for your responses! Having ridden everything (except the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train) many times before, I think most things will be fine, but I am planning to just take things one ride (and day) at a time and not push myself. No ride is worth more spinal issues (but of course, that's easier to say at 36 than 12!) :)

    And to both of you....have a great time at Disney!!
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • FancyspineFFancyspine Posts: 3
    edited 06/24/2015 - 5:08 PM
    I, too, have wondered this. I haven't asked my neurosurgeon because I'm only 7 months out. I'm pretty sure he would laugh.
    Have fun at Disney! I love it there!
    Cauda Equina post MVA
    T-12/L-1 fusion, Thanksgiving 2014
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