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How far and how long should I be walking by now?

MelcorMMelcor Posts: 85
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery was on 7/8. I am still in a lot of pain and very tired but I am just trying to get an idea of where other people were at this point in their recovery.

l4-s1 fusion.



  • Hi Mel

    I am one year post opt but i do remember what you are going thru! Walking is the only thing i was allowed to do at your state of recovery! I am 62 now and i used to belong to a gym and was very active before the pain set in bad enough about three years and i had to quit work!!

    I am the type of person who pushes themselves to do better and it worked for me but please only listen to your doctor and nurses and do only what they say!!

    Everything that i read in the forum was great and helped more them you think but bottom line i did only what my doctor said!!

    Good luck to you and plese feel free to ask me anything you want! I will be very candid about it!!

    Evelyn :)
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • At 7 days I was going about 10 mins at a time 3-4 times a day.. Not sure of distance because everybody has a different gait...

  • I walk outside in the evenings when its cooler out since the backbrace makes me too hot. My husband prefers that I go with him as I'm still kinda stumbley when I dont use the walker. It's a slow process as I feel most of the pain in my hips. I generally walk down the street until I feel my hips start getting sore. At that point we head back and believe me that is enough because I have to stop for about 5 seconds once or twice on the way back just to rest my hips a bit.
    They say walk as much as you can but Ive seen here on the forums that ppl say that their doctors told them not to over due it so I'm not going to push my body furthur than I know it can go.
    My evening walk talks about 10-15 minutes.
    During the day I walk back and forth in the house for awhile when I need a change from laying in bed.

    Anyway, I hope youre feeling better soon.

    Christina :)
  • I was walking(seem more like a crawl...lol) 3 times a day for about 10 minutes and each week I added more minutes and distance. Hang in there it will get easier. ;)
  • Mel,

    It took me over a year to really begin walking more than a few tenths of a mile. Last summer, I would borrow my wife's 4 wheel walker and I could walk miles. Take that walker away and I couldn't walk more than a few hundred yards before spasms set in. Basically, I gave up walking and just did all my core exercises along with riding a stationary bike. This pasy April, I tried walking again and Wham, spasms started again. This time I said the heck with it(a stronger word was used) and pushed through the pain and spasms. Today, I walked 2.3 miles and I walk 5 times a week, increasing a little each week.
    So, hang in there. I did and it finally is paying off.

    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.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Hi Mel,

    Glad to see you have some stamina to get on the boards and post here.
    As far as when and how much walking you should be doing, please, please make sure you check with your doctor for the formal answer.
    We can all give you our opinions or when we did walk or when we think you can walk, but nothing is better than getting a direct answer from a doctor.

    Now, I also know, because I've been in the situation you have been in (not the same surgery but lumbar surgery) and when I asked my doctor when I could walk, the only response I got was Well, when you feel like you can

    Manytimes it just listening to your body and understanding what you can do and cant dont. You've been through some of this before.... Do not push yourself more than you should be doing.

    Good Luck! Take Care And continue on your road to complete recovery!

    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
  • Hi Mel,

    Good to see you back on a regular basis. Your surgery is still very recent, so don't worry about how much, just try to walk a little a few times every day. The idea is to get out and walk a bit. After a week, I was still in rehab, so other than what I walked with the OT and PT (around the grounds) I walked to the dining room (quite a distance from my room) twice a day.

    Hope your pain will get under under control.


    Kin :) :) :)
  • Mel - If you can access my old post re: Chris' fusion it will have a week by week update of his walking patterns. At one week, we were still in Raleigh/Durham staying at my brother's house for a few days before our trip home. Chris was walking with the walker back and forth on their upstairs hallway several times a day. He didn't venture outside for even a short walk until about day 10. Once we got back to Atlanta, he did start walking and added a little distance every few days. Don't overdo it as you'll pay dearly w/ increased pain. Good luck. Terr
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