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Just a bit concerned........

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
:? I had L4-S1 2 Level Anterior/Posterior Fusion the 16th of April. I work for the school system doing heavy groundskeeping work, including heavy lifting, twisting, bending, and climbing.
I was wondering if I'll ever be able to perform those duties again. Right now I have come to a point I am worried about.
I had my walking up to a mile/day and all of a sudden I am not being able to do that....back is folding up. They say I may have pushed it too hard and they are going to X-Ray Friday. Can you bend over much after this short of time?
I can't tie my shoes without pain and am worried about my job. They have been patient with me, but I really wonder if I'll ever be capable of doing that gig. I'm 59 YO and have a degeneration of the spine also. There are problems higher up, but the surgeon said it was too much to do at one time because it would knock me down for too long.

Anybody else been thru this? Appreciate some input.....Thanks in advance!


  • I'll tell you about me and your issues are close to mine.

    I was a Machinist/Tool & Die Maker for 20 years after a 1level fusion there was not a company around who would hire me for fear of on the job injury.

    Keep in mind I also did heavy lifting and twisting (what caused the fusion) and at this point I'm on the verge of starting a new career so be advised..

    On the good side working for a school district might give you better leverage, was it a on the job injury?

    Good Luck.

  • I'm afraid you are going through the same thing I did. I had a 2 level (L4-S1) 360 ALIF in January 07. To this day, bending to tie my shoes hurts a bit. Heavy lifting is out. My PM gave me a 50lb maximum, but I'm comfortable going to about 100 lbs. But, if you over do it, your body will let you know (big time). The last thing you want to do is blow out L3 since it is carrying the load of three vertebrae.

    I began bending (in PT) at about 3 month point. But, the doctor was strict about only bending at PT. I was allowed to begin bending freely at about the 5 month point. By then, I was fused.

    Take it easy. I know that's hard to accept when your're ready to get back at it, but if the fusion site doesn't set up right, you will go through failed fusion syndrome. No body wants to go through surgery again!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I haven't recovered from a traditional fusion myself but so many people here are still in lots of pain at the 3 month mark. Just because the no BLT restriction is usually lifted after 3 months, it will take a long time before your body feels ok doing those things again, after all, look what your body has been through!

    When you are doing your walking, try to break it up into 3 or 4 shorter walks per day instead of 1 long one and see if that helps. I hope your x-ray comes back ok and that things settle down soon. Take care, Spicey
  • Went well, fusions look good, but I told him I'd been having back pain for the last couple of weeks and had to decrease my walking. Surgeon said I have been overdoing it and consequently when I used ice to treat it I tightend my muscles up so bad that I am going to be in pain most of the time because of the combination of the two. He said NO MORE ICE. Not only that, but he said I would not need my brace any longer.
    He said I could resume work 4 hrs/day for 2 weeks, and increase it an hour a day each week till I reach 8 hours. If i can't tolerate it I could call it a day early. Man, I wonder about the brace? My lifting restrictions are 20lbs. and very little twisting, bending, or climbing. Some days when I run out of gas, won't I maybe need the brace? The ice thing floored me. I understood what his theory was, but I thought ice was the magic cure. Now he said I must use heat to loosen the muscles. Anybody hear of these deals?

    *By the way, the restrictions are for at least 3 months and I wonder if they will ever be lifted because of the heavy work I do? I'm going to hope so, but my 60 year old body feels beat to a pulp at the present.
    Thanks in advance.

    1000 Yard Guy
  • I know my NS told me to cut the ice.

    He said that the ice prevented any healing blood flow from getting to where it was needed.

    I love the ice, ice was my friend - it's how I survive a 45 minute drive to and from work each day.

    Now I use Biofreeze rub on stuff for when I really need some relief.
  • I've never understood why anyone could use ice. I find even to get in a cold pool my back seizes up, so to put on ice to me would have even a worse result.
    I know that there are a lot here that swear by it but I love heat.
    I have a heat pad (that was made to heat the bed) and I have it around my back even when I am sitting in a chair.
    The only difficulty is having to be near a power point but it really is heaven to me.
    The physio in hospital put me onto it and said that is all they use on backs.

    Blessings Sara
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