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3 1/2 weeks check up...Question about braces

Christina69CChristina69 Posts: 534
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just got back from my 3 1/2 week check up with my surgeon. (I had a PLIF) He took xrays and said everything looks good and the placement of the screws, rods and cage is perfect. He also said that I look really good for only being 3 1/2 weeks out.

The brace that I've been wearing since surgery is a hard turtle shell with a softer black material that goes on the front but the shell part can be taken off and the brace can just be used as a softer brace. I was wearing the shell 24/7, even to bed.
Today he informed me that I could take off the shell part now and just wear the black softer brace and I didnt have to wear it to bed anymore.
I'm kinda freaked out about taking it off so early.
Just wondering how long other ppl who have had PLIF's have had to wear braces etc.



  • I wore a turtle shell brace after each of my last two back surgeries but never had to wear it to bed. My doctors told me I didn't have to wear it if I was 45 degrees or less in an upright position. As I have said countless times on this board, every doctor and they way they treat a patient's recovery is different, amybe because every patient is different.

    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.
  • Some doctors don't make their patients wear a brace at all. Mine didn't, and I had a three level (L3-S1) posterior fusion with instrumentation. I was just fine without it, and I sure did not miss having to wear one. So I am sure you will be OK too. Maybe the brace gave you a bit of security, but in reality, if you have any hardware inside that provides enough support.

    So take it off, girl, and enjoy it!

    Kin }:) }:) }:)
  • Yes youre probably right, the brace is giving me a sense of security and I feel strange giving it up.
    On a lighter note, I too am a Canadian citizen now residing in Ohio with my husband of three years.

    Christina :)
  • Facing the same thing here. I am 9 weeks post op and instructed to wear it when walking, driving, or being active but to take it off when just puttsing or sitting. Well sheesh, define active...I feel stronger and more secure when I do dishes or even walk inside cuz if the dogs trip me, the brace gives support. i know it's psychological but the muscles do get use to it. I'm up to 3 hrs. without it and am weaning a little more each day. Good luck! We'll get there.
  • i had a 360 fusion with hardware and really only wore my brace when i went for a walk or driving, and my dr said the same thing after 3 weeks take the shell off and ware the soft if i feel the need, I havent put it back on since.. and i also live in ohio 30 miles north of cincinatti.
  • I do not have to wear my brace to bed. Actually, I think it's more of a comfort thing b/c he never gave me specfic instructions. I usually wear it while walking outside and up. But not always just to go from here to there in the house.

  • You know, I know its all in my head and the brace gives me that sense of security like I said above. Today I kept wearing the shell part of the brace but tonight I'm using the soft pat of it and see how that goes. I think I just have to kinda work my way into the whole no brace thing. My back just feels so weak at times and Im scared Im gonna trip on something.

    Christina :)
  • Christina, My OS said he doesn't use braces as our bodies then start to depend on them. With no brace you have to use your core stability muscles to move and hold yourself up.

    Either way you will have to do that eventually.
    I spend half the day remindinf myself to pull in my abs, bottome under, knees soft, etc and to keep holding them in while breathing. :D

    You'll do fine, just take it gently.
    Blessings Sara
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