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Brace weaning any good tricks???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my L4 L5 fusion May 12th had L5 S1 the year prior. The first surgery was ALIF so no trouble weaning the brace. This time was XLIF & Posterior and it seems to be taking much longer. I took it off for short periods all along but at 13 weeks they told me it could go. I have been taking it off here and there and taking it off one house at a time when walking til now I can walk 1/2 mile without it but the back muscles tighten, butt muscles tighten....I do lots of stretches.
Did any of you take awhile to get rid of the brace. Anybody have any good advice on weaning??


  • Carol,

    I had to wear my brace for over 3 months but we are all given different instructions from our doctors. I would ask your doctor if you can go to a different style brace and see what he says. I stopped wearing my full hard shell to a (sort of) soft lumbar corset style brace when doing strenuous activity. If I was sitting or laying down no brace at all unless the pain became unbearable. I still used the corset style brace when I was working. (currently not working due to my SCS implant recovery, YEAH!)

    Let me know how you're doing.
  • HI

    I never had to wear one - I wanted too cos I thought it would be comfy.

    Surgeon and PT said NO way!

    Good Luck
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  • I was told at my 6 week checkup I no longer needed my brace. I went cold turkey and found I needed to wean myself off. I would get up in the morning and not put it on, go on about my business. Around midafternoon, my back would feel tired and achy. I would put my brace on and just wear when I felt like I needed the extra support.

    Now I am completely out of my brace. It took a couple of weeks to wean off.
  • It's good to know that I am not the only one kept in the brace 3 months. Oriah, do you remember how long it took you to wean off the brace? I have a hard insert in mine that I can take out and have it like a corset. I have been loosening it and am going to try wearing it without the hard part this weekend.
  • hello, I am still in a brace 24/7 I had a 5 level fusion on May 1. L2-S1, with rods and screws. My Dr. said I have to continue to ware it because the area is large. It has not bothered me, but I would like to be able to take it off at night.
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  • With both surgeries they let me take mine off at night and to shower. Maybe your doc would let you take it off at night?? I have to say, after a summer of wearing mine in hot weather, it's nasty. I sprayed it with Febreeze but if I wash it, it won't dry in time to wear it......ahhhhh, it's a small price to pay.
  • I was told by my doctor to start taking my brace of an for an hour or so during the day to start strengthing up my muscles. I'm 10 weeks now. At 4 weeks he told me to take off the hard shell part of the brace and only wear the softer corset part of it and also to start sleeping with it off at that point.
    When I do take the brace off for an hour during the day my back gets extremely sore at night. I have to ice it and sometimes put my brace on and sleep with it on again.

    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
  • Hi Carol, so many different answers. I had surgery on June 10th and at 7wk check my doctor told me to start weaning off the brace. Just said at next check up in Sept he wanted it gone. He also told me when I was comfortable without it I could drive. Incentive, it was gone in a week and a half. I started like you at home until it got easier. Another question though, are you doing any PT? I have been since 4 weeks and can really tell I am getting stronger all over. I do aqua and nothing strenuous, but I really am impressed by the progress. It is a slow process we just all keep plugging along. You will get there.
  • Carol,
    When I had my first surgery in 2006, I wore the turtle shell brace 4 months, taking it off to sleep and shower. When doctors discovered my spine instablity in August, I was put back in the brace for 7 more months and had surgery april, 2007. I then wore the brace 5 more months. I didn't ween anything I was so sick of the brace. Within a few days,the brace became a non issue.

    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.
  • Wow dick, didn't your muscles tighten up on you??
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