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One question that I never asked

dcarterddcarter Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I never asked the answer to what happens to the fusion during fusing if I do lift something over 10 pounds. If I do twist or bend.
I know that it'll hurt like crazy and send me to bed rest for a while so I'm not doing it
BUT, what affects does it have on the fusion?
May seem likea stupid question but I just don't know the answer.


  • What a good question! I do not think it is at all stupid as I don't know the answer either. I guess I sorta thought the fusion might break or something. I hope someone who knows answers for us!
  • well . . i can tell u from my first fusion.

    i think i messed it up by moving too much. the bone graft that was secured between my c1 c2 slipped. it was held in place by wire and the wire let go. hence the need for my second surgery. the cadaver bone fused to my c2 only.

    the spine has to be very still in order for the bones to fuse. my NS used wire, rods and screws to stabalize my c1 c2 and to hold the bone graft in place. so far so good second time around for me.

    u guys in braces?? i am for 3 months.
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  • My orthopedic surgeon told me that I couldn't do any harm to the fusion. The only thing I had to be concerned with was my incision in my stomach so I was restricted from lifting anything over a gallon of milk for 6 weeks. He was saying how he had 4 other patients that had the same surgery as me and were back up and working and doing their regular routines in 2 weeks. He also mentioned these people were extremely active and fit, which I am not. I am now 4 months post op and don't feel much relief. He makes it sound like I should be out running a marathon by now and I feel bad that I am not doing much because of the extreme pain. Don't go by what my doc says because I just went for CT scan today to see why I am still in so much pain.

    I took his word and would do more than I should because of the lack of support at home. On some days I would pop a couple of pain pills and go out and weed the garden, rake the yard, clean the whole house and this was only 2-4 weeks after surgery. That's because the doc made me feel like I should be doing these. I should also mention that anytime I would get these burst of ambition, I would be laid up for about 3 days.

    Good luck with everything.
  • With your fusion, as you said you would feel pretty crap if you did too much and would need to rest.
    However if you were doing it on a very regular basis like continued twisting or bending, then you could POSSIBLY be preventing the fusion from taking.
    If you think of it like two pecies of wood being held together with glue or cement. If you kept 'interupting' that glue/cement and moving it around - then even though the cement will dry it may not be as stable as if you had left it alone. This is why we have the rods and screws.

    I hope that made sense.
    Now having said that my Dr also told me that to do damage I would pretty much have to have a fall out a window or similar. I have had a couple of falls and it wasn't a problem.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • My surgeon told me that slight bending or twisting was not going to cause any problems. Actually, as you heal, chances are you will bend or twist a little more. What they don't want you to do is repetitions of those slight movements or full bends/twists. Slight movements should not be an issue due to the hardware, but full movements can put pressure on the joints.

    Now, lifting more weight than your restrictions could cause issues because it will put additional downward stresses on your spine, compressing the cage(s) put in during your surgery. I suppose in some cases it could cause the rods and screws to loosen.

    However, like Sara, my surgeon told me I would have to do something very serious to cause any damage.
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  • I'm glad that I wasnt the only one wondering what would happen. I am 7 months post op and feel fine and want to keep it that way. Like Roxy54321, I don't want to have to go in for another surgery so I want to make sure that I am not messing something up and don't know it. Being that I am so close to being done with this.
  • that was a good question.
    one my dr never addressed either or myself.
    i bend all the time, not all the way of course, like i will be sitting on the couch or bed and bend over to get something cause i do forget sometimes. but feel fine after
    if i twist by mistake, that one i feel :jawdrop:
    usually if i do to much for the day i do end up in bed and sore.
    i guess its also a good question to ask your own surgeon's about. as each one is going to say something different.

    i mean from those that know me from last yr. 3 months post op i flew mid air on ice and landed real hard full body weight on my side and did not damage anything but my wrist.
    so myself i would think it would take alot to damage the fusion area. lami's & diskies patients, yeah those might be damaged.
    i agree with mark with the lifting and his conclusion.

    i mean yeah my dr thinks i should be feeling AWESOME to by now. like HELLO dr did you have your back cut open recently?? of course the answer most likely will be "no" :? :T
    i just got to thinking my dr never even made my next appt after my 4wk ckup hmmmmm :/ better call about that one.
    i'v got more drs to keep track of then kids =)) =)) =)) =))
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