Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

What activities can we do after spinal fusion???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Recovering from Surgery

My surgeon told me that I can do anything, including sports.
However, he said that after 8 weeks, and when I quizzed him for more detail; could I pick up my granddaughter?, garden?, vacuum?, iron? etc, he then became more cautious and told me to wait another 3 months and gradually introduce things.

Now I am 7 months into my recovery.
I definately don't want to upset my back again.

At 3 months, there was no sign of fusion, and I won't be x-rayed again to check until 12 months anniversary.
The disc above and below my fusion at L4/L5 are degenerated and I don't want to cause adjacent disc problems.

So what activities do you manage to do?

I want to get outside and feel active again.
I walk a couple of miles every day.
I walk around a golf course, and would like to take it up, but know that this might be too much.

I would value hearing of others success in getting back to an active life. (I am in my mid 50s so not going to become ever so active! I am also having some pain from my neck and thoracic spine! :?



  • I will be 9 weeks post ALIF fusion tomorrow. I was thinking of posting this topic. I am so glad that you did!
    Last visit (10 days ago) NS said begin to increase all ADL's. Said I can start BENDING, my husband probed him, bending how? Like this, this, or this. He was making several different bend movements, finally doc said, NO just very small slight bends.

    I think doctors (unfortunately) all to often assume we know what they mean, they see 100's of post op patients a month (at various stages), but that was MY ONLY 7 week check up I will ever have. What I mean is its so routine to them, yet so very unique to us. Which is why I LOVE SH & you, the members, who help provide experience, guidance, advise and compassion.

    I am very interested to see what our more senior post fusion members can offer us on this topic!

    Jellyhall, I pray you are fusing a nice healthy bone!

  • This will also be helpful for those of us yet to go into fusion! I have my appointment this week and will hopefully get the ball rolling (thinking positive here!).

    It was 6 months after my fracture before I was back on a horse, so I assume the same after my surgery. The thing I most want to be able to do again is clean house! I haven't been able to do that for 3 years and my husband is kind of a hoarder :(
  • advertisement
  • I had my fusion in April of 2007, started playing golf in the Fall of 2008, and I am still playing. I live in a cold weather climate so my golf season is usually from May through October. I play 9 holes, I usually rent a cart but I have walked 9 holes with my bag on a pull cart. I will be 62 this coming January.

    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.
  • Did you take up golf for the first time in fall 2008?
    I have heard that it is ok to start playing again, but that to learn from scratch is hard.

    Perhaps there are ways to swing the club that don't twist the spine so much and put less strain on our backs.

    Do you have to be very careful or do you just get on with it?

    I used to enjoy badminton and table tennis, but wonder about all that twisting and jumping about.

    Thanks Virginia for your good wishes for my fusion. :D
  • the same as you Jellyhall, but I wasn't too fit to start with, so I think it's a question of starting slowly and building myself up.

    I used to be very overweight and as part of my regime to help my back, I've lost over 5 stones in the last 2 years. It didn't help my back, neither did it give me lots of energy! I feel hard done by, ha!

    That's why I asked about riding a bike recently - but after everyone's comments, I've put that idea on hold.

    I believe that swimming could be the answer. I do attend hydrotherapy once a week and hopefully, when my residual back issues resolve themselves, then I will go swimming properly. Also, the weather here in the UK is starting to get really cold, so the thought of having wet hair when I finish swimming is giving me goose bumps now!

    Ha! I tried playing golf about 30 years ago but was told that I didn't have a 'natural' swing (how rude) - I don't think that'll do my back any good if I started again now at my age (53).

    As for gardening, I did actually do some gentle weeding last weekend (when nobody was at home and therefore couldn't shout at me!). Not a good idea - but I only did it for about half an hour, that's all. I was bending over just a smidge and thought if I did it really slowly my back wouldn't notice. Why do I do it to myself? Why do we all do things sometimes that we know we'll pay for later? Are we 'testing' ourselves to see if we can go further than we did say, a month ago?

    And when people say 'listen to your back' the problem is that your back sometimes doesn't shout at you until AFTER you've done it, or even perhaps the next morning and it's too late by then, ha!

    Good luck with whatever exercises don't give you added pain - when you find them, perhaps you'll share them with us?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • advertisement

  • I agree about the weather in the UK not making us want to go swimming, and have to travel home again with wet hair. Funny, while we were away in the summer, I swam every day in the spa pool of our hotel and loved it. Our local pool is not very warm, and it just wouldn't feel the same in water that makes me shiver!

    My back is a bit slow at telling me when I am doing too much as well! By the time it lets me know, the damage has been done. I do think that we are trying to prove to ourselves that we are moving forward in our ability to achieve. As you say 'testing' ourselves.

    Well done in losing so much weight Sue. I know how hard it is, especially when we can't be as active as we would like.

    I love gardening, and have managed to plant up pots by asking hubby to place them on the patio table. I just want to get back to doing some of the things that I enjoy again.

    The best thing I have found so far is walking. I really enjoy my daily walk, and am told that it will really help in my fusing as it will help with blood supply. I just feel like I would enjoy to do some other activities as well.

  • I was an avid golfer through most of my adult life. After my spinal infection in 2006 and my multi level 360 fusion in 2007, I never thought I'd be able to golf again. I was wrong. My surgeon pretty much told me I could just about do whatever I wanted. I wanted to golf. I started slowly, going to a driving range and taking easy swings with my irons until I built up enough courage to start hitting balls with my driver. When I started playing for real, I adapted my swing so that I didn't take a full back swing. I don't even think about it anymore, I just go out and play.

    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.

  • Very encouraging to hear that it is possible to play golf after fusion surgery.

    It sounds like you are now able to really enjoy life again. :-)
  • L2/3/4 is in my future, so I will be watching your progression on this subject for sure! Upper lumbar *I* would think will be a tad different on bending?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey Jelly!

    My back has been useless at letting me know in time too. I have learnt by trial and error, but I do think some of my problems were down to the stupid infection. I found housework (hoovering, moving the furniture, cleaning the floor and the bath etc) gave me grief until very recently. Even now I pace myself. I can walk miles now (and did walk for hours most days on my holiday!!) and swimming is fine too but i do swim crawl not breaststroke. I make myself go swimming in the morning before work then it is out of the way. I haven't really tried anything else yet to be honest. I only just started back to swimming today after 2 months off cos of the infection.

    I think the main thing is to pace yourself whatever you do. I have learnt to do only half the housework at a time rather than my usual bull at a gate approach. I have built up the distance I swim gradually and have also increased the speed, distance and steepness of my walks gradually. My logic in all has been that until I get back to "normal" fitness then if I don't ache a bit at night I am not doing enough but if I can't move for a day then I must have done too much and I try and learn and move on!

    It is really hard to get the balance right especially as some days you can do things then others you can't. Oh and don't underestimate how much your job takes out of you physically.

    Hope you are doing ok.
    Nel xx
Sign In or Register to comment.