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Range of motion after L4-S1 fusion

subvet1969ssubvet1969 Posts: 34
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I'm having a 2 level fusion & fixation w/ instrumentation (PLIF) on L4-S1 on 11/4/11 and had a post-op question. Once my fusion takes hold in 6-12 months, what kind of differences will i notice in my posture and range of movement when I bend over and such? Will I feel a significant difference in the way my body bends and moves? Is it obvious and quite a different feeling to what I was used to before the fusion? If anyone that has had this same L4-S1 procedure done, please let me know what I can expect.Also, what happens in someone who has had multiple fusions on multiple levels? How much of a difference is their range of motion? Thanks in advance.

Bryan
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Comments

  • Honestly for me I can't even tell I had the PLIF. It took a few months and PT to get the flexibility back. I was really bad before the fusion so removing the pain caused by instability was the smart thing to do. The only problem I still have is painting my toe nails (and that is from my upper back problems I am sure).

    The big thing for me after the PLIF was putting on my socks and eventually tieing my shoes. When I could do that I was much happier and I knew I was on mt way.

    Good luck,

    Julie
  • Subvet1969:

    Im 37 and prior military and I have severe degenerative disk disease which after a period of time has made my l4-l5 and l5-s1 compress enough to where my disks are putting pressure on my nerve root after speaking with doctors they told me that range of motions would depend on the level of fusions. L4-L5 and L5-S1 would limit your movement but not as much as if it was L4 and up. I am surprised your doctor has not discussed with you.
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  • I am now fused from L3-5. My first fusion was L4-5 and I really didn't notice a difference. I could do all the things I did before in terms of range of motion.

    But since my last fusion, L3-4, thus now I am fused from L3-5, I notice a big difference.

    Granted, I am only 6 weeks post op, so I still have a lot of healing and recovery to go, but I am much stiffer and standing straight and tall takes a concentrated effort.

    I'm just starting some gentle range or motion, stretches so hopefully it will improve.

    Wishing a a complete recovery!
  • Hi,

    I am fused L1-S1. My range of motion is limited but I worked really hard to get it to be as good as it can be. I don't do much bending, I squat instead and it accomplishes the same thing. Reaching while squatting can be a bit of a challenge.

    I have figured out how to paint my toenails and put on socks. You often have to bring the foot to you rather than bending over to it.

    I do stretching and flexibility exercises and have since before my fusions. I know this helps. But it is a long recovery and a long process to get to where you feel like you can do more things. Be patient and good luck!!

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I am having a L5 and S1 fusion. I practice Intermediate to Advanced Yoga as well as Pilates Matt and Reformer work. Light cardio (Intervals/walking/jogging). I haven't been able to do much expect the Yoga and Pilates for the last 2 months because of pain, pretty severe. Its been going on for a long time as well as my neck, C4&5 and C5&6 also need fused but I am waiting as long as possible for that one.

    My concern is that I will not be able to do my yoga and pilates at the level I do know once my back is done. Can anyone tell me if they practice these types of disciplines after having this type of fusion? Will this fusion lead to more because of stress on the ones above them?

    I have had the physical therapy, epideral floods, chiropratice care, etc. for the last 2 years and no better actually worse. I think the surgery is nescessary to relieve the pain but I'm worried.

    Any advice?


    _____________


    "Every day you have a choice, choose to live in the "Present"


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  • I am having a L5 and S1 fusion. I practice Intermediate to Advanced Yoga as well as Pilates Matt and Reformer work. Light cardio (Intervals/walking/jogging). I haven't been able to do much expect the Yoga and Pilates for the last 2 months because of pain, pretty severe. Its been going on for a long time as well as my neck, C4&5 and C5&6 also need fused but I am waiting as long as possible for that one.

    My concern is that I will not be able to do my yoga and pilates at the level I do know once my back is done. Can anyone tell me if they practice these types of disciplines after having this type of fusion? Will this fusion lead to more because of stress on the ones above them?

    I have had the physical therapy, epideral floods, chiropratice care, etc. for the last 2 years and no better actually worse. I think the surgery is nescessary to relieve the pain but I'm worried.

    Any advice?


    _____________


    "Every day you have a choice, choose to live in the "Present"


  • I haven't had a fusion but I am quite sure your Yoga and Pilates will go a long way in keeping your core in good shape when you are ready and able to begin doing them again.
    However with that said, I have no doubt after having a lumbar fusion that you will need to eliminate or modify some of your Yoga positions. I know in my case, I have a pars defect at the L5 level and quite honestly I believe one of the things that really put the icing on the cake for me was last summer it was kind of sore, aggrivated. My wife said you're flexibility isnt that great, you should really look into some Yoga for flexibility and strength, so I said sure I'll give it a shot.

    Though some of it was almost a good stretch/pain, I feel a couple of the moves like downward dog, were the nail in my coffin as to pain, that extreme of a lumbar stretch caused bad pain that got better but has never gone away after I did that for a couple days. So in answer to your question, some of your Yoga you probably will not want to be doing after a fusion.
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