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Comment from PT

7 weeks today(microdiscectomy at L5 S1) I was at my PT, he has me bend a bit moving etc feeling my spine and says that the lower part of my spine is acting like it was fused, that I have almost no motion at that spot. Is that common? Anyone ever hear that?


  • when i was talking to my surgeon about my fusion (l5-s1) i asked him how much range of motion i would lose. his answer was "none." i looked at him like he was crazy, but he went on to explain that i basically had no disc left at that level, so there was no range of motion to begin with. i still had the fusion done though since i was getting alot of pain in that area of my back. we'll see what i end up with once the feeling of being punched in the low back subsides. its only been 2 weeks since the surgery.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • I have to tell you, I have had a 100 plus PT sessions and I have never been told by a therapist that my back was fused. That is not a common comment that a PT should be making. An MRI could tell you that, but not a PT.

    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.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    I am not saying Physical Therapists are not knowledgeable. Those that know me, realize I have a great deal of respect for PTs

    But your situation, that is something that should be discussed and reviewd with your surgeon.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I think he meant the mobility in my lower spine isn't there anymore.. He knows I had a discectomy because I was seeing him before my surgery, but I see your point.
  • I'm a PT and all that means is he or she was assessing how you move from certain parts of your spine and you probably move more from higher segments because of the sugery and history you have. There is probably stiffness at that area or depending on your age, you may have some issues there that have caused a decrease in the segmental mobility there. It's not intended to be an alarming observation, just something we learn to look at with our spine pts. I had a microdiscectomy 11 wks ago and am just now starting to move more from my lower lumba segments bc for many weeks I had not tried flexing from my spine to follow precautions and it got stiff.
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  • continued..the segments were not mobile from me compensating for so long but with therapy and exercise my segmental mobility is returning
  • PTpostmicro.. that is pretty much what I figured. He kind of sighed and I knew it meant that my mobility wasn't the same. I appreciate your answering my question so much! TY!
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