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Lots of do's and dont's after surgery. Which are REAL REAL REAL

outdoork9ladyooutdoork9lady Posts: 17
edited 08/05/2012 - 5:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a TLIF L5-S1 fusion. The PT was happy and surprised how quickly I could walk around the hospital floor and even lift a hand off the walker.

My home is high maintenance, with no Gardner or cleaning lady, budgetary issues.

My sister just left for home, at day 12from my surgery date (07/23/2012).

I have a problem of just sitting while others do all the work needed to do. So, I have reached, walked without my walker, a lot. A couple of times I have gotten so weak at the knees and theback spasms so bad I was put to bed with ice packs and a couple of valiums. Yesterday I really outdid myself "helping" because. Ysister was leaving and she was doing the major of major cleaning of home, ponds, aquariums, etc. to tide me over for another 2 weeks. Same as I did prior to going off to surgery. Bottom line I had a couple of bouts of weak knees and then finally I collapsed to a puddle.

I see my doctor on Monday. I have called my doctor once when I received back a similar leg pain that I had prior to surgery. I was told that my nerves are healing and so as they unravel and heal, I could feel pain here and there for up to 6 months and sometimes up t a year. I was also told that the hardware was strong and if for any reason I fell/tripped and hurt myself, knees may scrape, but bones might break around the hardware, but I wouldn't harm the area where the surgery was done.

So here is my concern: what am I doing wrong to my healing process by bending over and reaching? I a able to walk many times without my walker (leaving it just out of the door while I use the bathroom, as an example). I never go far from the walker but sometimes it's combursome to negotiate and I will walk away from it. I always have my brace on and do everything in my power to use my legs if I have to bend down( walker right there), I believe I'm not twisting around.

Am I healing fast or doing damage?


  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 1,036
    edited 08/06/2012 - 12:12 AM
    The bone must have time to grow in your disk space. ANY kind of bending, lifting or twisting can disrupt that bone growth and you stand the chance of having a failed fusion.

    You may feel great, but your body is still healing.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • It is hard to watch other people do the work that is yours or that you used to do. Your sister, if asked, I'm quite sure is there to help you do the things that you shouldn't be doing just yet. I doubt that she would be happy to come back to help you for another round of back surgery mainly because you did things you were not supposed to do after your operation. Sounds to me like your way over doing it for being 3 weeks out of a major surgery. Most all of us that have had fusions feel great some days and want to get stuff done. That is usually when we rehurt ourselves. Let your Dr. or PT if your going yet, tell you when its safe to do stuff, fast healer or not.
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  • The dos and dont's are real. They did not put one in a body cast to prevent certain movement as they would a broken arm, to allow the fusion of bones to occur. The instructions are to allow the the fusion that they did along with the hardware to fuse correctly I was told that reaching is "ok" but if it hurts no way. Definitely do not pick up or handle anything beyond 10#. Do not bend.....he exaturated for me as in trying to touch the toes bending(I have ponds I sometimes need to clear the waterfall areas) so for things on the ground, I use a grabber or wait for someone to come by. Twisting is the hardest thing NOT to do as its such a natural movement, but I'm trying my hardest now. I saw my 2 weeks X-ray and was amazed that he was able to "scoot back" the vertebra that was sliding off. It's almost back to a perfect alignment. With the leg pain which quite manageable so far ( as long as I do not over do it) the strength and flexibility hasn't come all the way back. I was beyond proud of what my leg and foot could do until he did those tests of moving them up and against his hand,etc. he said I was doing good, on track and stop overdoing it! My friends who took me not only laughed at me, but when we got home, they took me around my home and had me show them my "daily routine". They pointed out "needs to be done" how to do it myself safely or that I needed to make a call to someone. They showed what might bug the crap out of me BUT leave it until someone came by. I have family and friends who call me duly to check on me. One neighbor brings me my mail. I have vowed to learn by my friends example. My brother set up, and fixed my treadmill, so I can get up to my prescribed 1/2 hour minimum of walking. I can sometimes get the full 1/2 hour in and other times my leg kicks in too much too allow me to go and I have to break it up. I like the treadmill because the walker on my concrete with all the cracks is a pain in the butt, literally and figuratively. The treadmill is smooth and I can track my progress and adjust my workout to meet how I'm feeling that day.

    Good wishes to all on their heeling.
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