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Stiff from walking post-surgery

The instructions from my Dr. are that I can walk after the suregery. Nothing else.

Walking is great. I am happy to be walking again. Now my legs are starting to get some sore muscles. I'd love to stretch, but won't.

The one thing that worries me is that my left hip flexors are so tight that they pull my knee and are causing knee swelling. I had this problem before the disk herniation. I'm being smarter and not focusing on adding distance all the time and just walking. I think that helps. I also think feeling the sore muscles is s sign of healing; they were probably there before.

I have my two week followup tomorrow, so I'll ask, just wondering if anyone else noticed sore muscles? When did you get cleared to stretch?
L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

http://www.sandiegosteve.info/me/lumbar-laminectomy-surgery-recovery/
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Comments

  • sandiegostevessandiegosteve Posts: 47
    edited 05/21/2013 - 5:55 PM
    It will be 3 weeks for me tomorrow, and I think I'm feeling a lot better. I do still have some stiffness and other sensations, but I really think it is tight hamstrings.

    Now that I can walk with much better form I am not feeling the same hip flexor issues as before.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

    http://www.sandiegosteve.info/me/lumbar-laminectomy-surgery-recovery/
  • As it was explained to me by my pain mngmt dr pre-op & my PT post-op, The hamstring tightness is a result of your body attempting to protect itself from further injury. My hamstring tightness was very bad over a year pre-op ( I was herniated 2 years ). After surgery it became even worse. Now whether it was because it was actually worse or the relief of the sciatica just made it more pronounced I do not know. But only just recently has it subsided. At times throughout my recovery it has been very annoying & frustrating.

    Hopefully you can get into PT soon and learn when & how it is ok to stretch those muscles out. Keep walking & if it is awhile before you next appt, give the nurse a call & ask if light stretching is ok.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
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  • I can also say that I had extremely tight and sore hamstrings after my fusion surgeries. Also, my surgeon always wanted me to walk with nothing else, just like yours. I hope you recover well from your surgery!

    Charlie
  • sandiegostevessandiegosteve Posts: 47
    edited 05/22/2013 - 5:48 AM
    One thing I have learned is that all of the muscles are linked together. Hamstrings and the back work together. Quads/hip-flexors and your abdomen do too.

    The odd thing, or potentially scary thing, is that I can't tell if the hamstrings are sore or it is sciatica coming back. I do think I am stiff.

    I see my PT today and will discuss. I'm in for the full path of recovery and don't want to cheat.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

    http://www.sandiegosteve.info/me/lumbar-laminectomy-surgery-recovery/
  • Hi. I'm close to four months post op from my spinal fusion and would like to share my experience. Surgery went well and so did the first weeks of recovery. Home after 5 days in the hospital and walking outside two times a day after one week. Told by the PT to walk as much as I could and do some very basic exercises. No twisting, bending or lifting. After approx 3 weeks my right knee was aching a bit, but not much. It gradually got worse as the weeks went by. Started an exercise program with my local PT to strengthen my core muscles, work on my posture etc. She "tested" the knee a bit also but found no apparent evidence of meniscus problems and said the bursa might be a bit irritated by a change of gait. Well, the weeks have passed and my back is getting slowly better as my knee is getting slowly worse. Now even my left knee is starting to go bad. I'm waiting for a MRI to exclude any damage in the knee, but I've never experienced knee problems before so I don't really expect them to find anything.

    But, on my last visit to my PT she noticed something (a bit late I think, but still...). When standing upright in a "relaxed" posture both my kneecaps where fixed so hard she could not move them even with force. They were supposed to be all lose in that posture and she told me to relax my quads, and I tried but was not able to. I thought I did it but apparently I did not. I've been so focused on working on my posture and using my core muscles to keep stable when standing and walking, that I've probably flexed my knees a bit and kept my quads constantly contracted. This in turn has made my kneecaps track a bit wrong and over time irritated my knee(s) to the point of inflammation. My surgeon says no to NSAID's at this point so I'm a bit stuck with my knee problem.

    Conclusion? Well, I guess it is good to exercise and work hard on the recovery but it is possible to do too much to soon :-)

    Good luck with your recovery!

    Oystein from Norway
    Isthmic spondylolisthesis L4/L5 with collapsed disk and nerveroot compression. MIS TLIF lumbar fusion surgery February 2013.
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  • I'm glad you got through all of the knee issues. I think my back issues are partly related to my knee problems.

    It is a fine line between too much and not enough.

    I am happy that in the past week I've had less issues with the stiffness. I think that is because I'm starting to walk more normal and the muscles balance better.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

    http://www.sandiegosteve.info/me/lumbar-laminectomy-surgery-recovery/
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