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Advice Please Re Physical Therapy Post Fusion

August27AAugust27 Posts: 1
edited 10/20/2015 - 9:00 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello Everyone

My concern involves physical therapy.

I am about seven weeks post-op from a full on L5-S1 fusion that involved the 'full monty' -- screws, rods, etc.

My post surgery state was not one of those "OH! I was up and moving around in two weeks stories." I'm 60, so it's all been very glacial and slow -- the recovery.

On the fourth week the neurosurgeon wanted me started on PT. These exercises are primarily aimed at CORE STRENGTH, so it involves simple squats, standing on one leg, laying on floor and bringing stomach DOWN to the floor, some stretches for piriformis.

I was starting to feel much better BEFORE I started the PT, but now my pain level and weird nerve sensations down right side are BACK.

My PT therapist tells me to lighten up some on effort. To focus on walking and to take it easy, but that I need to keep doing these exercises. But, I dunno....I felt so much better BEFORE starting them.

This PT seems like a problem rather than an assistance.

Can anyone share with me his or her experience with PT and what your advice would be with post-PT pain.

Thanks so much,


Washington State


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I have had 2 surgery's in the past 9 months and want to hear if any of you have had the same results of relief or non relief. S1 to L5 with Laminectomy Dec 1st 2014 I would call it an experience I wouldn't want to do again but before I had the surgery the end of my day was unbearable and I was hunched over crawling up my steps even on meds so I opted to have the surgery. I was full of hopes so I didn't mind the pain with the hopes to have a better outlook on life after like friends of mine told me they were relieved and so happy they had it done. After 6 weeks my surgeon said all looked ok and I should start exercise with a local fitness program they had I did all of that still on meds as I had what they called Post op healing pain said it could take up to a year. At my 6 month revisit to my surgeon because I had terrible pain he informed me that my fusion upper and lower didn't fuse and the screws became loose causing all that pain ugg why who knows they used cadaver bone graft instead of bone from my hip....I just had a 2nd surgery Aug 13 2015 they put bigger screws in S1 and L5 moved up one level and added 2 long screws into my iliac bones x ray looks atrocious at 6 weeks they suggested physical therapy and exercise within reason ok to go back to work lite duty which is mostly data entry and visit some job sites. I'm in lots of pain even on the Percocet feels like I'm leaning back on a rough brick wall even on my recliner this time at least I can lay on my back in bed still feels like lumps under my back just not the sharp pain I had before
    should I ask for an MRI to see if the bone is fusing this time or can x ray's show that wish I knew ?

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