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Tell me about getting back to exercise after surgery

HI all,

I'm almost 6 weeks post fusion and things are really going well. I'm pretty much back to normal, except of course I can't bend, lift or twist. I'm up to walking 3 miles a day and I'm going to work to push that to 5 miles by the next couple of weeks. Prior to surgery, I worked out and ran regularly and was pretty fit, so I'm VERY antsy to get back into work outs.

My Dr's office said I could do any yoga that didn't have bending or twisting and that lying leg lifts were ok if they felt ok. I really want to get my abs stregthened again especially. 

Wondering what others experiences have been with getting in light work outs post-surgery. How soon and how much? 

39y.o. mom of 4
3/2/16 - L5/S1 fusion after a decade of trying everything else
2015 - developed Occipical Neuralgia and bulges at C4/5 and C5/6


  • RacinredRRacinred United StatesPosts: 47
    I am anxious as well to get back to Yoga and jogging. I have been walking 2-3 miles a days since i walked into this house! I am determined I am almost 4 weeks post op Fusion C2-C7. My first post op visit is in a couple weeks and that is one of my main questions! MY ABS back to the regular routine too!  sorry this didnt answer your question I am as anxious as you are!!!!! Well wishes! 
  • kiopokkiopo UKPosts: 26
    edited 04/11/2016 - 10:03 PM
    It's probably different with a fusion, but I'm 2.5 weeks post microd on L5-S1. My plan with the physio is to start clinical pilates in 4 weeks. My physio exercises since day 1 have included twists, leg lifts and hip raises. I'm starting swimming again this week but will take it easy initially. My eventual aim is to get back to cycling and general light gym work, and then I'll be happy. Both physios I've had have been pretty similar in saying that I need to listen to my body and start off slow with new activities. But every injury is different and I can't really compare the two.

    I was a strong runner beforehand (was training for some triathlons and half-marathons) but I have decided not to go back to that or jogging. Can never be sure, but I think it contributed a lot to my injury, and I really don't want to go back to that level of pain if I can avoid it.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,525
    You should only return to any type of exercise after your doctor has approved it.   Without your doctors approval, you could be playing Russian roulette.  

    Think about it.  The surgeon puts all their efforts into trying to fix your spinal condition.  

    Then if you go out and do something that maybe you should not do and cause additional problems.  That is something no one would want to do.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • checkitupccheckitup Vancouver, WashingtonPosts: 9
    I'm 4 weeks post microdiscectomy (l5/s1) tomorrow and I'm really wanting to get back to some form of exercising.  I was really active before doing Crossfit 5-6 days a week and running around 3 days a week.  So far I've only been walking (2-4 miles a day).  I'm curious to hear what and when you started mixing in other activities.  
  • Well I did some swimming yesterday (physio gave the go-ahead, 2.5 weeks post-op) and it felt okay, got a little twinge and so stopped after that. I think I'm going to leave it a bit longer and focus on more walking. I'm not in a particular rush. I was a strong swimmer beforehand and I think I would have really struggled otherwise.
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