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I had lumbar fusion on L5 S1 March of 2005.I would like to know if exercise would be alright and to what extent would be allowable.I have 4 Titanium screws and plates plus bone graft. I am not sure how careful you have to be after this surgery.

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I know this is a long shot since you posted this so long ago. Now in 2011 I am in the same spot you were in and would love some advice from a veteran. I went to PT for 2 months just 3 weeks after surgery and have now had a recent set back as far as pain in my butt and thighs...maybe nerve pain. Anyway, the surgeon asked what the exercised were and was not happy. Told me I should only be doing one that bend the back backwards..like lie on your stomach and do a mini "cobra" as they call it in Yoga. If you have time I would love some help of advice. These have been very hard emotional times.  Thanks so much.
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Hi. I had a 360 lumbar fusion with instrumentation in January. I too started PT 3 weeks after and went for 10 weeks. I had transient SI joint pain that resolved by 3 months post op. I'm now walking 3-4miles a day pain free. My surgeon did not give any parameters on exercise. I was doing stretching exercises that included bending forward and twisting. I definitely was discouraged when a new type of pain had appeared, but kept positive, worked through it, and believed my surgeon and therapist when they said the pain would resolve. 5 months post op and I feel great. Hope this info was helpful.
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Thanks for your input. I think our recoveries are all different based on what the original problem was and how long you had problems. I am going to start back into PT and walk around 40 minutes a day. Still have pain if I do too much so have to ice and be careful. Have been told it may take more than a year to heal. You are lucky to no longer have pain. Hoping to be there too someday.
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I had grade 2 spondylolisthesis, herniated disc, bilateral nerve compression. Over 4 years I progressively got worse until I could not stand up for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain and weakness. I was begging for surgery. From my understanding my condition usually has positive results with fusion. Since I am relatively young, 39, my surgeon felt anterior and posterior approach was needed because hopefully I have another 40 years of life left. In addition, weight plays a big role ( no pun intended ;) ) in recovery. I'm tiny, 5ft 100lbs; as well as work status - people on workers compensation or disability tend to have less positive outcomes. I had no choice but to go back to work - I run a small business. With the amount of pain I was in prior to surgery, almost any improvement would have been welcome. I do not feel like I did 10yrs ago - however I feel 1000 times better than 6 months ago. I was told at 6 months I'd feel much better and at a year forget for the most part that I had surgery. What was your issue prior to surgery? Are you completely confident in your surgeon? Have you gone for a second opinion? Id be happy to give you the name of my surgeon - he is amazing.
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Hi - I just had an Anterior L5-S1 fusion, standard 2 plates, 4 screws and cage.  Over 31 years I had 2 Laminectomies at the same level each lasting
15 years. Finally, bone on bone led to a fusion at the same level. Now, I'm just over 3 weeks out and walking a mile a day with some leg pain and lower back pain here and there. My surgeon didn't feel a need for PT and BLT ( bending, lifting and twisting) were absolutely not in the post op protocol. I noticed above, someone was bending forward rather than from the knees, twisting and stretching. How far out of surgery were they?
I'm also still taking pain meds but a third of what I was taking. I'm 64, in excellent shape but it isn't likely I have 40 years left ... lol ... I was curious what advantage the posterior added to the anterior only. With scarring after 2 back surgeries, my surgeon felt it best to leave my back alone. Does anyone know why both entries are done in some cases, only anterior in other cases. Thanks so much!
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According to my Doc, which I love by the way, it is mainly preference of the doc. I am now 7 months past a 360 L-5/S-1 fusion and very little pain if any. I do have some discomfort from weather changes.. Absolutely no BLT for the first 6 months and no PT whatsoever. After 6 months started lifting 10 lbs.

I work in a prison and came back on limited duty at the 6 month period and expect to be back to full duty at the year mark. I was 44 at the time of surgery that should have been done at 19 when the injury occured.

 

Good luck to everyone!

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you should have started therapy long time ago. I had two level fusion surgery with a number of complication. Walked the day after surgery and started therapy while in clinic, 3 days after surgery. I am nw 5 months after surgery pain free having a normal life but excercises for 30 min every day. gaining flexibility in every possible muscle. The secretary is get a spine specialist, a good one, excersices and continue with your life. Do your research as to not good but very good drs. this is the secret to success f lumbar surgery. The best specialist s in Caracas Venezuela.
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I am 2 years 6 months out from 360 4 disk lumbar fusion with instrumentation. Mine involved 14 screws and 2 rods. 66 years old. Still suffer daily pain however better than 1 year ago. Walking a lot.
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I am two months out from L5/S1 Anterior fusion, and L4/L5 Disc replacement. For the first time since my accident I am totally pain free!!!!!! I was taking 3000 mg of Vicodin a day just to be able to walk and stand upright! I had no idea how much control pain had taken over my life. I do have pain when I start to exercise too much but rest takes care of it. I suspect it is just part of the recovery because even the pain is less and less with each day of exercise. I KNOW that I will make a full recovery and be able to continue my 25 year career in the US Army. I am 42 years old, a weightlifter and distance runner, avid outdoorsman. Have not been able to do any of the since the "incident" and am totally looking forward to getting my life back. I know every individuals situation is different but as far as I stand; if you are considering this surgery, do your research, get a Dr who specializes in it, leverage your mortgage if you have to but get this done!
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I had a fusion L4-5 with titanium and graft 18 months ago. I have always been very active so it has been an emotional roller coaster dealing with so much limitation these past 18 months. I started light aerobics class 6 months after fusion....careful not to bounce, twist or jump. I continued with walks and stretches as well. The day following exercise I would notice numbness in my butt. This lasted for 4-6 months. I still do a modified aerobic and exercise class 1-2 times a week. Recently, I added upper body weight lifting using light weight and slow controlled movements and some leg/thigh muscle weights. I am careful to hold my abs tight at all times. I can't seem to get clear answers from any medical staff if this is the right thing to do or not. Swimming pool exercise is probably best. Last week I did 20 minutes on an eliptical machine and I felt ok after....Listen to your body is all I know to do.
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I am six weeks out from a L4-L5-S1 fusion. With L5-S1 disc replacement. I am 37, 175 lbs. I was walking about 700ft the day after surgery un assisted. Now i walk 4-5 miles a day. I have been taking 2-3 thousand milligrams of calcium and 1000 of vit C and K ever since the surgery. I have been doing the cobra stretch, squats, laying on my back bicycling my legs, planks and pushups. The more you exercise and stretch the faster the muscles recover. The faster the pain goes away. I was in excruciating pain for at least two weeks post surgery. The pain has subsided 90% and I feel 100% better than pre surgery. It is all in the doctor. Do not use a general surgeon. Have a Really good Neural surgeon do it. Look them up and read other patients reviews of them. Mine was a top notch, head of his field, cutting edge genius. I pray that all of you find your pain diminishes and your quality of life improves. 

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I was 56 and had L4 L5 fusion with rods, screws and plates and an electronic bone stimulator for 6 months. Surgery went well and was  only in the hospital overnight. They got me out of bed the next morning to do a stand up X-Ray and I walked around the hallway unassisted went up a few steps and Dr. asked if I wanted to go home. Went to therapy for 3 weeks and all they did was have me walk on the treadmill so I stopped. I am an avid bowler, at 8 weeks I asked the Dr if it was ok if I started again, he said as long as I start out slow. Threw a few frames one night, again two days later and then re-joined my league. I think a lot has to do with the surgeon and your trust in him. I had only met this Doctor twice. He basically told me I was out of options, and with the severe pain I was having down both legs with no relief I believed him. Another thing was that this Doctor has had back surgery also, that makes a big difference, he under stood the pain. Pain pills never worked for me. at all. I hear people talking all the time saying that they are waiting until they get older to have it done. I'm glad that I had it done and didn't wait. Anybody that has nerve pain that knows how it affects your life. I still bowl twice a week. I'm not back to my normal 200 + average, but doing well. Get the best Neurosurgeon that you can find, I'f you go in and don't like them find another. The first surgeon sent me for injections that did absolutely nothing.

 

 

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Hi I'm also 37 and it's been 12 weeks since my L5/S1 fusion and compression. 3 years prior I had a double cervical fusion and then year later cervical fusion and disc replacement. After my L5/S1 fusion my neuro surgeon also brilliant - knowing my history wanted me to stay at home for 12 weeks. We live on a farm with a 20km dirt road and I'm very active with 2 small children. I'm now swimming every day, walk on my treadmill and have even started horse riding again. I'm very careful, wear 2 braces, neck braces and have the most gentle horse. I really believe after all the pain we've been thru its healthy for our minds to get moving again. I'm in no pain at all but after exercise I know it's there. After all my neck fusions have no pain at all. I really recommend from my experience not to wait till you older, the recovery is so much harder.
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I had my first L-5 S1 surgery was 15 months ago, I had a herniated disk removed along with bone spurs. Everything was good for about six months. As of 3.26.14 I'm now 8 weeks out of 3 bone graphs screws plates a fake vertabre (due to them using one for the graph instead of my hip) the whole nine yards so to speak :-( . I was told I am only allowed to walk a mile a day for the next 8 months. I can't bend, twist etc for 8 months. I also have a brace I have to wear unless I go to the bathroom shower or sleep.  This is the hardest thing I've hard to deal with. Being 30 year's old. A mother to three kids 8 5 and 3 it couldn't have come at a worse time. Is there anything that anyone else has done to work out?? 

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