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golfnut
11-04-2011, 05:39 PM
I have two more months before I am a year post-op, but started thinking today about the possibility of going back to some of my exercise classes at that time. Naturally, I will ask Dr.Lenke about restrictions at that time.
If you are a year or more post-op and have a fusion to the sacrum, are you allowed to do:

Jumping jacks
Squats
Planks
Sit ups
Gentle jogging
Lunges
Push ups
Side leg lifts
Leg lifts from all fours
Bicycle laying on back
Twisting

Like I said, I will get permission in Jan before going back to any of my classes. If there are just too many exercises that shouldn't do, I will just stick with water aerobics and walking.

Thanks,
Karen

leahdragonfly
11-05-2011, 09:59 AM
Hi Karen,

Amazing that you are coming up on a year pretty soon! You have had such a wonderful recovery.

I went into surgery in very good cardiovascular shape from swimming, and I think it helped my recovery a lot. I returned to the pool at 3-1/2 weeks post-op, first doing walking in the warm pool, then slowly kicking on the kick board and finally slowly swimming by about 6-8 weeks. I experienced some very painful bouts of plantar fasciitis foot problems that curtailed my walking program, so instead I swam. When I told my surgeon how much I was swimming by 3 months post-op he was astounded, but thought it was ok if I was careful and felt ok. No flip turns though!

I am now at 13 months post-op. I was cleared at 12 months for most all activities except my surgeon told me not to do anything that increased axial loading of the spine (like lifting weights over my head). He also told me I should avoid twisting, which is fine, because it doesn't feel too great anyway! I am very active again at the gym and pool. I swim 4-5 days per week for 30-60 minutes. I also do the elliptical for 15-20 minutes several times per week, and do 5 weight machines 3-4 times/week. I do hip abductors, hip adductors, seated row, lateral pulldown, and some other type of row. I am concentrating on strengthening the muscles of my upper back in particular, because I was having issues with daily upper back fatigue and strain. Now that I have stepped up my workouts to include the gym activities, my upper back feels much stronger and rarely aches anymore. The rest of my back feels great, too.

I am able to do the plank twice a day for about 30 seconds. I tried it around 6 months post-op and I felt it put an awful strain on my back...now it feels solid. I am not sure about the rest of the exercises you mention, but I will be curious to hear what Lenke has to say. I imagine that most will be ok.

I did seriously strain my right scapula area a few weeks ago trying to clip my nails--that is still not easy for me. I think I need a long-handled nail clipper. I remember TiEd saying he had a severe soft-tissue injury some time back from a similar domestic activity. I guess most accidents do happen in the home.

Take care,

Elisa
11-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Wow, you ladies/gentlemen who had scoliosis surgery are WAY more active than me. How do you do it?! I have not seen the inside of a gym, nor have I exercised... in I honestly do not know how long, lol.

nanlo
11-06-2011, 08:34 PM
HI Karen,
I saw Dr Lenke for my one year anniversary in September. He said I could "do WHATEVER I wanted"! Just to stay away from things that are really jarring, like horse back riding. It has been nice (and strange) to allow myself to bend over! Of course, it depends on how much of your spine is fused. I don't think I could do a sit up if I wanted to! I bet you'll get the same clearance.
YAY
Nancy

golfnut
11-07-2011, 01:33 PM
Thanks, girls. It's so nice to hear how people are doing a year after their surgery.

Since I miss my friends (& the exercises) from my presurgery classes at the Y, I'm hoping that I will be able to modify or substitute exercises and return to the classes in Jan. After hearing from you, it sounds like it is feasible. Meanwhile, I am walking a lot and going to water aerobics.

JDM555
11-07-2011, 01:54 PM
Jumping jacks
Squats
Planks
Sit ups
Gentle jogging
Lunges
Push ups
Side leg lifts
Leg lifts from all fours
Bicycle laying on back
Twisting


Hey Karen, I'm not fused to the sacrum, but from reading up on people who are, many doctors say to avoid running. I'm not sure if that's completely true, but I would think with each jump you take, the impact goes straight to that area and would cause pain? I wasn't fused in 2 levels, but when I did slightly jog/run, my spine would hurt. So if that's the case, jumping jacks doesn't sound like fun lol. Squats put a lot of pressure on your spine, if you're doing body squats or light weight squats, I don't think it'll be a huge problem, but it does put a lot of pressure on your back. And sit ups would be kind of hard being fused to your sacrum wouldn't it? It would force you to bend, when you can do crunches, and keep your back straight. I think the rest are fine though.

golfnut
11-07-2011, 02:07 PM
Yes, I'm sure situps and crunches are out. Maybe I could do "Dead Bugs" while the others are doing crunches. It seems to me, also, that any high impact exercise such as jogging in place or jumping jacks would cause jarring and possibly add more stress & wear and tear to the unfused vertebrae. Others have mentioned "no twisting" ever, but I read that some return to Yoga. Dr. Lenke told me I could return to golf and that involved some twisting and turning.

Bresco
11-08-2011, 10:00 AM
Hi ladies! I'm new to this forum but have had a lifetime of knowledge of scoliosis.

I am 32 years post op.

Over the years one thing I do realize is that the docs have no clue about exercise or what types to do or not do. Heck I heard the "you can do anything but maybe not horseback riding". That is old school. Yes you can do whatever you want however there are things to consider.

I am now 48 years old have been active and exercising my entire life. Here is what I do know. Exercise is beneficial even if it is merely walking every day. I have recently been told that I have severe spinal and lateral stenosis (thickening of the interior of the spine in the last vertebra of my fusion L4-5) Why???? because no one told me that I should not be doing any impact exercises. As you age the spine has an uncanny way of conditioning itself by making itself stronger. That stronger means it grows thicker at the point of most impact. For me it was L4-5. Think of it as the entire weight of your body weighs heavily on the last fusion. What is a spine or vertebra to do but provide strength. Hence the stenosis.

Exercise your abs, cycle or take spin classes, do yoga or pilates and change the way you do those certain poses to modify for you, dance, zumba. However those impact exercises like running should be reconsidered. You may not feel it now but you will as you age. No doc will tell you this because I can guarantee you that not many of them have many patients that have exercised their entire life and are post op with aging spines.

golfnut
11-08-2011, 10:21 AM
Bresco,
Welcome to the forum. We will appreciate your future contributions. Even though it was my surgeon you were quoting and I have total faith in his surgical abilities, I just can't imagine that high impact exercising would be good for a fused spine.

Marina63
11-08-2011, 11:42 AM
Hi ladies! I'm new to this forum but have had a lifetime of knowledge of scoliosis.

I am 32 years post op.

Over the years one thing I do realize is that the docs have no clue about exercise or what types to do or not do. Heck I heard the "you can do anything but maybe not horseback riding". That is old school. Yes you can do whatever you want however there are things to consider.

I am now 48 years old have been active and exercising my entire life. Here is what I do know. Exercise is beneficial even if it is merely walking every day. I have recently been told that I have severe spinal and lateral stenosis (thickening of the interior of the spine in the last vertebra of my fusion L4-5) Why???? because no one told me that I should not be doing any impact exercises. As you age the spine has an uncanny way of conditioning itself by making itself stronger. That stronger means it grows thicker at the point of most impact. For me it was L4-5. Think of it as the entire weight of your body weighs heavily on the last fusion. What is a spine or vertebra to do but provide strength. Hence the stenosis.

Exercise your abs, cycle or take spin classes, do yoga or pilates and change the way you do those certain poses to modify for you, dance, zumba. However those impact exercises like running should be reconsidered. You may not feel it now but you will as you age. No doc will tell you this because I can guarantee you that not many of them have many patients that have exercised their entire life and are post op with aging spines.

I agree with you completely!! My doctor also told me to go ahead and do anything 6 weeks post surgery. I thought he understood what an exercise maniac I was/am but I don't think he had a clue. Of course, I didn't go nuts at the gym but I did do a few things that I was physically not ready for. When I went back for my 3 month post op appt and was specific about what I had tried at the gym and what I wanted to do, he said, what are you, some kind of fitness nut? Well, yes, I am! I've been working out for 20+ years and have made huge strides in terms of getting back in shape since my surgery. I've since sought the help of a physical therapist and slowed things down and I'm doing great! But yes, running will probably have to end : (

Elisa
11-08-2011, 01:24 PM
My instinct tells me that high impact movements would not be good for a fused spine. I have been extremely cautious with everything since my son's surgery six months ago; probably ridiculously cautious. I just think that he is so young (15) and really needs to take care of his spine b/c he's got a lot of years left of normal wear and tear. I have told him that running/jogging are out as well as all contact sports and a whole bunch more but you guys would think I'm crazy so I'm not going to list them here. He isn't the athletic type anyway, he's a computer nerd and a bookworm so it's not like I'm depriving him of anything. I will lighten up a wee bit when we reach the one year mark.

JDM555
11-08-2011, 01:58 PM
He isn't the athletic type anyway, he's a computer nerd and a bookworm so it's not like I'm depriving him of anything.

WOW. That is a harsh thing for a mother to say. I hope he doesn't read that lol.

Elisa
11-08-2011, 02:09 PM
No, my son doesn't read my comments here and has never even looked at my blog, haha! Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a computer nerd or a bookworm... both my boys are but not my daughter!

Elisa
11-08-2011, 02:10 PM
Kids who actually are computer nerds and bookworms (my son as well), take the name as a badge of honor :)
Exactly! :-D

Bresco
11-09-2011, 09:20 AM
Kids who actually are computer nerds and bookworms (my son as well), take the name as a badge of honor :)


I have three kids the same way. In our family we are all nerds and geeks and we are proud of the term!!!

jeneemohler
11-21-2011, 11:33 AM
Hi everyone! I've been so busy job searching and finishing up projects before I have to return to work that I have neglected my forum friends! My bad...

I'm with all of you on the thoughts about impact exercises. There are so many options to stay in shape, so why risk anything? You don't want to have problems down the road. We need to take care of our spines.

I believe any good instructor should help students with alternate moves in any type of exercise classes. If they won't, I would find another class... You need someone more understanding and supportive. Follow along, then do your own thing while everyone else does the moves we aren't able to do. It isn't against the law! The point is to just stay fit!!

Personally, I can't wait to be fully fused and turned loose. I am exercising, but not like I should be. Still being a little cautious. I miss my pre-surgery muscles. I'm not in the greatest shape anymore...I've never been soft in my entire life!!! :(

golfnut
11-21-2011, 12:03 PM
Jenee',
Can you believe how soon our year anniversaries will be hear? When is your appointment? Mine is not until Jan. 18 which will be almost two weeks after my year anniversary. I won't put the champagne on ice until I hear from Dr. Lenke on the 18th that everything is good & if it is, I will celebrate!!!

debbei
11-21-2011, 12:26 PM
When I first went back to group exercise classes, I limited my 'jumping' moves; for instance, doing a one-legged jumping jack felt better to me than a 2-legged one. Now that I'm 3 years later, I find that I am jumping more, and doing (or attempting) more bending and twisting moves than I did at first.

Just start out doing what is comfortable, and go from there. You might find that over time more movements are comfortable for you too.

golfnut
11-21-2011, 02:41 PM
I just noticed I typed "hear" instead of "here". I really do know better. I guess I was in a hurry.

backissues
11-21-2011, 03:54 PM
I am almost at my one-year anniversary. I don't care about the limitations. I can do what I couldn't do before and that is walk and "hike" without pain. It is so exciting. I have joined the rest of the world in being able to get out in the woods and enjoy nature and go for a walk/hike. We have had intermittent days in the 60's in Massachusetts and I have taken advantage of them.

I am doing more poses of my Svaroopa yoga but watch the bending and twisting. There are modifications of poses that I do in a chair.

Finally, I can tie my shoes by lying on my back and doing a crooked leg pose with one ankle on the opposite knee. That only happened recently. I think the stretching exercises of yoga helped with that. I have been able to put on socks for a while.

In addition, I am going to the rehab pool and doing exercises as well as walking in various ways both forward and backwards. I couldn't walk in the pool before surgery unless I was in deep water over my head. Now, I walk in chest high water.

I have been cleared for biking, kayaking, and cross-country skiing but haven't tried any of it yet. I'm still excited about being able to walk pain free.

So, concentrate on what you CAN do and work around what you can't.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Irene

golfnut
11-21-2011, 04:08 PM
Irene,
It is good to hear from you and Jenee'. Do you remember how stressful this time was a year ago? I am thankful for a smooth recovery and successful surgery. Trust me . . . I have no complaints with any of the possible restrictions. My main concern is to avoid doing anything that could cause problems for my spine, whether it be now or years from now.

backissues
11-21-2011, 04:22 PM
Karen,
I continue to be very careful and not overdue any of the exercises or yoga poses. This should be true whether or not someone has had surgery or not. Unfortunately, we don't always find out whether an exercise or pose is good or not until after we have done it. I guess starting out with few repetitions and building up slowly or holding a pose for less time will help.

I will try tying my shoes with one knee down instead of lying on my back. I tried tying with one foot up on the third step but couldn't do it. I don't have that much flexibility yet.

It is great to be November 2011 and not November 2010.

We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.