View Full Version : 5 Years Post-Op Anniversary & Pickle Ball Question

01-04-2016, 02:26 PM
For the first year, I thought about my surgery on the 5th of every month and tried to see the baby steps I was making in recovering. After the first year, I certainly thought about my anniversary each year on January 5th. Believe it or not, I almost forgot that tomorrow will be my 5 year anniversary. Dr. Lenke was my surgeon in St. Louis, but is now in NYC, so I will be seeing Dr. Gupta for my check up on January 20th. Fortunately, I have had a smooth recovery and have returned to almost all of my pre-surgery activities with some modifications. I especially enjoy golfing and tap dancing. Now for my question: Our Y has started Pickle Ball which I played today for the first time. I used to play tennis, but this involves a little less running on a smaller court. It occurred to me today that I should possibly wait until the 20th to ask Dr. Gupta if he would advise me to play or not, however, my friends want to play again this week. I really enjoyed it, but wonder if it's too much running (after missed balls!), stopping and starting, or quick movements. Do any of you with fused spines play tennis or pickle ball with your doctor's approval? Thanks!

01-07-2016, 07:25 PM
Congratulations on your milestone, Karen! I'm not sure what pickle ball is but my surgeon told me I shouldn't run as the unfused portion at the top of my spine cops all the impact. So I've stuck with walking and kayaking. I can run when I need to though.

Stay well and active!

01-07-2016, 08:10 PM
Hi, Jennifer,
Thanks for replying. Pickle Ball is really similar to tennis, but a smaller court and with a whiffle ball that doesn't fly as fast. You have a little more time to react, but still have to run after the ball when it's out of bounds or you miss it. I'm really liking it and have now played several times. I hope my Dr. doesn't tell me "No", but it's probably not too smart on my part to play before I see him on January 20th. I may need to rethink whether or not to play next week. Dr. Lenke really didn't give me any restrictions, but he was more lenient, even immediately after my surgery, than his physical therapist and his nurse, Kelly. Since Dr. Lenke moved to NYC, I'll be seeing Dr. Gupta on the 20th. Thanks, again, for replying.

01-09-2016, 11:18 PM
It sounds like fun Karen. Let us know what Dr. Gupta says.

01-10-2016, 06:29 PM
I never heard of pickle ball. Karen you will like Dr Gupta he is has this funny personality of being funny and serious at the same time. Tell him one of his former patients from california said hello.

01-11-2016, 08:00 PM
Pickle Ball is very similar to tennis bit with a paddle instead of a racket. It is a lot of fun and pretty good exercise.

01-12-2016, 05:13 PM
Ok I get it now

01-20-2016, 05:00 PM
Since Dr. Lenke is now in NYC, I had my 5 year check-up with Dr. Gupta in St. Louis. He thought my x-rays looked great and pointed out fusion. He didn't think I would need to come back until I am 10 years post-op. It is hard to believe, as trips to Barnes and X-rays have been a yearly event for over 7 years. Dr. Gupta was familiar with Pickle Ball and didn't think it would be an issue for me to play. I was glad to hear that as I have played a few times and really enjoyed it. It reminds me a lot of tennis, but just a different racket and ball and a smaller court.

I am thankful for the information and support that I have received from this forum, especially before and the months after my surgery. I am also thankful for the skills of Dr. Lenke. I feel extremely fortunate that all went well with my surgery. I do think often of others who weren't so lucky. I can only say that I hope those in pain can have their issues resolved so they have a better quality of life.

01-20-2016, 05:16 PM
What a wonderful report. Good for you. I want to watch pickle ball being played. I don't think I will attempt it but it sounds fun.

01-20-2016, 10:11 PM
that great karen

01-24-2016, 07:58 AM
Congrats on your super report! Enjoy your active lifestyle!

02-04-2016, 09:47 AM
Hi! I am so thrilled to answer this question for you because you have always been such an inspiration for me. I was fused T4- S with Lenke in June 2014 (only 1.5 years out) and started playing doubles tennis again at my one year mark. So far everything is fine...It is just a little harder to get the low balls. Now can you please answer a question for me?...I am trying to get into golf and find it annoying getting the balls teed up to hit on the range...I feel as if I have to get down on my knees to tee them up....It takes the joy out of picking up this sport that I really want to get into since I am sick of all the ladies doubles drama!

02-04-2016, 12:22 PM
I am glad you are doing well and playing tennis. I used to play a lot of tennis before golf consumed so much of my time. I am loving playing PickleBall which is so similar and I can play at the Y in the winter. It took several times to get used to the short handled paddle instead of a tennis racket. It would be easier to return the low ones with a longer handle. Golf: For the first year or so I squatted every time I put the ball on the tee. When hitting on the range, I just didn't hit many drives so that I didn't have to squat much. Now, I use the "golfer's reach" (saw that term on this forum) where I bend at the waist and kick one leg behind me while leaning forward with a little weight on the club. Good luck with your golf game.

02-21-2016, 12:40 PM
Hey Karen,

I saw your posting about playing pickle ball now. I am still playing tennis, but I also started playing pickle ball too. The worst part of it is squatting down to pick up the ball. I can't do it like in tennis where I use my racquet to flick the ball against my shoe and grab it in the air. So do you use the "golfer's reach" to pick up the ball? I may have to play more pickle ball due to my arthritic wrist....always something!

02-21-2016, 04:11 PM
Hi, Donna,
Yes, I use the golfer's reach to pick up the ball. I wish the racket was longer and it wouldn't be so hard to get down to the ball when it's coming in low and you could also do the flick with the racket to pick it up like we do for tennis. Oh, well. I would think it would be hard to switch back and forth from tennis to pickle ball. It took me a couple of times to get used to the shorter racket. Have fun!