View Full Version : Any Dancers Who've Had Surgery??

09-13-2008, 09:24 AM
Hey everyone, I was just wondering if there are any dancers on this site (or gymnasts or athletes, etc.) who have had spinal fusion surgery. I'm just a bit frustrated right now and need some feedback on something.

So, I'll be six months post op in a few days, and even though I generally feel well, I still get a decent amount of pain in my back at times. Especially after I do a lot of activity. As far as my dancing goes, my surgeon cleared me to go back to dance as long as I don't do anything too crazy. Now, I take jazz, ballet, and pointe (though my teacher doesn't want me going back to pointe immediately because I've been out of dance for so long). I actually started classes this past week. I love dance and I'm thrilled to be back, but my back gets incredibly sore afterwards. Even during class (particularly jazz, which is pretty fast paced and involves a lot of quick movements, unlike ballet where you generally keep a straight back). I just feel like I don't have the stamina to do everything that I used to be able to and I was wondering when I'll truly feel back to normal. It's frustrating. Especially my extremely poor flexibility. Not even being able to touch your toes in an advanced dance class is pretty embarrassing. I know I should give it time, and I know that the recovery process is long, but if there are any dancers on here, how long was it until you all could dance without being in pain? Or is it always going to feel like this?

Anyway, thanks so much! =]

10-16-2008, 06:05 AM
My daughter is a dancer also. She had to slowly get back into dance. Her doctor made her wait 6 months but she started before then as she was taking it as a high school class. She did most of the stretching with the class the first semester and limited dancing. The second semester, she increased her dancing and by the spring performance she was doing everything. That was just before 1 year postop. What helped her was stretching at home. After 2 years postop, she was taking ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, hip hop, lyrical. (Now she is 4 years out and she has added tap. ) She would some home most days sore at first. Them she started taking Aleve before dance and that helped a great deal. She would dance every day at school and then a couple evenings a week at a studio. Your teacher making you wait on pointe is good. You need to build your legs back up. My daughter just went back on pointe - she had to have knee surgery in March. Some days she is sore (her back) when she gets home. Mostly she is tired and will sleep a couple of hours and then feel better.

01-01-2009, 06:24 PM
I was back to coaching recreational gymnastics 3 months after my spine was fused (c7 to L3). And I was tired a lot, but would only get occationally mildly sore.

The trick is get use to taking naps (short ones) if you are going to be very very active after the surgery (I was). Even just lying down for 5 minutes every couple hours helps a lot. And to stretch a few times a day, not just your back, but your whole body. Like the type of stretching you do before and at the start of dance class, or yoga. I went from not being able to put my socks on after the surgery to back to normal flexibility in 2 months to gymnasts flexibility at 4 months.

You will also get your strength and endurance back, it just takes time. Your body had a huge shock. I was back to normal energy wise a year after my surgery. I just took short naps, and then went to go do whatever it was I wanted to do.