View Full Version : Loss of Flexibility and Fusion to L5

04-15-2009, 10:29 PM
My main curve is lumbar and the first doctor I saw indicated he'd fuse to L5. Could anyone mention how a fusion to L5 permanently affects flexibility on a day-to-day basis? Wonder if I'll be able to tie my shoes, get stockings on, etc.:confused:


04-16-2009, 06:32 AM
I'm fused to L5 and to I did lose quite a bit of flexibility. I haven't tried to put pantyhose on, tell you the truth -- I wear pants all the time. I still use a sock-aid to put on socks, and I have a difficult time cutting my toenails, though it can be done. I can bend from the hips but keep even that to a minimum. If I work diligently on stretching my hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors, I'm more flexible.

I am probably more cautious than other people here, but I'm a bit paranoid about injuring myself.

04-16-2009, 09:17 AM

Thanks for your post. What a great level of correction! Congrats on that.:) I guess there is hope that my lumbar curve can improve a lot after surgery.
I have seen only one Dr so far, and plan o getting 2nd and 3rd opinions in the upcoming months. I heard that each Dr. might have different approaches about fusing too low or too high. I am curious to find out the reason why your surgeon fused to L5 as opposed to do something that would allow for more flexibility in the future? Just trying to understand this fusion business...

I am almost 37 years old and I have no idea if a personís age also comes into consideration. I am tortured with the loss of flexibility issue (have a 10 months/old baby at home)...This is getting tougher than I thought!


04-16-2009, 10:39 AM
Hi Mauxi. I am fused to the pelvis, and thus far, aside from socks and shoe issues, and the bending/twisting that my surgeon isnt allowing me to do yet, it hasnt really been a problem. If this is any indication, I tripped the other day and ended up bent completley over, hand on the carpet...so while it was painful, there is flexibilty there.

04-16-2009, 12:18 PM
I am probably more cautious than other people here, but I'm a bit paranoid about injuring myself.

I haven't had my surgery yet, but movement after it and getting hurt by pushing too hard is one of my concerns. Your surgery was in 2007. Has your fusion healed?

Like you I am in my 50's and am very interested in the post-op healing and recovery period.


04-16-2009, 12:42 PM

I'm fused from T4-S1. I had my surgery back in '02. I'am now 60 years old. At this point I can now tie my shoes. I have learned how to get down on my knees to pull weeds in the yard and get back up again. You learn how to do things a little differantly. So with practice you will be able to do just about everything that you are doing now.

Good luck with your search for the right doc

P.S. I can also paint my own toe nails LOL

04-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Mauxi, you are younger and that could make a big difference with your recovery. My curve was mostly lumbar -- the top part of the curve was compensatory -- so it was really a question of whether to fuse to S1 or L5 and the surgeon thought stopping at L5 would give me more flexibility. Yes, I got a fantastic correction -- I turned out to have a very flexible curve. But I have a LOT of hardware in there, and it's contributed to my post-op stiffness.

Sheri -- yes, my fusion is healed, but I am still progressing in terms of comfort and what I'm capable of doing. I'm still trying to find a balance between living life/pushing myself and protecting my body, and I've probably been OVERprotective most of the time.

Everyone is so different, it's really difficult to generalize.

loves to skate
04-16-2009, 01:30 PM
Hi Mauxi,
I am fused from L2 to the sacrum. I can easily tie my own shoes and with some difficulty can cut my own toenails and can put on panty hose.

04-16-2009, 07:27 PM
I have never had any problems with being fused, none at all.

I can dance with the best of them,( yes, dance thru the pain) cant bend at the waist of course but bend down from the hips. Please dont worry as our bodies are wonderful and truly adapt.