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Thread: Walking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    460

    Walking

    Just interested to know, when people get home from hospital - how soon does the average person typically start having some walks, and on average how far? I know everyone is different, just interested to know some typical averages?

    Thanks!
    Lynette - 44 years old.

    Pre-surgery thoracic 55 degrees
    Pre-surgery lumbar 85 degrees

    Post-surgery thoracic 19 degrees
    Post-surgery lumbar 27 degrees

    Surgery April 1st 2010.

    Posterior spinal fusion from T9 to sacrum.
    Dr. Cronen at University Community Hospital - Tampa, FL.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    156
    Hi Lynette
    Isn't it great to be home?! I rested so much better once I was in my own surroundings and no nurses to wake me.

    I kept a journal during my recovery and I'm glad I did. Some of the things I thought I would always remember are a bit fuzzy - imagine that!

    I returned home on March 24 and didn't walk outside for an actual 'walk' until April 2nd. I was home by myself during the week days until the 2nd and was afraid to walk alone outside. :-( I felt just a little disoriented and Really didn't want to use the walker for outside walks as I wasn't using it much indoors - just at night when I had to get to the bathroom in the dark. It rained some days too so I didn't want to go out then either. So I devised a course in our house and walked 'laps.' I also practiced my 'stair work' as I referred to it.

    I think the main idea is to keep yourself moving - it helps so much to keep from getting stiff. I really did feel so good after I could get outdoors and walk though - Spring is such a pretty time.

    As to how far to walk, I tried to increase my distance just a bit each time I went out. And remember, you have to get BACK home too, so don't wear yourself out and have nothing left to get home with. I walked 2-3 times a day.

    Listen to your body. When you're tired, rest.
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by LynetteG View Post
    Just interested to know, when people get home from hospital - how soon does the average person typically start having some walks, and on average how far? I know everyone is different, just interested to know some typical averages?

    Thanks!
    I started the day I came home. By a 3 weeks out, I was walking at least 2 miles per day. We live in a very walkable neighborhood, each lap around our circle is half a mile and there are no hills.

    Keep up the good work Lynette.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I was 19 days in hospital and walked laps round the floor when I was there. So when I got home I was walking to the end of our street. Within a couple of days, I ventured further in the neighbourhood and by 4 weeks, was probably doing a mile a day. I walked every day and when I told my surgeon at my 6 week visit, he said, "now do it twice a day". Walking was the only "physio" he mentioned.

    Walking in those early days, lifts your spirits and reminds you that you're back in the "real world". But if you're on heavy duty drugs, it's tiring.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    I got home right before one of our mid-Atlantic blizzards hit in Feb. so I walked laps around the house for a long time. I had some PT from visiting nurse and they would have me do simple things like standing at the counter, moving your legs back and forth, ankle pumps when you're sitting, etc. I think it's important to do a little bit in more frequent intervals than to try to do too much at once. It's tempting to over-do when you feel good. (I still have that problem.) I am at 10 weeks out today and try to walk a mile in the AM, a mile in the PM and/or a mile in the pool. My knees are complaining so the water helps. Take it slow and easy for a while! Sounds like you're doing great!


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    140
    I am 4 weeks out from surgery and have been walking 2-3 miles per day most of the time. I say most as today I barely made a mile as I'm having some terrible pain in my left hip. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow and I can get back into my routine.


    Rich
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar 65 degrees
    A/P Fusion T10-Pelvis by Dr. Christopher Good
    Virginia Spine Institute, Reston, VA 3/17/10, 3/18/10
    Post-Surgery Lumbar 19 degrees, and 2" in height

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitram View Post
    I am 4 weeks out from surgery and have been walking 2-3 miles per day most of the time. I say most as today I barely made a mile as I'm having some terrible pain in my left hip. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow and I can get back into my routine.


    Rich
    Rich,
    I had hip pain off and on for about 3-4 months after surgery. In my lay opinion, I think it was that the ball of my hip had to readjust to the hip socket in a new position. Sometimes it hurt like crazy. The surgeon told me it was normal and should resolve itself. My PT really helped me stretch it out. By the time I was 6 months or maybe a little more post op, there was absolutely no problem any longer.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    460
    Thanks everyone for all your replies. This morning when my mum took the boys to school, I walked ten laps around my house, not a long walk but at least something. Then when the kids got home in the afternoon, I said hey boys, want to walk round the block with mommy? So the boys, mum, and myself, walked round one block where I live, it's probably only a quarter of a mile, but it felt so nice to be outside, and moving, albeit very slowly. When I look at myself naked, I can still see a lean to the right slightly, I guess he couldn't fix me perfectly straight and it certainly is better than it was before, and I'm happy I have my waist back. My right leg is much weaker than my left leg, and I have some bad quad pain in my right leg, so when I see my local doc' on Friday morning I'll ask her about it and maybe we'll get xrays. Dr. Cronen thought maybe it was from the pad I was laying on through the ten hour surgery that may have left it deeply bruised - so we'll see.

    Also, I sweat buckets all day long, sweat dripping off my face, and yet I feel cold most of the time inside, I have the temperature in my house set at 75F, but yet I sweat continuously, but need a sweater on cause I feel cold. Wondering if that's some side effects to the drugs. Took my normal amount of pain killers today so felt much better, I'm definitely not ready to cut back on any pain meds yet! I'll also ask my local doc' this Friday if she can give me some kind of plan with the pain meds on how to wean off them and when etc.

    Well, getting tired now, so off to bed, wish I could sleep for more than an hour and a half at a a time, I always wake up even after taking a Valium - guess all in good time right? Patience is a virtue I need - I lack in the patience department
    Lynette - 44 years old.

    Pre-surgery thoracic 55 degrees
    Pre-surgery lumbar 85 degrees

    Post-surgery thoracic 19 degrees
    Post-surgery lumbar 27 degrees

    Surgery April 1st 2010.

    Posterior spinal fusion from T9 to sacrum.
    Dr. Cronen at University Community Hospital - Tampa, FL.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,163
    Lynette

    I took it real easy in my recovery. I would carry ski poles for balance and to ward off friendly dogs. You could use canes, or poles. You donít want to fall.

    Opiates make you sweat. They also make you cold most of the time. I set records with my gas bill in my recovery, since I had my house at 80F.

    It would be a good idea to document your meds, how many, and what time you take them. A daily recovery diary, with meds, bowel, food intake. Write it all down.

    The first 4 weeks are the hardest part. I noticed a 20% improvement bump at 30 days post.

    Drink water and walk. You donít have to do a marathon, they wanted me to do short multiple walks each day, and outdoors. I was told no tredmills. Must be the oxygen thing.

    Yes, sleeping is tough. hang in there.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,120
    Hi..

    I started walking outside on day 1, and built up to 1 mile by the end of the first week home.

    Regarding your tilt.... Am I remembering that you're the one in the brace 24/7? If so, that's a good thing. It can correct a slight postop lean in some patients.

    Regarding the sweating... it could be nothing, or it could mean in infection. If you haven't already reported it to your surgeon, you should do so.

    Regards,
    Linda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    156
    Your recovery is bringing to mind so many things that were issues for me in the early phases of my recovery.

    I also had a difficult time regulating my body temperature. I would chill so easily and before the surgery I was rarely cold. It would come on me suddenly - first the sweating, like a hot flash and then when it was over I was chilled with goosebumps and shivering. I wore a hoodie most of the time that I could take off and on - when I wore it I had the hood up too...also a scarf around my neck that helped me feel warmer. (a security thing?) The scarf and hood I could take on and off easily and it helped me with those in between fluctuations.

    I think it was the pain meds that caused the wacky temperatures...I was taking Morphine and Dilaudid. I was completely off narcotics after 4 1/2 months and the hot flashes and chilling stopped.

    Echoing what Ed said, I kept track of my meds in a spreadsheet Ė every single pill was accounted for - and my bowel schedule....Yes, I am a meticulous record keeper so I liked doing it. And in my journal I wrote antidotal information - mood, what I ate, how far walked etc... Makes good reading now! (Especially the part where I was hyper-critical of my husband's nursing skills! He loves that part )

    And even your inability to sleep...I woke every night every 1 1/2 hours, almost on the minute. Not sure what that was about but when I woke up I had to use the bathroom and every 1 1/2 hrs during the day too...I think it was the meds because that 'need to go' tapered off as I tapered off the meds.

    Hang in there Lynette - this too shall pass...
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    I was relieved to hear some of you talking about hip pain. I have some really nasty hip pain at times, too and am so paranoid about something going on with my unfinished hardware. It feels like soft tissue/muscular but that sucker really hurts sometimes when I'm walking or getting up and down from a chair. I talked to my Dr.'s office about some other things yesterday and they reassured me that if it was hardware, I'd really know it. The PA reminded me of how twisted and distorted my muscles were for so long pre-op that it's going to take a lot of time until they adjust to this new configuration. Good news is I was told I can start very gradually weaning off my brace as long as I adhere to the "no BLT" rules. --just in time for warm weather.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    460
    Julie - so great to read your post. Everything you wrote down is everything that I feel and do . I also write down meticulously my meds, mostly because I'm so afraid of overdosing or something, each time I take my meds, I tick off that place on the chart and know exactly what and when I'm supposed to take the next time. My nights are exactly just like yours were too, without fail - every hour and a half I get up to the bathroom, feel horrible pain, and back to bed. Can't wait till the pain subsides, today was another very painful day in my back, and also my right quadricep. I just remind myself it's early days, and each day will slowly but surely get better - at least the worst is behind me, and thank God for my loving family
    Lynette - 44 years old.

    Pre-surgery thoracic 55 degrees
    Pre-surgery lumbar 85 degrees

    Post-surgery thoracic 19 degrees
    Post-surgery lumbar 27 degrees

    Surgery April 1st 2010.

    Posterior spinal fusion from T9 to sacrum.
    Dr. Cronen at University Community Hospital - Tampa, FL.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    156
    AAAWWWW Lynette - I'm sending you "air pats" on your back.

    I do remember feeling a bit discouraged at around 3 1/2 weeks... and then just as I literally felt as if I had turned a corner, I went in for surgery #2. But you don't have to worry about THAT!

    So, I think I see your corner coming up!
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Lynette, I know exactly where you are with those nights. So much pain getting out of bed to go the bathroom and then back to try to get to sleep and you can't get comfortable and then you repeat the process an hour and a half later. There were a couple times I just felt like I was losing it and my husband was so great about getting up with me, going downstairs to sit for a while, whatever it took. Those were the nights I ended up being more comfortable in the recliner. I still don't sleep as well as I used to, but it does get better. Hang in and sleep whenever you feel like it, no matter what time of day it is!


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

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