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Thread: Skydiving Post-Revision???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    AZ
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    10

    Skydiving Post-Revision???

    Does anyone know if it is possible to go skydiving after spinal surgery? Does hardware removal make a difference?

    I asked my surgeon before fusion and he basically just laughed at me... I took that as a no. But, it sounds like the biggest concern was damaging the hardware. Well, due to infection, I had to have all hardware removed a year later. It is now 7 years later, fused spine with no hardware, and am wondering if anyone out there knows if skydiving post-fusion is an option? I have no current plans to do it, but I would like to at some point in the future if possible.

    I'm guessing it should be fine, maybe a little soreness for a couple days from the rough movements. But, I don't think it would cause any serious damange.
    *Fusion T2-L2, May 2002
    *Moss-Miami Instrumentation
    *55 deg. curve before and after surgery (0 correction)

    *Resulted in Staph infection
    *Debridement surgeries in June 2002, July 2002, April 2003

    *Hardware removal - April 2003

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    PA
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    778
    Are you a thrill seeker? I just replied to your post about ATV riding.

    My daughter's doctor gave her a very short list of things to NEVER do: 1) skydiving; 2) bungee jumping (I think) and 3) no trampolines (simply because he HATES them and feels they are unsafe for all kids).

    Some things just aren't worth the risk of damaging your spine--with or without rods.

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    near Philadelphia
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    Oh my God, I have to admit I laughed out loud at this question too. I think not!!!!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    41
    I went skydiving right before my surgery. From what I recall (for a tandem dive), you have to be able to arch your back during the freefall, and then pull your knees up for the landing. My fusion is t3-t12 - I don't know if I'd be able to arch my back enough anymore. I would just ask the company that you'd be jumping with what they think - describe your restrictions, then see if they'd let you do it. They might not want the liability.

    Skydiving is pretty safe - if you do a tandem dive, you're just along for the ride. Unless you have a really horrible landing, there shouldn't be much risk to your spine - but check on the back movement/arching issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    My surgeon told me that a rotational force could "crack" a fusion. I do ski, but I'm not allowed to crash....

    I have taken a few spills, but nothing hard.... velocity is out of the question along with large forces.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Geneseo, NY
    Posts
    133

    Downhill Skiing

    I remember my roommate (in 1966!) being told that she could downhill ski if she had her hardware removed. I enjoy cross-country skiing, have avoided downhill skiing, trampolines, and springboard diving. Those were my restrictions way back then. Maybe they just hadn't thought to include skydiving, I think there were no ATV's back then....
    1966 fusion in Buffalo of 11 thoracic vertebrae, with Harrington rod

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Acupulco diving is out also! lol
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    41
    Diving is definitely IN - and I say that as someone who was certified after my fusion. Haven't done Acapulco, but did go to Cozumel last year...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    41
    Although I just noticed you said t2-pelvis....that might be tough for diving...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    In Acupulco, they dive off very high cliffs with speedos on. Not a great idea, scoliosis or not. LOL

    Acupulco really isnt a world class scuba dive destination anyway. From Vallarta down, they have had sewage issues in the past.

    Food for thought. For Scuba diving Mexico, try La Paz, or Playa. Coz has great drift diving in the channel.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,555
    Ive had no problems scuba diving. In fact, I can carry 2 80s across lava for a good distance!

    I wont stand up with my bc on. Im not going to try either. If on a boat, I will strap in and back roll off or load in the water.

    I also noticed absolutly no spinal relief from water immersion after fusion.I started scuba diving because of my scoliosis about 15 years ago, and yes, I dove in horrendous pain in the past.

    I have dove most of the Kona coast, and some west Maui sites.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4

    Risky ...

    As someone who has done many irresponsible things to date post fusion - skydiving, bungee jumping, diving, hang gliding, snowboarding, and so on - I'll have to admit there is good reason to avoid bungee jumping and skydiving. In skydiving and base jumping the biggest concerns is not the fall itself or the drop-stop the moment you get caught by the parachute, rather it is the the landing itself. Mind you, you can slow down the drop significantly pulling down the wires in the parachute BUT there is no guarantee if you are going to land softly or hard or worse get dragged by your parachute. Not that I would ever condone going skydiving especially to someone in our situation, but if you do decide to risk it make sure you go under the best possible conditions to reduce the chance of a hard landing (wind speed 2-5mi/hr) and with someone who knows what they are doing. That said, would I ever go skydiving again? - NO and I would not recommend it to people like us. I am a bit of a thrill seeker and there are a lot of rather cool alternatives - hang gliding, paragliding, kite surfing, kayaking, scuba diving (reefs and wrecks), and of course snow sports - snowboarding ... all of which are totally doable and okay for us to pursue. Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but I felt like I should respond as you sound a bit like me - don't like the idea that you can't do something.

    Note - I do NOT support the idea of skydiving for individuals like us. To answer your question, is it possible for us with a fused spine to skydive? Yes; it is possible - I've done it will little back pain afterward though I landed quite hard - being dragged by my parachute for about a hundred yards. Would I risk it again? Hands down - NO; the risk is just too high. I was lucky this time but you never know. I do not believe I will ever skydive or bungee jump again. The spine is way to precious to risk it for a minute of falling - but just my opinion. Which ever way you decide to go, good luck.
    Last edited by Lorrie24; 05-23-2010 at 03:27 AM.

  13. #13
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    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Great post Lorrie!
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    41
    Ed - I dove Cozumel a couple of years ago, and it was fantastic. Great reefs & wildlife. I've never had any issues with my fusion, though I'm sometimes in a bit of a different position while diving/drifting than others - a bit more upright, and it can sometimes be a bit hard to balance myself in that way. Not a buoyancy problem, more of a position issue.

    I think everyone has to just decide for themselves what risks they're willing to take. I considered going skydiving again this year for my dad's 80th birthday - he backed out, but I would have felt safe doing a tandem again. I do agree about only going with a very reliable person, and in good conditions.

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