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Thread: Post Surgery Exercise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chaska, Minnesota
    Posts
    41

    Post Surgery Exercise

    Good morning everyone! On Monday I will be 6 weeks post and will see my surgeon again for a check-up. I have been feeling better every day and I'm starting to get anxious about exercise and what I can and cannot do. At this early point in recovery, I'm only walking both outside and on my treadmill. I really truly miss the feeling of a good sweat, maybe that sounds silly but for me exercise is a great mental release. I understand that I need to restrict myself to low impact exercise for the rest of my life but am wondering how soon I will be able to do things like the elliptical machine, stair master and maybe even my spin bike. I have lost about 10 lbs and I worry that it is all likely muscle loss rather than fat loss (sadly) and I'm easily winded climbing stairs so I know that I am already out of shape. It's so very sad for me to be in excellent physical shape going in and now 6 weeks later, sucking wind climbing two flights of stairs.

    I'm hoping some of you can chime in related to exercise and how soon I can think about getting back into the groove.

    Thanks much and happy Friday!

    Misty
    • 42 yr old female
    • Diagnosed at 13yo w/ a 32* lumbar curve at Gillette Children's Hospital
    • Braced for two-years
    • Pre-surgery curves L55, C37
    • Surgery scheduled August 1, 2016 to fuse T6-L5
    • Dr. Jeffrey Dick, Twin Cities Orthopedics
      Post-surgery curves L24, C21



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    816
    you are doing fantastic. But still too early for some things you mentioned. The muscle will come back in time. Your body is still under a lot of stress from healing and you can get extremely tired from that. At 18 months I felt much better and stronger. But it really is 2years like ed talks about. You will be able to do the things you talk about but right now it is too much for your healing spine.
    Keep walking and increase your pace when you can. It will keep you in shape.
    Have a great weekend.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,959
    Misty

    Funny how after I had my shoulder rebuilt, my arm surgeon wanted me in PT asap. My arm withered away, and he didn’t want it freezing up. That was around 9 months post scoliosis surgery, and the therapist was actually quite nervous due to my spine. And he knew because he asked me if Dr M mentioned if I was fused yet. I told him yes, but he still had me start with NO weights and it was this very slow process of adding weights. The next graduation was 1#. Not 2#. Of course, he wouldn’t want to be blamed for anything by my spine surgeon, that wouldn’t be good. These scoliosis surgeons are top of the food chain if you know what I mean.

    He knew it takes a year to fuse....and there are no guarantees that we fuse. We can fuse quickly, or never fuse. There is no data on timeframe, or integrity of fusion.(cheesecake, or cement) When you hear the pop sound, you just broke your rod, and that’s because you didn’t fuse. Young people also break rods, and Dr Lenke has found non-unions at 8 years post.

    Ask your surgeon and you could get the standard reply.. “Chemistry” Yeah......Now, I understand......(I don’t think so) Don’t worry, most do not. The scientists that work for Medtronics probably do...

    Now you get the idea....Fusion is one of our main goals.

    Ok, so lets say you are fused, you now need to rebuild the soft tissues which are weak like old rubber bands. Old rubber bands break easily, so go slow. I had a soft tissue injury at 22 months post that felt like a soldering iron down in my lumbar. I was in my second year of my recovery working on my soft tissues for skiing (slow process, let me tell you) I could not handle the forces of skiing. I couldn’t keep up with my ski partners, (psycho experts) but they actually waited for me which was the ultimate sign of respect. If I wanted to give up, they wouldn’t let me. And they were knocking on my door at 6AM on skiing days.

    I don’t think I was ever “released”.....I don’t know what that means. At 13 months post my surgeon did actually ORDER me to go skiing. I was extremely worried about my fusion mass integrity and if it would hold up to my caliber of skiing. He didn’t want any high rates of velocity, and explained that a rotational twisting force would break things.

    So, I guess my paranoia and broken shoulder kept me in a slow hesitant state, which was probably a good thing since it gave my fusion mass time to heal without any disturbing forces.

    Cut your finger in the kitchen, and you put a band aid on it. A few days later, hit it with a hammer, and the healing process gets set back some....

    Same idea after scoliosis surgery....Recovery is a slow non-linear increase of physical activity, feeling ourselves through pain, careful not to trigger a setback.

    “To fuse, or not to fuse, that is the question”. Shakespeare, Page 49. (Smiley face)

    Hang in there....

    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 09-10-2016 at 10:50 AM.
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    57
    Hi Misty,

    OK I am floored you can think about exercise at 6 weeks! I was just starting to feel somewhat human at that point. You are recovering very well!

    I hear you though, I think about my old work-outs everyday. Ed is right, our body has to work at fusing. My friend who had our surgery 2 years ago with my surgeon said he let her ride the stationary bike at 3 months. She was able to get back to a modified spin class. I see him in 2.5 weeks so I'll let you know what he says. Besides walking, I really love the pool. I can't swim in a traditional way, but treading water and just kicking helps me feel better. Like I can move again. I feel like I am so tight and stiff when I walk and my shoulders always want to hunch up.

    Jana
    Diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 11
    Dr. Edgar Dawson of UCLA
    Braced and "stopped" below 50 degrees
    Age 25: 47 degrees, 48 degrees
    Age 38 (3 babies later): 60 degrees, 63 degrees and 2.5 inches shorter
    Age 41: 64 degrees, 70 degrees
    Dr. Gregory Mundis Jr. of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla CA
    June 2015-ALIF on L5-S1 for a slipped and degenerated disk
    June 14, 2016-T4-L4 spinal fusion with instrumentation
    Post-surgery: 16 degrees, 12 degrees and 2 inches taller

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