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Thread: Post surgery exercise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Post surgery exercise

    My daughter, Caitlin, is 17 and has Scoliosis caused by Marfan's Syndrome. She has had surgery and has 2 rods and 13 screws. She desperately wants to exercise (slim down and tighten up) her stomach and waist but can't do situps or crunches, any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    My daughter is fused from T3-L2 and when she went to pt after her surgery, they told us they wanted her to do crunches. Of course we laughed, knowing she couldn't do crunches. The therapist said for her to go through the motions as though she could, and she would still be using her stomach muscles.

    Mary Lou

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Your daughter should not do any exercises without the guidance from a good physical therapist. Ask her surgeon for a referral.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Euharlee, Georgia
    I was told by a physical therapist leg lifts (lying on your back) and pelvic tilts.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I had PT following my surgery and my therapist had me do some exercises that gets the same results as crunches but you do them while standing or lying flat on your back. They worked great and provided amazing ab and lower back strengthening.

    I agree with Linda....get your daughter to a therapist via her surgeon....after all she has gone through, you don't want her to do something that could result in injuries.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Essex, UK


    I have been officially banned from doing sit-ups and crunches (YAY! )
    by my surgeon, not sure if thats because my rod broke though (Don't worry! I had my op 16 yrs ago and things were different then)
    But anyway, I had PT and they had me buy a Gym Ball, you must sit on it and try and balance with both feet flat on the ground, this is brilliant for core stability which includes those abs, you can then add other movement that become more challenging. Core stability is very important for ALL scoliosis sufferers young and old, pre and post surgery.
    If you want any more info just ask.
    1st Surgery in 1991 aged 15
    Fused T2 to L2
    'S' curve
    Before surgery T39 L49
    Revision surgery 6th Nov 2006

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    My PT told me that it would be no crunches/sit ups for ever for me but that the best core excercise will be a gym ball. I am still not allowed to use it though - I hope to get clearance to do so at my next post op appointment (9 months) but my surgeon says it might be 12 months. In the meantime I am allowed to lie on the bed and suck my tummy in towards my spine - thats the only thing my PT says I can do that will help at this stage.

    I agree with everyone else though - you need a good PT.
    Double 63(T)/75(L) deg curve with big sideways shift - Surgery in UK on 8th February 2006.
    Post op 30(T)/33(L)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I had my surgery in 2005. It's taken me a while, but now I'm running, doing yoga (except the parts where you have to arch your back, I can't do that any more. ) I'm also able to do situps with a pilates ball. I can't lay with my back flat on the floor anymore either. (bummer) And I'm also working at doing push ups. I'm still in the military also, 6 years running and getting ready for another deployment to the sandbox. It is possible to exercise after surgery, you just have to pace yourself, have your doctors blessing, and go with it. Don't give up either. It's going to be hard, but eventually you will get better at it. If you have any questions just let me know. ~Shelley
    25 yr old female =^_^=
    Thoracic curve 48 degrees (with kyphosis)
    Lumbar curve 23 degrees
    surgery from t5-l1 25 July 2005
    Two rods and 16 screws later . . . 0 degrees YAY!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    great cheat...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    ...get a toner belt.

    they are great

    i used them before my op for obvious reasons couldnt do cruches and hopefully will be using once my brace comes off-they really do work. Mine is a slendertone

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    Exercise for fusion veterans

    Ever since my first surgery, I have been complaining that I could not find exercises designed specifically for people with fusions. Even reading this website, there's lots of contradictions from PT, doctors, and other trainers about what kind of exercises to do. Recently, I finally found a book that is SPECIFICALLY designed for people with fusions. It's called "Pilates for Fragile Backs," written by Andra FischgrundStanton and Ruth Hiatt-Coblentz with a foreword by Dr. Boachie. One of the women had flatback syndrome and both have had two spinal fusion surgeries. They have taken traditional Pilates exercises and modified them for people with fusions.

    I'm not that familiar with Pilates, and have not tried this yet, because I'm in the process of seeing doctors to evaluate whether I need another surgery. Once I have that answer, I intend to find a Pilates Studio and try these exercises. It seems worthwhile since it has been tested by two women with fusions.

    I'll let you all know if/when I try this out. And if anyone else tries it, please let us know.

    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

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