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Thread: Sports?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    13

    Sports?

    I recently started high school. I really love swimming, but with my most of spine fused, I have certain limitations (no butterfly for example). I wish that I could join the swim team at my school, but I don't think they'll let me (I'll talk to the coaches first). For those of you who've had spine fusions (esp. those who had most/all of their spine fused), what have your experiences with sports (please indicate competitive or noncompet.) been? Of course I didn't do any sports while I was recovering, but it's been about two years now. Thanks a lot. And sorry for all the parenthesis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    96
    Hi Punkette!
    I have not ever competed seriously (for placement, anyway), just trying to meet my own goals when I race, but I have been into triathlons for about 10 years now, and I started with swimming.
    I took a swim class every semester in college and we worked on all four strokes, including butterfly. I could never race competitively with the fly, but I was still able to do it (kind of stiff, but still a great workout!). I have never had much problems with breast stroke, back stroke, or free style, except for I feel my pull is very slightly limited because of the fusion limiting my rotation. However, no one could ever tell, I was the same speed as everyone else I trained with.
    I really wished my high school had a swim team, I would of started sooner, so I say, by all means go talk to the coaches, let them know what is up, and join the team!
    By the way, I am fused from below the neck to my waist (see specifics below).
    Good Luck!
    Harrington Rods in 1991 at age 15
    Surgery at Scottish Rite in Dallas, TX

    Fused from T-4 to L-3

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    PA
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    punkette,

    Have you talked to the swim coach at school yet? If not, I would strongly recommend that you do so. My 15 y.o. daughter had spinal fusion when she was 13 y.o. and she was on our local swim team for the first time this past summer. Jamie is fused from T3-L2, so there isn't much of her back that isn't fused. At the beginning of practice, I talked to the coaches and left them know about her back. Since she can't bend her back, she can't do the usual start position, you know, with the toes over the edge of the starting block and bending over grabbing the block with both hands. I shouldn't have worried, however, because as long as she had the toes of one foot over the edge of the block, she was legal. I've watched and several kids choose to start with one foot forward and one foot back further, so she doesn't even look out of place. I was surprised, too that believe it or not, she actually could do a flip turn!

    Although Jamie can do the butterfly, her events were freestyle and backstroke.

    Join the team!

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy
    punkette,

    Have you talked to the swim coach at school yet? If not, I would strongly recommend that you do so. My 15 y.o. daughter had spinal fusion when she was 13 y.o. and she was on our local swim team for the first time this past summer. Jamie is fused from T3-L2, so there isn't much of her back that isn't fused. At the beginning of practice, I talked to the coaches and left them know about her back. Since she can't bend her back, she can't do the usual start position, you know, with the toes over the edge of the starting block and bending over grabbing the block with both hands. I shouldn't have worried, however, because as long as she had the toes of one foot over the edge of the block, she was legal. I've watched and several kids choose to start with one foot forward and one foot back further, so she doesn't even look out of place. I was surprised, too that believe it or not, she actually could do a flip turn!

    Although Jamie can do the butterfly, her events were freestyle and backstroke.

    Join the team!

    Mary Lou
    Thank you (to Rachael also). To Mary Lou, is your daughter able to dive? (How does she get into the pool when she races?) I'm fused futher down than L2, I'm not sure if that makes a large difference.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    PA
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    Yes, Jamie can and does dive. I'm not sure, but I personally think since her back is straight, it helps her with her diving. Since she isn't bending her back forward, she tends to dive more outward instead of down, which tends to keep her from diving too deeply. Does that make sense?



    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by punkette
    For those of you who've had spine fusions (esp. those who had most/all of their spine fused), what have your experiences with sports (please indicate competitive or noncompet.) been? Of course I didn't do any sports while I was recovering, but it's been about two years now.
    Hi! My daughter, whose also two years out, swam competitvely before her surgery, and she just started swimming for her high school swim team. She's really enjoying it, swimming fast, doing flip turns, diving. The only one she'll "ache" from sometime is the fly, never liked it anyway. Her coach knows all about her surgery, since it's thru a public school she's still on a 504 plan, and all she needed was clearance, like all the other kids, from her doctor. It's been great. She's fused down to L-3 p

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    13
    Thanks. One of the things that I'm concerned most about is the diving (I used to do it, but that was before the surgeries). How did your children start/learn to dive again? Did you talk to the doctor first? I wouldn't want to try to dive and accidentally harm myself. Also, what about the underwater "flip" that occurs when you're turning around at the end of the pool?
    Last edited by punkette; 09-23-2006 at 06:33 PM.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2006
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    I live in Michigan
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    1

    Hey

    Hey, I'm Allie I have severe scoliosis, and have been in a brace for 10 years. I'm really clse to spinal fusion and am pretty scared,I just have a few questions.....How badly does it hurt? And how long does it take to recover fully? Is it as big and scary as people say it is..PLease Help Me before I get too worked up. Thank You!!! Allie Jo

  9. #9
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    May 2005
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    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Allie Jo
    Hey, I'm Allie I have severe scoliosis, and have been in a brace for 10 years. I'm really clse to spinal fusion and am pretty scared,I just have a few questions.....How badly does it hurt? And how long does it take to recover fully? Is it as big and scary as people say it is..PLease Help Me before I get too worked up. Thank You!!! Allie Jo
    It hurts, but you will get through it. Never be afraid of seeming "unpolite" and not get help when you need it (like if you drop something accidentally, for example). The hospital should give you pain medicine also. "Full recovery" has become a very broad term for me. It's been two years since my last surgery, but I still feel like there's certain things I'm not ready to do yet. However, I feel pretty comfortable about my body for the most part, I'm just more cautious sometimes. Sorry if this sounds board, please ask if you would like to know something more specific about my experience.

    Stay strong. I survived largely because of the love I received from my family. Never lose hope, and after the operation, take as good care of your back as you can--the first stages after are the most important and fragile.

    Best wishes and lots of love. ♥

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    youngstown, ohio.
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    17
    im sorry, but what is spine fusion?
    an out-of-the-ordinary, 15-year-old chic.
    diagnosed with scoliosis in 2002.
    a sparatic thinker, a heavy party-goer.

  11. #11
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    May 2005
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    How did you relearn diving off the block and doing flip turns after surgery (did you ever hurt yourself)?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    14
    I was in 6th grade when I had my surgeries. After having to wait a full year to see if everything properly healed, I was give the OK to wrestle. Believe me, I was thrilled to return to the wrestling mat. I started wrestling when I was in 2nd grade, took a year off because of my surgeries, and participated in the sport all through junior and senior high school.
    My orthopaedic surgeon told me that if I wanted to wrestle, he told me to go at it since there was no way that the fusion and rods would budge. He was a bit hesitant about me playing full-contact sports, such as football and rugby, because of the slight chance that something bad would happen to my back. I played football in 8th and 9th grades without any problems.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    I was in fourth grade when i had surgery. I've never done competitive swimming but i have done soccer, cross country, basketball, and track competitvly for at least 5 years. I had been playing soccer for 4 years when i had surgery and dancing for 6 or 7 years (i quit dance in 8th grade because of school, not my back, and i never did it competitvly). I startesd playing basketball in january of 2003 (i had surgery in may of 2002). Once my doctor cleard me for sports i was so excited. I started running track and cross country in 7th grade. My back has never given any serious problems although i did pull a muscle in my lower bak paying basketball last year. I did have to sit out for 2 weeks and go to physical therapy for a month. My issues with my back have never kept me from doing anything i wanted to do. Sometimes i'm in pain but it never slows me down.

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