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Thread: Bending over

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285

    Bending over

    I am 4 months and 1 day out from my surgery. I am wondering if those of you who have had lumbar surgery recently are having the same problem I have with bending over. At my 3-month checkup I mentioned to my doc that my "up time" (sitting/standing/walking) isn't very long before I start bending over. He said that my x-ray looked fine and that I should just rest when I need it, and perhaps bending over is a habit with me. About three weeks ago I developed such a severe pain just below my waist on the right that I was almost totally bedridden. So I got in to see my doc again. Another x-ray looked fine, so I probably over-did something to cause that pain (I mentioned that I did gentle water exercises twice and my doc was definitely NOT ok with that). We discussed the bending over again. I told him that if I didn't hurt I wouldn't bend over and I got the "this is one of the worst surgeries you can have/everybody's different/you're still healing/do what you can and rest when you need to, etc." sermon. I'm not critizing my surgeon because I really like him and trust him. But this bending over bothers me. I spent the entire year 2006 bent over because my last fusion didn't take. I'm really freaked about maybe having to have yet another surgery.

    So I want to know if those of you who have had lumbar fusions have this bending over problem. I have not seen it mentioned in any posts recently. My "up time" is limited to 2 hours or less before I have to get flat in bed again. Does anybody else still have to rest so frequently during the day? I'm sick of being in my bedroom!
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    I had surgery May 23 fused down to L4 and I notice when I overdue it I start to lean forward and need to lay down. I get the same instructions from my surgeon and I stlill spend half the day flat on my back if I don't I pay for it in pain. I do have to say I still feel better than pre surgery but I wonder if I had spent so much time laying down pre surgery would I have felt better. Prior to surgery there was no time to rest between work, kids and home...now I put myself first (most of the time) I'm still not working, no houswork, just laundry, my husband does the cooking and shopping but I have to run my kids around for all there busy schedules when my husband is not home which he works 60+ hours a week. Yesterday I was running my daughter around for 7 straight hours and I was in massive pain when we got home. I still have little energy and can't wait to see the surgeon at the end of the month although I know he'll think i'm still overdoing things. Every time I get an e-mail or talk to him he reminds me that he told us up front when your older, it takes 6 months to 1 year to gain your strength back. I hope it comes back soon!!!
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    Walking will help build up you muscles again. Go slowly at first and build up. Walking in the water works well. Just remember that you multiply your water time and distance by three to get your time and mileage on land. I am only allowed to exercise in water for the support it gives my back.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Rainbow:
    My doc wants me to walk, but as I explained to him, right now I can only walk the length of about three homes down the street before I start bending over. His advice was the same: do what I can and rest when I have to. It's just frustrating and slow.
    As I mentioned above, he does NOT want me doing anything in the water yet.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    sccrm08:
    Sounds like you are about in the same position I'm in. I can't believe you were up for 7 hours. "Massive pain" is an understatement! My first surgery was from T4 to L4. I know I shouldn't compare, but I was back at work by now after that surgery. Of course, I would come home and go straight to bed... I guess we just have to try to be patient - not my strongest trait!
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    Trulyaris,

    7 hours was way to long, but my daughter is always playing sports. My husband tried to meet up with us but could not get away from work...and we need the income so I try not to complain.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    92

    TrulyAries,

    You said that your first surgery was from T4-L4. My upcoming surgery will be the same and I'll be close to your age. I know we shouldn't compare and everyone is different but....How long before you were back to work?
    Thanks!
    CSC
    Idiopathic Scoliosis; Wore a Milwaukee brace; Told by physician it would not progress
    S curve; Surgery date: January 29, 2008!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    I went back to work after 3 months when my short-term disability ended. However, my boss didn't think I was quite ready to be there, so he offered to let me work from home on budgets, etc., so I spent probably another 2 weeks telecommuting from my bed. I then went back to work on a part-time basis for a couple more weeks, then full-time. However, it was quite awhile after that (maybe another month or so?) that I would come home from work and immediately crawl in bed from exhaustion. Knowing what I know now, I probably would have gone on long-term disability for at least another month or two. I can't help but wonder if I hurt myself in the long run by going back to work so soon after my first two surgeries. I also wish I had kept notes as to how I felt and when I reached any milestones along the way. I know there's always pressure to get back to work and other demands, but I would take all the time you possibly can afford to recuperate fully.
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    Have you tried taking a heating pad to work. That might ease some of the pain you are having sitting. I was told after my original surgery to get up and walk around a little after sitting for 20 minutes. I was in a body cast and that was for the circulation in my legs, but it did help to strengthen my back. I walk on a treadmill that is in a pool to help my back now.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    123
    I have the "bending over" problem and have had it for several years prior to this last surgery (the one for the broken rods). However my bending is to the right side. So much so that my ribs on that side sit down on top of my pelvis. I have no waist on that side at all. If I reach up a grab hold of something sturdy enough to take my weight off my legs, my right leg appears as if it is two to three inches shorter than the left ( it is the same length). I go to PT and also went for a second opinion and nobody can seem to tell me why this is. I look ridiculous when I walk. I know how you are feeling.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    I'm also bending slightly to the right. I'm not really sure if I was that way before the surgery and just didn't notice it, or if I'm just sensitive to every little thing now. We are quite a group, aren't we??
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    I had surgery in Feb 2005 and still notice that when my back gets tired, the only thing that relieves it is leaning forward a bit. I have gone through PT and try to go to the gym to strengthen my back and when I do go consistently, it helps. I think that keeping the muscles fit and in shape helps keep them from getting so tired. If I don't go to the gym for a couple of months, I notice that my lower back gets tired more easily and I start to lean again.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    HGD24 -
    I think you are absolutely right on about the exercise. Unfortunately, right now my doc doesn't want me to do anything but walk, even if it is just a very short walk. After my second surgery, I thought the bending over was due to my being out of shape, so I spent 7 months working with a personal trainer on weight training, diet, aerobics, stretching. It strengthened the rest of my body, but I was still incapable of standing up straight. That's when I saw two new surgeons who told me I had flatback because my fusion never took!

    I think that's why I'm so frustrated right now; this recuperation is not going quickly enough. I lost any gains I made last year, and I want to get back to exercising so I don't feel like such a blob!
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    What's strange for me is that when I feel like I'm leaning forward, everyone around me says that I'm sitting or standing straight as could be...

    I hope you find a resolution soon...good luck!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    389
    Would using a cane help you to stand and walk straighter when your back tires? I know some feel that using a cane is counterproductive, but it might possibly train your muscles to maintain the position you want them to be in....

    I don't know... it helps me... but i might be totally off with my theory

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