View Full Version : Question about braces

06-02-2010, 10:05 AM
I'm just curious why some surgeons require braces and others don't. When I called Dr. Lenke's office, I was told I probably wouldn't need a brace following surgery, but have read on the forum that many of you had them followng surgery. It seems like it would sure prevent one from making a move that could cause damage.

06-02-2010, 10:21 AM
Hi karen - I wondered this too. I have not had a brace and my fusion is mostly in the thorasic area. I wasn't sure if it was those with lumbar fusions or what. I have been glad that I was not in a brace. I was very tentative in my movement the first few weeks and then my surgeon encouraged me to move a little more freely. I still have the restrictions of no bending, major twisting, and lifting over 5 lbs.
I will be curious to see some of the answers on this.

06-02-2010, 10:56 AM
Hi, Shari,
I'll be fused T-4 to sacrum, so it must not be recommended according to the length of the fuse. I've also been told that I will not be allowed to bend, twist, stoop, lift for 4 months. I guess if you don't have a brace, the pain is a reminder not to make certain movements.

06-02-2010, 11:27 AM
I was required to wear a brace for three months. I had to wear it 24/7 for the first six weeks. The only time I was allowed to take it off was when I took a shower. Then I had a special shower brace to put on. I felt sorry for the poor aides at the rehab center where I stayed for two weeks following my surgery having to fumble with my braces all the time. Once I got used to it, I actually liked wearing my brace. Since I wore it during the summer months, at my surgeonís nurseís suggestion, I selected a butterfly pattern rather than just a boring white background. It hangs in my garage now.

06-02-2010, 01:24 PM
I had my surgery on May 4, fused T2- sacrum. I have been in a TSLO brace since then and I really like it. I have to wear it all the time except for sleeping and showering. I do not mind it at all. It makes my bones feel together, which is a rather odd way to explain it. When I am out of it, I feel like I am able to do something that can hurt me. I will be wearing it at least 2 more months.


06-02-2010, 04:04 PM
I also had a T4 to sacrum fusion and was in a brace for about 3 months. I kind of weaned myself out of it with approval from my Dr.'s office. I am still very careful about "BLT" movements (although I am back up to a mile in the pool with walking and non-twisting swimming.) In my case, it was just to provide more stability because they didn't complete all of the hardware due to bleeding complications. I really didn't mind it all that much and it does give you a feeling of security. Am just as glad not to be wearing it in the hot weather.

06-02-2010, 05:27 PM
I wouldn't mind at all having a brace because it seems like it would prevent injury. I guess I'll just ask Dr. Lenke at my pre-op in September his reason for not requiring them. Thanks for your replies.

06-02-2010, 08:24 PM
Anne - I love to swim and was interested to hear how you swim without twisting. When I do freestyle, I always twist to either side every three strokes to get a breath, so if you have any suggestions on how to swim without twisting, I'd love to hear it. I really miss swimming.

06-03-2010, 01:43 PM
I was so happy to get back in the pool. Sometimes when I first get in, it feels like things tug a little bit at my lower back but that eases off and nothing hurts except this chronic pain in my hip which is there anytime I'm up and moving in or out of the water. I started just walking laps up and down and gradually added breast stroke and what I always called "elementary back stroke." You kind of pull your arms up along your sides and do a breaststroke (frog) kick. I have tried a little of regular backstroke but my left shoulder is very sore when I reach backwards. Have done some kickboard and just a little sidestroke for maybe half a lap or so. All of this you can do pretty much head and body straight--no twisting. I started very gradually adding swimming laps to walking laps. In the outdoor pool, it's a longer lap and the one part gets a little deep for walking so I walk part and swim part. Am back up to a mile even though it takes almost an hour at the pace I'm going. I told some of my summer pool friends that were used to seeing me swim a little more aggressively that I'm in the rehab lane this summer! I'm just happy to be doing this much!

06-03-2010, 09:39 PM
Thanks Anne for the info. I love breaststroke, so that's okay to do then? Also I didn't think about using a kickboard, great idea. At least I get to some cardio in the water, I LOVE the water!