View Full Version : Physical Therapy post op?

02-21-2007, 06:09 PM
Hi everyone,
I am about 10 weeks post op and started outpatient PT last week. Before that I had in home PT and it was just simple exercises. Yesterday though she had me pull some light weights with my arms and the muscles in my shoulder blades really hurt last night- that's not a good thing is it? I walk almost every day- about 2 miles-and I know I need to do other things but it if it causes pain I wonder if I should stop. Also- I am fused T4 to S1. Right now my legs are too weak to do a full squat down to the ground to pick up something. If I try I kind of fall on my knees. Eventually I have to be able to do this! Any suggestions? (Besides using a grabber!) Thanks!

02-21-2007, 08:14 PM
Cathie--you can check back on my blog around end of aug into sept. I never had any weights on my arms or legs. They had me lie down(which was hard enough!) on my back & do some leg lifts..then they tried me on each of my sides...I screamed when I went onto the incision side where the rib was out...So my P.T. guy got the message! I did the step, up & down, pelvic tilt lying down, ball between my thighs & push(lying down), they walked me around. Then the Elliptical machine....I'm addicted, still to that thing! I do it every day I go to exercise & it really helps my numbness....
By the way I asked about the numbness/stiffness I still am having on the stomach incision & the therapists told me it's the nerves. They take a looong time to heal....seems to be the case!
You will be achey as you attempt more exercising so take it slow..you'll get there. Make sure you take your pain pill right before exercise if you can swing it... :)

6 mos post-op!

02-21-2007, 09:03 PM
I had in home PT at first too, then started going to my regular PT for leg strengthening. I was just able to squat to the ground and I'm 3 1/2 months post op (it hurt my knees though). My PT has me doing mini-squats, where I bend my legs and stick my butt out. Most of my other excercises at this point focus on building my leg strength. Like Lynne, I started with leg lifts lying down, transabdominal exercises (squeezing in belly button), and leg stretches. I actually have defined thigh muscles right now! I just started light - 3 pound - arm exercises a few weeks ago. You might want to talk to your PT about what you want to do - squat - and have some exercises directed to your legs. Any exercising will cause you to almost hurt a bit more than you have been, because the muscles have been cut and aren't used to working! I'm always worried about "wrecking" my back, but my specialist says that would be almost impossible through exercising. I would need to fall or get hit at this point to wreck the harware. It's tough though, and can be scarry. As always, I'm not a medical pro., so if something doesn't feel right, and doesn't go away, have it checked out. Please feel free to ask me more questions if you would like!
Take care,

02-23-2007, 02:32 AM
Why are we all receiving different treatment in so many ways??? My home PT was only concerned about my blood pressure and the fact that I had no falls after I got home.

He wanted to see me walk with my walker, and was concerned about my swelling in the abdominal area and my legs, but gave me no advice to remedy my sitiuation.

Why is there no consistent treatment for us??? Is it that misunderstood???


02-23-2007, 11:26 AM
Hey Shari, I wondered the same thing about all the different post-op treatments. My Dr. said no walker. He didn't want me to lean on one. I had no home P.T. and didn't begin untill 4 months. I wanted to at 3 months but got a heavy sigh from my Dr. when I asked about it. I waited another month after his reaction. I also asked why no rehab facility right after surgery and he told me I didn't need it and I would get a better benefit from P.T. later. He thought some insurance will pay for one or the other. It seems to me that the east coast Dr's. use the rehab facilities and west coast Dr's. don't. I asked around before I found out I wouldn't be going to one and we didn't have many here in my area at all.

Cathie, Can you use your toes to pick up thinks off the floor? I did this and it kept me from needing a grabber. ( practiced before my surgery. Occasionally I would test myself and drop odd things to see if I could manage to get them!

02-23-2007, 12:41 PM
Hi Shari and Cathie, Wow - things sure are different! I had to use a walker adjusted high initially after my surgery b/c I had partial paralysis in my leg. The community PT assessed my walking and gave me hip exercises. they came to my home for 6 weeks. I'm in Canada though, so the system is different - I have unlimited PT coverage through our extended health too.
Cathie, I have a grabber and wish I had one earlier! But, as Shari suggested, I use my toes as well (once my hips weren't as stiff).

02-23-2007, 01:35 PM

It sounds like to me that you are doing fantastic!!! I sure couldn't walk 2 miles at 10 weeks. I wasn't able to walk a mile for a long time. I wasn't allowed to start PT until about 6 months. I went back to work full time at 5 months. At that time I was still having to lay down a few times during the day for about 15 minutes. I think alot has to do with how bad your curves were before the surgery, how big the correction was, and how much muscle atrophy there is.

Suzy and Shari,

During my discussion with Dr. LaGrone for my next surgery in June '07, we discussed rehab facilities since this surgery is going to be done away from home. He said it depends on how well you do in the hospital whether or not you go to rehab, and of course your support at home. Apparently there is some guideline from the insurance companies on what determines how well you are doing. He was telling me about possibly going to rehab in June, and I told him I didn't go last time. I also told him that I was walking long amounts in the hospital hallways 2 days after my last surgery. He then said that if that happens again I wouldn't be allowed to go to rehab, I would be dismissed from the hospital. The last time I was supposed to be in for 5 -6 days, I had the surgery on Thur morning and left early Sun morning.

02-23-2007, 05:07 PM
If my grabber wasn't in sight, I used to and sometimes still have to.............bend down on my knees to pick up whatever I dropped. I can squat only if I have a counter or something to hold onto!

02-23-2007, 06:12 PM
Thanks everyone!
I think the key is to never overdo it to stay safe. I will probably continue PT but not let them do anything that feels like a strain. Yes I can use my toes sometimes and the grabber helps- I am just anxious to get back to "normal"!
Don't be too impressed with the 2 mile walk-if I do that it is pretty much all I do that day. Today I was up and down the stairs alot and did not have energy for the walk! It is so hard at this point to be patient! I just want to feel like my old self again - I guess I need to realize I have come along way. -Cathie