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Thread: Wanting to dance post surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Zealand

    Wanting to dance post surgery

    My 16 year old daughter had her operation 14 weeks ago. She was 68 degrees and was fused from T3 - L2. She has been feeling really good so it has been hard preventing her from taking part in the active sport/dance lifestyle she had before the operation. We haven't let her go back to ballet lessons as we were told by the drs that she couldn't dance to 6 months post op. She can't understand this as she is feeling really good and is going behind our backs and taking part in a dance routine at school. Is there anyone on this forum who has gone back to dance and if so how soon after surgery. Also can anyone tell me what could happen if she went back too soon as she may listen if I had more information to put her off.
    Also she can lift her leg really high at the front but can't lift it high at the back (I think its called an arabesque). The doctors were puzzled about this. Are there any dancers out there fused down to L2 who can lift there leg high at the back. Hopefully this movement will come back in time but if it doesn't there is probably no point going back to ballet lessons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Houston, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by my.str8.kate View Post
    The doctors were puzzled about this. Are there any dancers out there fused down to L2 who can lift there leg high at the back. Hopefully this movement will come back in time but if it doesn't there is probably no point going back to ballet lessons.
    Her psoas (hip flexors) have gotten tight. Even though she's only 14 weeks out, it happens quickly when you're restricted from lumbar hyperextension.

    It's a common issue, and like many other ones that come in the wake of fusion, it's one doctors don't even think about. They just look at the medical issue of bone fusion in recovery, and are really kind of clueless when it comes to the muscle stuff.

    The things I've learned about my own body after fusion - and the lack of resources for us to prevent/correct the common patterns - led me to go back to college to become a massage therapist. I'll finish this summer,and plan to specialize in the issues that accompany post-fusion scoliosis.

    You might want to run it by her doctor, but here's a safe easy psoas stretch I do that doesn't put any stress at all on the back:

    1) Start in a kneeling position on the floor (easiest on carpet, but a mat works too)

    2) Bring one leg forward at 90, foot flat on the floor

    3) Keeping the upper body straight, keep the front foot planted and slowly slide the back leg back until you feel a stretch.

    The key to this is proper form: If you can't keep your hips and body perpendicular to the floor, stop.

    Best wishes to y'all.

    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!

    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In addition to what Pam said, I would try to remind her (gently, of course, teenagers...) that the risks of failed fusion are high still. The last thing on the planet she wants is an area of failed fusion. She needs to follow doctor's orders until they know the fusion is completely solid, from top to bottom. Good luck!
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hi, I had the same fusion as your daughter. T3-L2. I also dance. I danced competitively in high school but much less in college. I had my surgery last summer and started dancing again at the beginning of the school year (3 months). However, I only dance around 2 hours a week now (by choice, not because of the surgery). My surgeon seemed to give a lot fewer restrictions than most though. His policy was always: You know your body better than anyone else. He said not to push anything and if it hurt to stop. He advised against situations where I may not be in control (such as team sports). I also notice that my arabesque is lower now than it was before surgery but it has gotten better over the past few months, so there is still hope! I am definitely able to get it high enough now for it to be worth dancing but it was pretty bad at first. I would talk to your daughter's surgeon about the restrictions. I think it is important to go with what he says because they generally have their reasons, but maybe you could ask if she could start easing in with some barre work at least.

    As far as flexibility with a t3-l2 fusion, I am able to do almost anything I want at this point. I can touch my toes easily and take a yoga class each week. I can't do some twisting motions and can't do a backbend or anything like that, but as far as keeping up in a dance or yoga class, I dont think many people would even notice that I am doing anything differently.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
    22 year old grad student
    Boston brace from 12-14
    surgery on June 1, 2009 T3 to L2
    Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Grauer
    Thoracic curve 47*
    Thoracolumbar curve 54*

    Surgery Photos

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