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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,280

    Full Fusion and Cars

    I recently took a very twisty road trip in the mountains of Colombia that nearly killed me. I was a passenger in the back seat of a Honda CRV which is not a bucket seat, hanging on to each of the 10,000 curves eventually taxed all my spinal muscles beyond belief....I thought my whole spine was going to go into spasm and was lucky it did not since that is extremely painful. My neck took a beating also....I just wanted to mention for those of us fused patients that its imperative that we insist on sitting up front in the bucket seats which work so well at keeping us in the seat. This is a first for me, thankfully I have some Diclofenac to hold me over. Staying completely still took on a new meaning after getting home.

    Below are attached photo's of a Catholic church in Retiro, Colombia on this trip. This town is also known as being the first in the world for freeing slaves in 1765, 100 years before the United States. (Today's history lesson)

    The weather has been great for the back. The acid test will be when I get back in the cold weather again. Jan 21st

    I don't believe we have a specific vehicle thread here that pertains to scoliosis and vehicles. Go ahead and post your car and vehicle questions here.

    Hope everyone is well or at least hanging in there

    Ed
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by titaniumed; 11-26-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    965
    Great post Ed. Both about the car and what a beautiful church. I feel like you provided me something that I will never see. I have visited some of the California missions and they are specticular.
    I have new Haundai Kona( a small SUV) it is perfect for spine patients. Also all the sensors that are available. Due to my auto accident I am even more limited.
    These are things that no one can tell about full spine fusion survivors. Thanks for the information.
    My surgery is still on hold but the abrasion is beginning to heal. Still being treated 3 times a week.
    They decided it was a pressure wound. Now we have to explore the area under it.
    Happy Thanksgiving
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    260
    Just wonderful to hear of yet another difficulty faced by spinal fusion patients, years after they are supposedly recovered from their surgeries. Wish I had known about these things sooner.

    Titaniumed, can you exercise your back muscles without a problem? Can you go to the gym and do bench presses, overhead lifts, those kind of things on machinery without problems?
    Last edited by Tina_R; 11-27-2019 at 12:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,280
    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    Just wonderful to hear of yet another difficulty faced by spinal fusion patients, years after they are supposedly recovered from their surgeries. Wish I had known about these things sooner.

    Titaniumed, can you exercise your back muscles without a problem? Can you go to the gym and do bench presses, overhead lifts, those kind of things on machinery without problems?
    I don't know if its wonderful....perhaps more realistic and informative.

    Exercise the back muscles? Go for twisty car ride in Colombia, that should cover it. (smiley face)

    I don't think there is a really good reason to specifically target the back muscles especially after what we go through with the stripping that happens. Dr Anand has referred this as a B-52 bombing of the paraspinal's. Have the rods and hardware laid in there and its not all peaches and cream....The toughening up of this scar tissue is like toughening up your hands if your plan on chopping cinder blocks in a karate meet. The arm bike works quite well for this. You can emulate this pedaling motion with your hands without the machinery and use small jars that weigh 1# for weights. Pedal forward and backwards in 15" circles. I found this to be excellent therapy for thoracic fusion therapy. I also like a chin up machine which also works plenty of muscles without doing the wrong exercises that would create large amounts of forces especially in the lumbar spine. For example sit ups. I can do sit ups, but this is not a good idea to be doing these after a full fusion. I do sit ups to exit my bed in emergency situations. For example: Choking. Choking gets you out of bed REALLY QUICK. Faster than a fireman in a California summer season....

    Many scoliosis surgeons do not order any physical therapy since its better to do nothing than to cause damage. Walking is our therapy. Slow and easy, there is no rush in recovery, and there is no speeding it up by exercise.

    I currently do not lift anything anymore. I did dead lift 75# around 2 years post, but that was just a test. I am fused. Lift 1000# for the acid test. You get the idea. Pseudarthrosis can happen right away in 25 yr olds or can happen up to 8 years after surgery per Dr Lenke.

    In recovery, take it easy. We only have one shot at it, it makes no sense to have to do a revision because of incorrect exercise, tripping, falling, car crashes, falling off treadmills etc.

    Cars can be especially dangerous. We are not allowed to get into car crashes. Also no driving on medications regardless of what any doctor says. A jury will determine impairment if a trial happens, not your doctor.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    260
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    I don't know if its wonderful....perhaps more realistic and informative.

    Exercise the back muscles? Go for twisty car ride in Colombia, that should cover it. (smiley face)

    I don't think there is a really good reason to specifically target the back muscles especially after what we go through with the stripping that happens. Dr Anand has referred this as a B-52 bombing of the paraspinal's. Have the rods and hardware laid in there and its not all peaches and cream....The toughening up of this scar tissue is like toughening up your hands if your plan on chopping cinder blocks in a karate meet. The arm bike works quite well for this. You can emulate this pedaling motion with your hands without the machinery and use small jars that weigh 1# for weights. Pedal forward and backwards in 15" circles. I found this to be excellent therapy for thoracic fusion therapy. I also like a chin up machine which also works plenty of muscles without doing the wrong exercises that would create large amounts of forces especially in the lumbar spine. For example sit ups. I can do sit ups, but this is not a good idea to be doing these after a full fusion. I do sit ups to exit my bed in emergency situations. For example: Choking. Choking gets you out of bed REALLY QUICK. Faster than a fireman in a California summer season....

    Many scoliosis surgeons do not order any physical therapy since its better to do nothing than to cause damage. Walking is our therapy. Slow and easy, there is no rush in recovery, and there is no speeding it up by exercise.

    I currently do not lift anything anymore. I did dead lift 75# around 2 years post, but that was just a test. I am fused. Lift 1000# for the acid test. You get the idea. Pseudarthrosis can happen right away in 25 yr olds or can happen up to 8 years after surgery per Dr Lenke.

    In recovery, take it easy. We only have one shot at it, it makes no sense to have to do a revision because of incorrect exercise, tripping, falling, car crashes, falling off treadmills etc.

    Cars can be especially dangerous. We are not allowed to get into car crashes. Also no driving on medications regardless of what any doctor says. A jury will determine impairment if a trial happens, not your doctor.

    Ed
    I have no intention of doing anything to risk my healing from fusion. I realize healing can take a long time and that I'm not healed until the doctor says I am. The questions I ask concern what I can expect to do when I get back to "normal". Because I was naively under the impression that when all was healed I would be close to a normal person again. Because no doctor told me otherwise.

    Gradually I've been realizing that that isn't the case at all. There will be limitations, maybe severe ones. I feel like no one told me this and I feel betrayed, frankly. I wish I had found this site, and other sources of information, sooner.

    I would wait months or even a few years, as long as necessary, but if it's true that I can NEVER go to the gym again because of my fusion, I will be severely disappointed. I think strength-building exercise is important for one's health. Especially if osteoporosis is likely in one's future.

    I don't want to build my back muscles, I want to build my arms, legs, core, everything, eventually. But almost every exercise you can do with your arms involves your back, except squeezing a ball in your hand.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 11-28-2019 at 10:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    965
    Hi Tina, you can defently to go the gym but you will have to work on the way you exercise. It will be different. Just like getting in or out of a car or bed will be different. Even getting dressed can be challenging. Use the time before to get strong it will help in the long my run. Walking is key but no treadmills.
    I take several exercise classes a week but always do the exercises my way.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16
    Broken neck 9/28/2018
    Emergency surgery posterior fusion C4- T3
    Repeated 11/2018 because rods pulled apart added T2 fusion
    Removal of partial right thoracic hardware 1/2020
    Removal and replacement of C4-T10 hardware with C7 and T 1
    Osteotomy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,280
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Great post Ed. Both about the car and what a beautiful church. I feel like you provided me something that I will never see. I have visited some of the California missions and they are specticular.
    I have new Haundai Kona( a small SUV) it is perfect for spine patients. Also all the sensors that are available. Due to my auto accident I am even more limited.
    These are things that no one can tell about full spine fusion survivors. Thanks for the information.
    My surgery is still on hold but the abrasion is beginning to heal. Still being treated 3 times a week.
    They decided it was a pressure wound. Now we have to explore the area under it.
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Bucket seats make all the difference in the world for us. They hold us in position so much better than a bench seat. Also, seeing the upcoming curve helps....being in the back seat, that becomes difficult since you cant see the curves or the traffic.

    When you exercise, you think about a movement and the signal gets sent down. In the car you have these sudden jerky movements that trigger the signals. It can be so exhausting. The ultimate would be to ride a roller coaster with a blindfold on, one minute of that would be torture. I can feel all the paraspinal and other spinal muscles contracting unevenly, sometimes pretty hard.

    My CNS gets so taxed, my eyes glass over as if I am wasted on some substance. This has been happening for probably 20 or so years.... Vision also gets tiring when this happens. Its truly a soft tissue, CNS problem. The fusion process at least holds the spine in place, without it my existence would be impossible. Its not about curves or immobility. These things don't even matter to me.

    If I get back home and go through the cold weather torture again, it will be my last winter spent in cold weather. I am done.

    Glad to hear its not an infection. Infection can become an extremely serious matter for us, even though we all seem to get through these things. Your example is a good one as we do need to be watching our backsides with mirrors after our surgeries during recovery looking for red spots etc. This goes for all surgeries. If you don't heal on the surface, imagine what can happen internally. Our immune systems need to be strong.

    Glad you enjoy the photos. I have been coming to Colombia now my whole life. (Except for the violent years)

    Gabriel traveler makes videos all over the world. I follow his channel.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/gabejedmo/videos

    Indigo traveler is also excellent
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXu...osNa0jA/videos


    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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