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Thread: Physical Therapy POST SURGERY

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Physical Therapy POST SURGERY

    This thread has a different purpose than the other one I started. With that one I was curious about physical therapy as a possible treatment for scoliosis. In lieu of surgery. I have no illusions anymore that PT is a cure for scoliosis.

    With this thread I am concerned with physical therapy as a restorative, after fusion surgery. I'm noticing I am weak, partly from wearing my brace all the time, partly from avoiding certain things I could do before, like bending to the ground or lifting heavy things. I've been babying myself and I'm out of shape.

    Is physical therapy necessary after surgery? Is it helpful? What are its goals? What muscles of the body are targeted and why? Are my problems with walking possibly simply due to lack of stimulation of certain muscles that PT might correct?

    What are people's experiences with physical therapy post-surgery?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    What PT does depends on each individual's issues. Most typically, they'll work on gait and core strengthening.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    What PT does depends on each individual's issues. Most typically, they'll work on gait and core strengthening.
    Originally I want to strengthen my arms without involving my back, if such a thing is possible. They are out of shape. But that's not as important as gait and balance.

    Is PT necessary or just nice to have? If I don't have PT to correct my gait, will my gait suffer for good?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    Originally I want to strengthen my arms without involving my back, if such a thing is possible. They are out of shape. But that's not as important as gait and balance.

    Is PT necessary or just nice to have? If I don't have PT to correct my gait, will my gait suffer for good?
    I personally think PT is a really good idea, though some people just don't have the ability to have it. If you have access and your surgeon agrees, I would definitely go.

    Your gait may not be disturbed at all. A good PT should be able to diagnose and correct any problem (if you're willing to do the work).

    --L
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    118
    I agree with Linda. I personally think it is a good idea if you can get it - but you do have to do the work (just like any exercise program).

    If you give them specific areas you want to target, they will work with you on that. I went about 4 months after my surgery - I didn't need it for daily function but I wanted to get stronger - I felt weak like you do.

    I wanted to learn how to strengthen my core without compromising my back. He showed me a series of exercises that I would have never figured out on my own. There were a couple where I sat in a chair at a table and pressed my hands down on the table while sucking in my stomach. It's amazing the core muscles you use just to press your hands down on a table! So, there are things out there that are very basic and simple and yet won't compromise your surgery results.

    They have little "tricks of the trade" that can make you work your muscles without hurting your "injured" or "post surgery" areas.

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyInIowa View Post
    you do have to do the work (just like any exercise program).
    That's the single most important factor. Doing exercises in PT is just to learn them. You should plan on figuring out a program with your therapist, that works for you now and in the future. I still do PT exercises almost every day (9 years postop from my last deformity surgery). I should do more, but I know I won't keep up a program unless it's something I can get done in 5-10 minutes a day.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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