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Thread: Said I will be able to lift 50 - 100 Lbs.??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Said I will be able to lift 50 - 100 Lbs.??

    (Dr.'s Opinion)
    That is after a successful fusion from T2 - L5, and after a year to heal. Will some of y'all tell me the weight guidlines you were given post surgical with instrumentation? Say maybe at 3 - 6 - 9 - 12 months? (Cathy made me add that last little dab!) May be asking a bit much! I know position and how weight is lifted must be proper.
    If I go back to my regular job one thing I must be able to do is stand on a 3 ft. stepladder and hang a 40 - 65 Lb. chain hoist onto a rolling trolly, above my head level, said chain hoist has 50 - 60 ft. of chain dangling from it (pooled on the deck), plus I'll be on a moving and/or rocking vessel. That wasn't real easy before my back started acting up on me! I am concerned that I will have some balance issues post surgery. Maybe not much since L5 won't be fused to sacrum. I also have very large concerns about the instrumentation coming loose because if I get sent back to that job my back will get lots of hard use. Me and two more guys have to stand up 400 Lb. 55 gallon drum, one man keeps it from sliding the other two lift, that is a strenous activity!.
    Is climbing stairs diffucult? I'll be doing 200 - 500 a day at work.
    Any info or advice will be appreciated!
    Thank Y'all In Advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC

    loves to skate

    Hi Chris,
    I shouldn't think climbing stairs would be a problem as they will probably have you climbing stairs in the hospital soon after your surgery. I am not allowed to climb ladders but I am fused to the sacrum, so you may be able to do that. Lifting weights will have to be answered by the guys as I refuse to lift anything heavier than a bag of groceries or the laundry basket. Good luck!
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F.

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Chris...

    I'd have real concerns about going back to such a physical job after a long scoliosis fusion. Since you think you'd have to be off for a year anyway, perhaps it would be useful to use the time training for a less physical job. I'm not sure where you'd start to find such information, but you might even be able to have your state pay for your training.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    near Philadelphia
    Ditto what Linda said -- and I would add that being fused to L5 leaves the L5-S1 joint rather vulnerable in terms of wear and tear.
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Chris-- I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with the rest of the "wet-blanket" brigade... I think it may be really tough on you to continue with that. But your doctor obviously thinks maybe you can do it. I would think with the lifting, that it would depend... like, are you lifting from a squatting position, straight up, with no twisting at all of your torso??? And if the load is in front of you very far at all, it will put a lot of strain on your back, with much more strain right above and below the fusion.

    Cathy has a good question about the weight restrictions. I was restricted to no more than about 8 lbs. for the first 4 (and maybe till 6???) months, then it was lifted to 15- 20 lbs. I think this last appt. (10 months) he may have said keep it at about 20, but to use my common sense when doing things. If it's difficult, awkward, seems like it might do damage, then by all means don't do it.

    You'll be limited (I am for life, you may be too) to no bending or twisting. Lifting weight is supposed to be done the correct way-- with the load in front, right next to your body, and using your legs to do the work-- NOT your back.

    Yes, about climbing stairs... but even though I could climb them in the hospital (and it was hard work!) I used a cane in one hand, to help me push off, while using my other hand/arm on the banister, to help pull me up. Even after I didn't have to do it that way anymore, I still took the stairs like a little ol' lady, both feet on each step, for awhile. I can handle them fairly quickly, one foot on each step now (aren't I oh, so good! ), but I still like the security of using the railing. If you are carrying things (with both hands, obscuring your view a little) up and down stairs it could get tricky. Good luck!
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Thank y'all for the info. I figured I'd be in a world of hurt as I sometimes would be carrying a 40 lb. electric motor up a narrow steep flight of steps with limited vision as I wear bifocals. I really know myself that I won't be able to do it anymore so I am going to have to do something else. I have mucho maintenance experience.
    Gotta Run,
    Thanks Again Y'all

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    I was fused T8 to sacrum and took it easy not lifting much at all while I was healing and yet when I went for the osteotomy 6 months later I had screws at the top of my fusion that had come right out of the vertebrae and at the bottom of the fusion had come loose.
    I don't think you can be too careful and obviously for more than 6 months post op even if you feel like you can do it.
    Good luck. Carol
    68 degree right lumbar scoliosis, mild kyphosis at L1-2
    Anterior/Posterior Correction, T8 to Sacrum, Sept 20th, 2007
    Osteotomy March 20,2008
    Thrilled with results!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wow that is one heck of a job you have! I will speak from my experiences. I have managed to pull my lower left back muscles 3 times now in the last 6 months. Each time it has jacked me up for a week! I just went in for my 2 year check up and asked my Dr. about this. Turns out I am "normal" according to him and not the superwoman I want to think and believe I am. Damn...... I just came back from vacation and just lugging around a couple of 40-47ish lb suitcases screwed my back up again! Thank goodness it was on the way home. I hate to think this is the norm for me. I will make sure I keep my trunk muscles strong and see if this helps. I think the lifting and twisting is the problem. Hopefully not the weight as I am use to pushing/pulling more weight then that at the gym.

    Surgery 2/22/06 fused T10 to L4 at age 42
    lumbar curve was 49* now 8*

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