A path to Fitness after spine surgery

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  • Coco
    Post count: 3

    Dr Corenman I very much appreciate your site and forum for how helpful it is for so many ppl. Thank you in advance for that. I’ll try and keep it short and to the point.

    I have a very sedentary lifestyle as I haven’t been released back to work now approaching 4 + years since my injuries onset. I am home 24/7 and have not much of a life, having lost a huge sense of purpose and an identity as a result of the process.. That said becoming more unmotivated and depressed as I approach 40 forced to recreate a new life, a new path starting over from scratch to find any purpose at all has been its own challenge.One I’m not complaining about, though seemingly so. I know how lucky I am and I’m grateful every day for my blessings and what I’m still able to do.. I think I’m just going thru a more recent rough stretch because my focus these 4+ years was solely dedicated on 1 surgery after another, 1 recovery after another, complications and ongoing recoverys to date yes but things have slowed down enough I’m left to process the lul I can’t even envision ever changing. and that sucks.. bc that’s not who I am or wish to be.. I think if my energy and motivation took form I might feel better inside and out, I might regain some confidence and allow myself to contemplate a life in some form. I could use some advice on what I should push myself to do and what I shouldn’t. Things to look forward too but with realistic expectations.. Hard for me. I’m an all or nothing type as a whole.

    Anyway for the big surgeries:
    1) I had an L4/5 ALIF 2.5 yrs ago and overall I’m really impressed with how well my back feels now in comparison to what it was pre surgery.. it’s not what it was pre injury but I can’t complain bc overall it went much better than I expected.. I get stiff allot and can’t be in any position for more than an hour without changing positions but all things considered I’d call the back surgery a success! I fully fused at my L4/5 1 year post op and now at 2.5 year mark just continue to improve..
    2) My neck surgery has been a different story. I had a 1 level fusion c5/6 prior to this injury seems like 12 years ago.. it was a great success and only after the injury 4 years ago did my neck become a big problem. I had to have an ACDF from this injury and had to disrupt my c5/6 plate that was fused to the bone again going on a decade ago.. anyway, this ACDF hardware removal at c5/6 required we fuse levels c4- thru c7 with one plate. My neck surgery was 16 months ago and sadly it hadn’t recovered or fused like expected.. I’m using a bone stimulator and have done so for 3 months and have shown some improvements in bone growth.. it’s so frustrating but atleast some growth is better than it having remained unchanged. I’m hopeful at next follow up in 6-8 weeks we may have a more promising path to a fusion. I’ve had too much PT to be helpful at this point and clearly should wait until I’m further along in cervically fusing I’m sure.
    My questions:
    1) However, what are things I can safely do now that might help aid in my recovery and strengthening if anything? What things are definite No’s. ?
    2) what things can I slowly incorporate or look forward too from an overall more active way of life in the near or distant future?
    (I joined a gym but cancelled once I learned of the failed/ delayed fusion.. ) I’m just afraid being in my 30’s and living like my 90 year old grandma who’s in better shape than me isn’t going to improve if I sit and continue to be as sedentary as I’ve been fearful of not recovering as I further into a depression. Is there anything I can comfortably or confidently do without fear of hurting myself worse?

    Dr. Corenman
    Post count: 6163

    You don’t describe your injury. It is helpful to know the forces involved with the accident and why you needed the levels above and below C5-6 involved in fusion. At 1 1/2 years post surgery, does the surgeon expect that you will go on to fuse these two levels as the odds are not great that fusion will be completed this far out? What tools are being used (CT, X-ray, MRI) to determine fusion? What are your current symptoms in your neck?

    What has your surgeon suggested as activities at this point?

    Dr. Corenman

    If this forum has helped you, please let Dr. Corenman know!

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