friscochuckMemberNovember 16, 2012 at 4:49 amPost count: 1
You performed an L3/L4 fusion on me on 10/17/12. I feel I am recovering very well.
After a careful review of your post-operative instructions for a lumbar fusion, I see detailed information for the first six weeks, but not for the second six weeks. As I approach that milestone, I am anxious that my transition not be delayed.
Will I begin to see a physical therapist?
Are there any special training requirements for the person I will see?
There is a NeuroOrtho PT group in Boulder, CO, where I live. Do you have any experience with them?
How many appointments should I make per week to get started?
I assume that you will give me a prescription.
Thank you for your assistance.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorNovember 16, 2012 at 10:45 pmPost count: 8459
The first 12 weeks is split into two 6 week segments for recovery. The website in quite valuable to explain these steps. See “Pre and Post Op”; “Recovery Information by Surgery”; then “Lumbar Fusion”.
The first 6 weeks in involved with surgery recovery. That is, getting rid of the aches and “tiredness” that comes with surgery of this nature. In the first couple of weeks, you start to take care of yourself by using the training you received in the hospital by the physical and occupational therapists. This includes getting out of bed, how to get into a car, how to take a shower and how to prepare meals. You can start driving when you pass the driving test (“Pre and Post Op”; “Post-Operative Instructions”; then “Driving Test After Back Surgery”). You can start exercising on a stationary bike (with the handlebars up) or even an elliptical (without using the arms which causes rotation). No BLT in this period. No NSAIDS (Motrin, Aleve etc…) Also, the large notebook you are given in the hospital contains all this pertinent information.
The second six weeks is the period you start a formal physical therapy program. The scripts are written in the office and typically, you will attend twice a week. The therapist will work on endurance and conditioning but not range of motion (the bone cells are still growing in this period of time). Still no BLT and no NSAIDs.
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