Spinal fusion again: Recovery and expected return to activities?

Posted by ridehard @ridehard, Wed, Sep 25 5:33am

Well, here we go again. I had a disc replacement (c5-c6) many years ago. That lasted maybe 5 yrs. Then the pain, tingling numbness came back with a vengeance. Long story short, I had (C5 through C7) fused. All went well for another 5 or 6 years and its back.
I had pain, numbness, spasms this time on my right side. The neurosurgeon at Mayo showed my wife and I the MRI and the current fusion is sketchy at best, and now the joints above and below are bad. He said he would fuse C4 thru T1. As at this point this would be the best course to take. While waiting for my surgery date, the symptoms have lessened and are almost gone. But I’m pretty sure the problem is still there. I’m scared of surgery again and am wondering if I will be able to go back to the gym, and enjoy the things I used to.I just don’t have a good feeling about this whole situation.

Hi @ridehard, welcome to Connect. You may notice I edited your title slightly. I did this so members would have a better idea of what the post is about when glancing through the discussions. There are quite a few different fusion discussions on Connect, but one focused on expected outcomes and returning to activity could be beneficial for the community. I'd like to invite @kimi, @artscaping, @grandmar, @annmerc, @hillyard, @brendakaye, and @pines who have all discussed undergoing a fusion of some sort. Each may be able to share their experience with recovery and how long it took the to return to activity and what sort of return it was.

You can read some of their posts in the following discussions as well:

Groups > Spine Health > Chronic Pain and Spinal Fusion > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronic-pain-and-spinal-fusion/

@ridehard, if you are comfortable sharing, how was your return to the gym after your disc replacements? Were you able to achieve the same level of activity as prior to the surgery? Better? Worse?

REPLY
@JustinMcClanahan

Hi @ridehard, welcome to Connect. You may notice I edited your title slightly. I did this so members would have a better idea of what the post is about when glancing through the discussions. There are quite a few different fusion discussions on Connect, but one focused on expected outcomes and returning to activity could be beneficial for the community. I'd like to invite @kimi, @artscaping, @grandmar, @annmerc, @hillyard, @brendakaye, and @pines who have all discussed undergoing a fusion of some sort. Each may be able to share their experience with recovery and how long it took the to return to activity and what sort of return it was.

You can read some of their posts in the following discussions as well:

Groups > Spine Health > Chronic Pain and Spinal Fusion > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronic-pain-and-spinal-fusion/

@ridehard, if you are comfortable sharing, how was your return to the gym after your disc replacements? Were you able to achieve the same level of activity as prior to the surgery? Better? Worse?

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@ridehard, @JustinMcClanahan, Recovery from a lumbar fusion….is the topic and I have good news to share. The surgery went well and it was Christmas. My husband was very strong and the surgeon showed him how to turn me every hour so that I could go home early for the Holidays. The surgeon said maybe 8 or 9 months to resume golf and then only pitching around the greens and putting. No just letting it rip. With at-home exercises and a good bit of walking, I started golf at about 3 months, played 18 holes at 5 or 6 months. I have never had any pain or discomfort in my back. I still do the stretches every morning and I think I owe it all to that regimen and walking. Oh…..I dare not forget to give credit to my surgeon. I think he did a good job. He did tell me that with my spine issues I could expect to have another surgery in about 10 years. Well, he was wrong. Have a peaceful sleep tonight. Chris

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