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Doctor insights on: Exercises After Lumbar Fusion

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Dr. Adam Lewis
5 Doctors shared insights

Lumbar Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause 2or more lower (lumbar) spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by placement of bone tissue or graft taken from patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on & may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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What are some good suggested exercises for a post lumbar fusion?

Core Strengthening: Once you've had a lumbar fusion it is a good idea to get in an organized program of physical therapy to help you with core strengthening. Once you've learned these exercises to stretch and strengthen your core you can do them on your own at home. This will help take the load off of your spine and promote recovery. ...Read more

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I am two years post op two level lumbar fusion. Are kettlebell swings a safe exercise for me? I would be using a 20 lb bell or less of recommended.

I am two years post op two level lumbar fusion. Are kettlebell swings a safe exercise for me? I would be using a 20 lb bell or less of recommended.

Guarded: Certainly at this point you are healed from the surgery. I am sure you have been seen by your surgeon atleast at the 1 year visit. You can ask them. Also you should ask your primary med doc just to make sure you are in good enough medical shape (back aside) for that type of exercise. ...Read more

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Should I exercise on an elliptical trainer after lumbar fusion?

Should I exercise on an elliptical trainer after lumbar fusion?

Possibly: Your surgeon will be the person to give you some parameters on returning to normal activities and exercise. Typically, once fused, there should be very little restrictions on activities. ...Read more

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What exercise is there to strengthen abs with a lumbar fusion? Safe exercise! The fusion is 15 yrs old with leg pain.

What exercise is there to strengthen abs with a lumbar fusion? Safe exercise! The fusion is 15 yrs old with leg pain.

Postop exercises: 15 years postop, there is nothing I would restrict you from doing as long as it didn't create discomfort. I would suggest less emphasis on abs, and more emphasis on core for back pain. Pilates, yoga, piyo are great options. If you are dead set on abs exercises, then any program you like is fine. There are a million different versions: insanity, p90x all have great abs workouts as part of their dvd. ...Read more

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17 months post op two level lumbar fusion (xlift). I walk, do yoga, and core exercises. I am still experiencing muscle tightness, fatigue, spasms. What else can I do to improve these symptoms?

17 months post op two level lumbar fusion (xlift). I walk, do yoga, and core exercises. I am still experiencing muscle tightness, fatigue, spasms. What else can I do to improve these symptoms?

Re-evaluation: Lumbar fusion may take up to 2 years to heal completely. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, a mild muscle relaxant, physical therapy may be options. Consider re-evaluation by your surgeon to be certain that the fusion is healing appropriately. ...Read more

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I am almost 2 years post op 2 level lumbar fusion. Low back pain has improved but still having issues with back muscle tightness/muscle fatigue. Exercise regularly, weights, walking, yoga. Advice?

I am almost 2 years post op 2 level lumbar fusion. Low back pain has improved but still having issues with back muscle tightness/muscle fatigue. Exercise regularly, weights, walking, yoga. Advice?

Everything Right: It sounds like you are doing everything right. Surgery is traumatic to the spine and muscular tissue. There can be irreparable damage as as result. Overall, it sounds like surgery was a success because you have an active lifestyle. I would recommend a short course of physical therapy so they can discuss your goals and deficits you have. You may be doing the wrong exercises. Discuss with doc. ...Read more

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How many have had a lumbar fusion?

How many have had a lumbar fusion?

Too many to count: Many people have lumbar fusions. Is there a specific number you're looking for? Many surgeons perform 50-100 of these surgeries annually. ...Read more

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Opinions on axialif for lumbar fusion?

AxiaLIF: The axialif procedure has many advantages for the right indication. Although dr. Connolly emphasizes the potential for bowel injury, the risk is extremely low and is even safer in larger patients in which minimally invasive techniques are most helpful based on a larger fat pad between the spine and the rectum. New retractors also improve safety. I am very happy with my fusion rates. ...Read more

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Pain years later from a lumbar fusion?

Failed back syndrome: Persistent or recurrent pain years after a spinal fusion is not uncommon. There is a known increased incidence of premature degeneration of the adjacent disc spaces above and below a fused segment. This condition can manifest itself as low back pain and/or leg pain (i.e., sciatica). This may indicate compression of the spinal nerves and may require a formal evaluation from a spine specialist. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: lumbar fusion?

What is the definition or description of: lumbar fusion?

A spinal fusion is a: Surgery to cause 2or more lower (lumbar) spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by placement of bone tissue or graft taken from patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on & may include implants or instrumentation to enhance healing rates. ...Read more

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I'm curious as to what can I expect with a lumbar fusion?

I'm curious as to what can I expect with a lumbar fusion?

Depends on extent: This would depend on the extent of the fusion, the reason, and how it was done. There are newer minimally invasive techniques that are done that decrease the amount of blood loss as well as the amount of muscle dissection that needs to be done. Patients are mobilized sooner and recover more quickly. If multiple levels of the spine are involved, then you would expect more extensive surgery and pain. ...Read more

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What is the best mattress for someone who has had lumbar fusion?

Firm!: The best mattresses are made from talalay natural latex, and are available in various ilds, a measure of firmness. But any quality mattress that is firm, van have a 1/2-1 inch pillow top. ...Read more

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Wht happen if lumbar fusion screws break?

Depends: What can happen after lumbar fusion screws break, depends on the status of the fusion. If the fusion is solid and well formed and there is a break of the screws, nothing will happen. If the fusion has not set up, then the construct will be at risk for failure. There will be movement and pain and the bones will not fuse and become solid and stable. Surgery may need to be redone to stabilize this. ...Read more

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Has anyone ever had success with lumbar fusion surgery?

Yes: But the failure rate for treating pain is at least 50%
strengthening ur abs and resting the back has a higher cure rate for pain. ...Read more

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I'm going to have lumbar fusion surgery, how do I prepare for this?

I'm going to have lumbar fusion surgery, how do I prepare for this?

As last resort: Consider this surgery if: do not smoke, not obese, not out of shape, failed non op treatment (physical therapy, time, medication, pain management) ; have pain that affects lifestyle such that you cannot adapt ; there is corresponding imaging evidence of a problem that has a good success for surgery. Get a second opinion. Make sure to have help driving ; taking care of chores and medical clearance. ...Read more

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If I have lower lumbar fusion surgery, and how is the recovery for it?

Depends: Your previous health status, personality & attitude will all have an effect. Recovery will be about 6 -8wks & if successful obviously all your initial symptoms should improve. ...Read more

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What physical limitations do you have with lumbar fusion and laminectomies?

Reduced flexibility: There usually is very little limitations after laminectomy. Fusions will reduce mobility somewhat, which is offset by reduced pain. Patients often notice improved mobility and flexibility because they can do more without pain. ...Read more

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Severe back issues too young. Should I consider decompression vs. Lumbar fusion?

Need evaluation: It depends on the cause of pain. There are appropriate indications for either procedure. While age is a factor, it is more important to have the right procedure performed for your condition. Performing a decompression whe. You need a fusion would not help, and may in fact make your symptoms worse.

A thorough evaluation by a spine specialist would help you make the right choice for treatment. ...Read more

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What to do if I have serious back issues at 29. decompression vs. Lumbar fusion?

What to do if I have serious back issues at 29. decompression vs. Lumbar fusion?

Get appropriate: Diagnosis first and then get treatment options that should first involve non operative measures as long as there is no significant neurologic issues or tumor or infection. Treatment after failing non op care is dictated by the diagnosis. Certain times a decompression is recommended and others a fusion and sometimes both. See a spine surgeon and get a second opinion. ...Read more

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Lower lumbar fusion as a child a lot of pain as an adult. How can I permanently fix this?

Lower lumbar fusion as a child a lot of pain as an adult. How can I permanently fix this?

See below: You may be experiencing arthritic changes to the discs and/or joints above or below your fusion. This is usually part of the aging process. Having a strong core and good flexibility can go a long way towards decreasing your back pain. If your pain lasts greater than 2 weeks see your physician to discuss treatment options. ...Read more

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Will I have to have help after spinal lumbar fusion and about how long to I need help doing the basics?

Depends: The extend of fusion, bone quality, fitness, other medical conditions will affect recovery. Many can get up and perform self care within a few days. The surgeon, nurse, therapists can size up your individual needs. Many can be independent, but some will need help from family or home health. Some will benefit from time on an inpatient rehabilitation unit for extra therapy and strengthening. ...Read more

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I had a double lumbar fusion in 2000. Now im rite back where I was before that surgery. Do I have any options?

Many Options: Yes, you do have numerous options. See a spine surgeon for evaluation. Review current images including xrays & MRI of your lumbar spine, and possibly a few other imaging studies depending on findings of your xray and mri. It is very likely that the cause of your recurrent symptoms will then be identified. Nsaids, pt, injections will then be first line treatment. Surgery considered as last resort. ...Read more

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I had lumbar fusion and while I'm sitting I get pains in my butt area an back of the thighs its tray painful help?

Uncommon surgery: Very uncommon to fuse the spine in a patient your age except for scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, or trauma. Impossible to make recommendations without pertinent information. I would first talk with my operating surgeon. If the first surgery was questionable, may be worthwhile to obtain a second opinion. ...Read more

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I am having a hard time finding info. On the success of a 3 level lumbar fusion with an internal stimulator. Previous fusion no growth. Please help?!?

Which stimulator?: Spinal cord stimulator for pain or electrical stimulator to improve fusion rates? Personally my go to fusion and rate increaser is bone morphogenic protein after BMP was discoveredI saw no reason to use electrical stimulator's implanted they make revision difficult their effect on fusion rates are mild compared BMP also smoking cessation is critical for fusion success in revision I have ...Read more

Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more


Dr. Lois Freisleben-Cook
1 Doctor shared a insight

Lumbar (Definition)

Refers to something related to the area about the lower part of the ...Read more