Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Pushing through the pain with a fused back

  1. #1

    Pushing through the pain with a fused back

    Hello all,

    So I'm fused from my L4 to T11 and it hurts, at times.

    Being new to the bionic-back thing, I'm still trying to get a sense for how much abuse I can put the setup through. Ideally I would like to get my back muscles a lot stronger so that it might mitigate the pain somewhat but if I do any reasonably intensive back exercises, It starts to hurt.

    I can handle the pain just fine, but what is stopping me is this nagging sensation that I'm somehow making matters worse and the pain is somehow warning me of it. I'm fairly pain free when I'm not doing trunk lifts and whatnot, so it is disconcerting when I suddenly do begin to hurt when I exercise.

    I guess what it comes down to is that my pre-injury body could handle most things, and pushing it through pain but now that I have hardware in there, I feel a lot more fragile.

    I don't expect any specific answers, I just want to hear what y'alls experiences are with adjusting to life with hardware.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  2. #2
    shveddy - we are very similar. I was very aggressive after my initial fusion of t11 to L4. Bettween hiking and down hill mono skiing I proceeded to destroy the L4-5 and L5-S1. Requiring extension of the fusion now to my pelvis. I trashed those segments below my fusion. That is what you have to look forward to unfortunately. You are young , enthusiastic and a pusher and that will inevitably happen. Should you sit in a room and do nothing - no. I think aggressive mono skiing with 35 lbs strapped on to my pelvis and hyper flexion really did it in. I don't regret it although I suffered greatly from repeat fusion surgeries. But, I did it for my sanity and I am what I am. Do as much crutch hiking to stay sane but don't overdo it if you can. The problem with big fusions is that the segments above and below get trashed by having to make up for the range of motion that they just weren't meant to do. My advice is to take the middle road and do enough to maintain your sanity but not more. Pick your crutch hikes for maximum pleasure and accomplishment and don't do junk miles.Your back is now like a paper clip that will bend at one spot and heat up and snap, unlike a normal back that spreads it out over many segments. Sorry for the sobering bad news. I think the mono skiing is way worse than crutch hiking due to the constant forced flexion.
    Pick your challenges carefully.

  3. #3
    Well that's unfortunate. I am aware of the downsides of giving L5-T11's bending duties to just my L5, but I know that a certain amount of abandon will be necessary for me to have something of my old life back.

    Hearing this, I'll probably shy away from the sit skiing though - I did love snowboarding but I have always hated snow, so it's no big loss. We'll see what parachute openings do to it though, because I need that for sanity.

    I was thinking that since only my L1-L3 actually have to be fused - eventually it'll just be a solid piece of bone - maybe it will be a good idea to get a preemptive surgery to remove the rods and free up my T11 and L4. If a positive surgery now will save me from a negative surgery later, maybe it's worth it. I'll have to talk to some surgeons to get an idea of how bad an idea that is.

    Thanks again Arndog.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  4. #4
    Don't think that removing the hardware necessarily increases the ROM. The surgeons fuses 2 segments above and below your fracture. They are like a big solid rock ( if all went well) - the hardware is only to support the fusion while it heals. Once it heals like a big solid rock, you take out the metal, just like you remove a cast from a broken leg, and the bone is fused. Welcome to the joys of SCI !

  5. #5
    I don't have an L2, so I have a bone graft that spans between my L1 and L3. Are you saying that they removed the otherwise healthy intervertebral disk between T12 and L1 and then the also-healthy disk between L3 and L4, cementing those two joints together in addition to the rods that already hold them in place?

    Seems a bit excessive to me, but I can see how I could have made the assumption that fused only meant metal rods and not cementing my good vertebrae together. I'll have to ask my surgeon more specifics when I get back to the states.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  6. #6
    Two observations

    Like Arn I have been relentless in trying to maintain my old life and now 8 years after them fusions and repairs I have really made thing worse throughout the rest of my spine.

    I'm not telling you stop anything, I never could but now I have no choice and wish I had been a bit smarter as I'd still be doing things that are off the table, course i try anyway DOH.

    As for removing hardware, you'll not likely find someone happy to do it. Depending on the way it was done some of the hardware will be part of that block of bone so you can't simply open a zipper and take it out.

    hang in

    ket
    Kindly,

    The Ketamine Kitty

    All the tears, all the pain, all the rage through the night (apolgies to the rewrite) RR

    Next time I die make sure I'm gone,
    don't leave 'em nothing to work on JT

    And I ain't nothin but a dream JM

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by shveddy View Post
    I don't have an L2, so I have a bone graft that spans between my L1 and L3. Are you saying that they removed the otherwise healthy intervertebral disk between T12 and L1 and then the also-healthy disk between L3 and L4, cementing those two joints together in addition to the rods that already hold them in place?
    That's what they did to me - removed the discs and put in cadaver bone to let your bone grow into it, and I'm rodded L1/T11/T12 and fused with a plate C4/C5........
    Back pain most every day. Yep.
    Right now, actually.

  8. #8
    Try changing your exercises. Tia Chi, Yoga, Qui Gong (spelling is probably wrong) are all good with a lot les strain on your parts. I started Tia Chi a few years ago and it helps my aches and pains a lot. There are some jumping docs on Dropzone.com. Go see what they have to say.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    The problem with big fusions is that the segments above and below get trashed by having to make up for the range of motion that they just weren't meant to do.
    Pick your challenges carefully.
    At C7 with no trunk control, I do everything bent over for more stability. I'm rodded from C5 to T4 with plenty of fusion. From overuse, abuse, and trying to do more than I should. T5 exploded. I had a great loss of motor and sensory over a year ago. Then 5 months ago the relentless sweating and spasm's started full time. Finally got my stubborn ass to see a Dr. last week to find this.
    DIGG.

  10. #10
    digger - that is brutal ! So sorry. My L4/L5 looked like that below my T11 - L3 fusion 4 years ago. Agony as it presses on the radicular nerves . Now that I am fused from T11 to the pelvis that is gone but I don't dance the limbo so well now that I have a 7 level fusion.

    Are getting' your fusion extended downward to fix that?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 06:42 AM
  2. The future of my fused back
    By solarscar69 in forum Life
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-25-2004, 07:11 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-28-2002, 03:25 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-05-2002, 01:04 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •