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Spinal Fusion - Skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello anyone had a spinal fusion - if so how long did you wait til you went skiing? Im 4 months post and my back feels good but have nerve pain in my leg. I'd like to give it a go - on blues that's all but wonder if it is too soon.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Vixxyb, I had a spinal fusion over 40 years ago to repair a broken back. The fusion has never caused be any trouble, but the rehab from the fracture took a long time and I still walk with a limp.

Sorry to have not been much help
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I broke my neck at 15, took about 3 months of rehaba, I didn't ski at the time but did surf/skate etc. Never had any problems. Best to consult your surgeon as it can vary from case to case
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I have had a spinal fusion of L3/L4, due to a herniated disk and after 40 years of gradual deterioration (and failed spinal injections).

- It was 6 weeks before I was allowed to lift anything
- I then spent the next month or so building up the ability to walk for about 45 mins
- I was also having rehab physio, with specific exercises to get some mobility back into the spine.
- IIRC It takes about 6 months for the fusion to fully strengthen....confirmed with a scan
- I was then told that I would need 6 months of slowly building up strength in a gym, before considering it ...in my case, the back muscle had to be cut and then re-attached, which left it very weak (Swimming - Front Crawl, is good for strengthening).
- My advice - You should have a final, follow up appointment with the surgeon, who will confirm that the fusion has fully strengthened (with X-Ray) and his advice should be asked. Also go with the advice of the Physio.

In my case, I had the Op in Jan '13 and did not ski until 14/15....and am just back from my 4th (yearly) holiday since the Fusion. I have tried to get into the Gym every other day, all year (walking up hill/cycling/cross trainer/helix + body weight exercises eg press ups, pull ups, light dumbells, lunges etc + stretching, mobility, trigger point roller etc + Balance on BOSU).

My advice is not to rush into this too quickly and 4 months sounds much too early to me - but take medical advice. It's all about the effort you (very patiently) put into getting your body fit enough to cope. I always take anti-inflammatories (Arcoxia) and pain killers, for the week that I ski.

You have the rest of your life to ski, so don't go until you are confirmed fully ready (probably by Physio).....don't underestimate the trauma that was done to your body as a result of the Fusion.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 31-01-18 13:25; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Vixxyb, my hubby had a cervical fusion after a C5 fracture, and went skiing about 4 months later, but necks don't hold up as much weight as a lower verterbrae, and there was no large muscles to heal. He did have the go-ahead from the surgeon in the UK to do so, although he had the op in France. He needed a CT scan before he was given the go-ahead.
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Vixxyb, what does your spinal surgeon say?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thank you for your replies. I won't be skiing after 4 months but it is good to see that it is something for the future and not impossible. Many thanks
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I have had a discectomy. The spinal surgeon (a wannabe ski instructor) wanted to do a fusion but my vertebrae were in too much of a state. I had to operation Jul 2009 and missed a season.

I now ski a few weeks every year and rarely have any problems/analgesia. What do I do - see Old Fartbags regime. Keep slim'ish and have a good core.

There plenty more weeks up the mountain for you.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I had a spinal fusion (‘Harrington’ rod) for scoliosis 28 years ago, aged 13. I don’t have any problems with my back so far (unlike my healthy sister who has knackered hers with Capoeira) Can’t really comment on skiing after the op as I have only just started skiing again (last ski prior to this was shortly before the op.) But I did try and go horse riding, something I’d enjoyed aged 9-13, 1 year after the op (the minimum time recomended by the Docs) I found it very uncomfortable and didn’t enjoy it at all. Never got back into riding (although I have occassionally ridden and enjoyed it) I never let my condition hold me back, but I would suggest taking it slow with the skiing and make sure you are strong enough before attempting it.
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