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Inability to walk one week postop

How serious is this one week post spinal surgery? Is it to be expected? A friend had surgery a week ago and still can't walk. I thought they try to have patients walking within a day or two. His prior medical history is one of a very healthy and active 44 y/o male, exercising regularly before (some type of physical activity daily....running, weights, biking, P90X, rock climbing, etc.)

Any info/help would be appreciated, I'm very worried about him.
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1

Comments

  • lbfrndflllbfrndfl Posts: 38
    edited 05/08/2013 - 4:33 PM
    When you say "inability to walk" what is the issue keeping him from walking ? As far as being up in a day or two, it depends on what was done and to what part of the spine. I have been confined to bed for different lengths of time for different surgeries.

    You should check with his surgeon to get a better understanding of what to expect. Good luck and maybe someone else may have more thoughts.
  • lbfrndfl said:
    When you say "inability to walk" what is the issue keeping him from walking ? As far as being up in a day or two, it depends on what was done and to what part of the spine. I have been confined to bed for different lengths of time for different surgeries.

    You should check with his surgeon to get a better understanding of what to expect. Good luck and maybe someone else may have more thoughts.
    Thank you for responding. His surgery was for a herniated disc repair (lumbar discectomy/laminectomy), and there has been a lot of pain/weakness. Was a procedure of yours similar?

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  • Welcome to Spine Health. It reallly depends on what type of surgery he had, and how extensive it was, and the post op instructions that he was given.
    After both of my surgeries, I was kept in bed for the first 24 hours but after that, was instructed to make sure to take short walks, at first from one area of my bedroom to another or the bathroom, many times per day, then as time passed, longer walks, for longer periods of time.
    The inactivity is not a good thing, and especially since the muscles will weaken further, the longer the inactivity is continued. Is your friend at home? Have you read the discharge instructions or spoken to his doctor? If not, I would encourage you to talk to your friend and suggest that he call the doctor to find out if he understood the directions correctly. It seems a bit strange that he would be confined to bed rest for a period of time unless there were extenuating circumstances.
    If I can be of any further help, you can PM me by clicking on the link under my user name.
    Sandi
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 713
    edited 05/09/2013 - 5:49 AM
    After my L5-S1 microdiscectomy, I was in a ton of pain and unable to get out of bed for a month. I called my surgeons and they had me come in. It was a ton of inflammation, swelling and edema. They injected an ESI into the area where they operated and it worked. A week later I was walking and doing good.

    Many cases indeed do have similar circumstances and outcomes, but it could be anything.
    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Unless he says otherwise, usually the quicker you get up and get the blood moving, the quicker you will heal. I've had 4 spine surgeries and alway was up walking up and down the hallway at the hospital before discharge. But and I repeat, talk to your surgeon and get direct instructions so you know you're doing the right thing for your recovery.
    Gary
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  • Is he still in the hospital? (I'm assuming so), try talking with the nurses. Unless you are listed on HIPAA forms you won't be allowed to discuss anything with his doctor, and sadly even if you ARE listed they still might not talk to you. I know we've had problems with my husband being given information and clearly he's listed on all of my forms. Another issue is he could have developed a CSF leak in which case they might have him laying flat a few days to see if it will sill on its on (they usually do) instead of trying to go in surgically. However, I agree somewhat with the people above, its probably a lot of swelling/inflammation. Again, next time you are with him at the hospital, buzz for the nurse and ask for an explanation (while you are with him).
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 120
    edited 05/09/2013 - 2:40 PM
    Is this a true inability to walk or an "I can't walk cause it hurts too much"? I know, from first hand experience that the walking initially hurts like a son of a gun, but the more you get up and walk, the less it hurts. When they first come in and tell you you're going to walk it seems absolutely crazy! I hope he's having some improvement by now.
    Shari
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Thank you to all for your responses. He's back at home...he's a doctor so I'm sure he insisted on it. The pain/feeling seems to be the biggest problem, Is numbness/tingling really common postop ? I think he may be going in to see his surgeon today. He's the type that would push through the pain if he could & try & walk, and bedrest is not something he'd do well with. I hope he starts to recover soon, I guess we'll see what the MD says today The surgery was done because of damage to that region over time, not any kind of recent traumatic injury.. He's such an active type that it'd make me really sad if there were some kind of permanent damage. or to have another surgery. Just last May he was climbing Mt. Everest! Fingers crossed.
  • ami030aami030 Posts: 4
    edited 05/10/2013 - 5:14 AM
    Paul said:
    After my L5-S1 microdiscectomy, I was in a ton of pain and unable to get out of bed for a month. I called my surgeons and they had me come in. It was a ton of inflammation, swelling and edema. They injected an ESI into the area where they operated and it worked. A week later I was walking and doing good.

    Many cases indeed do have similar circumstances and outcomes, but it could be anything.
    Was your surgery for a traumatic injury, or just damage over time due to other causes? My friend has always had a very active lifestyle complete with extreme sports, typically exercising twice a day (working out. then either biking or running), and generally running circle around everyone else.
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 713
    edited 05/10/2013 - 6:24 AM
    Both.
    L4-L5 was from damage done over a long period of time and L5-S1 was from a sudden trauma to the disc.

    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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