Who's riding with fused vertebrae?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by NoTime, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    You're also correct, I have some fancy $5k magnetic field, bone grower gizmo. Twice a day at 2 hours each, and have been told to do this for 9 months.

    Especially after today, I am wondering why Im driving a cage and hurting my back when I could be riding and harming nothing.
    #61
  2. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    About 4 months for me. Pretty much as soon as I stopped wearing the turtle shell back brace. My main issues weren't so much the back fusion, but my hip where the took the bone material for the fusion. For like 6 months even the slightest bump against the area would have me writhing in pain.
    #62
  3. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    I went for a short ride the other day, yesterday I was too sore from therapy. I didn't ride to therapy because it's further away, and on roads I'm not familiar with.

    I took it easy, and on a route I know, which I thought important to know the bumps, dips, potholes etc. As I suspected, the ride was much easier on me than driving.

    It felt good after months off the bike, but with so much caution, and attention paid to how my back is, it was just a test ride.

    The one aspect that scares me is a hidden dip in the road. For that reason, I'm thinking of sticking to roads and routes that I know well, for the time being.
    #63
  4. i_isntreal

    i_isntreal Been here awhile

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    Not that its my business to nag. But I do feel I should throw in my 2 cents in advising more patience and caution to allow your back to heal up.

    My little brother has had two bone graft surgeries on his wrist. He didn't wait for either of them to heal properly and his wrist is screwed and painful. He had his ACL replaced and again didn't wait for it to heal. Now it's shot.

    At least his stubbornness is now useful in making him keep up with me when riding in spite of his aches and pains. (and it is sad when a younger brother has more aches and pains than I do)

    An extra month or two of investment in the healing process will pay dividends in years to come with less pain or hopefully pain free riding.
    #64
  5. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    The more I think about it, and the more I do it, I've come to the conclusion that riding an ergonomically correct motorcycle is actually better than driving a car or truck.

    The ONE thing that I am cautioned NOT to do is twist my spine. I'd add that I am a 6' tall guy, but longer torso than inseam. No matter what techmique, ducking the roof, and twisting into the seat is both torture, and doing exactly the one thing I'm supposed to avoid.

    Add to that, in driving, there is plenty of occaision to need to twist to check blind spots, or oblique angle intersection.

    My cage is a pickup truck, I can't seem to avoid the potholes, dips, and bumps, with that bouncy suspension a pickup has. I can scan and avoid these on the bike, there's always a line through the roughest road.

    I'm also learning I have to figure out some things on my own. Not to be gross, but no twisting...ok, how does one wipe themself, ya know. Had to go on the internet to find others discussing their solutions. Funny too, the ortho and neuro waiting areas don't have any higher chairs for us lower spine fusion patients. The one doc had pillows I could stack, and the other had some stackable chairs I guess for overflow, 2 stacked was a good height.
    #65
  6. Izzy3

    Izzy3 Freak of Unnature

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    I'm nearing four months post L4-L5 fusion and had my buddy ride my beast to have it inspected. I straddled it and rolled it around the garage and felt quite good. I'm still a little peckish as the Neurosurgeon told me fusion in 6 months, rock solid in 1 year...so I wait. Nice weather and the Beast becons, but I'm determined to wait the 6 months for the "OK" from the Doc as it cost a lot of scratch and my pain is essentiallly gone (except for the hardware) so I don't want to screw this up. It has been a journey to get to this point, so I will play it safe.

    Kudos to those who have gone before me. You all are to be commended.
    #66
  7. Izzy3

    Izzy3 Freak of Unnature

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    It is good to have long arms (my blessing) or there is a device called the "Butt Buddy" which can help you with the task. I was lucky and had the wingspan being somewhat "Apeish."

    Solid arm chairs with arms (dining room chair) with pillows is a good thing. Also the commode booster with arms rails is a great investment.

    Best of luck. Eat lots of fiber! :clap
    #67
  8. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    Sooooooo, I search for Butt Buddy and results were a LOT of GAY PORN.....

    Thinking this was a joke on the new guy, I say to myself "oh well".

    Now, a search for Bottom Buddy, got me the gadget you must have meant...lmao.
    #68
  9. pops

    pops Long timer

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    I'm am near two years 2 months with fused vertebrae .
    I just had the hardware removed two weeks ago .
    Still in a lot of pain whenever i move sit or stand but i AM going to get back to riding .
    Just going to take more time .

    It is Unreal when i have been saying to the surgeon for two years that something is still loose in my back and it is still giving me a lot of pain when i move sit or stand "I could feel it moving around in there" .Even the wife could hear the sounds it made when i move around in bed :rofl
    After this op the surgeon said i was right that the two lower screws was still loose in the bone and they was also too long by 10mm so they was into my spinal canal .:evil
    I am now waiting to get into the Adelaide spine clinic to get a pain pump that injects stuff put in me ,as they now say i have failed back surgery syndrome disability ?.

    Cheers Ian.
    #69
  10. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    Ian, sorry to hear of your experience. That really sucks.

    Hell, if you were a motorcycle, they'd be putting helicoils in the loose holes and fatter but shorter bolts in.

    Good Luck with it.
    #70
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  11. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    I'm almost 4 years post op from having my L5-S1 fused. What a nightmare that has been! The first surgery was botched since my Dr used screws that were meant for a smaller person and they ended up working themselves loose after about 4-5 weeks so, he ended up having to cut me back open and installing the correct screws for the cage.

    I didn't ride for about a year after the surgeries. When I finally did get on my bike, I could only ride for a short time before needing to get off the bike and take more pain meds. I spent the past several years taking copious amounts of Vicodin and Percocet before I finally came to the realization this past December that my back hasn't been the biggest problem. My addiction to pain meds was causing me to feel pain in my back that wasn't really there. I decided to stop taking the pain meds cold turkey and after the hell that is detox was over, I joined a gym and started getting myself back in shape. I've been back in the gym for the past few months and eating right and have dropped 25 pounds from years of sitting on my ass. Now, I feel better at 41 than I did at 30.

    Riding either my street bike or dirt bike is no longer a painful day and I'm having more fun riding than I have in years. :clap
    #71
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  12. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat Super Supporter

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    I had a lumbar laminectomy in the L5-S1 when I was 40.
    Then the same disc deteriorated when I was 50 so they removed it and fused it.
    Same neurosurgeon doc for both told me 10 lbs for 30 days and 30 for 90 then do what ever I wanted as I couldn't break it but be careful both times. He told me the fusion would bother me for a year. Then when the page of the calendar flipped the year, no pain and all is good.

    Now 10 years later, 60 yrs old, I have 4 of 6 cervical spine discs with arthritis, bone spurs and moderate to severe nerve channel narrowing, left hand little and ring finger numb and tingling and super severe arm pain at times :cry. The glorified anesthesiologist is doing the steroid shots, second one tomorrow. This may have an impact on my riding.
    #72
  13. erkmania

    erkmania I'll take better everytime

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    I'm glad you brought up laminectomy and hope no else here minds.

    I had a laminectomy 10 months ago (age 52) for L4/L5 and have been riding about half of what I used to starting at the 7 month mark post-surgery. I worry that riding is just the wrong thing to be doing. I still get some pain from time to time (mostly in the AM until I stretch), but it's nothing like the pre-surgery lightning strikes down my left leg.

    I haven't been off-road and I have now decided that off-roading is outta my life. I just don't want to do more damage. I just ride the GS these days and have softened the suspension somewhat to compensate for the fragile back. Now, if I could just stop the urge to haul the mail. :D

    I kind of hope that L4/L5 vertebrae self-fuse eventually and save me a future fusion procedure. I go in for one more ESI soon in the hopes that it finishes off the last remnants of pain.

    What were the symptoms of the fully deteriorated disc? I'm assuming that sciatic symptoms return.

    I hope your cervical ESI works wonderfully. :deal
    #73
  14. abrasive

    abrasive Been here awhile

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    FFS! How did they not see that on post-op x-ray?

    Good luck with your rehab, Ian!

    Dave
    #74
  15. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat Super Supporter

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    Doc told me the hole in the disc where the rupture was would heal and close.

    The disc deteriorated/collapsed but didn't rupture like the first time. Pain wise the second time is was a repeat of the first time. Couldn't find a comfortable position except the MRI with the pillow in the right place by a lovely MRI nurse. Burning hot iron down the right leg and sand in my shoe, same as first time.
    I don't think you want the discs to fuse together on their own as it leaves no room for the nerve. When they fuse it they space them apart with a block and cadaver paste, plates and screws. Then the paste grows with the bone and gets hard so everything is one piece with room for the nerve.
    Yes a lifestyle change was in order and will be ongoing. Long travel suspension bikes and easy off road stuff for me. Everything in moderation I guess.
    #75
  16. pops

    pops Long timer

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    Hi Dave.
    The post op x rays showed it very clear and the mri also showed the screws was moving around and the next disk up was ruptured ?.
    That is why they removed the hardware.
    They are still refusing to fix the disc that has ruptured so i will need pain pump to control it :cry.
    It is getting better every day at least i can now walk 2 km without a lot of pain .
    I wish all that have trouble with there back a speedy recovery and to be back riding again without pain .
    I do miss our rides,been a while since the wife and i went riding . in 5 weeks time i AM going for a ride :deal
    All The Best
    Ian
    #76
  17. abrasive

    abrasive Been here awhile

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    Ah, I get it now. What a horror show. I am very sorry to hear about your troubles. Your story would have scared the hell right out of me had I heard it before my surgeries. Actually, it still does!

    Heal quickly!

    Dave
    #77
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  18. rkfire

    rkfire Adventurer

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    Just an update. I've continued to go for short, and slow rides, and on roads that I know very well. It really is easier than getting in and out of a car, or truck.

    For the first time, I do wish I had an inch or so more rise to the handlebar. They are regular bars, but, they are pretty low rise as well. But overall a pretty good position for my aching back.

    Tried a higher speed 2 lane road, and there's where I noticed those little bumps are more noticeable at 60 mph than at 30 mph. I'll stay slow for the time being. So, I'm obviously NOT just hopping on the bike as usual.

    Some days I'm not up for it, or much else, so I stay home. Sometimes it's after PT that I feel beat up, with every intention on going for a ride after, but stay put. I guess I should add that if I'm hitting the pain pills, stay home too, which is likely during the previous stay home times.

    Pool therapy is over, now regular therapy. I'm prejudiced about it, from previous PT sessions, but we'll see.
    #78
  19. Izzy3

    Izzy3 Freak of Unnature

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    I'm 4 months post-op and have yet to ride. I'm walking miles per day and the pain is all but gone. I just don't want to screw up the great work the doc has done, but I will ride again, soon. Still stiff when I wake up and stiff on rainy days. Guess I will need to get used to that.
    #79
  20. badlandstom

    badlandstom n00b

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    Its been 24 hours since I got the "word" its time for fusion. Its been orthopedic surgery every year for the last four fixing sins of the past. Seems like I've been doing physical therapy all my life for one thing or another. Im new a new member to the site and there's been discussions on every minor question I've had relating to riding the way I ride so I took a chance on "spinal fusion". This thread has truly been the inspiration I needed to get my head right about the upcoming surgery. Oil field life and cowboyin' in western ND took its toll the last nine years but its also what put a KLR and GS in the garage. As I get older- a surprise in itself- I've had to say goodbye to a lot of why I love life in the first place. Last year it was good bye to competitive archery, bowhunting, guiding and canoeing. One door closes and another opens... Added a GS to the fleet and have been smiling every since. The thought of riding going away made for a long night. This thread this morning is EXACTLY what I needed!!! Thanks.
    #80
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