Things like joint inflammations, bone fractures, deviation of the lumbar spine to the sides or scoliosis that can be congenital and occur in teenagers for no reason, arthritis, infections and tumors, cause the stability of your spine to disappear, and a spine that is unstable carries the risk of damage to the nerve fibers around the spine and spinal cord.
The doctor suggests lumbar spinal fusion to reduce your pain and discomfort and to maintain the health of your nervous system.
Falling down after this surgery is one of the most unfortunate situations that can distort the positive results of the surgery.
Join us to share the opinion of expert doctors about falling after lumbar fusion.
Falling After Spinal Fusion
Falling after spinal fusion surgery can harm the outcome of your surgery and the health of your spine.
Note that it is said that after spinal fusion surgery, for example, when this surgery has been proposed and performed following scoliosis, bending from the waist and lifting heavy objects should be avoided so that the positive results of the surgery are not lost.
Now imagine a person falls down after lumbar spine fusion surgery!
can you imagine the amount of damage and problems that can threaten him?
Lumbar spinal fusion surgery, in which two or three of your lumbar vertebrae are immobilized and connected and integrated by natural or artificial bone tissue, is a major and important surgery.
It is said that in healthy people who do not have other underlying problems, it is necessary for the bone masses that have been grafted to stabilize about one to three months after lumbar fusion surgery.
The fusion of the bone graft will gradually restore the integrity and stability to your spine, but until this integrity is achieved, you should avoid doing activities that cause a lot of pressure and work stress on the fusion points.
For example, bending forward from the waist or turning the body and trunk around on the waist or lifting objects over three kilos are extremely harmful and inappropriate movements and beyond the spine’s tolerance.
To prevent abnormal movements of the spine, the doctor will give you a brace or a medical belt for the lumbar region, which helps to keep the surgical area immobile and stable until the surgical points are welded together.
You should use this belt for 3 months after surgery.
If, for any reason, the operated part and the vertebrae attached to each other by a bone graft are moved during the recovery period, which lasts at least three months, for example, you fall down, this connection will be broken and this your surgical arrangement is a complete failure.
In addition to treatment failure, unfortunately, bone components and parts may press on the nerve fibers near the spine and cause serious damage to them and damage to peripheral nerve fibers.
When these fractures and bone fragments that are not yet fused hit the spinal cord after falling down and moving, they cause serious and dangerous damage to the spinal cord.
Using a lumbar brace for three months after lumbar fusion surgery, as well as avoiding harmful unusual movements and walking on smooth, flat and safe passages and surfaces, is mandatory in order to achieve the full results of the surgery.
after six months from lumbar spinal fusion surgery, if your doctor approves, there is no permanent movement restriction for you.
But note that these permanent restrictions after spinal fusion are guaranteed to maintain the stability of the spine after surgery, which provides optimal time for the spine to heal.
On the other hand, these permanent restrictions can have a significant impact on a person’s professional and personal life due to the restrictions that come with it.
And the reason for that is that after this time, the spine that has undergone surgery is welded and integrated with bone grafts, and it creates stability in the lower back, and you cannot cause this welded part to move in any way.
It is called a major, complicated and important surgical procedure, during which the surgeon integrates the bones of your spine in the lumbar region by bone graft.
In this way, the spine is fixed in place.
If there is too much deviation, the doctor may use an osteotomy or a controlled bone cut to create a standard alignment for the fusion.
Usually, the factors that cause pressure on the spinal cord surfaces, such as osteophytes, must be removed and their place is filled with a bone graft.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove the laminae around the spinal column during an operation which is called laminectomy.
This surgery is performed under full anesthesia, and you must be hospitalized before and after it.
After Lumbar Fusion
Most patients are required to stay in the hospital for a period of three days after surgery.
During these few days, you will be taught how to walk and how to use the lumbar belt and brace. You will be provided with the necessary training to prevent injury to the surgical site.
Usually, the morning after surgery, you get out of bed with the help of a nurse and walk a few steps, even though there is pain, fear, and discomfort while walking, but these few steps help the success of your surgery.
In the future, as your strength and awareness increases, the amount of your physical activities will gradually increase, and when you can stand up by yourself and walk alone with a mobility aid, the incisions made on the skin and muscles will be painful in the first few weeks.
The intensity of this pain is more intense and severe in the first few days after surgery when you are in the hospital, and during this period, specialized painkillers are used in the hospital to relieve the pain.
Taking antibiotics to prevent infections as well as anti-clotting drugs is also one of the measures that will be done for you in the hospital during hospitalization after surgery.
Remember that your muscles and nerves will need time to fully recover.
You may not feel fully recovered immediately after the surgery and even in the first weeks, and you may experience pain and discomfort.
This is completely normal and you should be patient and give time to your tissues to heal.
Note that the first three months after this surgery is a very sensitive period for the fusion of the joints and the stability of the spine.
Falling at this time unfortunately causes a complete failure of the treatment, and more importantly, it breaks the bones that are not yet fused together, which can cause permanent damage to the spinal cord or put pressure on the nerve fibers around the spine.
Consider using back braces prescribed by your surgeon for the first three months seriously.
These braces help you by keeping the surgical area immobile, so that if you accidentally injure the surgical area, you will not suffer much.
The final word
remember that the full stability of the spine is established six months after spinal fusion surgery.
During this period, the grafts are not welded and any unusual movement, including falling, will cause you to face unfortunate consequences such as spinal cord injury.
Use the medical braces prescribed by your surgeon to protect the unstable area of your spine well, and also wear standard shoes.
And take walking on smooth surfaces with full visibility seriously.