How Do You Know

When you over do it, post op? Any of you on the other side know this? I’m sticking to my walking diligently, as instructed, but want to be sure I’m not doing too much and screwing stuff up.

As soon as my back feels taxed, I climb into bed for about 40 mins with a single pillow as per Mr Boeree’s instructions. I’m not sitting for too long and I take a big nap after lunch. Generally I’m hitting the sack at 9:30pm and waking up refreshed and without much discomfort at about 4 am. Thank you Jet Lag!

My only worry is that I’m walking close to 6km per day already across 4 outings. 1.5 km per each 20 minute walk. I feel great, but is this too much? I didn’t think anything of it until I installed this nifty app called run keeper on my iPhone. It’s free and pretty kick ass, but it tells you exactly your speeds and distances.

Still, no bending/twisting/extension/flexion or sudden movements for 4-6 weeks… that is very important to remember.

I finished my blood thinners on Saturday the 23rd and ceased tylenol on Sunday.

I’ve been taking 1 x 550MG Naproxen per day since Sunday the 17th of July… to decrease inflammation and inhibit scar tissue growth as much as possible.  I will probably discontinue it this week and move to regular ibuprofen as needed because it is much easier on my stomach.

I began taking 1 x multivitamin and 1 x fish oil on Sunday the 24th along with 1 x Whey Protein Isolate Shake w/ L-Glutamine to aid my body in repairs.  I’m also drinking a lot of water and though I had a full light beer last night, I probably won’t have much more than that for quite some time just to be safe.


6 thoughts on “How Do You Know

  1. Hi Brett, glad your home and doing well.

    I don’t think you are overdoing it. I was walking the streets, approx. 5km each day in two hits (2.5km in the morning, then afternoon) with plenty of resting in between, lying flat on my back.

    The trouble is, I felt I should & could do more, thinking it would speed up the recuperation process. I was keen to ramp it up as I felt so comfortable with walking but two different physios stressed not to overdo it, so I left it at that until week 7 when I increased the distance to between 7 & 8km which included some slight inclines.

    The trick is to let your body tell you and I think you’ll know if you’ve overdone it. But be wise for the first few weeks, make sure you balance the walking and rest periods, its a major Op! I was also told to take a ‘rest day’ every now & then (you don’t have to walk everyday!) to help the healing process.

    ..and don’t forget, you’ll be up and about on your feet quite a bit around the house too… along with sitting!. I was sat on a dining room chair religiously whilst watching television in the living room with the family (no slouching in sofas!) for the first 6 weeks, keeping my back straight as possible. I could sit down for approx. 15 – 25 mins max for the first few weeks before any dull aches started, getting up to walk it off. It does get easier. I’m at week 12 this Wednesday & I feel fairly comfortable to sit for up to 2hrs thereabouts.

    .. Oh, and the iphone apps! …. very handy to keep track of your walking distances, but don’t get too hooked up on your timings, speeds p/km etc … you can end up trying to beat the previous record and push yourself too much, too early!!

    Good luck Brett. Steady as you go!

    Regards, Si.

  2. Thanks Si! I’m too chicken to slouch for fear of PAIN so far.. lol

    I don’t feel like doing any more than my 4 walks and will probably just stay there for the time being. The app really freaked me out when it told me the distances – I should have just stuck with the times! I definitely won’t push my luck trying to accomplish more.

    In terms of formal physio, when did you start? I got conflicting reports from the 3 physios I spoke with at Wessex and have emailed one of them for clarification.

    I’m about the same as you were in terms of sitting with the dull aches. Though the aches start, I’m loving the action of standing up without having to flinch in pain like before!

  3. Hey Brett,

    Did Dr. Boeree mention anything about NSAIDs inhibiting bone healing? I have heard that there have been studies in animals that show a correlation, but human tests were not as conclusive. If you google NSAIDs and bone healing you’ll find some information. Seems that reports are mixed, but wonder if this would be a concern as with ADR the bone needs to bond with the implant endplates.

  4. Hey Tim,

    Mr. Boeree encouraged for me to take them for the first little while post surgery. I’ve read extensively on it in ADR support and the general consensus was to take them for up to 2 weeks post ADR(cervical anyway) to help guard against HO and some think they help with limiting scar tissue. The bone ingrowth on the ADR itself takes months (sometimes a year) to do its thing, so I don’t think its that big of a deal right after surgery. I have a very narrow spinal canal and wanted to get as mobile as possible soon to inhibit scar tissue… 🙁 This is all just my opinion and Mr. Boeree ok’d it.

    Having said that, I won’t be taking much more as I’m on my 12th recovery day, already very mobile and I’ve only taken them for a week.

  5. Hi Brett, I have had a physio session (30 mins) each Friday since leaving the hospital. 
    The first 6 weeks were hydrotherapy sessions starting off with gentle excercises from week 1-3, building up to some gentle twisting/bending, swimming (backstroke) etc from week 4-6.
    When they thought I was ready, they moved me into the gym with more ‘testing’ excercises (mat based – leg raises, knees to chest etc, various gym-ball exercises, stationary bike, cross-trainer etc).
    I must point out that the following 2/3 days after these gym sessions the aches were more evident (not real pain, just annoying aches that one would expect from stretching the nerves, muscle, tissue, in that sensitive area).
     My physiotherapist would give me a list of the exercises to carry out at home which I did most days (I kept up the walking too..). I skipped a few exercises here and there when the aches were present & also had a day of ‘rest’ to let everything settle down.
    Still a long way to go though Brett. I still get a reminder of that each day that keeps me in check!
    Best regards, Si.

  6. Brett – I must correct myself. The swimming was NOT the ‘backstroke’, but the ‘flutter back finning’ stroke. The backstroke and anything like the breast-stroke would be too strenuous for the back at this stage with too much curvature of the spine. I did move onto a gentle ‘crawl’ towards the last sessions, but only if there was no discomfort.

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