Friday, January 21, 2011

6 Month Follow-up

Everything is right on track! The graft continues to fuse with more radiographic evidence of fusion. Everything is still in the correct position with no issues. PT kicked me out pretty early; apparently the stretching and rehab I did on my own (both pre and post op [only exercises approved by MD post op!]) helped a good amount and I only needed minimal strength training and stretching.

I am up to running over 3 miles at a time, and will be doing a 10k later this spring. Per the MD there are absolutely no more restrictions at this time, and my goal will be to get back on the snowboard at least once this year! With all the ice we have had recently though I'll wait for a good powder day....

This is the most current x-ray:

X-Ray 6 Months Post Lumbar Fusion

While a lousy scan you can see the lines becoming less and less defined at the graft edge and no serrated pattern anymore. The middle part is also less defined as my own bone grows inside the graft. Note the massive screws and two rods out back. At this point I can no longer feel the hardware at all, and the swelling is just about gone.

As more time passes and restrictions are lifted I am doing more and more, and the only residual issue I have a bit of a tingle down the left leg if I lay completely flat on my back, and sometimes just an "awareness" (I would not call it pain) if I sit for a very long time. Even if that remains for the rest of my life I will take it! To think that a year ago at this time I could not stand more than 15 minutes without excruciating pain, and now it takes 6 hours to even register! Saying that my worst day now is my best day pre-op would not be fair--I have not had days this good for over a year before surgery.