Scoliosis Support  

Go Back   Scoliosis Support > Scoliosis > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 2nd November 2008, 12:53 PM
tonibunny's Avatar
tonibunny tonibunny is offline
T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 15,033
Default Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

Hi chaps,

As some of you know, I learned to ride a bike over the summer and now I am a very enthusiastic cyclist I'm surprised at how much I am able to ride given the amount of pain I get at the moment (I'm waiting surgery to extend my fusion due to a problem with the vertebra underneath it) but when I am well enough, it just feels amazing to be able to go out for a ride. It actually feels easier than walking, because the bike has better suspension than my back does and I don't have the "shock" of my heels striking the ground as I walk.

Recently though my right leg has been getting very achey and then going completely numb from the thigh down, which makes me have to keep stopping when I ride. This happened today though I eventually completed a 7 mile ride I know this is a symptom of the problem I have so hopefully it will go away after I've had this surgery.

Anyway! My question is for other people with low fusions - particularly Abbi, as I know she's fused to L4 and cycles. How long following your surgery were you able to start cycling again? I don't want to risk the fusion failing/pulling a screw out etc. On the other hand, cycling is helping me to get fit and I am getting some good muscle tone which I don't want to lose! I have my bikes set up so that I sit upright rather than leaning forward (with the handlebars much higher than the saddle) which helps a lot.

Thanks for any advice

Toni xx
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2nd November 2008, 01:09 PM
BeckyH's Avatar
BeckyH BeckyH is offline
bionic, baby
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: sunny Sussex by the sea
Posts: 4,839
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

hey toni.

i haven't actually got on a bike since i had surgery, although i've been on a few horses! i'd say with cycling you're looking at an absolute minimum of 6 weeks, and i'd say potentially 12 weeks for adult patients, purely because of the "knees below hips" restriction. despite having a saddle below handlebar height, i think the pushing motion with your legs firstly brings your knees higher than your hips (or at least level) and also the forward motion with your legs would pull on a lumbar spine more than you'd imagine.

hope that doesn't sound bleak! there's also, of course, the risk of falling off either due to lack of balance or the standard cycling risk of hitting something in your tracks or something hitting you.
__________________
Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2nd November 2008, 01:10 PM
alyssa's Avatar
alyssa alyssa is offline
~ * star * ~
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Guildford
Posts: 1,409
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

Hi Toni. I started cycling to the shops a few months back, I'd say 5 months ago but I did the odd long cycle before that too and from my mum's work. I am now 26 months post op. I have been told that bike riding is really good for back problems by Mr Lam and my physio especially strengthening the core muscles once they are up to it after surgery (which I guess is once you have reached a full fusion mass) You're having fusion aren't you?

I am fused T11-L3 and find bike riding easier on my back too rather than walking. As having arthritis and a bulging disc under my fusion makes my leg pain worse too.

The main person to ask is Mr T, when you can cycle again etc. Make sure to write a list down!

I hope what I have written helps,

Lyssie xx
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2nd November 2008, 01:22 PM
tonibunny's Avatar
tonibunny tonibunny is offline
T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 15,033
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

Thanks Becky - that's sort of what I expected, I guess I'll be feeling a bit too crappy to be wanting to go on bike rides in the first six weeks anyway Also, it will be winter (I hope!!!!) so the weather won't be great for cycling. Thanks for thinking of the knees-above-hips thing - I hadn't thought of that, and you're quite right. I'm still nervous of falling off and doing myself more damage and I have the saddle quite low so my feet are flat on the floor when I stop, but that means that my knees come up high when I pedal. Come to think of it, maybe that's contributing to the pain I've been getting recently?


Hi Lyssie, thanks, that is very helpful! Yes, I'm having a fusion - just a little one, one level, but it will still take as long as any other fusion to fuse solid. I'm fused to L3 with disc problems underneath too so I'm guessing that our experience of pain might be quite similar I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who finds cycling easier than walking!

Toni xx
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2nd November 2008, 01:26 PM
BeckyH's Avatar
BeckyH BeckyH is offline
bionic, baby
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: sunny Sussex by the sea
Posts: 4,839
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

it might be contributing, toni, because you're putting more pressure on the L verts the minute you start extending with the reach of your legs (if you understand what i mean!) the cycling motion is kind of an exaggerated walk, so i can understand why it's both helping and hindering you.

but it might be something to look forward to when you're fully recovered: i know it's not the same as getting out in the fresh air but spinning classes are meant to be really good for conditioning and fitness so you might be able to start those when you're better too.
__________________
Diagnosed in March 2001 by family GP after my mum noticed an asymmetry in my spine. Referred to a consultant at the RNOH, Stanmore and started attending consultations for x-rays twice a year. Prescribed a TLSO brace to be worn 16 hours per day. Began with double major curves at approx 48 degrees. Offered surgery in 2003 aged 16 and declined to continue with school. Requested surgery in 2005 instead. Had T11-L3 fused on 16th July 2005 and haven't looked back! Released for all activities in March 2006, having been driving and riding horses with consultant's permission since 7 weeks post op.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2nd November 2008, 10:21 PM
twizzlegirl's Avatar
twizzlegirl twizzlegirl is offline
RedL
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: york
Posts: 347
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

i'm fused to L2 and my surgeon told me no cycling until at least 3 months post-op, and then be careful when you start again as obviously if you fall off it could do a lot of damage.
i'm glad you're enjoying cycling, i really got into it over the summer before my operation and i really miss it now! xxx
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3rd November 2008, 11:34 PM
jasonputt jasonputt is offline
OrangeD
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: toronto canada
Posts: 45
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

i started riding 6 months after surgery, again i was in a major bike vs car acident few months before my surgery and bones where still heeling from that when had surgery, plus they didnt know for sure but the accident probaly had made my back condition worse.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 4th November 2008, 03:46 PM
titch's Avatar
titch titch is offline
Admin and resident Piskie
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Weird Wiltshire
Posts: 8,982
Send a message via MSN to titch Send a message via Skype™ to titch
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

Just a guess on the mechanics of the situation - given that you have an excess of lordosis (sort of) due to the slippage of the L3 backwards on the L4, and also have the pinching of nerves which that has caused, I'm wondering if what it represents is you getting fatigued, or less well positioned on the saddle, or whatever else, so that instead of the slight forward arching of the lordosis, opening up the spinal canal at the afflicted level, it arches backward a little again, pinching the nerves again. Gah, does that make any sense?

Once you've had the surgery and are well enough to ride again, you might want to investigate the Townie and other similar bikes: http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/...wnie_home.html They're specifically designed for feet flat to the floor, and an upright posture, and I know some of the flatbackers have found them and similar bikes to work well with long fusions
__________________
Diagnosed at 15 with 50 curve, but probably juvenile IS. Fused in kyphosis (by non-specialised ortho) with a/p surgery T10-L2 @ 21, posterior only revision surgery to correct kyphosis @ 29. Now 38 with further revision surgery and extension of fusion to sacrum required to correct residual kyphosis, restore lordosis and address spinal stenosis.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4th November 2008, 06:26 PM
tonibunny's Avatar
tonibunny tonibunny is offline
T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 15,033
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

I've actually got a similar bike, thanks Titch! My new bike is a Dutch style model by Bobbin Bicycles. You're absolutely right, this sort of bike is really comfy - good to know the Flatbackers agree, that's very reassuring for after my op! Here's a pic:

Toni on a Bobbin Playbike


I have two other bikes though (told you I was enthusiastic!) - they are Moulton F Frames and although I have the handlebars as high and the saddle as low as possible, I still have to lean forward when riding them. I know I should probably stick to riding just the Bobbin for now, but the reason I have two Moultons is that I keep one up in Oswestry and I have been really enjoying the chance to cycle around there! Oh well, it's getting too cold for all that now so I can't see myself doing that again anytime soon.

Thanks for all your thoughts on this

Toni xx
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4th November 2008, 07:53 PM
GloomCookie's Avatar
GloomCookie GloomCookie is offline
SSO Triathlete
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: London
Posts: 2,319
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

I think all the semi useful advice I could have offered has been done already (and so much better than I could have ) but I just wanted to say, I think that's a wicked picture, you look really happy and your bike is lush!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4th November 2008, 09:04 PM
tonibunny's Avatar
tonibunny tonibunny is offline
T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 15,033
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

Thanks GC! I adore my bike, I think it really makes a difference to ride a bike that you really love
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 6th November 2008, 11:02 PM
MOB MOB is offline
OrangeL
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Dublin
Posts: 1,312
Send a message via MSN to MOB
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

I used to do a lot of cycling hope to start again soon. I also found cycling easier than walking. I have a mountain bike. I noticed you have a basket on your bike...its great for flinging handbag into.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 6th November 2008, 11:13 PM
alyssa's Avatar
alyssa alyssa is offline
~ * star * ~
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Guildford
Posts: 1,409
Default Re: Cycling with a low lumbar fusion

'Tis gorgeous Toni,
yep yep and you look so happy on it!
I love it and the basket =D xx
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) Scoliosis Support