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spinal fusion- how long until you could play again?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by TOOL460002, Apr 6, 2009.


  1. hey peoples- so- i had a microdiscectomy/laminectomy at l4/l5 seven months ago- and i just dont have the quality of life that i thought i would. a recent mri suggests arthritis/bone on bone rubbing/both- so- its either fusion or cortisone. im not looking forward to more surgery- but right now i cant even sit in a chair for more than 45min- had to withdraw from classes- cant work for more than 4hrs a day- etc. im 25- and the prospect of walking on eggshells the rest of my life isnt appealing- and i figure im young enough to recover better than most- plus- id rather get fusion now- than in ten years after ten unpleasant years.

    my uncle had l4/l5 fusion years ago- and he was considering hiking half dome (yosemite) with us this summer- and ive been mountain biking with him before. i would not even consider that level of activity right now. if i could just sit comfortably- i would be excited- so- it seems fusion may be the best for me to have a happy/active life.

    im going to start shopping around doctors- and ive gotten plenty of input from friends/family on the topic- but im curious about recovery time and bass playing. how long until you started playing laying in bed? in a chair? standing up? how long until you started playing shows? do you have any problems stomping on effects/expression pedals/etc? what about hauling gear? i almost bought a lighter bass (stingray 4 now)- but the weight difference is only a couple of pounds for something pretty light. does it make that much of a difference?

    i stopped playing shows- wasnt worth it to me to drive (american- stick shift- v8- not the best car for me- but cant change it right now) any more than an hour to play- and then drive back. i downsized to all lightweight gear- so i didnt have to move more than 50lbs at a time- and i got help when i could- but that still didnt work. any general gigging experience regarding fusion would be much appreciated.

    anyway- i know the importance of diet/diligence with regard to physical therapy- and feel like now is the time to go with fusion if ever. i have support- and i can take off work/school as long as i need to do it 100% right this time (on day 14- i flew from bangkok to sfo- moved into a new house 5 days later- started playing shows earlier than i should- basically just overstressed it in retrospect).

    ok- thats about it- thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
     
  2. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    get the surgery. It sounds like its worth it.
     
  3. oh- ya- trust me- im totally onboard with the surgery- i just really dont want to push myself and end up in the same boat again (although some places wont see patients until one year after surgery it seems). i know its on a casebycase basis- but after the surgery- tv/bass/sleep are going to make up the majority of my day. im going to want to get back into it as soon as possible- as i did last time- but id rather play it safe- just not sure how safe is safe.

    i guess im just looking for someone to say "dont play standing up for x amount of time- trust me- even if it feels ok- wait until ___." im just sending out some feelers- trying to get an idea of how much recording/bassing i should do beforehand- or if ill be able to pick up about where i left off.
     
  4. nortonrider

    nortonrider

    Nov 20, 2007
    Last year I had cervical fusion (C 4-5 , 5-6, 6-7). I now have a metal plate and 8 screws in my neck.

    After surgery, I wasn't supposed to lift anything over a couple of pounds for 6 weeks.

    Before my surgery, I rigged up a music stand to hold my bass so I could just walk up behind it and play without having to pick it up, hold it, hang it around my neck by the strap. It worked for me.
     
  5. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    When shopping doctors, talk to the folks at the SOAR clinic in SJ. They're very, very good spine folks. PM me if you want more details.
     
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Definitely do the surgery. My dad had a similar thing (except in C4/C5 area) and went the cortisone route for about 2 and a half years (2 years longer than was recommended) then finally caved and did the surgery. He was back behind the drums 6 weeks later, and has felt 1000 times better. Not perfect, but a lot better than he's felt in a long time.
     
  7. L-A

    L-A

    Jul 17, 2008
    Eh?
    Get the surgery. After it, watch the whole House series. You'll spend your time thinking "Thank GOD I don't have this".
     
  8. cool idea. might i ask what sort of contraption that was? ive seen those standup bass stands that tapping enthusiasts use- but i dont recall seeing any with clamps- or anything that suggested stability. the first surgery was a bit of a surprise- as i was on vacation at the time- so- ive been trying to do what you suggested- think of things i can do around the house beforehand thatll make life easier afterward.

    that made me laugh quite hard. my parents live in bangkok- so its time for pirated house dvds- woo!
     

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