I am 8 mos. post-laminectomy on L4-L5 and doing wonderfully. Weight training lightly, swimming 3x/wk, walking on treadmill 2x/wk and completely without symptoms. I do NOT over do the exercise and watch how I lift things very carefully. My question is, can I go back to playing racqetball and tennis? These sports require quick turns, starting and stopping, and some pounding as I run. My neurosurgeon told me post surgery he does NOT like running for even healthy backs. Can I go back and safely play these sports?
I am afraid I would have to share your surgeons misgivings regarding the
sort of exercise that you suggest after your surgery. It sounds like
you are doing all the right things at the moment, good, healthy, low impact exercises
which maximise your aerobic potential and build up your strength.
The sports you mention on the other hand, carry a high risk of twisting
your back violently at some point and undoing all the good work that you
and your surgeon have achieved. There is no point saying that you will
take it easier, at some point you will get carried away and swing for a ball
and do your self more damage.
While you may feel good and probably will continue to, you have a weak
point and should take extra care.
Your surgeon knows the precise anatomy of your problem and if he advises
you not to do thse things he is probably right. I hope this is not too
disappointing but you have done very well, try to keep it that way !!
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