Avatar universal

losing weight before spinal fusion surgery

I have been dealing with lower back/hip pain for the past 2 years. When I went in for an MRI, they found that I have avascular necrosis on both hip bones. I had core decompression surgery on my left hip 7 months ago. Now we're trying to focus on my back again. I am told I need spinal fusion on my L5-S1. My question (concern) is that I have gained over 40 lbs in the last 2 years (quit smoking, quit drinking, quit moving) and somehow I want to lose at least 20 lbs before I agree to this surgery. How can I lose weight when I cannot do the most basic movements such as pick up something off the floor or put on my own socks?? I don't want to have this surgery with this much extra weight (I'm 5'5" and weigh 190) but I don't know where to begin.  Help!!
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517190 tn?1211639308
Dear Drose,

This is a question about how to lose weight and is best addressed between you and your primary care doctor.  However, as far as your pain source goes, you need to know if the pain is from your back or hip before operating or treating either at this point.  Perhaps a lidocaine and steroid injection in your hip joint under fluoroscopy would help to know.

As far as weight loss before surgery, it ‘s good, but not critical for 20 lb difference.

Dr. Rosen

Charles Rosen, MD
Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Spine Surgery
University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine
Founding Director, UCI Spine Center  
Orange, California

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Avatar universal
Ohhhh how I feel your frustration!  I've gained 35 lbs since Christmas when I went down this latest time with my back.  The oral steroids and all the steroid injections have made me balloon and now not only does it hurt to bend over, it is getting darned uncomfortable bending over my belly pooch.  I was already overweight but this weight gain has really made me miserable.

I decided to start weight watchers.  You can actually lose weight on it without exercising if you follow the program. Maybe not as fast as someone else exercising, but it can be done.  I did it 2 years ago and lost 20 lbs in 6 months (slow but sure!) and kept it off until this year.

I wish you the best of luck with your pain, surgery and weight loss :)

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513478 tn?1220967968
i do not have a solution for your problem, i just have the same situation, i need to lose wieght for my spinal fusion too(due to re herniation, s1 nerve damage) having been on steroids for scarcoidosis, and lyrica for nerve impengement, i have gained at least 15lbs, since discetomy almost 3 months ago. i would like to see a response to your question from an expert.
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