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swimnfit
August 10th, 2012, 12:52 PM
Hi Everyone,
I have been diagnosed with a spinal tumor in the L5-S1 region. Likely, it's benign but will need to be removed surgically. :afraid:
Swimming is my life and my love... it has always been my fallback activity to cure whatever ails me. And, on top of it all... the Masters Team I swim with has never been more engaged and my level of swimming never more intense. :bliss:
Has anyone here had any experience with getting back into the pool after a serious back surgury as this?
Any advice encouragement or wisdom is greatly appreciated.:bow:

Kevinj
August 10th, 2012, 02:07 PM
Hi Everyone,
I have been diagnosed with a spinal tumor in the L5-S1 region. Likely, it's benign but will need to be removed surgically. :afraid:
Swimming is my life and my love... it has always been my fallback activity to cure whatever ails me. And, on top of it all... the Masters Team I swim with has never been more engaged and my level of swimming never more intense. :bliss:
Has anyone here had any experience with getting back into the pool after a serious back surgury as this?
Any advice encouragement or wisdom is greatly appreciated.:bow:


I had a microdiscectomy at L5-S1 this past December for a 12mm plus disc herniation. Basically my spinal cord was being crushed by the disc. I was back in the water swimming very easy with a pull buoy at 3 weeks post op. Doing flip turns and surfing at 3 months and competed in a meet at 6 months.

I took it slow, but at the same time I was really focused in my rehab. Started with Physical therapy and diet, then slowly added strength training. Today I am lighter and stronger than I have been in probably 20 years.

Make sure you have a good surgeon and good physical therapist and talk with them about what your plans and expectations are for recovery. And follow their advice to the letter.

Wild William
August 10th, 2012, 03:22 PM
My niece had a tumor removed from her spine in the same region. She could not get back in the water for 3 months and then it was very slow and easy. Guess a lot depends on what they have to do.
Good luck.

ww

letsrace
August 12th, 2012, 09:22 PM
swimnfit,

I had a microdiscectomy in the fall of 2006 at L5/S1. I went in for surgery because of a large rupture in my disc causing numbness and lack of control of my left leg.

The surgery was actually what got me back in the pool. I was told that I needed to be physically active following my surgery and the docs suggested swimming. Since I swam in my youth, I figured swimming was better than the alternatives.

I was in the water as soon as my stitches were out and was doing flip turns about 2 weeks after I got back in the water (albeit very cautiously). By February, I swam my first meet and by April, I was swimming without fear of reinjury.

You shouldn't worry; you'll be back to swimming in no time!

PatrickJM
August 13th, 2012, 05:46 PM
I've had two surgeries at L5/S1, the second one partially because of the damage from the first one. Mine was severe enough that after the second one I had to stay on my back for six weeks, and it was three more years before I got into the pool. Granted it was thirty years since I swam anyway but I certainly could not have swum the first year of recovery. I still have bad cramps in my left calf and arch but getting stronger.

I know a lot of people here say you'll be swimming in no time but please ask your doctor instead. If you rush the recovery you can cause worse damage. My doctor said I'd feel fine in five weeks but warned me not to rush.

PatrickJM
August 13th, 2012, 05:49 PM
swimnfit,

I had a microdiscectomy in the fall of 2006 at L5/S1. I went in for surgery because of a large rupture in my disc causing numbness and lack of control of my left leg.

The surgery was actually what got me back in the pool. I was told that I needed to be physically active following my surgery and the docs suggested swimming. Since I swam in my youth, I figured swimming was better than the alternatives.

I was in the water as soon as my stitches were out and was doing flip turns about 2 weeks after I got back in the water (albeit very cautiously). By February, I swam my first meet and by April, I was swimming without fear of reinjury.

You shouldn't worry; you'll be back to swimming in no time!



MIKE... I wasn't paraphrasing you so much about 'swimming in no time', and I know some people have worse situations. I had been through every hospital in Boston and had the first surgery at Harvard -wondering where you had yours up in Mass.

letsrace
August 14th, 2012, 09:16 AM
No offense taken. I assume that anyone having this type of surgery will have plenty of doctor interaction during the process, but your advice is prudent.

I had my surgery done at Brigham and Women's. I also had abnormal cramping in my left foot/calf and numbness along my left thigh for probably 3 years following my surgery. It takes a while for the nerves to regenerate if there has been nerve damage.

I should add that I had considered not getting my surgery done and I now realize how foolish that would have been. I would not be swimming now if I hadn't and I would still be walking with a limp, I'm sure.