Bandage before removalBandage removed
Both of these were done between S1 and L5 in my back.

          10 Years Later L4 And L5 (click here)

In spite of all I did to keep my back going it final gave out. The disc between S1 and L5 (bottom lumbar disc) disintegrated totally. Pressure on the nerve roots caused so much irritation that my feet and calves were almost constantly in spasms. My last outing before surgery was in early April to Whipple cave. By mid May, I could no longer climb the wall at Rock Sport. July 23, I had the surgery. I tried the wall in mid September but the hardware felt too loose. In mid October I started climbing again with no problems other than I was weaker. I also managed a mini backpack over night with my son and a 11 year old scout in mid October. On October 23, three months after surgery, the surgeon told me I did not need physical therapy or further visits. Whatever I was doing was good enough. Even though I had a hard shell brace made I never needed it. Besides walking I did a series of exercises to keep my core strength up. Core strength to me is everything around the spine. I went easy on the low back and abdominal until the surgery area felt solid enough to handle it. At two months after surgery I was back at work as a bench chemist full time. I can not complain about how well the surgery has gone. Now, to get ready for some serious backpacking and rock climbing is my goal for the coming year.

My present exercises:

First Ball Exercise - do each lift 20x
Second Ball Exercise - do each 20x
Third Ball Exercise - do 20x
Lower Abdominal Exercise - do 10x
The first two were done early after surgery. The last two were not done until 2 1/2 months after surgery. The last one could be particularly risky if the abs were to let you down. Please note that these exercises were not prescribed by a Doctor and may be risky for you!

To home page of site