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Q. I had a spinal fusion from T8-T10. Should I not carryout any strenuous activity lifelong?

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 02, 2020

Hi doctor,

I had a spinal fusion done from T8-T10 about four months ago. The doctor says that I am pretty much healed and can assume regular activities. My questions are, since that area (T8-T10) is not that mobile, would I be able to run, jump, play tennis, etc, in a year's time compared to a fusion in the lumbar area and multiple levels? Is there a little less activity restrictions of thoracic (T8-T10) compared to the lumbar area?

I asked my doctor about the vertebrae above and below the fusion taking on more force overtime and my doctor said that more happens in the lumbar area. The doctor said that I could not play basketball for the rest of my life. Will it take a catastrophic accident to injure the fusion or just simply running and jumping without any catastrophic injury?

Dr. Zubayeralam

General Medicine Internal Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


Welcome to

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you had a spinal fusion surgery done from T8-T10 four months back and your query is about your abilities to perform strenuous activities after one year from the time of your operation.

Actually, it will depend on your healing conditions or progress as well as health conditions of that particular time. Because it takes three to four months after surgery for bones to heal well and healing may continue for at least a year. For that reason, avoid strenuous activities such as riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise until your doctor's permission to do so.

Once the surgeon confirms on x-ray report that the fusion has completely solidified into one bone, then you can be able to come back fully to your active lifestyle. Strenuous activities like bending, jumping, running, lifting or twisting may be permitted by your doctor. This permission usually occurs about six months after surgery. Again it may take time to 12 months.

You should checkup your healing process routinely and without permission from your surgeon, avoid any type of strenuous activities because such type of activities may hamper your healing process.

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Thank you doctor,

So once the fusion becomes solid, is it stronger or more fragile and would it take more of a catastrophic injury/fall to reinjure?

Dr. Zubayeralam

General Medicine Internal Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


Welcome back to

Once the fusion become solid, it will be stronger enough to do any strenuous activities. You will return to active lifestyle including running, jumping, bicycle riding, bending like a quite normal person.

During playing basketball, there is more chance to become reinjured due to collision with opposite team's players. So you should avoid competitive sports in the near future to prevent any further injuries. Otherwise, you will be able to perform all normal activities like a normal fit person. But before performing any type of activity, you should be permitted by your surgeon firstly.

I hope this helps.

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