In December 2008, I hit a shallow sand bank while jumping into the sea and fractured my L1 and L2 vertebrae. I had excellent care at St. Augustine’s Hospital (Durban, South Africa) under Dr. Parbhoo (orthopaedic surgeon). I was told that I had two options – either 1) To spend a couple months lying flat on my back in hospital and then start the rehabilitation process wearing TLSO body brace. The 2nd option was to have surgery, a posterior spinal fusion (surgery through the back), which would brace, with metal plates and screws, the damaged vertebrae and I would start the rehabilitation process and get mobile with in a few days of the surgery.
After a lot of research and a good advice from other orthopods and a neuro surgeon, I opted to go for the surgery, which was done two days after the accident. 6 screws, 2 plates and a couple of hours later the surgery was complete with no complications. I won’t lie; I was in a lot of pain post operation for 2 days in surgical ICU (as I presume any one would be after major surgery). 4 days later I was walking unassisted, and seeing a physiotherapist for rehabilitation exercises. For a fit, healthy and impatient person (like me) it does seem like a long recovery, but looking back now it went quickly and has made me stronger. Every day there is an improvement, and I am glad I had the surgery.
It has been 5 weeks since the operation and I am doing very well. Driving fine and getting back into the normal swing of things. Plenty on walking and swimming has really helped, but be careful not to over work yourself and not to do any exercise if it causes pain.
Anyway, I will post again soon about the handy things to have when you get home and are recovering from the surgery as well as good exercises to do.
Please feel free to ask any questions as I am more then willing to share more about my experience.