JE – Post lumbar surgery

Mrs E presented to AquaPhysio two months after she had undergone a Lumber spine fusion. Prior to her fusion Mrs E had used a wheelchair and trolley to mobilise for approximately 3-4 years.

On assessment, functionally, Mrs E had a very short standing time of less than 10 minutes and a walking distance with one elbow crutch of 200 meters. She was doing stairs one at a time and avoided bending at all costs.

She had a vastly reduced lumber spine range of movement, altered sensation in her left lower limb and weakness at L4/5 level. Mrs E also had vastly reduced muscle bulk on her left lower limb and was walking with a very wide base of support.

In the pool, it was established that Mrs E had a tighter left hamstring and tight right hip flexor, her gluteal strength was poor and she was very rigid in all her movements.

A pool program consisting of relaxation, stretching and strengthening was started, as well as exercises to correct her movement dysfunction. 

Mrs E’s quality of movement improved and was walking independently short distances. Her function improved and she was able to stand and cook a meal comfortably as well as do stairs alternately.

She reported finding the pool an easier place to exercise and was able to exercises with far less pain then on land.