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Squats after L4-L5 fusion

AlaskaDoug

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Jan 25, 2017
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I am four years post PLIF. I used to powerlift and had squats into the 700 lb range. I have no aspirations of ever squatting that heavy again, but I am afraid to ever do plates on a back squat.

Anyone here have a fusion or experience with something like this?
 

BioBuild

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I have a herniated L4-L5 disk right now and all the research I did suggested that heavy squats are out of the game after a fusion in the lumbar region. Might be able to get away with really light squats, but its dependent on how you feel
 

Cstallion

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I am four years post PLIF. I used to powerlift and had squats into the 700 lb range. I have no aspirations of ever squatting that heavy again, but I am afraid to ever do plates on a back squat.

Anyone here have a fusion or experience with something like this?

Sorry to hear about the surgery, man! I had a disectomy and laminectomy back in 2003, contemplating getting back into some bench only comps. I know personally for me (No, I do not have a fusion) that squats aggravate my back injury bad! So I will have to stay away from them, do air squats and machines to keep my legs strong.

Sorry this doesn't directly answer your question... but hope my answer still helps!
 

cmryan

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I am four years post PLIF. I used to powerlift and had squats into the 700 lb range. I have no aspirations of ever squatting that heavy again, but I am afraid to ever do plates on a back squat.

Anyone here have a fusion or experience with something like this?
That sucks man. I didn't have a fusion but I did herniate the same disc and had surgery to remove the protruding mass 9 years ago. The surgeon told me in my follow-up that "Wow, you sure decided to really herniate the hell out of that thing." I probably didn;t take it the way he intended but I can laugh it off now. With that backstory out of the way, I want to tell you that you absolutely can squat and dl "heavy" again but you need to take the proper precautions, prepare your body them and (most importantly) prepare your mind for it.

After my surgery, it took a while to even consider getting a barbell on my back or picking up a weight off the floor. I finally deadlifted 315 3 years later. Granted, I wasn't really trying most of that time because I convinced myself that "Who cares? I don't need to do that". Then something clicked in me about 3 years ago and (fast forward to now) now I'm trying to crack a 600# dl and my grip is the limiter lol.

So, your mental game needs to be in order when and if you want to squat again. That is (to me) the most important piece here. Physically, a pretty extensive period of core strengthening is in order in my opinion. At least 6 months and a year isn't out of the question. I think you'll know when you're ready.

Now, if you just want to squat with more than some db's, there's plenty of options I'm sure you're aware of that won't put at much strain on your lower back. Front squats, Zercher squats (the king of core work imo lol), belt squats (just need a decent setup for these), and heavy-ish single leg work is great too.

Take care and I wish you the best man.
 

maldorf

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belt squats (just need a decent setup for these). .

I agree, great exercise for those with low back problems. I have been using them exclusively. It takes all of the load off of your back and transfers it to your hips. Just be sure to put the belt on around your hips, down low. If you put the belt on high up like a weight lifting belt it will tear your back to pieces.
 

Bwanna

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I have an l5-s1 fusion. I can never put a barbell on my back again.
 

lookslikesausage

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I have an l5-s1 fusion. I can never put a barbell on my back again.
were you told this or is this something you decided? i don't mean this in a judgmental way, not at all. i haven't back squatted in years. I've heard of (after fusion) some who were told they could squat and DL again, some were told absolutely not under no circumstances, and some who were told maybe. So i'm curious if you came to this conclusion or if your surgeon told you this. I have some issues in the same area and someone on this site was kind enough to give me some very helpful advice. However, i'm still really nervous about putting any vertical load on my spine.
 

MooseKnuckles

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I had a microdisectomy at L4-L5 a few years ago and was told never to squat again. He said if I absolutely felt like I needed to squat do front squats with really light weight but he advised me to stay away from squats.

He also advised to stay away from deadlifts.

If I do deadlifts or front squats it's with really really light weight, I don't want to go through that again.
 

Bwanna

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were you told this or is this something you decided? i don't mean this in a judgmental way, not at all. i haven't back squatted in years. I've heard of (after fusion) some who were told they could squat and DL again, some were told absolutely not under no circumstances, and some who were told maybe. So i'm curious if you came to this conclusion or if your surgeon told you this. I have some issues in the same area and someone on this site was kind enough to give me some very helpful advice. However, i'm still really nervous about putting any vertical load on my spine.

The surgeon told me but I didn’t listen. I tried and ended up in bed for a few weeks. I no longer squat nor do I do conventional deadlifts. However, I do trap bar or hex bar deadlifts.
 

benchmstr

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I am four years post PLIF. I used to powerlift and had squats into the 700 lb range. I have no aspirations of ever squatting that heavy again, but I am afraid to ever do plates on a back squat.

Anyone here have a fusion or experience with something like this?
I can squat...but high bar is totally out of the question
 

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