This strange construct the surgeon put in was a surprise to the adjoining vertebrae. When I fell after moving here, an X-ray suggested the "new" engineered spine is okay. Am I considered completely healed by now? Don't know. It's been a bit over six months, and I don't have real pain for more than a second or two, usually no pain.
I'm still trying to be careful bending, but since it often doesn't hurt . . . face it, my nature is to get careless with common tasks.
This morning I walked for about an hour, away from traffic. I take the cane, but use it very little. Kept repeating my slogans: " My stomach muscles are my bandage." "Lean back and look under your glasses; don't lean over toward the pavement." "Push shoulder blades together."
Sometimes something still hurts a bit--then if I'm indoors, I tell myself to lean against the door jamb and check my posture. I remember that many people my age hurt even with normal spines.
Yesterday I practiced going without cane from the far end of the parking lot to the coffee shop (talk about motivation) and faced how timid I can be walking in grass and off curbs.
I don't do stairs without the cane and a handrail that allows a firm grasp.
Now I have 3-pound dumbbells. Strange for the woman who used to swing her heavy suitcase into the overhead on planes. I'm in the "posture chair" with my back supported when I use them, so far.
Two years ago, I lived alone by choice, and thought nothing of it. Now I don't go outside without a phone.
A year ago, I swore I would never use a cane. Surprise.