Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Fusions, bad disks and jumping


chutehead  (A 49970)

Dec 13, 2007, 2:23 PM
Post #1 of 6 (1985 views)
Fusions, bad disks and jumping Can't Post

I've had 2 fusions in my neck - discs removed between C5 C6 C7. Not having any more issues with my neck. But now I have a bulging L5 disk which caused me some grief for a couple weeks (wasnt even jumping-just jogged 200'!) I don't know if jumping is causing all of this-I have a lifetime of skate, snowboarding, bmx and other assorted craziness. I love jumping but love walking even more. I'm wondering if anyone else has had multiple fusions/bad disks and how many jumps are on the fusions. I'm 36, 180#, jump a spectre 170 with dacron lines (pro-pack & rolled nose) and get consistantly soft openings. Anyone jumping on a bulging or fused L5?


Dec 19, 2007, 8:29 AM
Post #2 of 6 (1923 views)
Re: [chutehead] Fusions, bad disks and jumping [In reply to] Can't Post

eeek, I thought mine was bad.

I have a prolapse at L5 - 6 which did not stop me jumping or running 8 miles a day...........some days were shit though but most ok.

About a year back I started to feel a pain in my left arm (triceps) and though I had pulled the muscle. Then I had an opening with my head down just a bit too much - I felt the squelch. That aggravated whatever was wrong in the C-Spine.

What I am getting to is, have a look into IDET to fix your L5 if it is only bulging. I think most US insurers will pay for it nowadays.

Fusion is the acknowledged gold standard, in most places, but there is always disc replacement. Which I am going to Germany for in May.

Germany leads the field in disc replacement. They invented replacement discs in Berlin and have been doing the surgery for 20 years now. FDA gave approval about 2 or so years back, but the disc that they approved the Germans stopped using about 5 or 6 years back. Added to which insurers will not carry the whilst the US company selling the discs has trained 2000 surgeons to do the surgety they have sold less than 2000 discs. Over in Germany there are individual surgeons that have done the op more than 2000 brainer where to go.

The problem with fusion is that you put strain on the discs either side of the fusion which can mean they need replacing at some time.

I read of a Hollywood stunt man having the disc replacement doen and two months later he was sky diving again. Works for me.

chutehead  (A 49970)

Dec 26, 2007, 1:20 PM
Post #3 of 6 (1897 views)
Re: [alex_778] Fusions, bad disks and jumping [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the info Alex. I'll check out IDET. Which brand of artificial disk are you going to use? I think Prodisk is the way to go-all metal. What's the name of the surgeon you are going with? You'll have to let me know how it turns out. With an artificial disk, you'll be jumping again in no time!

d16842  (D 16842)

Apr 26, 2008, 8:29 PM
Post #4 of 6 (1686 views)
Re: [alex_778] Fusions, bad disks and jumping [In reply to] Can't Post

This reply is not so much to Alex or the others as a general comment. I had a major spinal military accident in 78, damaging disks L3 to S1, breaking three vertebra, etc. Back then it was weeks of traction, not screws.

There is no doubt that living with back issues is not fun. But having lived with it for 30 years, I have seen all kinds of interventions, operations, and gizmos come and go, and most end up with major downsides not so many years later. Sometimes there simply is no choice but surgery. I ended up with one. But I have avoided several others, and am very glad I did. Today I have no metal hardware, and that is a plus. If you can get away with it, live with it. Exercise, weight loss, discipline, and acceptance of some limits goes a long way. Regardless of what kind of surgery you consider, consequences of long term scar tissue is a very serious concern. That I know and promise you.

Again, sometimes surgery is the only real alternative, but give more conservative paths a real try first. Be patient. It has worked for me for 30 years, 1,600 jumps, two kids, and a pretty full life.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 27, 2008, 6:42 AM
Post #5 of 6 (1678 views)
Re: [chutehead] Fusions, bad disks and jumping [In reply to] Can't Post

L5/L6/S1 fused in January of 2001 at age 35, all because I too enjoy walking. I've done 300+ jumps since with few problems (as long as I remember to stretch).

Been living with one or more discs going in the neck for the past three years, which is why I also jump a Spectre with dacron lines and why I don't jump nearly as much as I'd like to.

Good luck with the L5; hope you don't need another fusion.Unimpressed

gritstonediva  (B License)

May 21, 2008, 8:29 AM
Post #6 of 6 (1564 views)
Re: [chutehead] Fusions, bad disks and jumping [In reply to] Can't Post

From a therapy point of view... what are you doing now? Who have you consulted have you had an MRI.
L5 disc bulges are common and often do well with conservative management, use your favourite search engine to look up Mackenzie institute and go and see a DECENT physio - the chartered society of physios should have listings, but in all honesty recommendations go further in my eyes.

From a skydiving point of view - psycho pack it's soft openings!! Cool

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