Exercise after AVM Removal Surgery?

Hi guys, Hope you are all well, I'm planning to ask this question to the surgeon when I get my appointment, But to prepare for it better. After surgical removal of an AVM that has bled (Craini) can I resume "normal" exercise (IE: Lifting Weights etc. that cause "strain") . And getting my heart rate up etc. Even sit-ups (Which are things I need to avoid at the moment having an active AVM that has already ruptured and am awaiting a date for my surgical removal.).

Thanks to all in advance for your advice.


Hi Martin. That will be something to ask your doctor. We do not have access to your medical records nor are we medical experts. Chances are you will be given the all clear to do everything. Your brain usually will tell you when it has enough.
The only thing we all have in common after a craniotomy… you will be tired.

Hi Barbara, Yes absolutely plan on asking and following the doctors advice, Just wanted to know other persons history also to be able to prepare and ensure I ask the right questions and get the right answers. And yes I have had 1 craniotomy already due to the bleed and agree tiredness is a huge factor, But hoping that my AVM removal will go as well as my last cranio :) . Thanks again.

After my bleed and subsequent crani and complete resection of my AVM I was moved to the rehab unit of the hospital. I had 4 hours of therapy 5 days a week, 3 of those were physical therapy. I had been in a coma for 3 weeks so my body had lost all of it's muscle mass. I couldn't even hold my own head up. I can tell you that my heart rate certainly was much higher than normal during this! The physical therapy was intense so I would guess that once given the all clear by your doctors you should be ok to resume physical activity also. Whether or not you feel like it right after is another question. Best wishes on your 2nd (wow!) craniotomy.

Hi Martin, after my bleed I was restricted by docs from doing too much exercise. I had always been an athlete, better term would be jock and had lost quite a bit of weight in the hospital. Started out by gaining as much of my balance as could by standing on left leg ( left side was side disabled) with right leg in air while family member was by my side, similar to sobriety test. I was able to gain weight back doing short distance walks and slowly increased the distance with family members by my side. Also did light lifting. Pool workout was probably helped most. Hope this helps you.

Thanks Trish, I guess we have to think of the positives, Lucky to be alive right :) ? . Hope your doing well and wishing you health and happiness :) . Take care.

Hi Todd, Thanks for youe reply and yes this helps loads. I love swimming and have done it for years. Best thing for me at the moment is to get to walk my young kids to school or nursery. I will have to weight and see what the docs say and then again how it feels and will take it easy to start and work my way up :) . Thanks again.

I had to come back slow after surgery. It was about four months before I could do most stuff. Then, my daughter was born and I got busy. It was probably a year before I was back to full strength. I know everybody is different in the recovery.

One step at a time. I was frustrated to hear those words but it’s still help to use them.

The good news is that it’s Been 25 years since the operation and now I have to deal with problems of getting old.

heheheheheh Hi Armand and thanks for your reply, Yes one step at a time .. but on the plus side you've had 25 years of health and your able to get old lol ! :) . Wishing you well and health for many more years to come. Take care !.

Hi Martin.

My bleed was in January 2011, and the craniotomy took place 5 months later, resulting in a complete resection of the AVM. After several months I started exercising again, and I've run a couple of marathons since then.

Just about the only thing my doctor has told me is not to swim alone (She's worried about seizures, which seems to be her primary concern).

Hi Paul and thanks, That sounds fantastic and I understand the swimming thing :) . Sounds like everything went very good for you. Take care.

Hi Martin,

It is great that you are already thinking ahead! The first question I asked my doctor after my embo was 'when can I run again'. The road to recover is different for each of us. As you can see from some of the replies, the definition of exercise will totally change after a craini. Have you had a chance to read any member stories regarding their recovery process? The crash reel is also a great documentary about snowboarder Kevin Pierce's recovery following a traumatic brain injury.

AS you get stronger after surgery, it might be helpful to ask your doctors more specific questions about exercise as you progress. Ie..do I need to keep my heart rate under a certain threshold? Should I avoid activities with a possibility of impact (bike riding)? Should I avoid sudden jarring movements? Can I go up side down? And of course the specific question you posed..exercise with strain.

Good luck to you Martin. I know you will do great!

Hi and thanks very much for this ... its exactly what I was looking for ... lol , The things I would have fogotten to ask like can I go upside down etc :) . And yes plan to speak to the docs on the long road to recovery :) , I'm staying positive and planning already to be "fitter" after my AVM is removed, after all I wont have any excusses then lol ! :) . Thnaks again and take care.