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Just went back to work today 8 weeks post op ACDF L 5-6 6-7

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Boy, was that a mistake.... now I've messed up my disability comp. I couldn't believe the degree of pain I was having. I was hitting some 10's on the chart. My NS allowed me to return w/o restrictions which dumbfounded me. But, atleast I did take a proactive approach before returning by getting my Primary doc to limit my abilities for the next six months on my FMLA. PT told me with just the 5 visits I've had before returning that I wasn't ready but who knows best when the NS says you're good to go?

Should I be having this type pain level? My PT says the muscles in my neck and shoulder are like rocks.

Don't know if I can handle another day like today. My job was and is very stressfull and demanding.

It's weird it seems like the NS has done his job set me up for PT and washed his hands. Maybe, I'm just so frustrated that it just seems this way.

Oh, and to top it off the PT thinks I may have a shoulder impingement or my shoulder joint is slipping out of place. Instead of waiting around and having to take matters into my own hands I have an appointment with and Ortho tomorrow since the PT told me his thoughts.

Will it ever get any better?????

missb :W
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Comments

  • Man going back to work after 8 weeks post op? Dang!!! Heck I am just now 4 weeks post op and sitting here at this computer I can't even imagine going back anytime soon.I have a desk job and it involves ALOT of typing and just sitting here for a few minutes at a time I am dying from the burning sensations, tingling, etc etc. What did the ortho doctor say? Are you having a better day today?
  • The first surgery I had I went back to work after 4 weeks, yes, that was stupid....The second time I took 8 weeks, it was alittle better but I finally had to quit my job altogether 2 months of working after my last surgery. I could not sit and type for more than 15 minutes without getting up to move around. I tried PT they said I would not get much better, that I would know 1 year after surgery. I wish I had better news for you. But, everyone is different. Good Luck!
  • missb,
    all I can say is that it will very s.l.o.w.l.y. get better. I, like you, attempted to go back to work about 2 months after my ACDF and like you realized what a HUGE mistake that was. I'm now a little over 8 mos out from my surgery and i STILL have days at work where I leave and feel like someone glued cinder blocks to my neck and back.
    Your story sounds similar to mine where the PT is concerned. I was given PT orders from my NS for 6 visits. My PT, on my 5th visit, said she was going to fax a req to my NS for an extension of 7 more visits. THANK GOD she did that. There's no way that I could have gotten back to 'normal' life w/o those extra visits.
    I don't know what your job is but I found that as much as I loved my job I had after my ACDF I had to leave it. I now am actually the office manager for my doctor. He left the 'corporate' clinic he was at and opened his own private practice. I wish EVERYONE who suffers w/ chronic pain issues could work for their doctors. At least that way they understand when your medical issues start interfering w/ work.

    I hope everything starts going better for you. >:D<
  • I too went back after six weeks post op and I think it was a mistake. I have a fairly laid back job but its all i can do to make it through the day. My feet swell and throb ( they didn't before) and I have no engery (sp?) for anything else. I just collasp in the chair when I get home. I don't think anyone at home understands that even tho I am walking that is about all. I can't sweep or mop. If I cook supper it takes twice as long because I am stumbling all over the place and any physical activity make me sweat like crazy. I can't do hardly any house work and no one seems to be willing to help. Why do they send us back like this. Is there anyone who has gone back this soon that was ok with it?
    dc
  • I feel for all of you who have returned to work and enduring the pain. I as well after the first surgery returned to work at the 10 week mark without having any PT as the surgeon didn't feel it was warranted. I thought everything was fine in my neck and was working my 10-12 hour days and stayed within my lifting limits of 40 lbs. The pains began to come back. I thought it was all in my head as the last time i had seen the surgeon he said at the December appointment he would make MMI(maxium medical improvement). At that appointment i begged for some therapy and he gave it to me telling me if to hard to stop it. Now mind you i do not really have a physical job but rather high stress and a lot of travel time. So to make a long story short when i seen the surgeon in December for what i thought the last set of films and was back in the daily pain he said your in pain aren't you. I was dumb founded how did he know? Well he knew cause i was not fusing and he never bothered to inform me. So to make this long story short those couple of months i returned to work and worked like that have cost way to much. I now have not worked in over 18 months having three more cervical surgeries and two other surgeries caused from the nerve damage and will never be able to return to that line of work. So I cautiously warn anyone if you feel the pain is to great then call your surgeons and make them do something. Remember you have to be your own advocate and you do not want to have to start the process over. Good luck and I hope you get some relief.
  • Ortho couldn't believe the NS had returned me back to work that soon and that I had fused completely at 4 weeks.

    He immediately ordered Xrays, and MRI, and I am off work indefinitely until the shoulder issue is resolved, and ordered PT along with the PT I was already having for the neck.

    Thanks so much for all who replied. Will keep you posted as soon as I get the results.

    (Funny note: In the last 9 months I have had 4 MRI's and 5 Xrays performed it's a wonder I'm not glowing lol).

    It's hard but I'm just trying to be as positive as I can be. Right now life is handing me lemons can't wait til a sweeter fruit shows up.

    missb
  • Oh Boy!
    After reading this post, I am very concerned. I am 2 weeks post op c 5/6 today. I am expected to return to work next week like I've been on vacation or something.
    I work for a small but very bust Optometrist office, as the office mngr. There is the Dr. myself & 1 other employee. Well the day before my surgery the other gave 1 week notice. She was leaving. Bad timing, shame on her. I would not want to hold her back from her opportunities but bad timing.
    The Dr. asked me last week if he should hire someone. Well what do you think. Of course! You have no choice. He hired somebody just yesterday. For the last week he has limped along with his daughter (who happedned to be visiting from out of state) answering phones & such.
    I know he is stressed it is his business. But I am upset that it's all about him & absolutely know concern to my well being.
    I told him that the surgeon said that we will discuss my reurning to work options in 3 weeks. He said "What, i thought the surgery went well, what's wrong" I tried to explain to him that it wasn't a minor in office procedure. I was in the hospital for 3 nights. I haven't even been out of my home.
    Sorry for my ramble. As you can see I am very nervous returning to work after reading the previous posts.
    I will do my best & work as much as I can.
  • For the person who is worried about going back to work two weeks poast op. I had ACDF C5/6 on December 31, 2007 and was back to work in one week. I went back part time for the first week and then full time. It was difficult and pain pills were my best friend when I got home in the evening. I was able to do it, by taking frequent breaks from the sitting at my computer and just convincing myself that I can do this. After more than five years of pain before the surgery, I figured I could handle a little more after. What was the hardest was the tight muscles after working on the computer for a while. Flexeril took care of that. It is not easier returning so early, but you do what you have to do. I do not have any short term disability and couldn't afford to be off work for months, so I went back. We don't know if it has caused some of my problems now (still not totally fused), but it is possible if you are careful and take frequent breaks, do stretching exercises to keep your muscles limber etc. Good luck.
  • Only you know what your body is feeling. Don't let your employer pressure you into something that may ultimately hurt (you) in the long run. Contrary to his belief this type surgery is not minor. Some people for whatever reason do better than others.
    In my case I was pressured by my employer to return and also for financial reasons now look at me. But, that's me and certainly my case will be different from everyone else's.
    Whatever you do if you decide to return to work early get the paperwork from your doctor to limit your abilities, to cover time off from work for future dr. visits, possible theraphy, and especially on those days when you're feeling crappy and you just can't muster the energy to get out of bed and need a day off. This will protect you and your job.

    Hope you get along well.
    missb
  • I am sorry to hear about all the problems everyone is having, but i can relate. The main thing with me is that all I can do when I get home is sit in the chair and wait for my feet to go down and they don't go all the way down from one day to the next. Usually by Sat afternoon they have gone down which only leaves only one day to clean, wash clothes and get ready for next week. But hopefully as time goes by this will get better. My NS has pretty much released me. I don't have any scheduled appointments, no xrays, or mri's. Are they supposed to make sure you fused before releasing you or do they release you and hope there are not problem? All of this is so very new to me. Up until this I was very healthy and the only thing was a thyroid condition that made me tired all the time. I read all of the post and don't understand some of the abreviation and acronyms until someone explains it which if you read enough they will. I don't know what I am supposed to expect or what I need to be afraid of. But I am sure I will learn as time goes by. I hope we all get the answers we seek and relief we need.
    Thank all of you so much
    dc
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