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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have read alot of posts here. Is there anyone who is currently working after their surgery. No one has really talked about going back to work or working period.

Any one want to share their expierences going back to work after surgery. Good bad or Ugly! :))(

My job consists of being on the phone and typing for 8-10 hours a day. I figure when I go back to work which will be within the week after surgery is performed. I will set up my desk where the phone and keyboard are within reach so I don't have to stretch or turn alot, make it easy for me. You never realize how much & how quickly you turn your head!


  • What type of surgery are you having done?
  • Possible 2 level ACDF. Will know more October 30th.
  • In my case, after my first 2 level acdf, the doctors did not even want to discuss going back to my job ( I am a master plumber) the first three months after my surgery. I did have other things going on that needed to be taken care of. I wish you well on getting back to work within a week of your surgery, I am not a doctor but that seems rather quick after a 2 level acdf. I had trouble sitting up for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time the first few weeks. Again good luck with your surgery and recovery.

  • I know everyone is different but my positive attitude will get me back to work in good time. Beside that I can't afford to be off too long.
    I am sure all will be great. I always keep a Positive outlook on everything that I do. I just can't wait to get all this behind me and be pain free!

    Thanks again!
  • I too question your plan to return to work in a week. Even with a positive attitude. Your body is going to need more time to heal itself. Have you talked to your surgeon about this? I would doubt if he will give yu a release to go back that soon. and 8 hours is entirely unreasonable, IMHO. Unless you are Superwoman? :))(

    I had a single level C5-6 disc removal and fusion, and returned to work in a month. It was very taxing for me. I think it was too soon, but I too thought I couldn't afford more time off. I also have a sitting job. Please reconsider this seriously.
  • While a positive attitude is a must it can't heal your body in a week. Please talk this over with your surgeon before commiting yourself to it. Too much activity will be detrimental to the healing process and will actually cause harm.

    Even if your pain levels are okay there is a lot of fusion that needs to take place. Growing that much new bone takes a lot out of your body and it needs more rest than you can imagine! Beware: You will have a "honeymoon" period in which you feel terrific. Durng this period you may feel that you can do all the things that you did before surgery. Don't let it fool you! Your surgeon will give you a list of restrictions and timelines and you absolutely MUST follow them in order to heal properly!

    I hope that you take what we say to heart. We've all been there, done that, some of us more than once. All we want is to see everyone heal.

    Let us know how you're doing,

  • My surgeon is the one that told me I could go back the following Monday after surgery on Wednesday. All goes well I will be back to work I guarantee it!
  • I have had my fair share of surgeries - surgeries more intense than this. This is a walk in the park!I have came out with flying colors and I have absolutely no doubt that I will with this as well. Nothing will make me think differently. I have a very close open and honest relationship with my surgeon. I don't allow any negativity in my life. All negatives are turned into positives Always!
  • ..YOU GO GIRL!!!! =D> :D
  • You know it!!! Can't keep me down!!! :))( :P
  • Since all this has started with the pain in the shoulder bicep, wrist & into my fingers. I have not missed one day of work! The only time I have taken off was to go to my doctor appointments and with that I made sure that they were as late as possible so I would not miss but maybe an hour of work. I am the only person at my job that does/or can do my position. There is no one else. I have sat for 8-10 hours in mega pain but I tuffed it out because I have to and because I felt I could. No one has had to help me in my job nor has this stopped me from my daily tasks at home. Cooking, washing dishes, waxing & buffing my hardwood floors etc. These are things that have to be done and I can do them because I set my mind to it and block out the pain and JUST DO IT! So for the people that "know" me they "know" when I say I am going to do something and set my mind to it, and do it safely and responsibly it will be done. The power of a positive mind allows that!!!
    I won't use this surgery for an excuse not to work or to miss several weeks/months of work. My surgeon says there is no reason why I can't work, then I will. However, if he for some untold reason said I should wait a few more days I would. I would just go remote and work from home. So there is always a positive way to get something accomplished. I am a fighter always have been always will be. I have to be because who else will do it for you?
  • I applaud your positive attitude, and you sound just like me before my first surgery. Sometimes life throws a curveball and changes our plans though, so just keep in mind that you are not superwoman. I worked right up to my surgery date (had a very accommodating employer), and even stopped in the office on the way to the hospital the day of surgery so that I could do payroll. but I found out that even though I took pride in my job and thought I was the glue that held the place together, I found out that I was just as replacable as anyone else, and that no matter how much I sacrificed my own health for the betterment of the company, it really didn't matter in the end.

    Once you return to work, you will want to make sure you use a telephone headset so that you don't bend your neck while talking on the telephone. I found this very helpful. Also, ask someone to help you set up your workstation so that it is ergonomically correct. For example, position your monitor so that the top is about your eyebrow level. A thick telephone book works great to raise it up a bit. Take frequent breaks so that you can rest your neck, and remember to breathe deeply to try to let stress go so that it doesn't settle in your shoulders. Please remember to go slow and be very careful not to overdo. No job is worth it if you have to go back in for a revision. Your body needs time to heal.

    I wish you the best with your surgery and hope that there are no surprises.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Demure, not to hijack your thread, but I feel the need to just caution anyone reading your posts not to feel bad if they are unable to return to work as quickly as you are stating that you will be. Sometimes when one is so motivated, the words come off as arrogant and even condescending. I am sure that you are not that way, and wouldn't want any of us to feel that you are. Being positive is half the battle, and I admire that in a person. but for those who have a much more difficult time getting back to normal, please don't feel that you are somehow weak for taking longer to heal. Each person is different, as each circumstance is different. Several of may have the same surgery, but our symptoms and problems going into it may be different, hence resulting in a longer recovery. Happy healing to all.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I've been working with/thru my pain and numbness at work as well. It's not easy, but you do what you have to do.
    I am the only person who does my job as well and postponed my surgery to get thru our busy season (I got Employee of the Month-so I must be doing something right), but I also trained someone else to get the company thru the time that I will be out for my surgery.
    I have done the "gung-ho" I can go back to work early after surgery and ended up having to have another surgery 4 months later because of it.
    So, I too have a positive attitude, but I have also tried to make sure I have "back-stops" so that I may heal without the pressures of being Super woman.
  • I set my office up the way it needs to be set up and I have always used a ear piece. I am not new to this at all, I know how to keep a good pace to get my job completed each day. My position is very very important to me and the company I work for. As I said I can go remote and work at home if I like. I need to be at my job and I will be. I am the glue because I own it. That is probablty the difference between you and I. I don't depend on others to do anything for me and I don't need a pity party either I am very independent, I have always been that is why I am where I am now. Yes, I am superwoman, I have always done for myself never asked for anything from anyone. I will help anyone with anything though.
    I will keep posting positive posts maybe it will help someone that wants to believe in something other than negativity. There is way too much of it. You choose how you would like your day to go, your week your moth your year. Don't allow sonmeone else to choose for you~ YOU CHOOSE!! Negative thoughts can make you sick and cause you pain or even more pain.. Postive thoughts eases it all. Try it sometime...you will see.

  • Hijack - ha.. Yes please use caution while reading my "horrible posts" that may just help someone!
    You want to call me arrogant or condescending go for it! I choose! It doesn't bother me at all. I am motivated, very motivated to live life not to sit at home and feel sorry for myself!
    A positive outlook on anything is the whole battle! Like I said before you are in charge of you- you make it what you want. You want to stay home - stay home but don't analyze me because I have motivation to live life to the fullest and try to make people think I am downing them if they haven't gone back to work! IT is THEIR choice not mine I am not saying a word about anyone else only me and how I am going to win and LIVE LIFE after surgery. Analyze yourself first.
    I look for no negatives about anything! Too bad more people
    can't or won't think that way. If they did this world would be a much better place to live. Much Better!

    I will keep posting positive thoughts, surely it will catch on! I refuse to just be negative about this surgery! Heck I look forward to it I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

    I can even make your post a positive one yet there are so many negatives.
  • Ah Demure, my words were not meant to be offensive. Please don't take it like that. I wasn't trying to be hurtful in my post, and I apologize if it came off that way. In fact, I tried to carefully word my words so that they didn't come off that way. Please accept my apologies, as I was not calling you arrogant. you will notice that I applauded you for your positive attitude. In fact, I too had the same attitude and thought I would be back at work very quickly. Can we please not let this become an attack, because it was not meant to be. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Demurevenus said:

    Any one want to share their expierences going back to work after surgery. Good bad or Ugly! :))(
    You asked about our experiences and we are trying answering you. So, I'm confused about the sarcasm.
  • Correct. What I didn't ask for is the negativity, such as telling me that a week is too early etc. I didn't ask "can you tell me when I can go back to work"
    I simply asked to hear how people are fairing going back to work. Didn't ask for advice on anything. My post stated when I would be going back to work and how I would go about it.
    Sarcasm..........Never that is negative & huge waste of my time

    Really....everyone needs to take all this negative thoughts and feelings and make them positive. Is it that people have been so so so negative for so so so long that they have forgotten how to be happy and have positive ideas and thoughts. The negative energy must be exhausting, maybe that is why some of the people aren't back to work and living happily.
    Working is part of healing. sittin at home it so miserable. I don't know how people can do it! Get out get some fresh air. Meet new people! Do something, get out of the house and enjoy the time you have left on this great planet.

    This forum doesn't have a whole lot of positive feed back for other people it seems some not all just want to have company in their misery! Seems the small percetage of people that are positive that I have seen post ...GET SHOT DOWN but we positive people just buck right back and keep trying to get everyone on the same page.

    There is life after surgery..it is not the end of the world.

    Talk about confusing... I don't get why anyone would thrive so much on all the negative.. it is beyond me.
  • Wow that is a loaded question. You are absolutely correct in going back to work Demurevenus. Since your the owner of the company and it is your hard earned dollars controlling the company you betcha get back asap. As the owner of a company you have no worries that a insurance company or a human resources manager may say that you are not safe to be working. Also since your the owner it is not like your going to run it by your legal team to see if you they find it safe for you to return to work. As the owner you don't have to worry about having a surgery failure and going through another surgery as you be able to plan if that should occur. Should you be wearing a brace of any type you have no worries that someone is going to say that is just not practical in this environment. Also as the owner not as if anyone will think your making poor decisions and can do anything about it and or putting the company in jeopardy. As the owner of the company you had no problem getting your office set up ergonomically correct as you had no worries about funding it or waiting for approval so others wouldn't think they were being discriminated against. Maybe this thread should have addressed to business owners? Those that are employed by employers and being the owner of a business is a huge difference the same rules do not apply. What type of business do you own and how many employees do you have?

    I was also wondering why in other post you had to work things out with your job as far as the scheduling goes when the original appointments were cancelled? Seems as the owner you could very easily changed your schedule with no problem at all. Seems as though your still waiting for a discogram and a myleogram as those test are usually only performed when they can't see a clear nerve compression and there is no involvement with the cord. Good luck on your consultation on the 30th to see what type of surgery they will be performing. It is so nice to hear a surgeon that makes guarantees to a patient don't think i ever seen that but your surgeon must not be worried about malpractice either by doing so. Was wondering if he put that guarantee in writing? In my experience all the surgeries i have ever had signed a release statement and there was no guarantee of anything. It is so nice to hear someone say that spinal surgery is a "walk in the park" and they "can't wait" those are very interesting statements. But then again you haven't finished testing and aren't even clear what type of surgery they will be performing if it is needed at all? Maybe your positive attitude will keep you from the table as well? Possible they could keep you on conservative treatments as many have been able to do. Best of luck.

  • Nice try- Not quite.
    I didn't say I own the company..I said I own it....meaning I own my job! Although I am part owner in the company as all of the employees are.If you read it again I said my position is very important for the company I work for.

    My surgeon is a great surgeon,a well known and respected surgeon at that. Guarantees..I dont need guarantees...it is what you make it. If you already have it in your mind it will be a failure it will. If you have it in your mind it will be fine and you will be ok then it will.
    MIND OVER MATTER..........

    I know what surgery I am having we have discussed in detail...by the way do you have a MD behind your name?

    Also...my interesting statements are true statements. For some people it is a walk in the park,,,,for some its not it is according how your brain thinks.....negative or positive.

    I can't wait to have the surgery...regardless if it is 1 or 2 level...doesn't matter to me as long as I have it done by this awesome surgeon.

    Wow......talk about misery!!! Good heavens....

    No one has anything good & positive to say. That amazes me..

    I really thought there was more good than evil :?
  • Demurevenus said:

    Any one want to share their expierences going back to work after surgery. Good bad or Ugly! :))(
  • understand why it's taking you a whole week to get back to work? Have them bring you a phone and laptop to hospital room. You said you weren't gonna be prescribed any narcotics, heck you should be good to go a couple hours after anesthesia wears off. Or better yet, just have the surgery w/o anesthesia!!! That way you can catch-up on some lighter tasks while they are cutting into your neck.
  • Wow ,
    I wish you well, and whatever surgery yo have and whenever you go back to work. I had a 2 level cervical fusion and I came home the same day. I guess you could say I went right back to work that day. As a stay at home mother, who runs her home with the help of a wonderful husband. My doctor also really does not believe in collars as well, however for about a 7-10 days i wore a soft collar, and i was driving before 2 weeks. So go knock you socks off, I wish you well.

    My problem with your post and your delivery system is that you would/could have had a lot of people share her experience and surgical experience and work timetables. Of surgeries that they and I have already had. I don't really think you wanted any anyway. So go back to work and be positive. Really no issue...It really is not positive to call others whiny and negative just because they choice and follow there body's and the doctors orders.

    My thoughts only are those that really really have it(positive, kindness, caring for other) and want to share it are far more humble. There delivery system is one of attraction, what I have see is one of promoting positive behavior, while hiding it in an in your face approach,

    No need to reply I know where my attitude stands.


    ***Ben as always you are so right and so very funny, and to think a man can multi task and with such a great attitude to go with it- they broke the mold after you my friend***
  • I suppose you could say I was working immediately too. I had people from my office calling me with questions while I was still in the hospital, and even bringing a batch of checks for me to sign, and a couple of files for me to give an opinion on. Hmmm, maybe it is possible to go back to work immediately. My very positive attitude did pay off.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Demurevenus said:

    My surgeon is a great surgeon,a well known and respected surgeon at that. Guarantees..I dont need guarantees...it is what you make it. If you already have it in your mind it will be a failure it will. If you have it in your mind it will be fine and you will be ok then it will.
    MIND OVER MATTER..........

    I know what surgery I am having we have discussed in detail...by the way do you have a MD behind your name?

    Also...my interesting statements are true statements. For some people it is a walk in the park,,,,for some its not it is according how your brain thinks.....negative or positive.

    I can't wait to have the surgery...regardless if it is 1 or 2 level...doesn't matter to me as long as I have it done by this awesome surgeon.

    I strongly disagree with this philosophy.

    In June 2007, I had a laminectomy, foraminotomy, and discectomy at L5/S1. I went into my surgery with an extremely positive attitude, thinking that afterwards I would be better than ever. I went to several different surgeons, all with very good records and strong recommendations from others. I finally decided on the surgeon who performed my surgery by his impressive success rate, positive attitude, and qualifications. After much research, I learned that he was one of the best lower back specialists in the state, by far. You could say that I also believed I was lucky to have surgery done by this “awesome surgeon.”

    I did not believe that my surgery was going to be a failure. I did not wish for it to be a failure. But, even with my extremely positive attitude and “amazing” surgeon, my disc re-herniated, and I am in an even worse condition than I was before the procedure. And, to be clear, I stayed away from bending, lifting and twisting as much as possible for the past year, and did nothing out of the ordinary to re-injure myself.

    It is not always MIND OVER MATTER, as you stated. Sure, a positive attitude is very important and may play a small part in determining your recovery time and possibly, even your level of pain. But from personal experience, you can go into a surgery, “knowing” that everything will be fixed, and that you will have a successful surgery and recovery. But in the end, your body (in this case, the spine, the discs, bones, etc.) is not affected by your brain power. If a disc is bad, if the bones don’t fuse, if you have a long and difficult recovery, it is not because in your mind you doubted the success of a certain procedure. It is simply because EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

    I wish you all the luck in the world with your surgery and recovery.

    I hope you are able to return to work in that short amount of time, without pain meds, and be better than ever.

    But, please do not say that everyone who has an unsuccessful surgery, a long and difficult recovery, or can not return to work in such a short time, is thinking "negatively." We all know this isn’t true. And it isn’t very “positive” of someone to assume that negativity is the cause of everyone else’s problems. Please try to consider that, as stated before, everyone is different. We all go in and come out of surgery differently and we all heal differently, regardless of our mindset.

    Again, I wish you luck for a successful and extremely speedy recovery.

  • Well shoot i think I got everyone here beat then. I had one of my troops call me while i was still in the recovery room asking me questions about how to fix a problem with one of our planes. I went under at 9am and this was at about 130pm. I am a 32 y/o male who is in decent shape and i had a DTO on L5/S1 (screws with basically bungee cords in hard plastic) and it took me 6 weeks to get to work full time and that was sitting answering phones and doing paperwork. I have to agree with others as well you have NO RIGHT to say that someone's recovery time is based on their attitude. All that is doing is showing YOUR negative attitude towards others. Best of luck but a week just doesnt seem plausiable!

  • Who are you really?


    Cheers, Mate
  • For someone with a "positive" attitude" you sure aren't taking any of this in. I was VERY much like you, active to the extreme, healthy, hard working, all of it. I went in to my first surgery KNOWING that I was going to come out of it with the vitality that I had before I was injured. A positive attitude simply doesn't prepare you for the possible pain (yea, I know, I have that really high pain tolerance thing too) or the fact that you simply can't guess what can happen in the OR. I had the "best" surgeon too and I ended up having a revision surgery within 5 months of the first one.

    Please drop the cynicism and try to listen to what we're telling you. We're all here trying to help...even if you can't see that. Don't mistake that positive attitude thing for putting your head in the sand. Preparation is the key to healing and it sounds like you may not have that in place.

    I'll give you a bit of advise about surgeons...that "God complex" thing is pretty true. No surgeon wants to think that their work will fail or did fail or that their patients won't be anything but better. It's normal to think like that- who doesn't want to think that they don't do anything but the best? You have people here who have been through the surgeries and want to help you through this. Perhaps you should take THAT advise into consideration as well as your surgeons.

    All the best,

  • Hey can I get a job where you work? I have a positive attitude, but when you work in a factory and you are moving every part of your body there is no way you can go back to work right away. I had lost the use of my left arm and was dropping everything so how could I work before surgery. If I had a sit down job maybe I would have been able to do it. I was super woman I got out of the hospital 4 hrs after I woke up from surgery. I was able to let my dog outside on the 2nd day after and on the 4th day I was able to fold laundry after my husband put them on the basket on the table.
    My doctor was the best he is now leaving me to go to Georgetown University, he will be the head of the NS department. So I had the best, but he has me on tight restrictions now so I do not screw up what he has done. I am doing wonderful for being 7 wks out. Yes I am still at home, but like I said I work in a factory and I have to be able to lift 50 pounds. Will you be able to do that when you get out of surgery? I am happy for you to be able to go back as soon as you are, but remember not all of us have sit down jobs. Some of us are just a number where we work. I have been at my job for 11 years, do you really think they care if I come back? They can always hire someone else at a lower pay.
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