Back to work after 360? Realistically when?
When I was out last year for my back problems, which ultimatelly resulted in a TLIF @ L4/5. I was out a total of 8 1/2 months. (from May 1, 2007 to Jan 15, 2008) The first 3 months I was futzing around with a Chiropractor. His adjustments felt fantastic for about 1/2 day then I was in the same pain as before (which seemed worse). After 3 months of 3x per week he finally declaired that he could do nothing further for me and finally referred me to an Ortho Doc. It's where I probably should have gone in the 1st place. After a series of x-rays, CT scan and MRI my problems were discovered (DDD, sciatica, spondylolisthesis) and a plan of attack was discussed. I finally had surgery on 9/25/07. When waking up in recovery, one of the first things I noticed was that the pain I had before surgery was totally gone. Other than the surgical pain I felt great. Doc told me not to get too excited just yet. We had to insure the bone graph(s) were going to start growing.
After several follow-ups, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs, my constant complaining of lower back pain (seems to be located mostly on L and R sides just above my buttocks and in surgical area) and loss of balance my Surgeon informed me that there was no indication of new bone growth. This was at the 11 month mark. BUMMER L) His suggestion was to either wait a while longer (6+ months) to see if anything happened of to consider another surgery. If I decided on surgery, he recommended a 360/Global fusion. First an ALIF then a PLIF done @ same time. I decided to go for it and it is scheduled for election day, 11/4.
Anyway, after the TLIF in late Sept last year, I returned to work in just under 4 months. My employer made adjustments for me and stuck me behind a desk/computer. Even bought me a new chair. I was actually surprised that I even had a job after being gone for that long.
This time around, Empoyer knows I'm going out for surgery but wants me to return as soon as possible.
How long after the surgery can I realistacally plan on returning to work after a 360 fusion? I don't want to be gone too long but I don't want to return too early either. It would again be behind a desk until I am able and released to full duty.