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Post ACDF-Pain after reading at desk anyone?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. I'm back at work now, still in my Miami-J collar. Yesterday I spent most of my day reading through contracts. Last night and this morning my neck and shoulders are really bugging me. Beyond Tylenol pain.
Does anyone else that had an ACDF had that issue?
I'm wondering if I may have done too much tilting my head forward?? I don't want to call my Dr. if it's something that is common place. But I don't want to screw myself up either.


  • I spent 8 hours yesterday reading and answering email and all I wanted at 5:00 yesterday afternoon was my heating pad a percocet and a valium in that order. I felt like somebody was pulling my shoulders apart. :''(
    I would tell your Doctor though. I intend to tell mine tomorrow. Something has got to give. I can't work like this.
    Oh Lord and now I see you had 3 level fusion a week after my one level. I'm feeling sorta wimpy now.
  • Since the main part of my job is contracts and proposals. Eesh! I'm going thru a office supply catalog right now looking at document/copy holders to order one to hold up all the paperwork while I read thru them.
  • Hiya my surgery twin! Nice to see you're back at work. =D>

    Yep, it happens to me too when I have my head down for a bit. I feel pain at the time I have my head down, tho, but also pay for it later. I see my NS on Dec. 10 and will talk to him about it then.

    I think the document holder should help. Good luck, sista! :*
  • How are YOU doing?! I hope you are doing well. Have you got any new X-rays yet?
    I can get mine any time now.
    Let me know what your Dr. says about the reading/pain thing.
    I don't see my NS until the 16th. I can't wait to get this collar off, but I'm not going to hold my breath either!
  • :D

    I'm doing good. I'm still taking some pain meds and muscle relaxers to help me along, but I feel really good. I wanted to go back to work this week, but my husband and I decided I should wait until I see my surgeon on Dec. 10. Maybe I could go to work without my collar! SAY IT ISN'T SOOO... :))(

    I got my first postop xray done on Nov. 3 and was surprised to see 8 screws in my neck. Don't know what I was thinking 8}

    How are you doing? How was your stamina when you went back to work?

    Good to see you on the forum!! >:D<
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,733
    Deskwork (Documentation, Compuer, Research) itself can cause a lot of discomfort in you neck.
    After both of my ACDF (1996 and 2000), I could get a lot of discomfort, burning, stabbing pain by sitting at my desk using the computer. That will NOT change.
    So many people think that its the hard, physical type of work results in more spinal problems. But , you would be amazed just at how many people with desk jobs wind up having spinal problems.

    Ergonomic desks/chairs/monitors/etc can help reduce some of the discomfort, but none of that is going to prevent that additional pain. The single most IMPORTANT thing to do with any desk job is to GET UP every hour. That will go a long way in preventing some of the discomfort you will get.

    Moving your head up and down while at the desk just invites more problems. If you can setup so that your monitor or reading material is position so that you dont have to move you head up and down.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • My boss was so good to me. He bought me one of those really nice executive chairs to add better support for my head and neck. I even propped my feet up under my desk. I stood up and walked around my office while I was on a conference call. I even made it a point to get up and walk just because and I still ended up in pain. I just wonder if I went back to work too early. They had been wonderful to let me work from home up until last week and I was about to ruin everyone's Thanksgiving vacation plans. Then they really wanted me back. I'm about 7 weeks post op. Am I trying to do to much to soon? My doctor and I never talked about short term disability since I was working from home but it's hard for me to make my co workers understand that when I'm home I'm still taking pain meds and emailing them from a recliner so when they see me they expect that I should be fine. It's just really beginning to frustrate me. I really didn't think I would be still be taking pain pills and muscle relaxers at this point. But I can't seem to get through the day without 2 percocets and 2 valium. One in the morning before work (I take them early enough that they don't affect my driving) and one immediately after I get home. By that time my body is screaming for relief.
  • The biggest thing for me, other than the big pain in the neck, is just being tired. OH and my dog is mad at me for going back to work. I guess he feels abandoned! :))(
  • Kind of... :P
    Gosh, we try so hard to get back to normal and then getting back to normal messes us up again!
    I ordered that document holder, so hopefully that will help and I am going to get up every hour and move around.
    Thanks for your suggestions!
  • I am just 2 weeks post-2 level acdf (c5/6 and c6/7) with donor bone and titanium plate and screws. I was taken out of my Vista Collar 8 days after surgery -- and am 100% collar-less. I've taken no meds for the past week . . . however, I was standing at the counter reading sale flyers over the weekend -- probably didn't have my head down 10 minutes, and BOY DID I PAY FOR IT THAT NIGHT! Youza! I had the worst muscle spasms up my neck and into my head I've ever had!!!!

    I'm out of work for another week and a half and then will return part-time. I too read files and contracts for the majority of my work, otherwise, I'm on the computer. I'm anxious to return to work . . . and am trying to be compliant with my recovery, but it's hard. I'm still tired, but not as bad as I was . . . can get away with only one short nap now, LOL.
  • phxchele said:
    The biggest thing for me, other than the big pain in the neck, is just being tired. OH and my dog is mad at me for going back to work. I guess he feels abandoned! :))(
    I understand about the dog!! I have been home since June..and may be going back to work in January. One of my 3 dogs is attached to me...and I just said today he will have anxiety when I leave him :(

    I know what you mean about reading..I think anything we do that is done for a while in a repetative manner is difficult after surgery and we need to make modifications in our life. I think a book stand is a good idea. I have a book stand I use for my laptop and it was especially helpful right after my surgery to be able to keep my head straight. It is called porta book. here is the link: http://www.ownportabook.com/Default.asp?tcode=pi4&tag=google&gclid=COnt2oqWo5cCFQwDGgodk1Ch9g&bhcp=1
    I bought mine in rite aide.

  • =D> =D>
    It's good to know that at least some of us do so well with surgery that they only have to take pain meds for a week and return to work after a month. Wish I had been one of them.
  • I am having my surgery on the 10th of Dec. getting closer, so many of your posts are helpful to me, they help me know many things to expect and what NOT to do LOL.
    I am hoping to go back to work but my job is a bit more physically demanding, I am a CENA in a Retirement home, I love the job and the movement keeps me limber, but I had someone tell me that I may not be able to do that work anymore.. what do you guys think? Any feedback?
    Oh I am having a multi level ACDF 5/6 6/7 and 7/T1 and was fitted for a Miami JTO with Collar.
    What is different for me as I have heard, most who need this surgery have trouble in their arms, mine is all in my upper back, I would be in so much pain I could hardly stand it. I knew something was wrong when I could not do housework and work the same day. I am currently going to Physical Therapy where they are working over time to get the big knots out of my upper back area and pushing my ribs back into place at the spine, and taking Neurontin 300 mg 3x day, Flexeril 10 mg. 3x day, and Tylenol 3's I take 3 to 4x a day. I am a mess!!
    Would love feedback, this is a very new experience for me!
    *waves at Chele* Hi Chele!!
  • What a wonderful family you seem to have. And really big too! I'm not sure if it was a friend or what that told you that you wouldn't be able to do that type of work again but I'm wondering if it was their own personal experience with the surgery or what? Many people around here go back to work either standing or sitting jobs after surgery . Even after having fusion at multiple levels. Do you do a lot of patient lifting? Is that why they are saying that? I would think that even after surgery you should be able to return to work if all goes well. We may have someone around here who has had the surgery and has the same job that you have and can offer you some insight into how their recovery went. Just know that you'll be in my thoughts and prayers on the 10th. Keep talking to us and asking questions. We're here for you.
  • Ron, thanks for the reminder that sitting too long at a computer can create problems too. I'm a graphic designer so I am at my computer most of the day. The problem is that I get into my computer designing and before I know it, a few hours have passed and I'm hurting like the dickens. And that was before surgery!

    I'm really going to have to remember to get up each hour when I go back to work Dec. 15. I think I might just go half days to work myself up to full time and get used to the new situation.

    Again, I appreciate the reminder. Note to self: GET UP AND GET MOVING! :D
  • My little Mercster (pictured in my avatar) follows me around everywhere. He's 14 years old, but acts pretty young because I feed him nothing but homemade doggie stew. But, he is still 14 and he needs more rest than he gets with me here. I think he'll heave a huge sigh of relief when I go back. He'll probably even pack my lunch for me! =))
  • It has been eight weeks post surgery. C3-4-5-6 fusion with metal plate. I still can not swallow without problems.
    I am tired of eating tomato soup and smashed potatoes.

    My NS orderedd a Barrium Swallow xray, was ok. Now I am scheduled for a Modified Barrium Swallow on Dec 17 with a Speech Pathologist to view test. This is to offer swallowing rehab or suggestions.

    Has anyone experience anything this extreme?
  • So sorry you're dealing with this Mr. Lee. I am almost 3 weeks post 2-level acdf with instrumentation, and I still have minor difficulty with swallowing . . . still feels like I have a golf ball lodged in my throat -- and sometimes like a butter knife I swallowed sideways . . . but it's minor compared to what you are dealing with. It's just a nuisance and frustrating!

  • :H i am 5 months post op [ acdf with plate] c5-6 and i can,t bend my head forward or back for more then a minute without really bad pain, and still cant lift anything even a pound without causing pain.my doctor said i may always have my pain and weakness because my injury and symtoms were very old [injured 1986] pain and weakness in arms and neck became severe in 2003. SWALLOWING after surgery was hard i kept feeling like i was being strangled for close to 2 months after surgery
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