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Does everyone get PT before back to work?.....follow up tomorrow & wondering what to expect

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have a follow up tomorrow..7 weeks out ALIF.

My question is, did most of you have some sort of PT before getting released to go back to work?

I in no way feel ready to go back, and in my position there is no limited BTW basis, you're either back or not and that has been made clear by my supervisor. :S

So I am begining to wonder if I will be released tomorrow w/o some sort of PT or something to ease back in...
I wouldn't worry so much if I hadn't read about so many that were released before they felt ready. :SS

I am still at the point in my recovery that after going out to dinner or to the groc store, I need to come home & lay down.. (|: both from pain & exhaustion.

Any advice or experiences you can share?


  • Not all surgeons believe in PT after surgery. Some do not recommend it until healing has progressed quite a bit, and some start it almost immediately. It will really depend on your doctor's opinion of therapy and whether it helps or hurts.

    Be sure to tell him just what you wrote above regarding your work situation...and that you have to lie down after going grocery shopping. That would sway me if I were your doctor.

    Let us know what he says tomorrow. Good luck!
  • Tatiyana, I'm 3 months post PLIF, 56, and my doc only uses PT to avoid surgery. For whatever reason he doesn't recommend it after surgery. Just really pushes walking and "getting back to normal."

    At 6 weeks post op I went back to work parttime. I only stay at the office for 3 - 4 hours at most. I do usually bring a bunch of work home with me and often telecommute. Even now, at 3 month, I'm not ready for full time I expect/hope to be "back in the saddle" by the beginning of March.

    If you do not feel ready yet, expecially in light of the fact that you can't go back "part time," I'd definitely talk with my doc. Don't be pushed into going back too early. It's your health. Good luck!! Keep us posted.
  • I came back to work full time after 6 weeks and my doctor put me into pt after my 8 week evaluation just to help me with my walking since I was waddling alot.
  • I had PT after both my surgeries just to help with recovery. I am retired so work is not an issue! :< Some of them can be hard on a person! I have no problem saying "heck no" when someone gives me grief! :H

    Evelyn :)
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • my NS just told me today that i probably won't need PT after my double ACDF. Bit surprised about this given how many people on the site go to PT after ops. He'd said we'd wait n see... so if i need it, just arrange it and go i guess O:)
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • I am not surprised that you are not ready to got back to work at 7 weeks post-fusion. It takes a while for the exhaustion to go away - for me, it took about 3 or 4 months and then it was as if one day it was just gone. (Not that I didn't/don't still get tired and achy if I over-do it but it is nothing like the horrible exhaustion I felt after even grocery-shopping before).

    My surgeon would not even talk about PT until 8 weeks post. Then I did aqua therapy - 45 minutes of walking and stretching in the pool. The first few times I could barely dress and get home I was so exhausted.

    Do tell your doctor how little it takes to wipe you out!
  • My surgeon started me on PT 3 weeks after surgery. However, the PT group is in the same suite and works soley with this surgical group. So, they are very used to working with patients like myself. They started me off very slowly and have gradually built things up. I have now done 6 weeks of PT and my surgeon just signed me up for 4 more weeks of PT since I am still having nerve pain.

    The great thing is that even though I am having nerve pain, the PT they have me do never produces that pain. I really feel like it has helped my energy level.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    all came after the appropriate post-op timeframe.
    Getting back to work, I did not have any additional PT.
    At that point, it is assumed, that the discs are on their way to healing, you are not dealing with any major problem, and that your exercise routine should be enough to get you back into the job force.

    Now, I am sure many others will back me up on this. Even when you are feeling real good, cant wait to get back to work, even the smallest things are going to seem like mountains.

    - The drive to work
    - Sitting at your desk
    - Reaching for things,
    - etc

    Thera are many medical complaints that come up when a patient first returns to work. It needs to be a gradual
    process. Now, not all companies will allow for this, but
    I think it is important. Rushing back full time is only asking for trouble.
    When I returned after each of my sugeries, I had to go on a modified work schedule.
    First week 4 hours a day
    Second and Third week 6 hours aday
    After four weeks, back to normal hours as tolerated.

    Be prepared... Always remember that you had spinal surgery and you need to keep that in perspective in almost any thing you do. No one needs to become obsessed about it, but just keep it fresh in your mind
    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 surgeon put me through the paces. I had extensive post surgery rehab. It was all good (especially aqua therapy), until I got to "Work Conditioning" aka Hell!

    That was 3 hour a day for two weeks. It is designed to get you back in shape and ready for your occupation. My recovery was going pretty good until that. I started having considerable pain during those sessions which I still have to this day. All the doctors say it isn't being caused from a structural issue. Most likely a muscle problem. Or, as Angie learned, the BMP went a little too far. Some of those reports are scary. I digress.

    I would ask about aqua therapy. You will get a lot out of that.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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