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Lumbar Fusion Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm schuduled to have surgery L5-S1 Lumbar fusion. I work as an admin..can anyone tell me how long they were out of work? Dr. says maybe 2 mos. Thank you


  • Hi i just posted the same in someone elses post... so i'll cut n paste ;)

    As for recovery from L4/L5 which is the op I had...They'll want you to get out of bed and move a bit... its tough! But the more walking the better, so just keep at it! It honestly gets a little a bit easier to get up everytime, and you'll be walking the halls in no time (slowly ). I had help around the house for about a mmonth after the op. I remember moving slowly, but i was moving. My pre-op pain was gone btw, but certainly post op pain from the surgical sites was present. Muscle spasms sometimes too. If my memory is correct, i was off regularly scheduled pain meds at about 3 weeks... but i still needed meds about once a day or so until about 8 weeks (maybe twice a day ) My recovery was exactly what i'd been advised, and i was able to go back to work at 3 months post op. i was ok. tired, adjusted my seating/standing as i rebuilt up my work related muscles, but it was ok. That op gave me my life back... i was able to be me, be a mom, work the way i like to work... i minded my back +++ after... i never weeded the garden!! never did the chores that required extensive back breaking work - DELEGATION is the key to life!! But i played sports, went horseback riding, paragliding, climbed rocks!! once i felt ready!! i'd say i got physically out there.. about 2 years after the op. And the last advice.... KEEP WALKING!

    Good luck with your op!

    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • I work at a cube and get up alot to check on the production floor or inventory room. My manager had a desk put in that raises and lowers so I raise it up when I need to stand since you are not supposed to sit more than 20 minutes at a time. There is also a treadmill in one of the meeting rooms that I can take my laptop and work on while I am walking.
    I totally agree with diamonde. You need to make sure that you walk as much as you can. I started out with 15 minutes every hour that I would walk back and forth in the house. Once I felt daring enough, I had someone walk with me around the block at least 2 times a day. My husband bought me a nice walker which helped tremendously. It will be painful at first but if you don't walk, then it will be even more painful.
    I wish you the best of luck!
  • I'm planning to go back after 8 weeks (its been 4 weeks now, and if my progress continues as it has, this is realistic).

    Like dcarter, my desk is also on a lift so I can stand and sit, this will help alot! I'm walking a couple of miles a day at this point too, so really trying to build up strength. Good luck!
  • I have not had a fusion, but there is a possibility of one in the near future. My job is child care, so I walk a lot in the house, but I also just stand. Do you know, after being off for say, a month, how much standing you can do without causing problems? I don't know how long I'll be able to be off work, as it's my own business. I obviously have to talk to my doctor yet, but I would really like to hear some patient's experiences before I decide on whether or not to have surgery.

    Thank you,

  • I managed to go back to work part time at 6 weeks. That being said, I only work 3 - 4 hours. Then I take the rest of my work home and telecommute. The sitting thing is very hardest part of this surgery, from my viewpoint. Many of us don't get back to work for 3 months. Much depends on the individual, the length of surgery and complications (if they occur.)

    So many times we've all posted the word "patience." This surgery really takes it! I've had lots of surgeries and breezed through. At 56, this one has kicked my a##. Some here, especially younger, have a much easier time. I think your doc was right on spot with an estimate of 2 months but since your job is administrative I infer that there is lots of sitting ----- so u may not be able to make it thru the whole day for awhile.

    If you must go back full time right off the bat, you'll have to get up and move around every 15 mins or so.

    At any rate, best of luck to you. I am glad I had my surgery (didn't have a choice) but was not prepared for the extended recovery!
  • I had a 2 level fusion w/decompression, and I went back 1/2 days at 7 wks and full time at 8 weeks. I'm a nurse in a Dr's office, so I'm up and down all day w/periods of standing. It was tough the first full week back, but got better quickly.
  • I had a laminectomy & fusion at L5-S1. I went back to work (desk job) after 4 weeks (half days) and returned to full time work after 6 weeks. I should have waited a couple more weeks before going back to work as it was very tiring.

    Sitting in an office chair is especially tough in those first few weeks back. Remember to get up every 15 minutes or so and move around. I set an alarm timer on my computer, to remind me to get up and walk around.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

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