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So what is overdoing it??? Really?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What is it? I am now one week post ACDF C6-7 and feel fine. I was sent home with no collor and told that moving my neck was no problem. Not even a Tylenol today. I carfully fixed the dishwasher today (screw caught in the pump), and moved smart and safe. I helped the little lady cook and clean up from a full turkey dinner including taking it out of the oven "Carefully" (It was GOOOOOOD by the way), strated my car up and drove it around the block a few times (Can't let it sit), I don't get it, I really feel good. Of course I have the slight tightness in my shoulder blades but it is just that "Slight" and feelings bouncing around my body which are becoming more annoying than anything. I also walked 9 miles between it all. I still have yet to feel tired. THIS FORUM SCARED THE S**T OUT OF ME! I was expecting much worse after the big day. I guess that is a good thing because I am kind of relieved.

Oh yea, My surgeon told me to stay off the internet and definitely away from forums. LOL, He told me it will give me false information and I will not even know I had surgery in three months. This guy is confident!!

It is because of this forum I have like 35 questions to ask him and I am glad I found this place.

My appt is tomorrow, 8 days after surgery, I want to see my scar bad, it looks to be about an inch long.

So really, what is overdoing it? Am I going to be the guy who "Should have listened to the doctor" because according to him I have not stepped out of bounds yet????

Recovery just seems a lot easier than it is supposed to. I could have gone back to work the day after surgery, REALLY!

OK I'll go now, I am just babbling now 8}


  • Hi,
    It sounds like you are one of the success stories and I want to congratulate you for having everything go right. You just have to realize that it will take time for fusion to happen so even though you are doing great allow your body to heal.
    Once again celebrate your lack of pain and the success of your surgery. I hope it continues forever.
  • I think everyone is different and you obviously know your limits well. There are many different circumstances and outcomes of surgery, and I think your question is vague for others...Plus I think you answered for yourself. If you get sick, tired, sore tonight or over the next day; take it a little slower for awhile. I'm glad to hear how well everything went for you, and bring some of that enthusiasm by me!!! Some days I need to hear stories like yours!
  • You'll know it when you do it...only then it will be too late.

    But seriously, it only makes sense to take it easy for a couple weeks to give your body a chance to heal, and then recover.

    By being in a car unnecessarily you put yourself at additional risk of being in an accident you never expected to happen. It also puts your body in a situation where road vibration can jar the cells that are trying to line up and knit together. Would you have been able to turn your neck safely if the situation had warranted it without hurting your surgery?

    Lifting turkeys out of the oven puts additional strain and stress on the soft tissue of your back and spine. Walking nine miles one week out strikes me as excessive. What's the point? Why push it?

    I know cervical fusions set up much more quickly than lumbar fusions which is what I am familiar with...but one week out from a lumbar fusion, all the anesthetic hasn't even cleared the body yet. Many people feel great at one week only to begin to feel much worse at ten days to two weeks. Hopefully that won't be the case for a cervical fusion.

    I hope you continue to do well, everything works out as you have planned, and you won't have any nasty little surprises.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    It sounds so simple, but yet it can be very complicated.
    There are the 'standard' things that should always be avoided when you have had spinal surgery.

    - The limit as to how much can be lifted
    - The way you lift things
    - What activities you engage in

    These are the simple ones. Yet for each person it can be a little different. And as what was pointed out, so many times you find out after the fact.

    I can list scores and scores of times that I overdid something and paid the price afterwards. I should have paid attention to those times and learned from it... I did, but I can tell you not enough.

    Now, almost 10 years since my last spinal surgery, I have to remind myself about the things I can do and the things I should not be doing. So much of it, when you break it down is really only common sense
    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
  • :O :H What a simple word but no explanation is really ever given by our DR;s. Oh I have found out on my own what overdoing it means in my case, lots of tears, frustration, and pain. Would I have agreed to this surgery had I known it would limit me to pretty much doing nothing/ i don't believe I would have. Had I known I would end up with 3 lumbar fusions instead of the one I went in for I would have right out said no way.
    So to answer the question of overdoing it: if it hurts at all stop what you are doing right away.
  • i just did what the doctor said. i didnt lift more than 10 lbs for 10 weeks. but there were times i did over do it so i took a break for a few days to recover. at about 8 weeks i started using my total gym at the lowest level. felt like a wimp but i did it and didn't push it. i did increase the levels on a weekly basis.at 12 weeks i changed over to free weights. using only 10-15 lbs. thats when i felt i over did it cause after a few days i was in pain. so i gave myself a few days off. at my 3 month visit i was given a 35 lb weight limit to go back to work and that's what i'm keeping it at. if i need help to lift something i ask. not gonna be the he man i thought i was, lol. I've been back to work since march 2nd as a mailman and i feel great. more aches and pains are going away every day. as for this forum i've met a lot of people. they have their own opinion about recovery. its how you feel during your recovery. if your body hurts stop. if you feel great keep moving. you know yourself and only you.take care!!
  • Because of the honest answers.

    gwennie17, 9 miles in one day over two walks is really not that much, I walked 8 the day following surgery and then went out for sushi with my wife. I injured myself doing tumbles with my three year old and before that was in training for a triathlon. I'm omly 34 and in really good shape. To be honest, I do it to keep from getting to board and it is probably why I do not hurt yet. My doc told me 40 miles is not too much if you can do it. The more you keep your blood flowing the faster you heal, Thats a fact, However, your honest answer is exactly what I am looking for and I am thankful for it so keep it coming.

    Funny thing though, I was a little sore last night and had some trouble sleeping, so maybe I did answer my own question. Off to see the doctor now, Chat with you all later.

  • I constantly wonder what the ramifications of overdoing it is. Does that mean a temporary setback - if so what is temporary? A couple days? Weeks? How can you tell if you overdid it to the point of worse than a flare up and you will go downhill daily?
    Lots to ponder as we go thru this journey called recovery.
  • ...I think you are approaching this the right way. As others have said just be careful, so you don't crater your chances for a full fusion and recovery.

    My thinking from the beginning on this has been to do everything I can pre and post op to maximize the chances for symptom reduction and full recovery...I'll be like you in that, assuming all goes well, I'll be up and about a few days after surgery, and hopefully back to work within a week (desk job).

    I initially spent a ton of time browsing these forums and searching for as much info and real world experiences as possible. I too was very concerned with what felt like a high proportion of less than ideal outcomes or continuing issues. As my surgery date approaches, I find myself spending less time here and more time prepping my body and mind for the weeks to come.

    None of that guarantees that I'll have a perfect outcome or avoid complications, but I've found it better for my peace of mind. Besides, now we have the swine flu to obsess about!
  • You are right -- it all depends what your body is used to doing. Some people go from having been unable to move for months or years due to pain to trying to walk three or four miles and then are surprised when they are in more pain.

    Your doctor knows you best, your physical condition and what he has done to you. Just listen to him and I'm sure you will recover fast and well.

    xx Gwennie
  • today for my first follow up and he is very happy with the progress. I asked him about exercise and he told me light is OK and just listen to my body. He took the tape off my cut and it looks AWESOME! I could not believe it. What I was thinking was blood was glue, who would of thunk it heh?? it actually looks like a long welt and no cut. I will see him in six more weeks for the X-Ray follow up.

    All good news right................But............

    I have had a headache since I woke up a 5am and feel VERY fatigued, I mean I have NOO strength. I think the surgery has caught up with my drive a little, or maybe I am getting sick who knows. All I know is I have been dragging around all day and took two naps already.

    People, I never take naps!!!!!!!!!

    So here I am wondering what to have for dinner, I want Pizza but do not want to drive and get it.

    Oh yea, Doc said I could drive, Nice!

    Almost 7:00 and I have not yet had dinner

    OK, Bye

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    In many ways the same situation can apply to all the above.

    Some activity or non-activity brought on problems so that your pain and discomfort levels are more pronounced

    This is now only my view on the three:

    Over doing it You become very sore and that many of the symptoms you have before are stronger. This type of
    problem can be acute, but should last only a couple of days

    Flare up Everything seemed to be going along fine.
    Then almost out of no where, one of more of your spinal problems surface. Not to the level they did prior to surgery. Many times, a little 'tune up' is all that is needed to get back on tract. A week or two back in Physical or Aqua therapy... Hopefully, these flare ups are short lived.

    Setback One or several of your actions created a situation in which your original pain surfaces to the top.
    For instance, because of the pain now, you are taking more
    pain medication that you did the week or month before.
    These type of problems can linger and can almost meaning to reset and start doing all those corrective actions again.
    The longer this type of problems continues, the potential for more radical actions is possible
    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
  • Good summary of the different scenerio's I will give it a A- for effort!

    On a serious note Thanks for the info, You seem to have the most informative posts in the joint!
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