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Back Brace infor surgery Thurs.

dilynnddilynn Posts: 37
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I will be wearing a back brace for a while after procedure. I usually have to wear business casual when I go back to work. I will be wearing this brace when I go back to work. Any suggestions? This is a silly question. Can you wear a bra?? Maybe I should look for a couple of differnt types of outfits so the brace isn't obvious?? Help..lol
2007 ACDF C6 - C7
2010 Aspen Cage L4,L5 for Grade 2 Spondo and spinal stenosis
2011 Non-Union C6-C7, Revision Posterior fusion with hardware.
2012 Failed fusion of L4, L5. Revision L4, L5 Fusion with hardware.


  • Hi Dilynn, how are ya this fine morning? Well, I can't really answer the bra part, since I don't generally wear one.Ha! But I think the brace is made to accomodate wearing one. As far as fashion, about all I can do right now is sweat pants and tee shirts. Now, I'm only about 3 weeks post op, and maybe you're surgery was/will be different from mine, but I can't imagine wearing too much in the way of business casual at this point. If you can wear a light 'hoodie' jacket, that will mostly conceal the brace, but pants are what I'd worry about. Even when I have sweats on, the waistband goes right across the incision on the back and can get mighy uncomfortable. I don't know how slacks or jeans would work out.

    What procedure are you going to have? I had a L5-S1 fusion, and to be honest, right now I'm still more concerned with daily living than with what I will wear going back to work. In my case, I don't think I'll be going back as long as the brace is on.

    I wish you the best of luck.
    Your personal fashion guru
  • Dilynn it really depends on the brace. If it a custom molded brace it should fit very close. I have a custom molded tlso that I wear with buisness and buisness casual I needed no new clothes funny thing is my waist is even looser wearing the brace than with out. Yes you can tell you are wearing a brace if you are wearing tight fitting shirts, T's etc.
    Take care If your brace is uncomfortable don't settle for it have them adjust it. With time youwill be comfortable wearing it. Work up tothe wearing schedule 1hr first itme then 2hr next day 3 on the third kind of thing by 5 days you shopuld be comfortable all day. if you have to wear it to bed that take some adjustmet time.
    Take Care
  • I have one. You aren't hiding this puppy. It's built to provide real support. The nice thing is the turtle shell, big plastic part, can be removed. I'm supposed to ween my way down out of the brace using that idea. I have my pedometer and cell phone clipped to it.

    It goes on over my pants and shirt. Whether I'm wearing jeans and tshirt or dockers and polo. If you have more formal needs for work I can't imagine not just putting a sports coat over it not being satisfactory. You are actually recovering from injury, not trying to look like a runway model. LOL.

    They had a 2nd back brace option. The person fitting me said it was for the vain people. Used mostly by high school kids or business people who just can't live with others seeing them in a brace. It fit good but the support for riding in a car was not good. I opted to skip vanity.

    I must be creating a horrible fashion faux paux in my attire ;-)

    Sorry. Not meaning to belittle your situation. But some things you can't and really shouldn't need to hide. They are what they are. They help you heal. You shouldn't be loosing business, customers, or respect because you have one on.

    I'm hoping for sympathy points at work, but doubt I'll get any...
  • I am getting opinions and possibly facing a TLIF.
    I asked about back brace and the one neuro surgeon said he doesn't use them b/c he doesn't think they really add value.

    I found that hard to believe especially in the car.
    I have one more consult with another neuro surgeon and will ask him the same.

    Just curious on this.

    As for worrying about work, my doctor told me that minimum 3 weeks before I would even want to consider working. He said he had 1 patient that went back after 2 weeks and he was crazy. He told me expect at least 3 weeks and then he doubted I'd want to go IN to work. What's been people's expectations/experience with returning to work?
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I had a "turtle" shell type custom brace after my fusion in 93. I bought men's tank undershirts. I could put this under the brace for comfort. I wore more loose tunic type clothes when I went back to work.

    A few months ago at work I saw someone in our building who must have recently had lumbar surgery. She was wearing it over her clothes. I think she figured her clothes fit better and no reason to hide it. I guess it also depends on if you are out in the public or if only your co-workers are around so they won't care if it's worn on the outer layer.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I have the turtle brace given to me by the PM who did my injections. My NS didn't want me to use one at all but I play pretty hard and it was given to me prior to the PLIF. He said the hardware was not going anywhere. He wanted me to not have it so my muscles would engage and I would heal faster.... Maybe that is why it was such a hard recovery?

    I cheated and used the turtle brace when I started feeling like getting out walking at the mall at first (that was it) unless I had to be on my feet all day further into the recovery. It really helped with the intense muscle spasms I had. Now I hardly ever use it, but if I have to work a trade show I will have it in my bag just in case.

    I also have a couple elastic braces (light weight). I used the light weight brace if I had to drive or fly long distances before my surgery. I have not used either of these in over a year.

    I wore mine under my clothes. I use the cute cami's and looser fitting slacks and looser fitting blouses. You can see that I was wearing something but I wasn't advertising it. I wore a bra no problem. Not wearing one is not an option for me and work :O)

    Good luck,

  • DNice,

    To use or not to use a brace is a decision that is up to your surgeon. Mine does not want his patients to wear one as he feels that the hardware provide enough internal support, and other than that he wants his patients to learn to walk and move properly and using certain muscles. Personally I was happy about that as wearing one did not seem too comfortable to me, but many people on this board said that it helped them. So there is no right or wrong answer,

  • I have a brace. I wear it most of the time except to bed. I have noticed since it has been 2 weeks, I can
    wear it over a wifebeater. and it fits under my loosest clothing quite well. My dog is totally obsessed with it tho. I think she has a velcro fetish. When I am through with it, she is going to wear it LOL.

    Unfortunately my surgery was open due to previous scar tissue, my Dr has me slated for a mid January return to work. But my incision is awesome. interior stitches and outside bonding (superglue??) so it is a pretty straight line, approx 8 inches. NO ugly sutures hanging out, that has made a huge difference in clothing, brace and what not.
  • I have a brace. My doctor prescribed it for comfort after surgery. Mine I wore an undershirt with the brace over it and a bigger shirt over it. I put it on before my pants so it would be tucked under my waistband.
  • I should explain..I am a nurse and work home hospice. Really do not do much lifting anymore. My work doesn't know I am having this surgery. I am only a casual employee so I didn't feel I had to explain. So I just wanted to be careful when I go back at first that they don't ask to many questions. Here in Michigan jobs are not that available and I need to do what I have to..... Call me crazy and yes I will be careful. I am not going to go thru this for nothing..
    2007 ACDF C6 - C7
    2010 Aspen Cage L4,L5 for Grade 2 Spondo and spinal stenosis
    2011 Non-Union C6-C7, Revision Posterior fusion with hardware.
    2012 Failed fusion of L4, L5. Revision L4, L5 Fusion with hardware.
  • So don;t tell them you had surgery. Just wear a good brace and wear it right. Someone sees it and asks. Oh, I think I sprained my back, maybe. My doctor gave me this and said wear it for a while until your back feels more stable.

    So yeah it's a lie about the specific back problem. But not the reason why you have it on. Wearing one and trying to hide it and getting caught.Then you are pinned for a quick answer.

    Just a thought.
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