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Back to Work Part Time 2.5 weeks after ACDF

sparkledctssparkledct Posts: 120
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had my 2 week post op today and Doctor says I can go back to work on Monday part time. I was surprised since most people on here seem to go back closer to the 4 week post op time frame.
Just wondering from those of you that have been there. How hard is it going to be to go back that early?
I have a computer job - typing and on the phone all day.


  • Melissa, that sounds amazing!
    You are obviously doing very well, but how do you feel about this?
    I would imagine that working on a computer would be very hard so soon after a cervical fusion.
    Do you have a choice in the matter? If you try it and can't cope, can you go off sick again?
    I would say be careful, you don't want to set yourself back again.

    It is good to here from you. How is your recovery going?
    Take care
  • I just have personal knowledge of lumbar issues...so hope all the cervical people respond, but I cannot imagine going back after two weeks post surgery.

    I'm interested in the answers to all the questions jelly asked. Do you have to go back so soon?
  • to go back so soon. Sitting at the computer is very difficult after an ACDF, but you might be ok. If you have a choice, however, I'd delay a couple of weeks or so, but that's just from my experience and we're all different.

    As for the phone - please tell me you have a headset...

    Now, do you remember our promise? You said that if the anticipation turned out to be worse than the surgery, you'd post it. I'm anxious to hear - do you think that was the case? Just curious.

    Take care of yourself and try not to rush things.

  • Sparkled - I returned to work two weeks post-op with a 2-level acdf. Have a desk job where I'm on the computer and phone all day.

    Everyone's different but I did not have any issues at all. Used the neck brace. It was nice to get out of the house and back into a routine.
  • Thanks for the posts. First answer -No I do not have to go back, but my office only gave me 3 sick days towards the surgery so I really want to srat back as long as I will be ok.
    Doctor said no more collar which was something that gave me comfort and made me feel like my neck was protected so I am struggling to get use to it. My doctor said he would write me off work for a couple more weeks if I wanted. I guess it is more doubt of myself being able to do it. Just typing on here can be a bit of a challenge. Doctor said if the part time didnt work to call him and we can still change it so that is good. I do not have a headset yet. I told them that I would need one when I came back before I left for surgery but do not know if they got one yet. Trust me I know talking on the phone is NO good for me so no headset and I guess i just wont answer the phones.
    The Anxiety was WAY worse than the surgery itself. The procedure was no picnic, but I think not knowing what to expect was worse. The surgeon wants to deal with my back next so I am thinking I will be undergoing another surgery before the year is out cause my back is a mess, but I do not think I will be as scared as I was for this because I have done it now and no sort of what to expect.
    I am still hurting and on Oxycodone & Flexeril everyday but have gone from 2 pain pills every 4 hours to 1 pain pill every 8-12 hours. Not that I do not hurt at 4 hours I am just pushing to get myself off the heavy stuff as soon as possible. I think I am doing really good considering it tomrrow is only 2 weeks. I am however anxious to get out of the house a bit for sure. I need to move :)

    Aaron, If I was keeping the neck brace I would feel a little better. But it makes me feel better to see that someone has gone back that soon and done ok.. Give me hope that I can do it too.

    You are all awesome. Hoping you are having great low-pain days...

  • Hi Melissa! I've been thinking of you and looking for your post. So happy to hear from you! It's great your recovery is going well.

    But....I am worried for you going back to work so soon, especially without a neck brace.

    The tricky part about recovery is finding that balance between the right amount of activity and too much. Once you do too much, it takes so long to feel better.

    How are you managing at home? Taking care of yourself, the kids, etc?

    Has your arm pain resolved? I hope so! :)

    It is so great to hear from you! Take care my friend! xxxxxx Shari
  • I went back to work for 7-8 hrs a day after 2 weeks, the third week I was working my normal 10-12 hour days. Desk job on phone and computer all day. If I had it to do over again I would have pushed it back to 3 weeks.
  • I went back at 3 weeks to a 6 hour day. At 2 1/2 I was out shopping and trying to catch up on things so it would be easier when I went back.

    Those first few weeks were a little tough. Remember to get up every so often. Otherwise you will probably be fine. At 3 months now it is hard to remember how I felt right after surgery. :)
  • First I say congrats on having a successful surgery and doing so well. As far as returning to work it is on a individual basis. Lots of things factor into the equation as to what all was done in surgery. Also the type of work that you do. I myself went back at the 10 week mark but also have a physical and mentally demanding job and involved lots of windshield time. My company didn't allow any meds, so I had to be off of them and out of my system on the return. I actually returned to work before physical therapy. But within about three months it was clear something was wrong and I had developed psuedoarthrosis. So back under the knife I went the only difference was more damage had occurred during the time. So my thoughts are do what you feel comfortable with. Your the only one whom can judge your body and what is right or not right. If it don't feel right don't do it. The only problem is if your in a work environment sometimes that philosophy may not work. But I wish you well on the return to work and hope you continue on the progress you have made thus far. Keep in mind work will probably cause some additional pains so just be prepared. You might want to check into the bean bag type things that you can pop in the microwave in case you have spasms or pains. Keep us posted.
  • Is there any way you could return to work in the middle of the week rather than the beginning of the week. Then you would have the weekend to rest and ice, ice and rest.

    Hope all is well! Thinking of you and hoping the sun is shining on you! Shari
  • Well I spoke to work today and told them I am going to give it a try and a 4 hour day on Monday. You know I actally think I am going to be ok. I am icing myself lots and it helps for sure. I am sore but actually have kept myself from taking any meds today - woohoo. I am sure I am pushing it but that is just me. If it gets bad I will back off..
    I appreciate all the information you have all shared. It makes me have a little more faith that Monday will be ok.
    I promise to post that afternoon and evening. Thanks to all. Hugs and love sent your way!
  • For Monday. I hope it goes well and that they have a headset for you.

    Make the most of the weekend.

    I bet you never expected to be doing so well!
    Well done girl!
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