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Back to Work After Surgery

frenchfriffrenchfri Posts: 325
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello to all. Many of us are returning to work after surgery. You may have had cervical (ACDF) or lumber fusion. We are wondering what helped you make it through the day, how you coped at work, how you managed your pain. Any and all personal stories are welcome.

I had ACDF on 12/9/2010.
I bring my soft collar to work with me. When my head seems too heavy for my neck or my neck is very sore, I put the collar on for a while. I also take some time and put my head back and clothes my eyes for a while. I also have difficulty working on the computer for any length of time. I know proper posture is of the utmost importance. It is hard to remember not to slouch.

Hope to hear other suggestions that can help us all.


  • Hi Frenchfri,

    I have a desk job (computer/meetings all day). My NS said since I didn't drive a fork life (for example), that I was cleared to work as I felt able to work. I started working part time on the home computer after two weeks, then started to go into the office part time after three weeks.

    Well, in restrospect, I went back way too soon. Even with part time work, I'd overdo it, then take a step back in my recovery. Also, my job is stressful and I would find (still do actaully) that the higher the stress level, the worse I felt.

    Just in the last week, I have started to feel a bit more like my old self. Not all the time, mind you, but I'll go a few hours forgetting I had the surgery until I trip or turn my head too fast - then I remember.

    If I had it to do over again, I would do no work at all for two months ---- no matter how good I thought I felt ---- then go back part time as able for the next month after that. Given my progress so far, I would expect to be able to handle the 10-hr stressful days --- all day, every day --- by the three month point, which for me is 4/3.

    But, and this is a big caveat, EVERYONE is different. This is just my perspective.

    As to how I handle things when I have to remain in the office and I am feeling stressed or the neck aches: walks around the block and closed-door deep breathing certainly help, but again, my experience has been that once I hit the "wall", it's pretty much over for the day and any band-aid I am trying to apply is only going to work for a short period.
  • Thanks for sharing. Sometimes it is nice to hear someone else's story. I too find that walking around and doing some simple exercises really helps. I also agree when you hit that brick wall you are done for the day. There have been many evening that once I get home I am on the recliner with an ice pack except for dinner.
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