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employment after back surgery

westcoastsasiwwestcoastsasi Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I had a microdiscectomy in August 2010 Iv been a HR truck driver all my working life which I can no longer do, Im at a loss as to what do do for re employment just counting stock on a shelf causes me pain as it seems I always have to bend or sit and sitting is painfull Im illergic to codine so pain management is limited, it gets depressing feeling useless I just dont know where to go any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx Sandra


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I am sorry that you are no longer able to do your profession but there has to be a job somewhere that you can do. That is if you are willing to work again. I was a bartender when I originally began my journey with all my surgeries 15 years ago. I was no longer able to that job and took a job in a medical billing company ( I had no prior training). Today that is my line of work and I am able to work with a little help from the right chair and meds. Have you ever thought about returning to school? Good luck
  • wont employ anyone with back issues {for fear of litigation } and you will find that many people with back pain especially when they have had multiple operation are not even fit to work again ..its bleak i know but i don't know many that work again post back surgey
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • after your microd surgery? You make it sound like you are worse? Have you seen your surgeon? There is more that can be done beyond a microd.

    Before giving up on your job because a microd failed to help. I would be back at the surgeons office wanting a better answer. Not giving up my career.

    Need more details.

  • Sandra; hi and i agree with Z06, dont give up with what you have unless absoutely necessary.

    But i also agree with backache99, as if you are forced to look for a different line of work, it's gonna be hard to find.
    Once employers see on your history you had back surgery, they will treat you like the plaque.

    I'm also a semi-truck driver, and i cant go back to doing that anymore, so i applied for SSD and thankfully was approved.

    So think your options out carefully before making any moves.

    Good luck to ya.
  • What op have you had done.Is it the sitting thats a prob with your driving?
    What sort of driving did you do.Line-haul.
    I'm a driver in New Zealand,recovering from my 2nd fusion.
    I'm hopeing still to get back into a truck.I'm three months post op & are getting a load of pain from my metal ware.Having to wait for fusion to do its thing b-4 they can remove the screws/bolts& rods.
    My surgeon is talking about maybe taking just the bottom screws out & trimming off the rods.
    I will have a CT scan in 2 months time to confirm fusion success.
    Can you all drive cars?As in long trips in a car?
  • I had a 2 level tlif l4l5/l5s1.
    I still have alot of back pain/butt pain and pain down left leg and sometimes right leg.
    Had surgery 3/19/10, and had last CTscan 1/11, and it shows the l4l5 is fused, but a non-fusion at l5s1.

    If i sit for more then 20 minutes the pain levels keep rising.And the same with standing.

    I'm a local city driver, and do alot of physical work at most of my daily stops.
    And my NS has me on a 10 pound lifting restriction, along with a crop load of other restrictions.
    Even if i did line-haul i couldnt sit that long.

    I get another CTscan in June, if there is no change my NS is gonna submit to work comp. for another surgery (alif) with a plate.

    Driving a car is the same as sitting, as far as the pain levels.

    Good luck with your results, and i wish the best for ya. Just dont rush it.
    O and i've been a truck driver for 28 years, and i'm 55 y/o.
  • Thanks for your post.Yes I can totally understand not being able to do that sort of work.As lifting is surely a No-no.
    Also ,having a NON-UNION would mean you still have major issue's.I'm only hopeing to return to Line haul if I have a successful fusion.I have already had one failed fusion,but I didn't stop smoking that time round.I have stopped smoking this time,yeha.I just hope that my fusion is a success.
    All the best to you,are you having another operation to solve this problem.
    I,m a male aged 47 yrs.I have been off work now for about 3 yrs.I will need to do some serious exercise before I could be work fit,LOL.
  • Sandra, and all, I hate that we're in this kind of circumstance. I worry greatly about working. I'm 47 and have worked at physical jobs in the military and then the last 18 years at a steel mill. A year and a half ago I had an L5S1 fusion, which didn't work out. So now, I'm getting ready for a three level, 360 fusion. I wonder what I'm going to do after that? It'd be hard enough for a 47 year old guy to get a job nowadays anyhow, but especially an old goat like me with a metal back. Come on, who's going to hire me for any kind of job that will pay the bills? I feel for y'all..this subject keeps me up at night!! I have no good answer either. Best of luck to you all..and me!

  • Good luck with your quitting smoking. I truly hope you can stick with it, and achieve your goals.
    Being off work 3 years is a long time, you'll probably need to do work conditioning to get ready to endure a work day again.
    Once again "good luck" with your test results.

    Aaron; you have also had a physical job all your life, tough to go back to that after the doctors have to put us back together, after our body breaks.
    Your correct, no-one would take a chance on someone our age, coming off one of these surgeries, when there are a lot of young people out there looking for work, and willing to do more for less pay. And they dont have the broken parts yet, and are not "damaged goods"
    Since you worked in the mills, you probably made a good buck, and were union. Gonna be next to impossible to replace that.

    Best of luck to you.
  • Ya, Blazer, you got that right. I did make a pretty good penny, but in a right to work state so I got to keep all my pay! I will never be able to make even close to that again. For me, that was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whatever. It's done with. I tell you what's just about as bad is the insurance. I don't wanna bitch, cause at least I have insurance, but the COBRA coverage is costing me $860 a month. Dang! That's a big check to write when yer on a fixed income. I don't know..this puts a lot of us in a really difficult position. I have to be careful, or I can get depressed looking at the road ahead.

    I'll stop griping now..thanx for listening, y'all!

  • The work issue is very hard - I have been off for almost five months and I am looking at taking early retirement instead of going back to work in the prison. It has been too long a road to recovery for me to risk hurting myself and having to start over. If I worked a couple more years, I would get a larger pension - and a lovely plague - ha ha - but my husband and I are pretty sure the risk it isn't worth it.

    I am VERY sure that I can't handle another surgery and have pledged to do everything I can to make this one successful.
  • I'm still Glad I wasn't born in India,LOL.Or one of many countries ravaged by war.But I KNOW how hard it is to mentally cope with going backwards in life,both phyically & fainanceially too.It sure does SUCK.
    Chin up Peeps.Never Give Up!!!!
    Hugs to you all-You Brave People.
  • Ok I know I'm only 33 yrs old and have a profession(nursing) that has many opportunities to work with so I will be able to return to my job(so it's stated you never know...but I am a Comp Case) but I was wondering...where on job apps does it ask prior medical history?? As long as you try for a job that is within your restrictions or capabilities you should be able to get hired right?? This could be coming from a young naive woman...I have asked a TON of my nursing and doctor colleges this exact question because my husband and I are not settled in the area we live in and would eventually like to move once I am back at em and I have been told by ones who have had surgeries and moved and got other jobs that applications do not ask prior history and none of them have had trouble getting jobs within their restrictions...if WE aren't able to return as we would like...schooling is a good option....on limited incomes you could possibly get financial aide...hope everyone has a pain free and mentally stress free day!!!
  • Sarah--The original poster and some of the others were from truck drivers and they have to get a medical card which does require a physical and a comprehensive medical questionaire.

    I agree with you though as long as you are fit and able to do the job within your restrictions and capabilities then there should not be a problem. I think if you lie about your capabilities or your limitations then the employer may get upset etc...

  • You can go online and find job applications and requirements for many companies. Read through them. While they are not allowed to ask if you have had surgeries. They specifically state requirements you must meet.

    I pulled one from one of the more popular trucking companies for both overland and local. They have very specific descriptions of how much weight you must be able to move on skids with and without mechanical help. They describe how many times you must be able to get in and out of a cab. How many hours you must be able to sit and continue driving. That must be able to creep under the trailer or part of the rig, etc...

    Since they specify tasks you must accomplish. If you can meet them then there is no reason to discuss previous surgeries. I do believe it as actually against the law in the this country to ask.

    You might be in some or a lot of pain doing what they ask. And if you're a trucker it means no meds while driving. That would be rough but maybe doable.

    It appears the companies that want people for very physical jobs specify what you must do. They cover their tails by putting the liability on you.

    Sarah maybe you should pull up a description and requirement for the nursing jobs at the hospitals in the area you would like to move too. See if they specifically state some movements or weights you might have issues with.
  • I drive for a large nationwide,trucking co. with subsidaries in other countries.
    Angela is correct we are required under Federal law to get a physical every 2 years. It is a very hands on physical, where they also check your skeletal system.

    For the co. i drive for as with most large co's. we also have to do a pre-employment job simulator exam.
    Which would be required when coming back from a serious injury. Taken at the clinic of the employer's choice.
    So if there is something wrong with you physically, or you have limitations that can not meet their minimumn requirments they will clearly know.

    If you fail the physical you will not be given a medical card.
    If you fail the job simulation, you will not get the job.
    Either way you need to pass both whether seeking new employment, or returning to your job from a injury like we have had here.

    This is the co's. way to "cya" (cover your a@@).
    Also the Federal Govt. way to ensure their are safe drivers on the road.
    Unfortunally there are numerous illegal ways to get around all this.

    I have had numerous encounters with truckdrivers who cant speak english (mexican,polish and russian).
    Point is, if they cant speak the language, they probably cant write it either, so how did they get their Commerical license.

    Facts are there are ways to get around everything!
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