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Was doing well at home recovering from Posterior Cervical Fusion - now hurting like before as soon a

jben55jjben55 Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So after surgery on 4/4/11 and during the first 4 weeks at home recovering, I was doing relatively well with the pain and actually had some days where I felt hardly any and was therefore very optimistic and in good spirits. As soon I returned to work this week, all of a sudden I'm experiencing my pre-surgery pain all over again as my muscles are in spasm. Particularly my traps both upper and mid. I also have overall tightening in my entire back, shoulders and now deltoids. Lack of movement seems to be causing my entire body to feel tight. I am in management and sit at a computer for most of the day. I don't have the nice headrest and recliner I had at home nor the luxury of going and resting when I felt a little twinge of pain. My Doctor has stated that patience and rest is the best remedy at this time as I'm only 4 weeks out, so I'm going to take the afternoons off of work and go home.

What is very frustrating however is the pre-surgery pain and muscle spasms, thankfully minus the excruciating pain at my C7 spinous process - although my incision site is still pretty tender to the touch and have some pain around there too. It's also concerning and demoralizing that we have surgery to get rid of pain but when the same sort of pain comes back, what to make of it. I know I just had the surgery, but the only thing I can do is rest, ice and take meds. I still have the collar on which it seems makes the muscle spasms worse and there is not much I can do about it because we're supposed to wear it 24-7 in the first number of weeks. I wish I could start therapy now particularly to start getting my body moving again and stretched but can't for another couple of weeks.

Anybody felt like I have, that while you're at home you're doing relatively well but as soon as you return to work, pain increases. Would love to hear from you all.



  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also went back to work after 4 weeks and it wasnt with my surgeons approval. He stated it was way to soon to go back after posterior cervical surgery. At home I felt decent, not great but better. When I went back to work ( also a computer job) all he## broke loose. He agreed but only for part time. He stated too much too soon. Can you ease your way back up to your normal schedule? I did not have a choice but to return to work because I was out of FMLA and they only agreed to hold my job 4 weeks. To be honest I wasnt capable of returning and doing my job well, I ended up getting terminated and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It gave me time to allow my body to heal from such a drastic surgery. I know it is hard not to be in a rush while healing but patience is the key. Give your body time to heal. Good luck
  • Yes I can reduce my hours in the office for the time being. Good advice. How are you doing now?

  • I DEFINITELY hurt when I went back to work!!!! It was pretty bad for a few months there - and I didn't go back until the almost 6 month mark!!!

    It's not like I have a hard job either. It's pretty ideal for a back-recovery - intermittent standing and walking mixed with limited sitting.

    I took a lot of Tylenol PM during those months, it took the pain level down just enough that I could relax and fall asleep. You might consider a good muscle relaxant at night to help you calm down the muscle spasms, so you can start each day fresh and hopefully rested.

    You are SO early out, I'm amazed you are even trying to work right now. Take it easy.
  • at home in the first few weeks while recovering. It provided a false sense of security in some respects. Although I had a nice recliner, good books, good family and the ability to go for walks so it was not my normal day to day although I now wish it could be.

    I know I am very early in the process, patience is key. I more or less wanted to see if others experienced the same thing upon returning to work. Stress has a certain component too and work is stress.

  • I know I am very early in my process and had a Anterior not Posterior cervical fusion...you had it right when you said patience is key. A False sense of security is right...when your at home you have all your comfy clothes...socks...chairs...blankets..
    Ect....Stress hurts ya while your recovering...that's why home should be a stress free environment...don't we all wish:) But we all know work for sure is a stress...I was off work 14 months before surgery and symptomatic 17 months...I am 3 wks post op today and have periods of feeling good and then periods of exhaustion...my surgeon has told me not to expect to be back to work until late this year...by the time I make it back to work it will be almost 2 YEARS!!! I am on my feet ALOT at work...I am a nurse that works 3 twelve hour shifts a week(when I was working) I am actually afraid to return just because of my duties and the fact that I want to be at my best so I can do my best taking care of other people...I work the ICU and OB at our local hospital....when I read you guys had already returned to work I was shocked...I hope all turns out well for the both of ya and you can get some pain free days!!!
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