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ACDF - Physically Protecting

Robert DaviesRRobert Davies Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a Police Officer with 27 years Service who has recently had to undergone a level one ACDF C5/C6 Fusion and Plating. I'm presently recovering 4 weeks after the operation and all has, it would appear gone well. I have acceptable aches and pains in my neck after surgery.

My concern is my job understandably needs physicality and the ability to overcome criminals who may want to resist or attack me or victims. I have enjoyed being strong and fit up until 4 months ago when I was struck down with shoulder and arm pain. This has been fixed (Thank the Lord). However to be frank I'm a little nervous at the moment. I Don't feel well enough to do Push Ups etc. Will I get well enough soon to do exercise and lift weights as I did before eg 100 Kg but more importantly and to be blunt get into a fight possibly day after day and win and not break my neck. (Imagine someone grabbing me by the neck. Has this happened to you?)

I would appreciate any views please. I really don't know what to expect from my body for the future



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Welcome to Spine-Health. Its always a two-edged sword when I see new members that are policeman, fireman, soldiers, etc. All of you do so much in protecting the society will live in.

    The negative side is that when folks like yourself come here, it means there are some spinal problems that may prevent you from doing the job you have been doing.

    Everyone is different, but for me, I had much better success with my ACDF surgeries. After the recovery period and strengthening period, my neck was pretty solid (well as solid as it was going to get).

    There are many spinal patients who have returned to the type of job you are in. Could they do everything they did before the surgeries? Probably not, but with their doctor's approval and exercise programs, you can regain so much and step back into your prior shoes, with some restrictions.

    I think the final outcome for many spinal patients will be how hard they work during the recovery and post-recovery phases. So many of the doctors I know and the ones that have operated on me always tell me, that We had the easy part, your part will be much harder

    That is so true. There are so many members online here that worked very hard to return to the jobs that they loved and did it well. I doubt if there is one formula that will work for everyone, but I will say that as long as you work hard, follow what you are suppose to do and keep a positive outlook and attitude, you will be able to accomplish more than you can imagine right now.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Robert there are some pro athletes whom have recovered from ACDF one level and went on to play competitive sports. I think you will even find some football players in that group, so you might want to google and see. The key for you is going to be the physical therapy when it is the right time. Right now you should focus on walking and walking and if your good to go maybe a little jogging. Get your core muscles up to strength as the surgery is major surgery and does weaken your body. But it sounds as though your surgery is a success so far, so stay on the path the surgeon has you on, so as nothing will go wrong. I look forward to hearing when your back on the force and back to what you enjoy.
  • Thanks for your advice. I guess I must have patience. I just hope my Occupational Health Department are as understanding. We'll just have to see
  • Robert,

    My first fusion was C5/6 and after 6 weeks I was returned to light duty for 6 weeks, then back to full duty with 'caution.' As long as you don't have adjacent level failure, hopefully you will do fine.

    I lost my level below it with 'violence' if you will, and it caused nerve damage and I had to retire. If you have no issues with your present level, you should be able to return to full duty chasing dirt bags.

    I will add my thoughts and prayers you stay safe, and can continue into your career. Stay safe brother!!! Retired LEO...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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