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6 weeks post op - first day back to work

Hello All,

I had a ACDF level 1 (C5-C6) on July 23rd.
Today is my first day back to work and I feel good. Ask me how I feel at the end of the day?!?!
There are still certain turns of the neck I can't do - trying to find a comfy position for sleep is still a challenge, But hopefully it gets better in time.
My voice still cracks and I sound tired if I talk too much.
The incision is good - healing nicely.

I have to retrain myself about the proper posture - I think a collar would have been a good idea for me. But the doctor said they don't use those for my ACDF. OK but prior to surgery my neck was ram rod straight (which is NOT normal), now I am relearning the proper positioning for me neck and by the end of the day I really feel it. Have to stay positive and HOPE my neck posture continues to improve.

I asked the surgeon when I could start running as a form of exercise. He said he wouldn't recommend it. He said running for a "healthy person" eventually takes its toll on the knees, spine etc. And since I already have spine/neck issues - he said it might not be the best thing for me.
So now I have to come up with Plan B :(
Any ideas?

I just wanted to thank everyone for your support and prayers. This board has been so helpful and I am happy I found it.
Thanks again, Kris


  • Congrats on making it back to work. Don't be surprised if your neck is a bit sore at the end of the day, it might take sometime to get used to staring at things for long periods of time. Some will find they still need a muscle relaxer or some massage therapy.

    As far as the running I think your doctor is suggesting that for your knees more so. After my first surgery, my surgeon really wanted any form of exercise especially walking. There have been one level members whom have returned to very aggressive sports. One member, I know returned to soccer as yes, he heads the ball. My personal feeling if running is what you enjoy, I would go for it, if you feel up to it.

    Just wanted to stop by and say congrats on your progress thus far, keep up the good work.
  • Congrats! Where do you work? I returned to work 9 weeks post op and I felt like I was going to die. I work as a manager in a busy restaurant.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • On your recovery, and being back to work. I also did a lot of walking after my surgery. It seemed to Help
    me mentally and physically. Just wanted to let you know this is such great news, and I agree SH has
    been the most supportive group. I have met (not in person) Great People here. :)

    Take Care, and Keep Us posted on your recovery.
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 09/11/2012 - 8:21 AM
    on reaching that mile stone.
    Do be careful not to overdo it though. It is so easy when you start to feel 'normal' again.

    OK, I have to ask (as you told me too). How did you feel at the end of the day?

    Take care
  • Kris2learnKKris2learn Posts: 15
    edited 09/12/2012 - 7:02 AM
    Well day 3 and I have to admit - my neck is tender.
    I go home at night and just flake out on the couch, not what I want to do but what my body is telling me. I plan on listening to my body and going at a pace that is ideal for me to recovery fully.
    I work in an office and sit at a desk and I am on my computer all day. I stop and stretch and move around. If I don't my neck starts to yell at me.
    I started walking the night of my surgery (after the drugs wore off). I continued walking everyday, usually twice a day. A small walk by myself and a longer walker with my hubby and puppy when hubby got home from work.
    I agree with everyone - I will not over-do-it. However, with that in mind, I am back to school next week, 2 nights of school after work, so next week will be the test. Wish me luck. I am completing the last to courses I need for my accouting diploma and I don't want to stop. With the economy the way it is, I want that diploma in my hands, just in case something happens at work. So I am motivated to work through the discomfort and get these courses.
    Thank you all for your words of encouragement and advice. I will keep you all updated on my recovery and hope everyone finds the relief we need.
    God Bless, Kris

  • Kris as you return to school. I think you should find that it will get easier as your neck gets used to the higher level of activity. Resting when you get home is probably a good idea.
    Do keep us informed on how you are doing.
    Take care,

  • I'm looking at C5-C6-C7 as well as T3-T4-T5, waiting for my surgery consult. I'll be following your progress after surgery. I'm glad it's going well so far. It sounds like you have the right idea to listen to your body & not push too far too fast.

    Take care,
    C5-C6-C7, T3-T4-T5: disc protrusions, spinal cord & C6 nerve root involvement, tear at T3-T4
    C6 nerve root injection 10/12/12 and at-home traction
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