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Ten days after second fusion

I'm blessed with DDD and just had my second fusion surgery at the ripe old age of 47. My first fusion was L4 L5 some sixteen years ago. S1 L5 has naturally fused at this point with the prior fusion fused great. This time they removed the disk (which was mush per the doctor) between L4 and L3 then placed a cage with bone graft and bracketed the vertebra. Surgery was ten days ago and went well from current stand point; 80% of prior pains are gone (knocking on wood here). I'm waking almost a mile two to three times a day. I have not started stretches yet but feel ready. I have already reduced my meds by half since coming home last week too. Now the questions. I am a car salesman which means getting in and out of a lot of cars for test drives. It also means a lot of walking as we have a 42 acre lot and it's pretty hard to get customers inside sitting down. Understanding that, how long before I should realistically wait before returning to work? How long should it realistically take before the graft is set to the point that I'm not going to risk upsetting it. I am also interested to know if I should seriously consider a new career as I am now fused from S1 to L3 and would the continuous bending to get in and out of cars put too much stress on the above disk. Thank you for any response. Tom
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Comments

  • You should ask your spine specialist about the possible change of careers. However, I'd assume he knew your career before the surgery and would have spoke to you about this specifically before the surgery.... I''m fused at these levels and returned to classroom teaching... it isn't selling cards, but it is walking/on your feet. I returned to "work" at 7 weeks post op but didn't really get back into the entire swing of things until about week 10. I think you just have to listen to your body. You definitely need to work with your PT with safe ways to get in and out of a vehicle without bending/twisting. It can be done, but you have to "re-learn" these things.It mightd just take time, patience, and practice.
    Best of luck to you!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Getting in and out of cars is a pain in the butt. However, my surgeon told me that riding in a car was far worse due to the constant vibration. Being a car salesman could be detrimental. Any chance that you could transition to sales management or financial services?
  • Tom ATom A KentuckyPosts: 28
    edited 06/06/2013 - 1:29 PM
    Management of F&I would be great, but average management and F&I tenure is over twenty years with myself only being there for three years. Your comment about getting in and out of vehicles along with the vibration is dead on. Then add that I am at a large lot with a lot of action, well just not so sure I can hold up long term. Re-learning how to get in and out of cars will help, but not sure how much. I actually have extensive thoroughbred experience including equine insurance and live in the heart of the Bluegrass. Probably time to go back to the thoroughbred world or just find another sales type job.
  • Sounds like you have some excellent alternatives. I hope your healing runs smoothly.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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