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Returning to work after 2 level ALIF

Hello. I am 5 weeks post-op. I had a lumbar fusion at L4 L5 S1.
It was anterior. I have a desk job that also involves occasional air travel.
I have my 6 week post-op Dr. appt. next week and he has stated that he will release me to go back to work at the 6 week mark. I am very hesitant about returning at this point. I still have quite a bit of pain. I just started PT last week. I just feel like my lower back is "fragile" and I am afraid to do slot of activity.
I am still taking Percocet and Flexoril daily.
Should I just tell my Dr. that I don't feel like I am ready to return? I feel guilty staying off work because I don't have a job the requires any lifting. I see posts where people are returning to work 2 weeks post-op! I can't imagine that!

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  • Explain to your doctor your concerns about returning to work. Clearly explain your symptoms and how they may affect your work. Pain impacts your ability to work. Pain can cause fatigue. Commuting can cause pain and/or fatigue. Your doctor will make the decision about your returning to work. Would you have any opportunity to work reduced hours and increase them over time to full-time? These are just some things to think about.

    I hope you continue to improve!

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I agree about asking to go maybe one week back for half days and then the next week at full days. Are the meds controlling your pain? I take Percocet during the day and Flexiril at night. My pain is worsening and my surgery is not for 5 weeks. It is controlled and if I have trouble I just get up and walk around a bit. Good habit versus those that use that time to take a smoke break. Take a walk break.
  • Thanks for the insight & advice! I do make it a point to get up and walk every hour.
    Yes, the meds are working however I don't think I could take them and be productive at work.
    I am trying to slowly reduce the meds so I don't become too dependent on them.
    I am trying to take Tylenol during the day and wait until the evening to take the Percocet.
    I will talk with the Doc about possibly giving me another week.
    I am also frustrated because most if the time when I go to my appointments, I end up dealing with the Physycians Asst. and not my Doctor. Nothing against the Asst. but I carefully chose my Doctor before having surgery. When I have an appointment, I would like to see the actual Dr.

    Sorry for the rant. Just frustrated.
    Make someone smile today!
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