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Broken back T-1 to T-8

I was in an auto accident on May 28th of this year. I suffered a broken back t-1 to t-8. Broken ribs and bruised lung along with a major concussion. I have already had lower back fusion 4 yrs ago. I have an old injury of a bulging disc in my neck and chronic neck and shoulder strain. I'm tired just explaining all this. Anyway, I am home after 8 days in the hospital. I am physically and mentally not ok. I am still in a lot of pain and have out of the blue crying spells when I think about the accident. I see a psychiatrist this week. Has anyone had surgery to fix a broken back as severe as mine? I feel pretty lucky that I am able to use my hands and feet now. I don't see the surgeon until July 1st. The trauma dr said to do things as tolerated. What does that mean exactly? One side note, I was not very active prior to the accident due to my chronic pain from the lower back fusion and my neck. So who can tell me how soon I can do normal activities. It hurts to walk and I walk very slow. If I sit, I have to have my neck supported. I can't eat at the kitchen table because it hurts to put my arms on the table. Is this all normal? Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to reading your responses.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm sorry for the accident......You are going to continue to have pain for some months, while your body heals.....as far as post op activities go, they usually are limited to no bending, lifting, or twisting, and no sitting or standing for more than 10 minutes, rest as needed. No picking up anything over the weight of a gallon of milk. No driving, and walking as tolerated , multiple times per day, but not to overdo it.
    I would call your surgeon's office for more explicit instructions , since your surgery was of a traumatic nature and to make sure that there aren't any other restrictions that he wants you to follow.
    Depression is common after any back surgery, but given the traumatic nature of your injury, it is essential that you see someone who can help you work through that.
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