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Why no weights above the head after ACDF?

I can't seem to get a straight answer on this one...I had ACDF 18 months ago and now I'm feeling nearly normal again.

Recovery took a long time. I was in good shape prior to the surgery, and haven't gained any weight since the surgery (well, I did for a little while, but lost all the excess)

My Dr and my PT both said I should no longer lift weights above my head. I used to like to military press with a barbell, sometimes with dumbells - but they've advised me not to do this. I never really got a good answer as to why...they also advised against running due to the pounding.

I was wondering if any of you received similar advice? I'd really like to go back to my old weight routine, minus the squats, but I'm worried about doing both Military press and bench press. They said I could bench, but light weights only.

I won't do the squats anymore as I don't want to put that weight on my back any longer. Too bad though, made me really strong.

I had two level ACDF (C5-C6, C6-C7) at age 54.

Thoughts? Suggested alternative exercises?


  • Why would you want to risk potential damage to your spine after having surgery?
    The restrictions are there for a reason, and there are things that we need to modify or eliminate post op in order to protect and preserve the rest of our spine, and prevent further injury. Your surgeon would know the specific reasons for not allowing you to weight lift post op, based on his knowledge of your spine.
    We also can not make alternate excercise regimines.......
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