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Post-Acdf work restrictions for office job?

I see my surgeon on friday, 11 days post op, single level acdf. i expect him to send me back to work in two weeks with some restrictions. i want to make sure his restrictions cover the accommodations i will need to get through the day. what restrictions should i ask for? will sitting too long be a problem? will driving long distances? (i sometimes travel for work within a 250 mile radius.) using a laptop? working 8 hours straight?

i know everyone's recovery is different. just looking for examples and personal experiences. thanks.
C5/6 herniation, type 2 diabetes, generalized anxiety disorder


  • I had my post op monday (9/22) after a 3 level acdf. He didn't want me to drive for another week. Long distance driving may be strenuous. I didnt realize how much you use your neck while driving, looking around, absorbing bumps and curves etc. I am driving now and working 6 hours per day (computer, light duty stuff) and I am exhausted at the end of a day. Feels like the neck muscles are toning up after laying around for 12 days, no real pain just achy. He also told me to stick with the 10 pound lift limit for another 4 weeks, until I come back with xrays.
    With a 1 level you may be better off, but the driving may be a real pain in the neck (pun intended). After 3 days of driving 10 miles to work it is getting a little more comfortable, but still a bit stiff and sore. I would certainly not want to drive for 250 miles for another 3-4 weeks..
  • I had my 2 week post op appointment on Monday also. He was talking about sending me back to work in a month. From what the doctor said before my surgery, I could be out for 12 weeks because of the restrictions. I work in a food production plant and they do not allow anyone to return to work with restrictions. My job isn't the most labor intensive job, but it also isn't sitting at a computer. Even that can really cause havoc on the neck and back I understand that we need to get back to work, but rushing it seems pretty counter active. Its also a big liability for the companies that we work for. Especially if there is re-injury. Then is a workers comp issue. Of course that's more money in their pockets...
    Tracie C
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