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Return to work

So, I am approaching my 4 th week post ACDF. My first follow up with X-ray is tomorrow. I'm a community health nurse by profession, and prior to surgery was told that I would not be able to return to light duty until 6-8 weeks post op. Is that what you all were told to expect?


  • rtconant1rrtconant1 Posts: 348
    edited 10/06/2014 - 5:18 PM
    I was told it depended on the job. Desk job- 6 weeks, manufacturing or any heavy lifting would be closer to 12 weeks
    Tracie C
  • NewsgirlNNewsgirl Posts: 60
    edited 10/08/2014 - 8:47 PM
    My doctor said four weeks and that will be on the 15th. I have a post-op appointment on the 14th and expect to be told I can work. I actually feel like I could now but I am being careful. My job mostly involves desk work but I also go out on appointments almost daily and have to carry a laptop and other gear with me. I had single level ACDF.
    C5/6 herniation, type 2 diabetes, generalized anxiety disorder
  • I saw my NS yesterday. He cleared me to drive! After negotiation, he cleared me to return on November 24 with a 15 pound weight maximum weight limit. My computer and nursing bag are 15.4#, so IT is getting me a smaller, lighter computer.
  • I returned to work this week and I have been wiped out by the end of each day. Tolerating work is getting better as the days have gone by. There is no way to have taken my recliner with me so I've found out how much reconditioning I need.I thought that I was doing well with my recovery until I started Rehab and found out that I hardly have any arm/shoulder strength. A pinched nerve can do a whole lot of damage. Dilauro thank you for reminding me that the recovery takes time because it can be so discouraging. The mind is willing but the flesh is very weak. I wish that I could have stayed off work longer but it takes money to live. While at work it feels like I have a plate in my head more than it did while I was at home. I hope that feeling goes away because I don't want constant reminders. I know that recovery is slow but I guess I expected once the herniated discs were removed from my neck all would be well. But, that is not the case. I'm still having those fluid pockets on the side of my neck because my neck muscles are still doing all the work that my arms and shoulder muscles should be doing. How long will it take for my muscles to learn to do what they are supposed to do, I don't know. I just hope that they do regain their functions. So, I'm back to work without a lot of stamina, still going to PT trying to regain my strength, still having some sleep disturbance at night and I'm told that's due to overdoing it in the day. So, my NEW NORMAL is not very convenient and the adjustment to it is taking longer than I ever thought. Oh, and did I mention that I'm trying to massage out the scar tissue in the incision. When will it be over? But, I have to end on a positive note: I am thankful for a successful surgery; no more constant pain in the neck and arms; no more pain meds; I can sleep on a pillow now and I am thankful to be able to return to work. Now let the recovery continue.
  • My surgeon said six weeks. I'm two weeks out now and though I could start working from home but I was wrong.
    Still way too much pain.
  • I was completely off work for two months and then cleared to work half days for two weeks before going back full time. Looking back, I think that was the best thing for me. Easing back into a long work day was a good idea so I could go home at noon, prop myself up in bed and continue to work from home until going back for full days
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I went for my first post-op on 10/30 and I was cleared to return to work on 11/10.
    I offered to work from home this week, but my company third party STD reviewed and said no way.
    Stay off the computer and heal. It's been a rough three weeks. First the surgery and then losing my grandmother last week. The funeral was tough and crying made the throat hurt pretty bad. I'm feeling stronger now, and walked a mile today. I have even cut the pills back to about a half level. My goal is to ween myself down to about 30mg by Monday. I really want to get back to work to restore my routine. I plan to start driving around my neighborhood the next day or so to get that feeling back. I plan to drive my truck and park my sports car as the truck is easier to drive and navigate with less blind spots.
  • I just returned to work on 1/5/15 after a tlif l4/l5 s1 on 11/5/14. I am doing half days for 2 weeks then full time. By the time I get home, I need a 2 hour nap to recover from being at work and I have a desk job...I know it will get better but jeez, didnt realize how tired I would be!

    L4/5 S1 Decompression PSF with TLIF 11/5/14
    Spondylolithesis (congenital)
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