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Return to heavy lifting job after 2 level fusion

I have a quick question, I am going to have a 2 level lumbar fusion in a few weeks. I have had a double discectomy and the procedure wasn't successful and I asked my neurosurgeon how likely it would be for me to return to my job after the lumbar fusion. My job is with a moving company (how I herniated the 2 discs in my back) and requires lifting 50-150 pounds 8 hours a day 5 days a week. My surgeon said I wouldn't have any restrictions but I MAY want to find another job. I know that going back to heavy lifting after my fusion would be a bad idea and would lead to more damage I'm sure. I'm just wondering how this happens with workers compensation, if I am released with no restrictions and they tell me to go move this 100 pound couch and I say I can't that they will fire me for not doing the job. Or if they will terminate me when I come back to work and say I can't do that. Anyways just wondering, I thought it was odd that my surgeon told me I wouldn't have any permanent weight restrictions. Or is that normal for a spinal fusion???

Thank you


  • From what I've read, It is pretty normal after a fusion that is successful to not have restrictions. My surgeon states I will not have any restrictions after one entire year, as long as I fuse. If I were in your shoes, however, I would find a different job, unless lifting very heavy boxes is your passion? Your chance for reinjury with that kind of job is high, I'd think because when you are moving stuff, sometimes the shape and distribution of weight is irregular, as compared with lifting weights at the gym. I know finding a new job is not that easy, but I think you'll agree this injury wasn't that great either.
    Good Luck with everything!
  • Please, please do yourself a favor, and find a job that requires no lifting or much less lifting. Take a cut in pay, if you have to.

    I never had a job that required heavy lifting, but I weight lifted heavy for years, as a hobby. I picked heavy weights up. I put heavy weights down. Over and over again. Past the point of initial injury. I can assure you that a spine injured during lifting becomes less tolerant of similar loads over time. This equates to sooner surgery, increased pain, more frequent flare-ups, and the list goes on.

    You owe it to yourself and to your family to look for a different job. Find another doctor if the one you have is not enabling you to make this happen.

    With a job that lightens the load on your spine, you can still lead an active life. You can walk and stay conditioned by consulting with a Physical Therapist. If that is too expensive, try taking a list of exercises from this website to your doctor, and see what he/she thinks about them. No one is going to make this happen for you but you, but your spine is more important than any amount of cash.
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