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RETURNING TO WORK AFTER ACDF SURGERY

I am new to this group and want to thank you all in advance for all the great/very helpful information that has been posted in the forum. I am due to have the acdf surgery c4-c5 on 9/10 and was wondering how long did it take for most of you all to return to work after your surgery- thanks

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Comments

  • caligirlcaligirl Posts: 34
    edited 08/06/2018 - 1:34 AM

    @botanika2 I had the ACDF C5-C7 with donor bones on June 12 and returned to work after 6-1/2 weeks post surgery. I had to wear a hard cervical collar 24/7 for six weeks but I came to love it as I thought my neck was safe and secure in it. Now that I’m not wearing it, I’m doing physical therapy to turn my head more and more each day. Right now I can turn my head 35 degrees (normal head rotation is 60 degrees.) 

    It’s important that my head can turn more so I can drive to work on my own.  My husband has been driving me to and from work 25 miles each way!) but tomorrow I am driving myself. I did well today driving to the park after not driving for 7 weeks.

    Though my job is not labor intensive I would have liked to have had two more weeks before going back to work. I am exhausted at the end of the day, with shoulders and arms more sore than when I was resting at home. I’m at the computer for about 65% of the day.  

    Best of luck on your ACDF in September. I’m sure it will go as well as mine did.


  • My first ACDF surgery was done 2 years ago and I returned to work 4 weeks after surgery. I did not have to wear a hard neck collar so I was able to drive myself to work the first day back. I was a 5th grade teacher at that time and I wished I could have waited 6 weeks to go back as I was in enough pain that I iced my neck off and on throughout the day for about a month. 

    I had my second surgery exactly one month ago to take the plate out for C5 - C7 and to fuse C3 - C4. I am retired now and just taking it easy. Less pain than last time, but then again, I have no schedule. Best of luck with your surgery. 

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  • I just had ACDF on 7/21.  Plate removed at C5/C6 from my first fusion March 2011 and new fusion with cadaver bone at C6/C7.  I work 40-50 hours a week in an office setting.  My Dr has given me up to 12 weeks off but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to return at 6 weeks due to finances.  

    I’m still in quite a bit of pain and I remember from the first one it took about 5-6 months to get back to being pretty much pain free   I really hope i can figure something out to be able to take at least 8 weeks   

    Best of luck on your surgery 


  • I had ACDF on my L4-L5 on 6/26.  Before surgery I didn't know what was wrong had alot of burning in my back and legs.  After the 3rd MRI they found the disc bulging in my neck on my spinal cord.  I saw the Dr on Wed 6/20 and he said we needed surgery immediately.  

    After surgery for the first week I was pretty well doped up on pain meds and muscle relaxers.  As time has gone on, I still have some burning going on, but it is definitely not as bad.  It still is frustrating.  I think everyone thinks it is a quick fix with surgery, but they say it takes time to heal.  

    On that note, the Dr. put me on 6 weeks leave.  I went back yesterday 8/6 and explained I still had the burning going on, but was having some good days followed by bad days.  He said that was a good sign.  My X Ray showed that my fusion is healing well.  I work in a warehouse with a lot of manual labor, so he said that we should wait and take another 6 weeks of medical leave to make sure everything is healed.  That was fine with me because I didn't feel like I was ready to go back and I definitely don't want to screw anything up.  

    On another note, I told him I was out of the muscle relaxers and Hydrocodone.  He prescriped me Lyrica which is for nerve pain.  I must say I just started it last night and woke up with less pain.  So hopefully getting this in my system will be good.  As I told my husband this morning, I almost feel normal again.  We will see

  • I had ACDF on my L4-L5 on 6/26.  Before surgery I didn't know what was wrong had alot of burning in my back and legs.  After the 3rd MRI they found the disc bulging in my neck on my spinal cord.  I saw the Dr on Wed 6/20 and he said we needed surgery immediately.  

    After surgery for the first week I was pretty well doped up on pain meds and muscle relaxers.  As time has gone on, I still have some burning going on, but it is definitely not as bad.  It still is frustrating.  I think everyone thinks it is a quick fix with surgery, but they say it takes time to heal.  

    On that note, the Dr. put me on 6 weeks leave.  I went back yesterday 8/6 and explained I still had the burning going on, but was having some good days followed by bad days.  He said that was a good sign.  My X Ray showed that my fusion is healing well.  I work in a warehouse with a lot of manual labor, so he said that we should wait and take another 6 weeks of medical leave to make sure everything is healed.  That was fine with me because I didn't feel like I was ready to go back and I definitely don't want to screw anything up.  

    On another note, I told him I was out of the muscle relaxers and Hydrocodone.  He prescriped me Lyrica which is for nerve pain.  I must say I just started it last night and woke up with less pain.  So hopefully getting this in my system will be good.  As I told my husband this morning, I almost feel normal again.  We will see....

    Hope this helps you and or anyone else. 

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