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Post op recovery question

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi there,

I met with my surgeon today, he said I should expect to be out of work for 3-4 weeks post-op acdf 2-level. I need to be able to lift 50 lbs and work 12-hours shifts.

I know everyone recovers at different speeds, but does this seem overly optimistic?

Thanks for your help!


  • I'm not sure that you'll be able to lift 50 pounds in that period of time. Make sure he understands the type of work you do before he releases you back. You wouldn't want to lift something and jeopardize the fusion process. When is your surgery date?
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I am a Registered Nurse. I work night shift, so we are working with limited staff already. I have been an RN for many years and my job is very physically demanding. Often, the job is unpredictible and I need to be able to act quickly in an emergency/code situation. I am also concerned about being on my feet for 12+ hours each shift.

    My surgery is scheduled for 10/30. :SS
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  • I am back to work. I was out of work 8 weeks after surgery, but my doctor wanted me out 12. I went back with very tight restrictions, I can walk, stand, sit. use my feet and talk. I am not able to pull, push, flex my neck (using a microscope), reach above my head, or lift over 5 pounds. I work in a factory and they did find something for me to do. I also work 12 hours and I can tell you the first few days where rough, since I have not been to work in 5 months. My feet hurt the worse when I got home. I will be on these restrictions until January when I go see the doctor. I hope I am fussing by then and my restrictions will lessen. I only have to wear my bone stimulator 1 more week.(YEAH) =D>
  • Its going depend on your recovery and the Dr.
    I was a CNA at the time of my neck surgery.
    He was going to let me go back at the 3month mark but I held off till 4months.
    Due to the wheelchairs, tugging etc.
    It was tuff to say the least.
    I was very achy/sore when I got home each day. Shoulders /neck.
    I then ended up going into the activity dept that was not so demanding. Then about 8 months later I went back into the CNA dept.

    Your totally right everyone is different.
    I havn't heard to many stories of ppl going back to lift up to 50lbs and over though. Most of the time you start off at nothing more then 5lbs then to 10 and so forth.
    We did have one nurse on here last yr who went back with lumbar surgery (i think) and went back doing light duty and used her GRABBER alot ;)

    So wait it out, see how surgery goes, and recovery.
    As this is such a tricky question to answer.

    Good luck on your surgery on the 30th!!!
    Terri O:) O:)
  • Hi Elle,
    My surgery was 5 weeks ago today, (ACDF with titanium plates and screws, 3 level), and I can't imagine going back to work at this point and having to lift 50lbs (it would not happen). I did have a lot of nerve involvement and spinal cord compressioin and I don't know what you have but I am still out on disability and my doctor put in for me to be out until Dec 17th. I may be able to go back sometime in November if things improve but currently I am having a lot of nerve related problems with my right hand and arm.

    Good luck with your surgery,
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  • I am back at work after only 2 weeks.. Not sure about the lifting part- I am still trying to avoid lifting and I only work 7-8 hours per day but I had a level 2 as well so it's not unheard of. I feel better now 3 weeks out than I did before I had the surgery so I think it will all depend on you. Every recovery is different and only time will tell. But know that and earlier return to work is not unheard of and it is possible. Especially if they could let you work shifts with less hours.

    Good Luck on your surgery!!
  • And as other said everyone may be different. I think i could have handled being on feet 8-12 hours after 4weeks. Lifting 50lbs would have bothered me at 3-4 weeks. more like 8 weeks till i felt more comfortable lifting.
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