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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
How soon after your surgery did most of you see your surgeon. I had a one level fusion and disk replacement on December 9th and I do not see my doctor until the 22nd of January.

I am starting to feel isolated. I did not see him after my surgery, he sent another doctor to the hospital. I am still wearing the aspen. I am not driving, not working and going crazy. I am scheduled to go back to work the 23rd of January (day after my appt).

Pain wise I am okay, still taking pain meds but not muscle relaxers (this is my biggest problem as I have wicked spasms, especially at night). I am not sleeping well at all and I am trying to sit more during the day to prepare for my desk job.

I don't feel like I am progressing as well as a lot of you on here. There are some that went back to work at 4 weeks and those that were driving at 2 weeks post op. I can't think of doing that as I don't know how I am progressing??

Thanks for letting me vent!


  • The timing you mention is not too far from the apparent normal, though a little longer than I experienced.

    My surgery was on August 18. Two weeks later I went to the office and a nurse removed the staples. I had my first follow up appointment on September 25, at which time I saw a PA. At that appointment I was cleared to drive as long as I was off my pain meds. I waited another week and a half before I drove anywhere.

    As far as seeing my surgeon, my procedure was first thing in the morning and he stopped by my room in the afternoon. The next 2 mornings, 2 other doctors from the practice came by. After that, I did not see him until December 20. I don't see him again until mid-March.

    Unless patients are having major problems, it seems that there is no reason to see them more often. It just takes time for things to progress during recovery.

    Good luck!
  • I know how difficult and frustrating this is for you. But it's still early for you at this stage. I have felt bad when I read about others moving faster than I, but we musn't compare ourselves to other people, even if it was the same surgery. It's only 4 weeks for you and you have to give yourself time. When I had my 2 level fusion, I saw my surgeon in about 2 weeks after getting out of the hospital. His office might be busy and it's the soonest they can get you in. I was cleared to drive after soon after I saw my surgeon, but I took baby steps and drove short distances. It still not easy at the beginning but you will get accustomed. Three months later I crawled into PT. I didn't finish my time there because I made no improvement due to all the pain I had. Long story short, now I'm 8 months post op and I feel worse than I did before the fusion. I did have a decompression surgery done in 2007 but I got no relief either. My pain has become chronic and intractable and I go to pain mgt. for treatment.
    Please try to hang on, it's still early for you and give your body time to heal. This is major surgery. One factor that may have played against me was that I was deconditioned to begin with. I had a sedentary lifestyle and never exercised. Studies show this is just as bad as having a labor intensive job with heavy lifting.
    Try to be positive and patient with yourself. Follow your surgeon's recommendations and walk if you're able too, even if it's a few steps around the house. Take your meds if you need them and use ice or heat for pain as well. Take care
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  • Thank you both for your replies. I have been walking and doing things around the house in an effort to stay sane and also remain active. I am practicing sitting at my home office desk for longer periods of time vs. my recliner to see how that feels.

    Like so many others on this forum, I cannot stand being sedentary, I am so used to go, go, go. I live in the midwest and it is too cold to walk outside without paying a huge price after.

    I think I am just trying to manage getting my two active kids taxied around as my husband owns two businesses and is not home in the evenings. I know that is one reason I am so anxious to drive but the Aspen collar prohibits that at this point.

    Thanks again, have a great day.
  • My surgery was lumbar, not cervical. But still....your surgeon's schedule seems within the realm of the norm. Unfortunatly, the better the surgeon, the harder it is to get scheduled for appointments! Mine is terrific but I had to wait about 6 weeks for surgery in spite of escalating symptoms.

    After surgery, I didn't see my surgeon until my 6 week checkup, at which time I was cleared to drive and go back to work (as my back would allow). My surgeon did check on me while in the hospital and I was required to go to his office after just a week but I saw my surgeon's PA for that appointment. The PA checked and removed sutures and just generally reiterated my list of do's and don't do's.

    As far as recovery is concerned, just like every pregnancy is vastly different, every major bone break requires different lengths of time to heal, your body is in charge. Not you. It will heal on it's own schedule. Although ranting is very normal (believe me, I'm one of the worst - perpetual control freak), it really doesn't seem to help us get better much quicker.

    You are very, very early in your recovery process. At my 6 week checkup, my surgeon told me that I would not believe how much better I will feel when I see him for my 3 month check up. I'm holding on to that hope with everything I have.

    God, give me strength to change the things I can change, give me courage to accept the things I cannot change, and grant me wisdom to know the difference.

    Hang in there!!

  • My surgery was Dec19th and I will see my surgeon this Thursday. (Just about a month)

    My surgeon told me she will not let me drive until about 12 weeks and I will not be back to work till 12-16 weeks at the absolute soonest but it might very well be as long as 5 months.

    Every person does things at their own pace and every doctor has their own schedule and way of doing things.

    Don;t push yourself and follow your docs advice.

    Good luck!!
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  • ooops double post... ~X( ~X(
  • with dissolvable stitches...my first post-op visit with the neurosurgeon will be 3 weeks out form the date of surgery then PT at 6 weeks...he said driving is okay on his end after 2 weeks
  • Do you have them and just choose not to take them or is it that the doc didn't prescribe one? My doc did not prescribe them and after reading on this forum realized that I was having more trouble with the muscle spasms than I was anything else. So...I called my surgeon's PA and immediately received a prescription for them. All it took was a phone call.
  • Hello Pjak456,

    When you are reading the posts here you can see that every patient recovers at a different rate and every surgeon does things his/her way. I saw my surgeon both at the hospital and the rehab, then I had a two-week appointment for X-ray, suture removal and a quick visit with my OS when he reassured me that everything looked good, he also answered my questions. That was followed by another visit (and X-ray) at 6 weeks, 3 months, and the final one at 5 months, when he discharged me.

    When you see your surgeon this month, make sure that before you go you write down all your questions on an index card, and ask every one of them. If you can, take somebody with you to your appointment, so that person can take notes, as it is so easy to forget afterwards.

    Best wishes for your recovery,

  • my surgeon every day in hospital for the first week then I went to rehab. So 6 weeks post surgery I saw the surgeon for a follow up and CT scan then 3 months, 4 1/2 months, 6 months and next week. At each visit I have had either CT or X-ray the day before.
    Next week I get to nearly 9 months and am looking forward to him hearing say I am fully fused. :))(
    Blessings Sara O:)
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