I had severe back pain and leg pain for 2 years, with leg pain becoming more severe as each day went on. I agonized over the surgery. The day before the surgery, I walked around my block and had to get in bed right after, barely made it.
I had anterior/posterior lumbar fusion surgery (L3-S1). Spent 6 days in the hospital and 7 days in the Rehab hospital. My experience in the Rehab hospital was beyond horrible, there was nothing rehab about it. I finally got home; around 2 weeks post surgery. Every day at home, was better than the day before. I received a walker, but have never used it. It sits beside my bed with a board from the garage between the handles used for shelf beside the bed, for my glass of water, and remotes.
Week 3, I cruised around the downstairs of my home, walking. Within a few days I started walking with my wife around the block. A few days after that, I took off without her, with my cell phone of course. In my fourth week I was walking a mile, 3 times a day. By the end of the 4th week, I was walking very good, able to sit in my chair when I was not walking. So in the last few days prior to going back to work, from 8a in the morning to around 8pm at night, I was not in bed at all.
Back to work: I can work mainly in an office setting (at my desk most of the day), off to meetings several times a day on average. My job is working with me, considering I run an operation that is 1.8 million square feet and normally I would be out walking that space ½ of each day, but for my recovery time, I can confine myself to an office setting for as long as I need.
My 5th week I was back to work, I worked half days, going in around 11am and leaving around 3pm, 5 days a week.
My 6th week back to work was the same as my 6th.
My 7th week back to work was full days. Going in at 9am and leaving at 5pm. Everything was fine until around 3pm, from 3pm to 5pm was hard. My muscles in my legs hurt so much, and back pain was starting. Keep in mind that my 7th week was full of meetings, so I am up and down with hour long meetings in between, with some of those hour long meetings, required me to stand the whole meeting. On Friday of this week, I canceled most of my meetings, which kept me in the office the whole day. I used a scooter (provided by my work) to go to and from the several meetings I had to attend that day. I was not as bad when I got home on Friday, my only issue is I was stiff, I think from not getting any walking exercise done that day. I forgot to mention that on Thursday that week, I over did it. I went outside and walked close to 3 miles and that afternoon, walked up a staircase that had about 30 steps on it. When I got home that day, I was so sore; I had to go right in the bed.
8th week starts tomorrow, I don’t have very many meetings planned and will try to spend most of my day at work at my desk and go outside for a couple of 1.5 mile walks.
I gave all this info to help you understand. I have to say that at times I am worried that I have gone back to work too soon and don’t know if it will hinder my healing. But I also feel if I can control my days better that I should be fine. My progress seems to be going better than a lot of those I read about on forums like this.
At this point I do have nerve pain in my left foot that is getting better.
I also have a slight foot drop that does not seem to bet getting better. I can no longer walk quietly, a little slapping sound when my left foot hits the ground when I walk.
Most of the pain I experience is what I perceive as muscle pain in my left leg, let hip, and left leg calf. I walk with a limp from my left leg and I feel like my muscle is deteriorating in my left leg. Not sure if this is related to my nerve issues in my left leg. I am hoping that since my nerve issues in my left foot is getting better, it’s not burning as much as it has. A few weeks ago it was burning so bad I could not stand it. I could not even tough my foot.
So, understanding all of this, what are your thoughts on my return to work and my general progress to date?