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Back to work

Hello all, I have been in PT for a month and although I am still in pain my ROM has improved. I am due back at work 6/18 and went for my MD appt yesterday. I was not sure I was ready to jump back into work with all the computer stuff I do but I was very nervous about being off any longer. There have been alot of changes in the hospital I work for and some staff have been laid off. The doctor wanted to extend my time off but I said I would rather go back if possible. So he put me on modified hrs for the first 3 weeks with 4hrs a day X1 week and 6 hrs a day X 2 weeks and although my boss is not thrilled, she agreed to accomidate me. Going to meet today with employee health and find out how I will be paid but I am catching alot of fear about this. I know I am 8 weeks post op but I really havent noticed any improvement on my pain level. I am hoping it is because PT is manipulating my neck twice a week and although I can move more than I did I really expected to be alot more pain free than I am. I feel like I cant do anything!!!! I went up to the mountains this last weekend for a little mini vacation before going back to work, I did not do anything but walk around the lake and I played some board games with the family but it wiped me out! I guess I just expected to be further along . Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic but the md says I should not have this much pain. He thinks that the fall down the stairs last month jarred me more than I think. So I will start back to work and see how it goes but I just wanted to check in. Good News is I am starting to fuse per my Xray yesterday. I guess I am just impatient I want to be better and I want it now!! Live and learn right...
Kimberly Martin


  • Good news as your on the road to recovery. Going back to work helps you begin to get back into your community of life. Now of course if the pain gets over bearing do call your surgeon. The fact your fusing is also a good sign and yes the fall could have jarred you some and did some set backs, but hopefully nothing long lasting. But good news getting back to work and doing some of the things you enjoy. Just take baby steps of course. Don't forget after work to ice/heat to help with any muscle soreness and I am sure there will be some.
  • VinGVVinG Posts: 56
    edited 06/15/2012 - 11:20 AM
    I'm planning to go back Monday, too. But, I am still bleeding, a lot, from my incision. The suture was left in too long, and I had to go the ER on saturday...fever, puss, blood. No fever now, but a lot of blood this morning. VNS is coming by soon to look at it. 4 1/2 weeks post op and pain started back in mid back of neck. impatient and frustrated.
    - Vin

    3 level ACDF, c3/4, c5/6/7 in May 2012
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  • Vin- I never once bled from my incision... be careful!

    Sunshine- What surgery did you have? I had an acdf and your recovery sounds normal to me. When I went back to work I wish I could have had modified hours. It was all or nothing for me. Let me tell you--- It was rough, I wound up in a lot more pain, but I also have a very active job as a restaurant manager. Surgeons say 4-6 week recovery or even less. Its actually like a slow recovery of 1-2 years or more!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Tam Tam, thanks for your advice I will ice after and take breaks every 30 min for stretching. I knew that fall down the stairs was not good but he said the xray did not show any affect on the hardware.My arm was the one thing I know was better before the fall cause I was almost pain free after surgery and have not had that luxury since the fall. Im so careful now with the stairs.
    Vin, I am so sorry for your trouble I never bled from my incision either that sounds scary just take care and do not over do!
    Donnabe, I had 3 level ACDF C4-C7. I just have a hard time doing nothing and I mistake the fact that if my neck goes to that position, that it is ok. My PT set me straight on that one...my ROM is a guide not the norm so I need to remember my limitations even as I am still learning what they are. I know full recovery is months down the road it's still hard to not to do what I used to be able to do. Patience is a virtue right!!
    Kimberly Martin
  • Hi i am still plodding along, i am lucky in that i am self employed so can extend my time off a little , while i dont work i dont earn though so it cant go on for long! i am really disappointed that the pain in the back of my head is back as bad as ever it was, i am also having lots of pain in both arms, legs and the numbness at base of back. i am sounding like a whinger even to myself, i felt so good the day after the op.... silly me to be over optimistic! but my wound has healed lovely and i am sure will end up just looking like a wrinkle in my neck... (helps being a little plump i think!) i am due to go back to see specialist nurse on tues, so am hoping for something then.. although i dont know what i think they can do about it i'm sure! Vin it does sound scary your wound bleeding, as i know you were a day before me! i do hope it heals up soon, you do seem to have had a much rougher time of it! hope it turns around for you soon!
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