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Back to work and feeling awful

Hi all. I was doing really well until I started back to work full time at my desk job. New aches and pains and exhausted. 3 months post op l5s1 fusion and everything is healing well but I think they clear you to go back too soon. Taking supplements for energy but nothing helps. I get home and have no energy to do my stretches and exercise. Scared I'll be right back to square one soon. Feeling like the walking wounded. Any advice? Does it get easier? Energy ideas? Also drinking ensure.


  • I swear I could replace your name with mine on this post it is so similar to my current situation. I had S1-L4 fusion on 1/30/15. I thought I was doing awesome and started back to work on 3/2/15 but since then it has been a downhill ride and not a fun one. It has become so severe that I am having a new CT Scan and meeting with my surgeon again next week. Not only has ALL of my pre-op pain returned by has actual gotten worse :( The only advice that I can give at this point is to call your surgeon. I am hoping that someone else in the forum will respond with a much better solution.

    Hang in there.
  • Hi Chiristiben, I can definitely relate to what you're feeling. I had a t9-12 laminectomy with ossified yellow ligament excised on 1/22/15. I was cleared by phone consultation to start work this past week. I could barely stay there for 2.5 hours per day. I had to come home exhausted and am barely able to move due to pain. Luckily I've been able to sleep for the rest of the day with a few household chores at dinner time. I think it is helping to make me stronger but it is painful and everyone asks me what am I doing back to work. My boss has been accommoding as it is obvious that I can barely move by the time I go home, especially in contrast to my pre-pain energetic self. I have an appt with my PCP on Wednesday to get her opinion since my surgeon is a 3 hour flight away. Anyone else have thoracic surgery and have a timeline for your healing progress.
    1 in a million
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  • shortfuse5691sshortfuse5691 Posts: 407
    edited 03/13/2015 - 4:17 PM
    After my back surgery at my desk job I took a heating pad with me and use a lumbar pillow while sitting the deep heat helped a lot.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • TenaciousgreenTTenaciousgreen Posts: 12
    edited 03/13/2015 - 8:27 PM
    12 weeks post op and sitting at a desk all day will definitely not help particularly having had lower lumbar surgery. Unfortunately sitting is the worse thing for it particularly when you think that the fusion process is only just starting at 12 weeks. You should try and make adjustments at work so you are sitting as little as possible as hard as it may seem. Good luck.
  • Thanks for your suggestions. I'm unsure if I posted in the wrong forum, but my surgery was mid-back so just supporting myself sitting and standing takes a lot of strength. I don't have a desk job so I do not sit for very long at a time. I do love my heating pad though; it is what I rush home to after work. I just ordered another one so I can leave one at work for when I do return full time. I'm still limited on the weight I can carry - my laptop case is my max load. Thumb drives have suddenly become so important.
    1 in a million
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  • Thank you everyone. Looks like I'm not the only one. I just ordered a vari desk that will allow me to stand at my desk. I swear, i f I counted up how much money I've spent over the years on various treatments, gadgets, supplements,for this back issue I'm sure I'd find o would've been rich enough to retire by now. Management thinks since I've been cleared I should be in perfect shape. Good luck everyone.
  • Hey fellow sufferers. Hopefully,,,not. Pain still a 10 any movement results in harsh pain. That's life, taking metaxallone muscle relaxed does not help. Pain meds help a little. My nurse insists I get valium for the spasms. Anyway I have a follow up interview for work . dsp healthcare position.in a week. I must attend, if I don't work I don't eat. Anyone else juggling life around like this, doing more instead of just chilling. Well good luck all.
    James rinaldi
  • We preach this day in and day out here at Spine-Health.... Your Doctor can offer you a time frame (remember, everyone is different), but at the end of the day, ONLY YOU know when you're ready to return to work. Please do not base this solely on financial reasons. People make this mistake all the time. Yes, you may be stressed out financially and have to return for that reason thinking it is the best choice in that moment, but once things get worse and intensify, you will quickly realize the mistake you have made. You may very well cost yourself more money in the long run and not to mention, an even worse pain situation on your hands.

    Doug Hale
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • Nightnurse74NNightnurse74 Posts: 6
    edited 03/20/2015 - 1:08 PM
    I had L5 s1 fusion, disc decompression and cage insertion on the 15/12/14 and returned to work 8 weeks later, as a nurse I probably should have known to take longer but I felt well, having only my GP to guide me was a nightmare as iIm having to wait 51/2 months for my post op check!!! I was receiving heat from my boss as to when I would return. I now feel really achey all the day and I'm using painkillers again all the time, most of my day is spent chasing around and I have noticed that I have started to see swelling return around the scar after a hectic day. Nurses make awful patients!!! Maybe it's time to change my job but I definitely know where your coming from.
  • Bless you, I hate muscle spasms why is it so debilitating.
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