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Back to work 3 weeks post fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
:? I was talking with my boss this morning and he said his son in law was having fusion surgery today. And I said, whoa - poor dude. And he said, "What do you mean? His doctor told him he would be back to work in three weeks." Really? Mind you this guy is in construction. I told him not to count on it.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't 3 weeks a little soon to be doing construction work/physical labor?



  • Hi Cranky,

    I had to laugh when I read that... My God, 3 weeks and in construction too.... This is crazy for sure.....

  • If he can do it that is great - but I cannot believe the doctor will release him for physical labor! I worked in an office and was out 2 months after my last one. But I have had nerve inflammation and pain both before and after. I am at 9-1/2 months and fully fused, but they are going to take the screws out as they think that is causing the nerve inflammation.
    My doctor did not even allow physical therapy for 3 months.
    More power to him if he can go back at 3 weeks!
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  • Well, that ain't ganna happen..... I had a three level fusion, I don't know how many level fusion this guy is having, but thats just impossible!!! I am 22 weeks post-op, lets see....thats about 5-1/2 months? I guess I would be able to do a sit down behind a desk job, but absolutely nothing manual. I'll never be able to lift over 25lbs. I still cannot twist!!! Which I hate, cause I can't dance, or twist around while driving to see behind me. Sounds like the guys needs a letter from his surgeon to give to his boss. He'll end up back in the hospital, RE-DOING his surgery, which HE WILL NOT LIKE!!!! This is major surgery, with a really, really, :( long slow recovery process, and a lot of physical therapy.
  • PS....I wasn't alowed to start physical therapy until I was 20 weeks post-op!!! Not until there was almost 87% fusion. The only thing I was allowed to do was walk, walk, walk...
  • Cranky, there is a huge difference in recovery depending on what he is having done. If all goes completely perfect with a c-spine fusion, it is possible that he could be back to work. But absolutely not if he will be lifting or doing anything strenuous. I think the boss is in for a real surprise when his employee isn't ready to come back to work.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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  • It is his lumbar area. AND he said they are going to fuse one (I am assuming the L5-S1) and then, "put little bungie cords on the one above it".

    I have no idea what he was talking about, but I told him yesterday to have his SIL apply for short term disability. He is in the Carpenters Union, so I am assuming that he will have STD & LTD benefits available.
  • Hi Cranky~
    Do you think it's some kind of EGO thing with a lot of these surgeons? My surgeon, too, was talking "you'll be back to work in NO time, able to do anything at 2-4 weeks post-op," etc. Now he is a GREAT surgeon, I think and hope he did a wonderful job on me, but, c'MON!! Even in the best of ALL scenarios, I don't think it's POSSIBLE that someone is able to just "get over it" in 2-4 weeks! I just had my lumbar fusion 2 weeks ago and I still spend 90% of my day laying down, the other 10% walking! And yesterday my dr. said I was doing GREAT!
    I really do think this is Ego talking! I read somewhere on this site once, that whatever your SURGEON tells you about when you can resume work, or some semblance of a normal life, DOUBLE that!!!
    I laughed out loud when I read your post, and I can't wait for the "follow-up" to THIS story!!
    We will be waiting for his progress reports!
    PS And what's up with the little surgical "bungie cords"??
    gotta love that!!
  • Glad to see you Miss Music! :D
    I have no idea what he was talking about on the bungie cord things! Give you quite a mental image - huh? ;)

  • Wow, 3 weeks after a fusion! I had an L5-S1 fusion when I was 15, and I was back in school in about a month, but I was 15 and very fit from playing rugby, and likely fused quickly. I had to wear a geeky brace and couldn't do anything remotely physical for 4 months.
    Today, I'm 3 weeks post-op from a microdiscectomy and there ain't no way I'm ready for work yet, and I'm a mental health therapist and not a construction worker.
  • He told me I would be back in 3-4 weeks (OF COURSE IT WAS 2 MONTHS). This is the same Dr. who put in the plastic rods w/out telling me (I'll post the post-op X-ray tomorrow, kind of scary looking).
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