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Doctors don't Agree

I had another follow up visit with my surgeon (spinal fusion L4/L5 Jan. 2016). He told me that everything was going as plan. He told me that there was more sign of fusion, however it's not fully fused. I then asked how long will it be before I can return to work. I was surprise when he said that I can return now. This is because my last visit I was told that it will need to be fully fused. So I asked him about the weight restrictions that I was currently on (15lbs). He told me that he will make it 40lbs. I then told him that my job requires me to lift 70lbs and is physical. He then said that he will give me a 25lbs restrictions and for me to work up to 70lbs. and see him in a month and by that time I should be good to go. 

I'm confused. Is it just me or does this sound right?  I got a opinion from orthopedic that I use to see and he doesn't think that I'm ready to return to physical job or lift 70lbs yet. 



  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    You are right to be confused.  I wonder if your surgeon is trying to help you by letting you go to work, rather than giving you information that is best for you health.

    If it were me, I would call and ask what the surgeon would do if it were him. That may be a different answer altogether though.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • Thanks Bruce for your comment. Another question is how wil this affect my long tern disability 
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,522
    A question for you.. Is that long term disability with your company or through social security?

    I would also be confused and worried.  70lbs is a lot of weight for any spinal patient.  I still have a 40lb limit and that started over 30 years ago with my first spinal surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Hi Ron. It's with my company 
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,522

    Ok, I guess a lot depends on your companies policy on Long Term disability.   I worked with IBM for 35 years.
    From 2000 through 2009, I was on STD (Short Term disability) 4 times.  Each one was set for 3 months.  If they were back to back, then I would have filed for LTD, but they were spaced out.

    For me, the disability was based on the fact that I could not do everything in the job that I was able to do before.
    I would have to assume if the company's requirement for lifting can get up to 70lbs, I would be very worried about doing that.  In fact, I couldn't and would say so.   

    With STD, I was guaranteed my same job when I cam back
    With LTD, there was a yearly review to determine if it should continue, if you did come back to work, there was no guarantee of your old job..   I never went out on LTD, my last STD was coordinated with my decision to retire.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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