View Full Version : Work after surgery?

16th October 2005, 03:21 AM
As there are so many of you who have had surgery already,can you all tell me how long it took you all to get back to work,and with what restrictions you might have when you started.
How long after surgery did PT start.I was told mine would not start untill one month after surgery.What they do in PT.
How long was it before you were able to drive?

What did you all do like for the first week or two after first getting home from the hospital?Do you usually just feel like laying around.Did you go for walks,things like that.

Are you feeling sick still after you were sent home,or is it just the pain of the surgery.

What were you able to do the first days after getting home?

16th October 2005, 06:02 AM
Well, I was only fourteen when i had the surgery, so needless to say, I wasn't working ;-) I went back to school about two months after my surgeyr, because I had it during the summer. But I think most people return to work/school around 6 weeks post-op.

I had PT after surgery only because I developed bursitis in my hip. I had a bit of PT in the hospital (just walking around).

I can't really answer the driving question... they told me it would be three months, but i wasn't allowed to take drivers ed six months later becuase learning how to drive is different from returning to driving.

For the first few weeks after returning home, I really just watched movies. I went for walks most days, but that was it.

I definitely still felt sick after I got home. I'm surprised I didn't lose any weight, becuase I hardly ate anything. I was also still in quite a bit of pain and had trouble sleeping.

My first few days were really just filled with movies, sleeping, and maybe going for a walk or two. I was quite exhausted just from walking down the stairs.

Reading my response, it all sounds pretty awful. But it's really not that bad. After the first few weeks, I felt much less tired and was able to actually go do things more.

16th October 2005, 11:21 AM
Id say go back to work about 1-2 months after the op, but proberly only part time at that stage. I walked loads when i got out, but started small and woked my way up. I felt a little sick when i got home, but i think that was anesthetic more than anything, and went in about 2 months. I ached fairly badly for about 3 months. The first few days i walked, watched films, slept, sat up for say an hour, at a time, and layed down the reat of the time :-D

16th October 2005, 11:31 AM
I was slow to recover last time because of various circumstances - it was a revision surgery and involved things that a normal surgery does not (such as a massive osteotomy and smash up of the old fusion). Also, I'd been in a lot of pain for a long time, taking a high dose of painkillers for it (2400mg ibuprofen, 4000mg paracetamol, 8mg dihydrocodeine tartrate a day) that only barely knocked the roughest edges off the pain whilst not really treating or resolving it, that I needed more painkillers than an average person which also slowed up the initial recovery.

Even so, despite all of that, I started feeling a whole lot better just as the 6 week mark was approaching - I remember at 5 weeks feeling distinctly sceptical of this, and at 5 and a half weeks thinking wow, they didn't make it up ;-) I went back to work at the 3 month stage. I probably would have taken longer - I was entitled to it - but despite my entitlement HR started menacing me, suggesting that I wasn't entitled to more than 3 months on full pay and it just seemed easier to go back.

I only work part time, so that made life easier. Ideally I'd have gone back to work every other day initially, but that wasn't possible because I work so far from home (and stay away from home on the night between work days) that doubling my journey time would have hurt more than just doing the 2 days back to back. Initially I wasn't getting through a normal-for-me day (I typically work 7.30-8am to 5.30-6.30pm) and was leaving before rush hour to get home more easily without having to fight for a seat, but within a few weeks I was working my normal hours again.

I never had physiotherapy - typically it isn't offered across here. I did press for it, because I had spent so long shuffling round with my knees bent, looking at my feet, that all my muscles, tendons and ligaments were very slow to stretch back out - I felt as though they were never going to on their own, despite my best efforts to aid them, and I was *very* stiff. It took some months for the physio to come through, and of course in the way of these things, just in the couple of weeks preceding I'd loosened up quite a lot and was suddenly able to do more myself to lengthen and strengthen - basically, I didn't need it - certainly not enough for it to be worth a 3-4 hour journey each way.

16th October 2005, 06:04 PM
I havent gone back to work yet....and I have been off 8weeks! lol - i'm so lazy...I intend to take another 4 off too, even tho I feel a little better!

16th October 2005, 06:59 PM
i've been unemployed for 14 weeks and it's driving me nuts. i've been trying for 6 weeks to get a part time desk job with no success - so what i'm saying is i could be working now but am having no joy, though it really depends on how much surgery you have - i've only had 5 vertebrae fused. i was driving again at 7 weeks post op though

16th October 2005, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by Abbi@Oct 16 2005, 04:04 PM
I havent gone back to work yet....and I have been off 8weeks! lol - i'm so lazy...I intend to take another 4 off too, even tho I feel a little better!
You take the extra 4 weeks abbi you deserver them

Thaleias spirit
16th October 2005, 09:40 PM
It's always better to wait until you feel ready. Rushing back to anything like work / school after any illness or surgery isn't a great idea. You give the body a better chance at adjusting and building its strength up again, which in turn will help you fight against infections.

Make the most of the time off too, because, unless you win the lotto/marry into wealth, you may never have a chance to have that much time off again!

16th October 2005, 10:26 PM
Thank-you all for responding so fast.
I have been told that I will be off work from three months to six months. Even after I am allowed to go back to work,I guess the Dr will only let you work a few hrs at a time,And slowly work you back into the eight hrs.Three to six months is a wide range to guess if your working or not. Being fused from t2 to l4 I guess will take some time to heal. I am single and can't miss that much work,but I have no choice but to have this surgery as it is so progressive.Im 36 and at 107 degree curve(kyphosis)already.I am told I can,t even start Physical Thearpy untill a whole month after the surgery.I am to just walk alot after the surgery.I didn't ask when he thought that I would be driving again.
I just hope that my fusions will heal up enough so I can work in three months.
I do not have a desk job,I work in the emergency room as a nurse's aid and that is very demanding and a lot of runing.That could rally have a say in when I get back or not,as there is lifting involved.
Well I guess I will have to wait and see.It will be entirely up to the Dr as I will need a note to go to HR from my doctor when he thinks I can return.

2nd November 2005, 12:13 PM
I've been told to expect 3-6 months. If I had a normal job it could be 6 weeks to 3 months but as I work as a flight attendant I need to be off for longer. I was told 6 weeks for driving etc.

I think the urge is to get back to work asap but I think the easier we take it at this stage then we will have a more successful fusion and an easier time later on.

2nd November 2005, 07:16 PM
You will have to keep an on line journal John of how your recovery is going, the good as well as the bad.

Might give you a little somehing to do whilst your convelescing :surfin: and stop you going stir crazy

3rd November 2005, 09:58 AM
I thought SSo was something to do while recuperating, Mark. You mean we're not enough?

3rd November 2005, 12:40 PM
SSO was more than enough for me kim :squeeze: that and MSN and colouring like the kid that i really am :D

3rd November 2005, 03:57 PM
Yeah John, keep an online journal.....I wish I had done more of it, cos it does encourage you to look back and think "wow, one week ago I couldn't do that"

3rd November 2005, 04:38 PM
Anything to fight the boredom John! A journal would be great. I get angry and bored at 6 rest days from work.

3rd November 2005, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Phil@Nov 3 2005, 03:38 PM
Anything to fight the boredom John! A journal would be great. I get angry and bored at 6 rest days from work.
Do you fancy doing my contaminated land assignment for uni phil. That should relieve your boredom

3rd November 2005, 10:54 PM
Uni? Sod that, I have my own degree and thats bad enough. You can keep it mate ;)