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Work after a lumbar fusion??

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Old 10-05-2003, 01:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Camillus, NY USA
Posts: 10
eris619 HB User
Question Work after a lumbar fusion??

Hello. I had a 2 level fusion L4-L5, L5-S1 done about 2 weeks ago. I had my post-op check up with my doctor and he says that people can return to work in 2 months. Does this sound too soon to anyone else? I am a Registered Nurse and this seems crazy to me...Is there anybody out there with some advice/experience on returning to work after this operation? Thanks!

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Old 10-05-2003, 02:07 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,339
MarianJ HB User

Hello Eris,

Welcome to the Healthboards. I also had fusion surgery on the same levels. Prior to my surgery my surgeon told me that I could not return to work to at least 3 months. I said OK but since I don't work, I don't foresee that being a problem. Then he realized he goofed when getting me confused with another patient. I have heard of some people returning to work then and some people just can't. It all depends on your recovery and so much depends on what type of work you will be returning to. Also when returning you will have to take things very slow and might have to start off working part time. I see that you are an RN and that would require long hours and being on your feet. I would just listen to your body and only do what you think you are capable of doing. Please don't over do things and take the time you need to recover. I really wish you a successful recovery.

Take Care

[b]Cervical[/b] MRI 10/02
Loss of cervical lordosis with reversal of the curvature.
C4-5 and C6-7 disc bulges resulting in flattening of the ventral margin of the cord.
C5-6 there is a left foraminal herniation which results in moderate foraminal stenosis In addition, there is flattening of the ventral margin of the cord due to bulging disc.
Cervical Epidural 5/19/03

[b]Lumbar[/b] MRI 10/02
Lumbar Lordosis
L5-S1 disc herniation with moderate thecal sac deformity.
L4-5 disc desiccation with bulge which results in mild thecal sac deformity and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
L2-3 disc desiccation with Schmorlís nodule of L3.
Lumbar Epidural 1/30/03
Lumbar Epidural 2/12/03
Lumbar Epidural 2/26/03
Lumbar Discogram 5/23/03
Lumbar CatScan 5/23/03
[b]Posterior Fusion & Infuse on L4,L5,S1 6/30/03[/b]
Lumbar X-Ray 7/24/03
Lumbar X-Ray 8/27/03
Still no pain relief....
Lumbar CT Scan 9/24/03
Waiting for results....

Old 10-06-2003, 08:30 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: usa
Posts: 201
StarAngel3 HB User

I think 2 months sounds way to soon for the type of work you do. Are you a floor nurse, with lifting? I don't think you are fused until 3 months. I am 4 months post lumbar fusion L4-5, and I am not at work, yet..I still have a lot of leg pain, and don't feel ready..I think I agree with the last poster, listen to your body and don't let the doctor rush you in to reinjuring your body..Geesh what is he thinking?..Is it Workman's Comp? Sometimes they are pressured from your work into making you return faster than your actually ready...StarAngel

[This message has been edited by StarAngel3 (edited 10-06-2003).]

Old 10-06-2003, 06:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Camillus, NY USA
Posts: 10
eris619 HB User

Thanks for the replies. Yes I did work on a very busy floor that had poor staffing and heavy lifting requirements. I know I should listen to my body but my fear is that my Doctor will not listen to me. I would hate to have to have this again. Its been almost 3 weeks. Still have weird leg pain and spasms in my back. I suppose that is normal though. Thanks for the replies. Good luck..

Old 10-06-2003, 07:13 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,339
MarianJ HB User

Hello Eris,

I can relate to the poor staffing in the medical field. I was a CNA and had worked in a nursing home. I did have back problems prior to working their but that field of work only made matters worse and I had to quit. I hope that you are aware of the fact then when you doctor does permit you to go back to work not only may you go back part time but their will be limitations. I really don't think you should ever go back to any lifting of patients. You will only make matters worse and your surgery may not be successful. Then their is always the chance of having problems with the disc below and above your fusion. Gosh I know how hard this must be for you but I really hope that your job can accommodate your doctor's order's.

Also do you go to pain management. They might be able to help you if your doctor does release you back to work to soon. I can't believe that this doctor will risk the chances of you having a successful recovery. I really do wish you the best. I also suffer with the leg pain and spasms and so do a few other's. Nerves and muscles can take several months to heal.

Have a good night.

Old 05-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Posts: 19
rmhare53 HB Userrmhare53 HB User
Smile Re: Work after a lumbar fusion??

If you do anything other than answer a phone or peck a keyboard you will not return in 2 months. And I would even go as far as to say if that is what you do 2 months is still too early. I am a construction supt. (big box ie. hospital construction etc) that took a brief job at a major home improvement chain because I had to go "home" due to family sickness. Had the lumbar fusion on L45/S1 in October and still not working and STILL in unbelievable pain. Some go good, some not so good. Mine looks like the latter. Good luck with yours. Hope yours is a SUCCESS!!!!

Old 05-03-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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Location: Oak Hill, VA
Posts: 3,503
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Re: Work after a lumbar fusion??

rmhares-this post is from 2003. I haven't seen any of these folks on the board in a long time. I fyou watch the date on the left side above the names you can see when the post was from. That way you won't sit and wonder why no one responded to you.

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