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    Old 07-08-2007, 11:19 AM   #1
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    return to work following laminectomy

    I am new to this site and have learned so much already. I am 2 weeks post op L5-S1 laminectomy. In addition to the herniated disc I also had a 3 cm X 3 cm piece of the disc which broke off completely and was "free floating". [removed] so I am on Workmens Comp. I hear they try to force you to return to work quickly and I don't think I am ready. I see my doc on Tuesday and will start PT soon but I am still having the same pain as before surgery. Buttock, thigh and calf pain, although it is intermittant now and not constant, along with the same numbness in my toes. They said I may be able to return to sedentary work after a "few weeks". I am still rotating sitting, standing, walking and laying throughout the day and still on Clinoril and Darvocet. When are most people returning to work post laminectomy?

    Last edited by HBMod07; 07-08-2007 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Please read the posting rules regarding professions

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    Old 07-08-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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    Re: return to work following laminectomy

    Welcome Deb,

    You have come to the right place for support and information. Everyone here are so helpful and caring.

    Your surgeon's first concern is your recovery. He is not going to release you work until he feels you are physically able to do so. It is up to you to relay how you are feeling, any pain, what activities you are able to do ect., so he can make the determination. I believe with a laminectomy, you are generally out 4 to 6 weeks (if all goes well).

    Make sure you get plenty of rest and follow your doctors orders.

    Old 07-08-2007, 12:08 PM   #3
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    Re: return to work following laminectomy

    Hi, and welcome to the board. I have had 2 laminectomies at L5-S1, and I was off work for 2 months; I had a desk job not doing what you have to do. I hope your surgeon won't allow you to go back too soon and that he puts limits on what you can do. You see, after my lst lami, I re-ruptured while in the hospital, so I know how easily that can happen. Your first priority is your health and your back is very delicate right now. You shouldn't do anything that could cause problems in the future. Having worked in a hospital for 5 years, I know how they press you to get back to work quickly without realizing that, in the long run, it's the worst thing for them, too. They're trying to save w/c dollars and they're short-handed, so they urge you to come back and they will keep you on light duty. In 5 years, I never saw that happen!

    Anyway, the whole idea is to stay off as long as your dr will allow it, and then ask for light duty for another month. Walking is a wonderful way to strengthen your back, and I hope your dr. has encouraged you to do that.

    Best of luck, please let us know how you are doing.

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    Old 07-08-2007, 12:20 PM   #4
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    Re: return to work following laminectomy

    When I had my laminectomy, I was not allowed to bend for six weeks and really don't think I could have gone to work before that point if I had to. My advice is to stay home as long as possible and guard your back like it was gold. Nursing is hard work and you would hate to cause yourself more problems by returning to soon to work.

    Old 07-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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    Re: return to work following laminectomy


    With your problem this is a tough job for your back... so i hope your Doctor will not let you go too soon. 2 weeks only sounds too soon for me to even talk yet about going back.
    I read here many people were pushed to go back to work after WC Doctors feel they will be OK and how many people end up in pain and back to the Doctors. AS far as i learned here - some people go to lawyer and get some help there. Take care of yourself, this is your priority at this point. Because if you don't heal properly - you may have more problems in a future and you definately don't need that.
    BEst of luck to you.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 07-08-2007 at 08:56 PM.

    Old 07-08-2007, 05:20 PM   #6
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    Re: return to work following laminectomy

    hello , I giess I was lucky ..I was back to work by week 3 .. But keep in mind I have an administrative position at a school.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 07-08-2007 at 08:57 PM.

    Old 07-09-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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    Talking Re: return to work following laminectomy

    Thanks for all your input! This is an awesome health message board. Everyone is so supportive and helpful. Most of you have had fusions which I know is much more extensive than my surgery. Best of luck to you all, some of your stories are heart wrenching. I see my doc tomorrow and after reading all your posts I know that I am not ready to return to work yet. It seems that most everyone who returned to work quickly experienced major setbacks. Being in the medical field, my job requires long hours on my feet that I know I cannot handle for awhile. To you all, have a good day with decreased pain!

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