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    Old 05-03-2006, 10:17 AM   #1
    Backinthesaddle
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    Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Just curious how long was anyone/everyone out of work before starting back post surgery? I have read many people who had great results and were back in a month and others never. I am just interested in the difference.

    I had acdf C4/5 Feb 14th after pretty severe stenosis for 1 1/2 years before surgery. I am like a few here that did not get immediate results. I still have a lot of pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. I am off work since this is a work related injury and my second neck surgery in 3 years work related (C6/7 post decomp 2003). Of course I want to stay off as long as possible since I did not do that the first time and regreted it since I had to burn personal time to take off when I hurt. I do not want to go back until I am able to have a day with less pain then I do now. I cannot imagine working 8 hours driving 2 hours and then coming home to a house and a baby to care for. Not sure how long the doctor will allow me even to be off. I am off as of now until the end of May.

    My ex dh had a simular surgery and was off 5 months post surgery but it was military and the footed his bill not his employer so he didn't have to deal with the weekly "when are you coming back to work" question.

    K

     
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    Old 05-03-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    I don't have a good answer. I sign my own checks. No work = no money.

    I do know 4-6 weeks is typical. But who is "typical?"

    When you're ready, you'll be ready. And you still have another 4 full weeks ahead of you.

    Some of the people who had very long or continuing recoveries may want to share.

    I know you're out there.

     
    Old 05-03-2006, 02:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by funny4mony
    I don't have a good answer. I sign my own checks. No work = no money.

    I do know 4-6 weeks is typical. But who is "typical?"

    When you're ready, you'll be ready. And you still have another 4 full weeks ahead of you.

    Some of the people who had very long or continuing recoveries may want to share.

    I know you're out there.
    As I've stated in other threads... I stayed out for 8 weeks.

    And I felt I went back a little early but I had to do it .... $$$

    Never the less, 3 weeks later things ARE getting easier.

    I would strongly consider seeing if you can change your hours when going back at first.. If not part time, maybe the hours themselves.

    Luckily, I can switch from a 9-5 to a 7-3 on a whim GENERALLY speaking.

    And that has done wonders for making it an easier transition.

    That would be my biggest suggestion at the moment.. You never know if you can unless you ask, right?

     
    Old 05-03-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Thanks guys. I wish I signed my own checks (maybe hmmmm).

    Ouch, I do feel I could do part time now but just do not want to push it. I know how my employer is once you are back you are back. They may let me try parttime to start with. I will be working 630-230 so not to bad. Just may not get much sleep.

    I was just curious how long people who did not have a great outcome stayed out. In 4 weeks with PT starting next week I may feel great..........then I just need to adjust my attitude to get ready to start.

     
    Old 05-03-2006, 08:40 PM   #5
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    I'm having a C5-C7 ACDF on 05/18 . Being in the Disability Insurance industry I know that for light to sedentary work 4-6 weeks is the expected time out of work after the surgery. For medium jobs it goes more to 8-12 weeks, for heavy to very heavy jobs it can be an indefinite duration. My leave will be determined by the medical necessity as determined by the Short Term Disability (STD) Claim Examiner. Anything more than 4-6 weeks will require extensive documentation from my physician. I am currently in Sales in Insurance so my job would be considered Light.

    If you are lucky and you are not dealing with an STD claim, you and your physician have more of a say in the 'approved duration'
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 05-03-2006 at 08:41 PM.

     
    Old 05-05-2006, 03:04 AM   #6
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    Cool Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    i am back now after 6wks. i am doing half days, no lifting anything over 10lbs. i work in retail. i have worked 2 nites now & i am so exhausted after my shift. my hip & leg just really hurt. i will not give up though.
    good luck to you.
    mitchie

     
    Old 05-05-2006, 08:10 PM   #7
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    M- I cannot imagine being back after 6 weeks. I do know that is average and it all depends on how well you are doing. You said your hip and leg hurt, mine have been really aching for weeks now and I wondered if it had something to do with the neck but didn't see how. Do you know why the hip and legs hurt from the neck? I am 10 weeks post and still have really bad pains from the jaw to the hands.

     
    Old 05-10-2006, 12:06 PM   #8
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    K - Are you talking to someone about all that pain? Maybe seeing a Neurologist on your own and digging a little deeper (I don't mean a PMS, but someone who can help identify what's been happening). A big piece of the puzzle just seems like it's missing. Did your Dr.(s) speak to you about your motor function? MF can be objectively tested. Those nerve roots handle a great deal more than just sensation.

    All that pain could be something completely unrelated to your current issues.

    At this point, I'd start barking up every tree, particularly because it's WC.

    Pain, in and of itself, means absolutely nothing with respect to a CA WC claim.

     
    Old 05-10-2006, 12:42 PM   #9
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Thanks F4M I had my first meeting with the PT on Monday. She told me I had a lot of soft tissue damage. Also the muscle in the back of the neck that goes down and attaches to the shoulder (the muscle that is on both sides) is very large on the left. She asked me if I had headaches? She also said I had limited nerve reflexes left tricep and both biceps. She told me that it takes a month for 1" of nerve damage so if I have damage lets say 18" it will take 18 months. She told me it could be 2 years until I knew what I had left over as permanent damage. I also have a very limited range of motion especially to the right. I laughed when she told me to look over my shoulder, yeah right I cannot even look 20 degrees. So she is submitting that to WC and we shall see. She wants to start off with 3x a week for a month to see how far I get with that. Now to wait for WC.

    Oddly I feel OK as long as I do nothing. I can walk fine, I get a few sharp pains in my legs and calves but other then that fine. I find my arms really ache to type and drive. I can only do that is short dosages. Plus sitting for very long is uncomfortable. But all in all as long as I control what I do and don't do I am OK for the most part. It is once I go back to work and I loose control.

     
    Old 05-10-2006, 01:13 PM   #10
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Backinthesaddle
    Thanks F4M I had my first meeting with the PT on Monday. She told me I had a lot of soft tissue damage. Also the muscle in the back of the neck that goes down and attaches to the shoulder (the muscle that is on both sides) is very large on the left. She asked me if I had headaches? She also said I had limited nerve reflexes left tricep and both biceps. She told me that it takes a month for 1" of nerve damage so if I have damage lets say 18" it will take 18 months. She told me it could be 2 years until I knew what I had left over as permanent damage. I also have a very limited range of motion especially to the right. I laughed when she told me to look over my shoulder, yeah right I cannot even look 20 degrees. So she is submitting that to WC and we shall see. She wants to start off with 3x a week for a month to see how far I get with that. Now to wait for WC.

    Oddly I feel OK as long as I do nothing. I can walk fine, I get a few sharp pains in my legs and calves but other then that fine. I find my arms really ache to type and drive. I can only do that is short dosages. Plus sitting for very long is uncomfortable. But all in all as long as I control what I do and don't do I am OK for the most part. It is once I go back to work and I loose control.
    BITS,

    It is not uncommon for people who have neck problems to have lower back problems too. I have spurs and a herniated disk at L5 S1 that the docs said will need work at some point. I get leg cramps and such from that. Just a thought.

    Dennis

     
    Old 05-10-2006, 01:35 PM   #11
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    K- The two year mark is what I was told as well.

    Good to hear to you're getting some PT help.

    Hope that gives you some relief.

     
    Old 05-10-2006, 09:03 PM   #12
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    I have office job, after my 2 level C4-6 ACDF in 12/04, donor bone, plating, collar for 8 weeks , i was part time from home at 3 weeks, part time at office at 6 weeks, full time 8 weeks.

    I just had a single C6-7 acdf, donor, plating and collar, with hardware removal from my previous and i already feel as good as i did at week 3 from my first experience.

    I think the answer is "it depends" every case is different

     
    Old 05-11-2006, 06:58 PM   #13
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    Question Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    AZ -

    When did you find you were able to drive? I'll have a collar for 4-6 weeks and am wondering when I'll be able to drive and consider returning to work. I do think at about 3 weeks I hope to be able to at least check my work email.

    Karin (in Phoenix!)
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 05-11-2006 at 07:00 PM.

     
    Old 05-11-2006, 10:24 PM   #14
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    Re: Post ACDF- how long out of work?

    Hey my Phoenix buddy - I got official approval last time to start weaning off the collar at 6 weeks. It took a few weeks after to really get completely off. I was told NO driving until collar is off, and then only if I was able to drive safely (like turn head etc. ) i got rides until around week 8 I think. A few times I drove but didn't feel it was time so i waited until i really felt i was in control!

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 03:43 AM   #15
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    Post ACDF- how long out of work? Similar situation in PA

    Hello,
    I had ACDF w/fusion (metal plates) at two levels c5/6 and c6/7 last Friday 5/5/06....did either you or Karin in Phoenix (where is much warmer than here, I'm sure! (PA)), have donor bone & hardware?.....
    I am told NO collar and driving is OK???
    I'm anxious to hear your responses.
    Thanks
    Jennifer

     
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