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Return to Running After Neck Surgery?

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Old 02-12-2007, 07:56 AM   #1
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monarog HB User
Return to Running After Neck Surgery?


It is very likely I will be facing surgery within the next couple of months. I will know more shortly and am still not sure if it will be ACDF or a posterior approach one level, c6-7. My question is...I was an avid runner up until 10 months ago when a bunch neuro symptoms halted things. Anyone out there who had surgery and returned to running? I know I know there are other less impacting things to do...but, it's my passion as I know other runners can understand. I'm certain the docs will tell me once I'm fully healed it "shouldn't be a problem." I would just like to know the reality and experience of some patients - understanding that each case is different. I appreciate the information. Thanks. Mona

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Old 02-28-2007, 04:14 AM   #2
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rob_zzz HB User
Re: Return to Running After Neck Surgery?

monorog - not sure whether your leg symptoms are bad enough now to prevent you running and what sort of recovery you'd get from surgery - but I do know there are football players that have had neck surgery (acdf) and returned to play afterwards (rugby players - full contact). I also met someone with a c3 fusion and he was wakeboarding and surfing.

Old 02-28-2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: Return to Running After Neck Surgery?

I had ACDF on C5/6/7, and started running again -kind of easy, to see how it went - about 3 months later. Six months later, I was back in for another ACDF on C4/5. It's impossible to say if the running contributed to or caused the second problem - my surgeon would say if it's your passion, you should try it - and if the problems come back at another level, then get it 'fixed' if/when it happens.

I did NOT return to running after my 2nd surgery, and I've made it 21 months now. Your best bet is consult carefully with your doctors, and consider returning to your sport under the care of a PT, or one of the sports medicine places that seem to be everywhere - the risk for an avid runner is to try for longer, or faster runs, and maybe there is a way to get back more gradually, and with lower risk.

But I used to be a distance runner, and I know what it's like to want to get back to it! Good luck!

Old 03-01-2007, 07:36 AM   #4
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monarog HB User
Re: Return to Running After Neck Surgery?

Hey Bob & Rob,

Thanks for input. Bob, so sorry you had to have a 2nd surgery - certainly impossible to tell if running contributed to it, caused it, or had nothing to do with it. I too enjoy long distance. Thanks for words of advice. Hopefully, at some point, you'll be able to get back out there.


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