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iSpine Discuss How long were you off work after ADR surgery? in the Main forums forums; I do commercial lease administration and accounting and most of my day is spent behind a desk in front of ...

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:14 PM
jessmith07's Avatar
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Default How long were you off work after ADR surgery?

I do commercial lease administration and accounting and most of my day is spent behind a desk in front of a computer. I do get up throughout the day to stretch and walk around, but there is no heavy lifting or anything else strenuous involved in my line of work. I have about 3 weeks PTO, and I do have the ability to do some of my work from home, but Dr. Fenk-Meyer told me last week that I may be off 8-12 weeks. That was a BIG shock! I wasn't expecting that at ALL! When I had my laminectomy done last year, I was home for 3 weeks, but was able to keep up with most of my work from home, and once I went back, I spent a couple of Saturday's making up time getting caught up on other things, so I actually wasn't charged any PTO at all.

So, for those of you that have been through this, how long after your surgery were you able to return to work, and what line of work are you in?

Thanks, Jess.
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany

Last edited by jessmith07; 05-05-2009 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:59 PM
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I am expecting to be off for 8-12 weeks, and using FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). This allows you to take a leave of absence without losing your job. Your company has to be large enough (I don't know how many employees is required, for the policy to be in force, someone will come along with that answer), and you have to have been on the job for a year (I think). You have to have worked a minimum number of hours in the previous 12 months, as well.

If all these things are met, then you can be off work for 12 weeks, with a guarantee of a comparable position when you return. They are not required to return you to the same position, but a comparable one that you are qualified to do.

FMLA does not guarantee pay during this time, only a job when you return.

I have been planning for this since November, and limiting how much time I have been taking off, except for absolutely needed medical leave. So, I didn't take off time at Christmas, except for the scheduled holidays. I have 6 weeks of paid time off, but am having my employer change my hours from 40hr/wk to 30, so that it will stretch to 8 weeks.

And then we have a program, where people can donate their vacation to you, or anyone in need. Before I leave, I will be signing up for this program, and sending an email to everyone in my department and the few additional people that I know outside the dept, asking for donations. They can donate as little as a half day of vacation. But I am hoping that if enough people donate 1/2 or 1 day of vacation, that it will be enough to allow me to be paid through the entire 12 weeks.

And I really, really hope I will be ready to come back to work in 12 weeks, so that I am guaranteed a position. In this economy, I am very nervous about having to find a job, if I am not ready to come back at 12 weeks.

I hope that you are able to take the needed time off to heal. At a minimum, it takes 6 weeks for the bone to grow into the ADR.
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Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:33 PM
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Jess and others,

What you need to understand - this is a big surgery. Though any spine surgery is big, I too was able to return to work at about 6 weeks post disco/lami. Fusion and ADR is a much bigger surgery. Though you might be able to return to work at 6 weeks post op, most are not ready. Three months is a good estimate though again, you might not be ready to sit at a desk all day regardless of frequent breaks. Rushing back to your job before you are ready can have adverse consequences. Justin posted yesterday, you have only one chance to heal correctly.

As to whether or not you're able to withstand the possible increase in pain or risk any possible negative affects from doing too much too fast, only you can decide. Only you will benefit or suffer. Then again, maybe you'll do so fantastic, six weeks is all you'll need????

Perhaps it's time to start a new thread, the healing process, what to expect!

To all facing surgery, may your hopes and dreams for a pain free life be realized.

Dale
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3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:50 PM
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i went back to work part time at 12 weeks. and in 3 weeks was back to 40 hrs a week.
and i am a Toolmaker.
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ddd 1990
2003 mri,xrays,shots,emg
2004 discogram ouch pos l4 l5
facet block neg
lost all appeals BCBS 5 months of that
3 surgeons later
surgery with dr. bertagnoli aug 2nd 2006 in Bogen Germany Successfully ProDisc-L L-4 L-5

Last edited by chasswen; 05-04-2009 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:10 PM
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I did go back to work at 6 weeks but I had to take breaks and a low phyiscal load. Sadly I have a hard time sitting for hours to this very day but I was more or less recovered to my current state at about 6 weeks out. Also I was at a much better shape at 6 weeks post then I was before the surgery when I could only sit for 15 minutes and then it was next to impossible to get back up short of heavy drugs. At 6 weeks I could eek out 2 hours in 1 hour sessions a day. If more then that the leg pain really ramped up and I would have had to increase meds which I chose not to do. What worked surprisingly good is to have a tall desk and to do desk work standing, a total reversal of before surgery. Best solution, one of those motorized desks. I had hybrid lumbar fusion and adr.
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Nov 07: STALIF Fusion L5/S1 ACTIV-L ADR L4/L5
Nov 09: Prodisc-C ADR 2 level C 4/5/6
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:11 PM
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Chasswen I think you meant to say 3 month. But that is a good recovery time for a physical job.
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Nov 07: STALIF Fusion L5/S1 ACTIV-L ADR L4/L5
Nov 09: Prodisc-C ADR 2 level C 4/5/6
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:24 AM
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Default Just feeling REALLY STRESSED

I feel so STUPID that out of all the research I 've done and all the pounding and fighting with the insurance company and all of the travel coordinating between here, Paris, Munich, Stroebing, that a very important question never entered my mind,,,how long AFTER the surgery will I be down? This sounds like PRISON to me!!!!!

"What will you be having for dinner, Mademoiselle?

"Oh, I'm on that new Stress Diet...have you heard of it?

"Why NO,,,,,?"

"Well, just bring me anything on the menu,,,then, throw it on the floor, yell at me like it's my fault until I cry, and then I'll have the double chocolate mousse, please. In fact, make it a double. Yes, that's right...A double-double. It's called slow suicide. Learn to recognize the symptoms in your friends."

Only I can't really have it, because I try to stay away from this kind of stuff...

I should probably go, I feel my nightly crying jag coming on...Lord, I'm SUCH A BABY!
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany

Last edited by jessmith07; 05-05-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessmith07 View Post
I feel so STUPID that out of all the research I 've done and all the pounding and fighting with the insurance company and all of the travel coordinating between here, Paris, Munich, Stroebing, that a very important question never entered my mind,,,how long AFTER the surgery will I be down? This sounds like PRISON to me!!!!!

"What will you be having for dinner, Mademoiselle?

"Oh, I'm on that new Stress Diet...have you heard of it?

"Why NO,,,,,?"

"Well, just bring me anything on the menu,,,then, throw it on the floor, yell at me like it's my fault until I cry, and then I'll have the double chocolate mousse, please. In fact, make it a double. Yes, that's right...A double-double. It's called slow suicide. Learn to recognize the symptoms in your friends."

Only I just get to dry-hump this one, because I try so hard to stay away from unhealthy stuff...

I should probably go, I feel my nightly crying jag coming on...Lord, I'm SUCH A BABY!
YOU ARE NOT STUPID AND YOU ARE NOT A BABY! There are a lot of things to think about & consider when it comes to surgery. Sometimes we can't think of every single thing to ask the doctor when it comes to making such a huge decision.

Stress is a real "bittie". I can vouch for that. I stress out over quite a bit. Even over stuff that I have no control over. It doesn't help me though.

I knew going into my surgery that I would be out of work for some time. My doc told me 6 weeks & I looked at him like he was high. Go back to work 6 weeks from ALIF/PLIF fusion?!? I wasn't ready to go back after 6 weeks. It was just too painful. I went back to work F/T after 10 1/2 weeks. I was still dealing with some pain & discomfort but I went back due to being pressured by both of my jobs to go back. Silly me. I went back only to tell them that I was leaving them again permanently in 2 months. That went over REALLY well. Oh well.

Both of my jobs are pretty sedentary but that's tough when you have a fusion, I have to remember to get up every 45-60 minutes which again irks the crap out of my supervisor. Evil woman she is.

You have to remember that each person heals differently. Some faster than others. Keep in mind that this is a huge surgery. You want to make sure that you heal properly so you can hopefully avoid doing any damage.

I knew I would be out for some time. I purchased a mortgage disability policy through my insurance company to help with the bills in anticipation of this. I'm not sure if this is an option for you, but it may help relieve some of the stress with paying some bills. I also noticed from your signature that you have some little ones. Is there anyone that can help you with childcare while you are recovering? Again, this may help relieve some stress for you.

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but everything will be OK. If you need to talk, or vent, just hit us up here on the board.

K
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Disc Bulge C4/C5, Disc Degeneration T11/T12, Bi-Lateral tears L5/S1, Diagnosed w/ Lumbar Disc Derangement w/ Radiculopaphy. Treatment: IDET, Percutaneous Discectomy, SI Joint Injection, Facet Block. All failed. Empire BC/BS Denied Coverage for ADR-lost all of my appeals. MVP also denied coverage.

Anterior/Posterior Fusion L5/S1 -1/20/09
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:57 AM
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I was able to work my desk job at 4-5 weeks out after my 3 level cervical ADR but only for 3-4 hours a day. I'm now 9 weeks out and I'm working 6 hours a day but on many days, the last 2-3 hours are with moderate pain unless I take alleve and maybe a pain killer. Overall , working past 4 hours now usually starts to hurt but I can work through it usually. Dr fenk meyer didn't seem concerned that I'm back to work with some pain, so hopefully I'm not risking messing anything up by doing so. She said you will heal with or without pain and not to worry about it. Again, my pain level at work is slight to moderate. If it gets worse than that I just go home early.

Last edited by steve55; 05-05-2009 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:27 PM
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I'm sorry for the middle of the night crazy post...even with sleeping pills, I can't sleep, I'm so stressed out.

I took a sleeping pill around 9:00 last night, because the night before, I didn't fall asleep until 3:30 am and had to wake up at 5:30 for work. I woke up at 12:30 and couldn't fall back to sleep...so I finished a book, drank a glass of wine, and jumped on the computer. And started STRESSING! And looking back at my post, and my newly created signature, I can see some fatigue and loopiness too I'll fix that...

Our children are older - 9 to 17 - so childcare isn't a problem, thank the Lord, and they're GREAT kids, so other than occasional bickering, behavior isn't a problem, either. I'm just so scared. Really, that's what it all boils down to...I'm just SO scared.
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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