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Thread: Returning to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    151

    Returning to work

    I've been posting tons of questions recently, because I am in the process of scheduling my surgery and I am nervous. I work in the law enforcement field and have a question about returning to work in a field that can pose potential trauma to your body. I sit in a police vehicle for 10 hours and then can asked to run or fight a person. The doctors have not given me a straight answer about returning to work, ever! Has anybody returned to work after surgery? Any information would be appreciated. My doctor has taken me off work for the next three months, because he said that my curve has progressed significantly in the last 2 years. went to almost nothing to 48 degrees in the lumbar area. If anybody has any info, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,104
    Hi Rich

    Absolutely not!

    Fighting is out of the question. You can crack a fusion, and need revision surgery. Fusions can crack rotationally, especially with the leverage from your arms.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but its the truth.

    This is called getting all your "ducks in a row" before surgery. Everything needs to be thought out.

    We all sacrifice with scoliosis. I had to do major planning and sacrifice for my surgery.

    Adaptability is something that needs to be learned. Change is difficult, once you have done it, its generally a piece of cake.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Rich,

    I have to go along with Ed's answer. I'm surprised that your doctor's haven't said this to you. We do have to protect ourselves from falls, injury after this surgery. In the months immediately post surgery, I used to say, tell people around me, be careful, I'm breakable. I don't have to be as careful as at that time now that I'm almost 1 year post op, but falling or getting hit would be a bad idea.

    I hope you can wrap your head around our responses. I know, it's hard.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    249
    This situation also concerns me, being extra fragile. I live in a city that can get quite nasty and have been in some fights. Knowing that after surgery I could break the hardware in a similar situation leaves me feeling quite vulnerable, especially as a man!

    I suppose diplomacy is the only option post-op.

    Oh and it's cool to have a cop on here now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    Hi Rich, I don't think you would be able to return to field duty, however, you could return to admin duties. Its probably not as interesting as field duty, but you need to keep the health of your new fusion in mind.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    151
    thanks all for your response. I think I'm coming to the realization that I won't be able to return as a cop. Cop work is very unique, because they won't take you back unless your 100%, because of liability issues. When I learned about my scoli, two months ago, I had no idea that this was life changing. I have been doing this work for 17 years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    Hi Rich
    with all that experience, wouldnt you qualify as "head of security" at a corporation?...this is probably shocking news about the career move, but i bet with all your knowledge & years of work, many places would love to have you in charge of their security!

    i hope you find a wonderful new opportunity after all this is done...you sound like a wonderful person & excellent officer!

    best of luck
    jess

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,104
    Rich

    Think of life as a book. You will enter the next chapter, and the best is yet to come. There will be plenty of new opportunities coming up, and besides, it would be wise to lower the stress levels of police work anyway. Stress is of no value, and harmful especially for those with scoliosis.

    Having good insurance is a must if you need surgery and needs consideration.......

    Jimbo

    LOL What are you doing down there, getting into fights? Are you a Mod or a Rocker? Do they exist down under anymore?

    Try to maintain,keep it cool bro.....
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420
    Hi Rich,

    When you wrote you were a cop I thought "Oh no." 1ST thought was you won't be able to run after anyone if they took to "foot bail." Being that your curve is Lumbar I expect you to be fused low like I am and I can't run anymore. Well I can run, physically, but it feels as if my rods are pounding into the last two levels that are not fused on me. I don't believe you told us what levels the Dr. said he thought would be fused after your appointment. Those fused higher up don't seem to have this problem.

    2/22/06 T10-L4

    P.S. My Dad was CHP

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Rich,

    First, thank you for your thankless public service!!! I have mega respect for the police and firefighters that put their lives in danger every shift.

    Now it's time to put your safety first. It's very hard to think about not being able to return to a job you love. But you never know how you will heal and what you are able to do afterwards.

    I don't know your age or your procedure you're having. I asked my MD every time I saw him if I could return to work, and I never got a straight answer. I think they're not sure either. I'm fused from T-1 to L-5 and I can't run anymore.

    It's a wait and see kinda thing. And adapting and adjusting to your new body is often necessary. Some less than others.

    Do what is right for you first, the rest seems to fall in line.

    All my respect,
    Shari

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