Has anyone had the decompression surgery and returned to work?

I'm three months out and unsure of a time table or realistic expectations...

I had PFD surgery Sept 20, 2011 and returned back to work part-time on Oct. 24, 2011 then full-time Nov 7, 2011.

Time out really varies from person to person.


Hi Seabrookes,

I was unable to return to work, but had an extensive CM situation. Everyone recovers differently. Please don't be hard on yourself. I know this is a serious situation for everyone. I tried to go back part time ...just a couple of hours a couple of days a week. Maybe you could try something like that. You could possibly build your hours back to normal. Please let us know how you are doing.

Tracy z.

I had surgery Oct 24, 2011. My surgeon told me i'd be back at work in 4 weeks (At the time I was a Meat Dept Manager and meat cutter at a Grocery Store) I was NO WHERE NEAR READY @ 4 weeks in fact it was 13 weeks before I could go back and then it was for only 4 hrs/day it took me almost 2 months to work up to 8 hrs a day. I am no longer managing the Dept just cutting as the extra stress and hours required in management is more than I can do! I also Pastor a Church here in New Orleans.

I have been working 6 days a week the last few weeks and it is really taking its toll on me,it is too much but its helping me catch up on some of the fin aces i missed while I was off of work.

Like Tracy said see if you can work a few hours at first, it really does take time to rebuild your strength! don't push yourself too hard!!

Thank you all so much for your responses! I found it encouraging and helpful! I think you are all brave and strong! Tracy z. & Kenny Who-dat Flaming - I appreciate you being so candid about your journey. It means so much that there is so much support here.

I went to an all day Women's Ministry class on Saturday at my church, it was so great! I spent the night praying to stay out of the ER (trouble breathing). I had been told it is not a Chiari symptom - which to that I responded, "It came as a pkg deal."

Went to church Sunday, and went to the alter call, and received prayer. Felt soo much better! I am continuing to walk it out in faith. I am going to start going to the gym and walk the tread mill twice a week to build up strength. Can't wait to build up to running again, though! I miss that. Used to run 3 miles 2-3 days a wk out at CSUS by my house...

I will be 4 weeks post-op on Friday. I am hoping to return to work in two weeks time, hopefully by then the NS will clear me to drive. I was just saying to my husband this evening, that I no longer have the need to take a nap in during the day as I am finally sleeping better at night. I feel great, I still have limited movement in my neck and some pre-op symptoms (pain/tingling in my right arm), which will hopefully go away as the syrinx shrinks. I am walking everyday and can't wait to return to gym and my running, but I will be sensible and take it slow.

I’m almost three weeks post op. NS put me on compulsory 8 weeks no work or driving no matter what. Then from there will review and decide whether I can return, and in what capacity. I guess it depends what sort of work you do. I’m a kindergarten teacher so he is not convinced returning full time straight away etc although recovery is going really well…
Best of luck with yours :slight_smile:

Hi I had my op on 6th Oct 2011. I started back at work beginning of March but only 3 hrs 2 days a week. I’ve just have a review from my gp and been given another phased return to work note so will be continuing on this for another months and try to add a few extra hrs. I havent spoken to my neurosurgeon in 3 months. I get extreamly tired and after returning home sleep for hr or 2. No matter how hard I try to stay awake.

I’m a vet nurse so my job is quite demanding. I’ve only been pottering and cleaning over the last few months but I’m glad to be doing something.

I think depending on what you do will depend if you can go back and how. But don’t rush anything and listen to your body. I was going mad at home so wanted to get back even if for 1hr or to my work have been quite good about me coming in as an wen which is also helpful. Maybe have a chat with docs and work and see if you can sort something out if you feel able. :slight_smile:

Best wishes

I was senior vet tech for years since my decompression I have tried 3hours every other day but I can no longer wrestle the large animals or do my job like before I wish you the best of luck I am now applying for ss