Tips for planning a smooth return to work after spinal bone spur surgery

If you’re in the process of scheduling spinal bone spur surgery, you’ll need to arrange some time off from your job. And, this holds true whether you work inside or outside of your home. But, exactly how much time will you need to recover, and when will you be able to resume your regular duties?

There are many factors to consider before these questions can be answered with any degree of certainty. As you plan for your bone spur surgery and recovery, you’re likely gathering information from a variety of sources. Perhaps you’ve consulted your family members and friends, other people who have had spine surgery, medical books you found in your local library and, most likely, the boundless wealth of knowledge available on the internet.

Of course, any efforts you make to educate yourself are very admirable. But, as you listen, read and learn, be sure to keep in mind that every patient, spinal condition and occupation is unique. Therefore, it would be unwise to base your expectations on someone else’s experience. Instead, you should rely on the personalized advice and guidance of an experienced medical professional who knows you well — the surgeon who will perform your bone spur surgery.

Your discussions with your surgeon

The precise point at which you can return to work after your bone spur surgery will be determined by your surgeon during your recovery. For your planning purposes, though, your surgeon can probably provide some useful information beforehand. To help him or her make a well-informed projection, you should explain the nature of your job duties in detail. For instance, be sure to let your surgeon know if your regular work involves:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Sitting, standing or walking for extended periods of time
  • Using a computer
  • Bending, lifting, carrying, turning, pushing or pulling movements
  • Maintaining awkward body postures, such as reaching overhead or hunching over a work surface

Even after taking all of this information into account, your surgeon will still not able to predict your exact return-to-work date with 100 percent certainty. What’s more, you may heal from bone spur surgery more slowly or quickly than expected, and your capabilities may change as you regain spinal strength and flexibility. In order to promote a full recovery and achieve the best possible surgical outcome, it is important to proceed slowly and listen to your surgeon — and your body.

You may have surgical options

Bone spur surgery is a big step. Before you elect to have a highly invasive open neck or back procedure, you should first find out if you could benefit from a minimally invasive alternative. For instance, the surgeons at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive surgery to address bone spurs and other spinal conditions. And, unlike traditional open spine surgery, which often involves several days of hospitalization, our minimally invasive procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and have no lengthy recovery,^ which may allow you to get back to work sooner.

If you’d like to learn more about the minimally invasive bone spur surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.