What is the "Average" Recovery time after Surgery?
by Devin215, Jul 29, 2009
Hi everyone,
I just wanted to see what everyone's average recovery time was after surgery to at least feel back up to par to manage going back to work. I am seriously considering moving up the date of my surgery. The last few days have been horrible for me. I have had leg and lower back pain (Saturday), Sunday I had a headache and neck/ shoulder pain, Monday I had a headache and arm tingling along with seeing spots and double vision, Today I woke up and both of my arms and legs were numb, I was dizzy, had double vision and neck pain, headache and seeing spots....I am progressively getting worse and today while driving I felt like all the blood was drained out of my leg....I asked my NS what he thought and he said in would be "reasonable" to move up the surgery date and to call his scheduling lady.....SCARY!! The breakdown of my condition is I have a 4-6mm herniation and bulging disks in my neck. According to my NEUROLOGIST not my NS he says no syrinx in my thoracic cervical or lumbar spine....I want to have my NS look at that to make sure though. Periodicaly I get the numb and tingling feeling in the back of my throat and sometimes i swear this sounds weird but feel like my brain jumps like I feel something moving, and my neck cracks real easy too. I just kinda want and Idea of what to expect with an average recovery time to try to spend the holidays with my family...SO for those of you oout there wo have had the surgery how long did it take for you to heal and feel at least somewhat normal?
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Member Comments (7)
by selmaSBlank, Jul 29, 2009
Hi.....we do have a thread here "how many Zipperheads"....many members have discuss their recovery on that thread.

I posted my info with my PFD in my journal in my profile page....I am only 2 months post op and I know I am not ready for a job......I am not driving yet.

Everyone is diff.....and it all depends on how the surgery goes.

I have no idea what kind of job u have, but if it is stressful and u r on ur feet I doubt u would be able to go back full time after 3 months.......if it was a less stressful position sitting down..maybe part I said, we r all diff......only u will know.

Right after surgery I had a false sense of feeling was the meds....and we do have to get off them.....then reality sets in....I am better and so glad I had the surgery, but I know I am still healing and must be patient......

Still looking for my new normal
by Shane99, Aug 02, 2009
Yeah, if you had the surgery soon, you'd most likely be up and around by the Holidays. But you will still have to take it easy - and I mean really take it easy. Recovery can take over a year. I'm 15 month post op and still get tired out easily. But I think mine isn't normal.

They say that withing 6 weeks you can usually return to light duty work. Just be aware that your immune system and stamina take a lot longer.

You'll most likely be able to enjoy the Holidays, but you don't want to be the one hosting the parties.
by plumsaki, Aug 02, 2009
Take it from me, you do not want to rush things!!!  I went back to almost full time (my full time is 55-60 hours per week and driving 1,200 miles per week with overnight travel) at the end of April.  I had my PFD in January.  It was WAY too early!  I just had an appointment with my NS on Friday and they are reducing my work schedule immediately.  I did do a gradual return to work schedule of a few weeks at the beginning of April, but then felt really pressured to return quickly.  I did and now I'm paying for it.  

My recovery during the time I was at home went smoothly.  I had myself weaned off pain meds within my first week of being home and started driving at 2 weeks out.  In hindsight, I probably should have allowed my mother to take care of me(she took LOA from work to come stay with me) instead of attempting to be super woman.  I'm a busy body to the extreme and HATE being down.  That being said, I am learning how to slow down.  It isn't a choice, it's a must.  I have a 7-year old son who needs his mommy so I am gradually learning how to live life with my new limitations.  

I'm definitely NOT the same person I was prior to surgery and I'm struggling to deal with that the fact I probably never will be again.
by mama2twobabies, Aug 05, 2009
On Thursday, I will be 4 weeks out of my Chiari Decompression.  My surgery went relatively smoothly.  I did have to be re-admitted to the hospital 3 days after I returned home because I had a CSF leak.  I think the tricky part about recovery is that sometimes, even for days on end, you feel pretty close to normal & you do you routine daily tasks and then BAM!  the very next day, you are in pain or weak and it is scary.  I automatically think something must be wrong, but it's just that you have to take it slow, no matter how wonderful you may feel.  My husband tells me on a daily basis that I didn't have ingrown toenail surgery.  He gets frustrated that I do too much.  I'm still using muscle relaxers and take 1 dose of pain meds, if any at all.  I think if you prepare yourself for the worse and hope for the best, you'll land somewhere in the middle, which in my opinion is way better than in a bed 24/7 in agony.  So, less than 1 week out of the hospital, I can give you a run down of daily tasks I am able to do and not do:  I can get up and get my own food, but I do have insomnia, so I wake up quite late--I'm still on my hospital schedule, I guess.  I can get food for my kids and sit and color, read and play with them for about 2 hour stretches.  I cook dinner every day, but do sit down in between because I get pain and dizziness.  I have been grocery shopping a few times and have even taken my kids to the "bouncy place" to play.  I've been able to drive once, but shouldn't have b/c I haven't been cleared and my neck isn't quite as mobile as it should be.  My biggest complaint is muscle pain in my neck.  I do get lazy, but I've always been that way LOL.  The holidays should be fine for you, especially if your surgery is soon.  I had a diagnosis and surgery within a month of each other, so I wasn't made to suffer long.  Sorry if I rambled.  Good luck with your surgery!
by cillina, Sep 26, 2009
Hope you are up and around with that 7 yr. old.My daughter is in her third week of recovery. She has a one year old who wants to be held by Mom.She still takes a
lot of meds. My concern is how to get her off them. She had taken so many before
the surgery that she was overdosed after surgery. it was really scary.Just wondering
how yor pain level was and was it had to quit meds.                 donna
by selmaSBlank, Sep 26, 2009
Donna, I responded to ur other post...and am still confused...didn't they do bloodwork on her prior to the surgery?

And I am sure ur DD made them aware of all her meds, right?

by pirogue, Nov 19, 2012
I had my Chiari decompression surgery on 9/19/12, and before I had the surgery, I had read many different entries like the above. Well, the recovery time for the surgery is really variable. I was released from the hospital at the end of day two, and I took my last pain medication that night. The trick for me was to keep active right after surgery. I was up, walking, soon-there-after, and continued to walk daily. I went back to work (a desk job) in 10 days. It took about 45 days to feel like myself again, I suppose, and at 2 months I think I have gotten all my strength back. I had a 10 mm Chiari (it can be classified as one at 4 mm), so it was not that I had a small malformation.