There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Boss thinks recovery from a PLIF should only take 2 weeks

This will be my second lumbar surgery in one years time. In March I had a synovial cyst and some bones spurs removed. Monday I am have a PLIF.  The struggle I have with my boss is that her Grandma had a fusion using cement, and that I should be back to work in two weeks. I plan to get a note for work. I am the only one that works in the front office of a medical clinic, my day is full of bending and reaching for files, and cleaning the office. I know that everyone is different, but when could I expect to get back to work?

Thanks all!


  • I'm not too sure about your bosses' story about his grandma's fusion. No way can you go back to work in 2's madness. Full recovery depends on the person and it can be from 6-12 months. On in the very best cases can someone be back at a sedentary job in 6 weeks. Get all the documentation you need from your doctor pertaining to your situation so that the boss sees that everyone is not the same. His grandma is probably retired and has no need to be back at her job. People heal at their own personal rates and should not be compared to another's period of recovery. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • lynda486llynda486 Seymour MoPosts: 6
    Thanks Meydey! I know what I am up against, just getting them to understand. What I did today was copy a couple links that show the procedure and recovery, and e mailed it to them. I appreciate your input!
  • advertisement
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 995


    Your boss is sadly and badly out of touch with the reality of your sugery... NO WAY can you expect to be back to work in 2 weeks after a PLIF.  Meydey said it pretty well... 6-12 months and at BEST you might expect to be back to an office job in 6 weeks.  Get all the documentation you can... have your doctor call your boss... if your job is at risk check your legal rights BEFORE your surgery.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • lynda486llynda486 Seymour MoPosts: 6
    Thank-you! The funny thing is that one of my bosses is a Dr and the other a Nurse!
  • RickallenRRickallen MichiganPosts: 86
    edited 01/01/2017 - 4:50 PM
    Remine me not to go that dr.and besides is he a back and spine dr.or a md.thete is a bigg dif.
  • advertisement
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 735
    I've gone on short term disability at 2 diff companies. Each time, I was sending docu to an insurance company who would approve or not approve. I was back at work in 6 weeks after my first lumbar surgery. Fidelity Investments dropped $2k to get me a very nice chair. Sitting down was a challenge for me. I got caught up in a huge layoff 10 months later. 
  • Glad to help. It's pretty sad that being a doctor he would be so unrealistic. I think he just made up that story about his grandma to push you back into work. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
    edited 07/02/2019 - 10:55 AM
    I have to agree.  If this person is a doctor than the story about his grandma cannot be valid.   Sounds like he is almost intimidating you into coming back earlier.   You see if my grandma can do it, then you can also.

    As some of the other posters mentioned, start gathering all your documentation.  Copies of all your diagnostic reports, images, etc.   Get your surgical report and other medical notes associated with your condition and surgery.   

    Grandma's fusion? wonder if it was cervical or lumbar.  I can see coming back sooner after a cervical fusion, but still not 2 weeks.

    Depending on your commuting, the type of work you do at the office, it may be more like 6 to 10 weeks.   Different companies have varied guidelines.  I know when I was working, if you were out for more than 3 weeks, you needed to apply for Short Term Disability (for us, it was 3 months in duration)

    But dont rush back.  Somehow your boss needs to be challenged.  If it is in the form of another doctor, so be it.
    Your health is so very important.
  • So sorry to hear you are being put under pressure at such a critical time.  Your recovery is paramount here, if the procedure is to be successful.  Stresses and strains of your job do not sound acceptable things to do as we are instructed not to Bend, Lift or Twist during the pre-op physio visit.

    In the UK we would obtain a medical note from the surgeons office/GP indicating the period we are unable to work. Some will write one for a month then review, some may even write it for much much longer.

    On our return to work there is also a fit for work note, that a GP can indicate hours and restrictions to support that note.  If the employer does not support that or forces the employee to do something that goes against that note, the fit for work note automatically turns into a sick note and you would be signed off work completely.

    I do not know your laws, but I am sure your surgeon would have something to say about you returning to work so soon after all his hard worK!

    It is such a shame that your boss chooses to use her own ways to enforce return to work, especially with her knowledge!  
    Take what time you need, advised by your surgeon or his team and support that, as advised  by others above, with paperwork that will protect you and your rights.

    Good luck with your PLIF and let us know the date so we can support you through that time.



    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
Sign In or Join Us to comment.