How long after surgery did it take to regain any form of energy and symptoms to disappear?

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The good news is I'm 5 weeks post-op and the pain is mostly gone.  I only have some backup pain meds in case of an emergency.

The bad news is I'm so tired every day that I barely want to leave the couch.  I also don't really notice much of an improvement in my dizziness or my headaches.

I haven't seen my NS yet for my post-op but I often read online that people "normally return to work 4-6 weeks after surgery" I just don't see how this is possible as even finding enough energy to stay awake and watch a movie or something is sometimes too much.

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  • Posted

    Hi cokeguy223

    I can't talk for anyone else. I had decompression surgery 6 months, 2 weeks &2 days ago. I took a long time to recover post op. It was very slow and I took 3 months to return to the office on a 3 day week and a short day. And only this week stepped up to a 4 day week.

    The legacy of the condition is still significant fatigue, poor short term memory, and cognitive problems in processing complex or long issues.

    Many on these pages advocated "listening to your body", and the natural cynic in me thought I could recover quicker and better than others. But I was wrong. You really do have to find out how you react and how you feel before doing most tasks. The number of times I gave myself a pressure headache that might last from a minute to half a day.

    So my answer to you is work out what you can do, don't stretch it, and live within you comfort zone.

    Its a bugger to cope with, but ultimately a better way to advance slowly, than pushing it. No progress is linear either. It's goes up and down, and personally I found it easier to cope by accepting it all, than focusing on an apparent upswing that could be followed by a negative reaction.

    It's been a long haul for me, and those around me. Really important they get on and live their lives as well.

    Good luck to you.

    However you get told to live by others. You the one who knows how you feel, and work you way through it.

    All the best. It's not a sprint, it's the rest of your life.

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  • Posted

    It will be 2 years May 12 that I had my surgery. I 'm sorry to say I still feel tired a lot. I went back to work at 8 weeks. I worked 8 hour days then came home and went to bed. I still have daily headaches, and have FMLA (family medical leave act) so I can use as needed so I don't loose my job. I sorry to say which I hope you are not that you have to learn to live with the pain. I stopped taking medications, they only made me feel, not myself, dizziness, unable to focus clearly.  Each person is different so continue to search for more advice, I do it a lot. You are not alone, it helps or can give you hope to find out something someone else is doing. God bless, I hope you continue to feel better with each passing day

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  • Posted


    It obviously depends on the person, but recovery from the surgery for me and the people I have talked to, takes about 3 months. Of course, I am not sure how well your surgery went so some of the symptoms you are experiencing may be Chiari symptoms rather than post-op symptoms. 

    I really suggest that you take it slow but get back out there with physical activity; long walks or some elliptical if you can handle it without meds. If you start to hurt let up and try another time. Post-op fatigue will decline as you slowly start using your muscles and gaining body strength. 

    I wish you luck and hope all pans out well in the next couple of months! 

    Sierra Harvey 

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  • Posted

     I am sorry, I may not be much help. I had Chiari Decompression surgery when I was around 15 and now I am 33. I do remember that I miss the first six weeks (or so) of school, which caused me fail that whole year because I was unable to make up for the lost days. I did not have any pain before or after having surgery that I can recall. I have heard that you just need to take it slow and do whatever your body tells you. 
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