Broken Back

by JTomlinson91 JTomlinson91 (New) New

Hey I am 17 years old and am starting my pre reqs in the spring semester when I get cleared to go back to school. I broke my back in may 08 from a rollover car accident. I ended up getting 2 rods and 6 screws connecting L1 to L5 vertebrates. The Neurosurgeon said I should have no deficits but I was also told no football, no snowboarding, nothing really physical at all. So that ruled out my dreams of being a Marine and a Cop. So a nurse is the next best thing! My mom is a nurse in the ER. Sorry for rambling on but I wanted to give you a back story. My main question is do you think I will have issues with my back in the normal duties of a nurse? If so will I need to continue pain killers because I am currently on vikaden (sorry if I spelt it wrong) and I don't work or go to school. I already feel like a drug addict but I don't take them unless I'm in pain. I went through 60 in less than a month. Is this normal? Sorry I guess I'm asking a lot of question in one post. Thanks for all your help! I am really excited about nursing!


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,422 Posts

nursing can very well aggravate your back injury, please ask your surgeon for clearance to consider this career.

ana launches 'handle with care' ergonomics campaign (9/17/03)

multi-pronged effort aimed at preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders through greater use of assistive equipment and patient-handling devices

washington, dc -- recognizing that more than a third of all nursing personnel are affected by back-related injuries, the american nurses association (ana) today unveiled a proactive, multi-faceted campaign aimed at promoting safe patient handling and preventing musculoskeletal disorders (msds) among nurses.

good luck on finding a career.



543 Posts

I'm not quite answering your question, but have you tried therapies other than opioid narcotics, such as physical therapy, acupuncture or acupressure, getting a trainer, swimming, yoga, anything like that? 60 vicodin in a month is quite a bit. Have you tried getting a second evaluation by a surgeon at a spine center that specializes in this kind of case? Maybe there is a problem caused by the surgery or maybe you did not heal properly.

The restrictions you were given are pretty standard for anyone having had a spinal fusion, but may not be permanent. You do what you feel you are able to do. I suggest a second opinion by an experienced surgeon with revision surgeries at a major medical center, such as UCSF, Mayo, or NYU.

And yes, nursing will exacerbate any back problems you have. There are threads here on how to tell employers one is on narcotics and not lose one's job. Nursing has one of the highest rates of back injuries of any occupation. Unless you want to go directly into an NP program, you might want to look at other allied health fields, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, ultrasonographer, &c .... there is a demand for all of these.

TopazLover, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 728 Posts

I have old crush injuries of T9-11. Yes, I was able to return to nursing after a prolonged recovery, BUT, it is very difficult even with all the equipment and helps available. I agree with other posters that you might want to get a more extensive review prior to deciding on nursing. I would suggest PT also.

If you don't want to take narcotics for pain, definitely explore options. Swimming helps so much. If you can find a water aerobics class take it.

We don't give medical advice so talk with you MD about how to decrease or stop Vicodin, if that is your desire. There are other meds that might do the trick for you.

Best of luck. No matter what medial type field interest you you will need many prerequisite courses so start those while you work on the other issues.



7 Posts

I live in Arizona so I have a pool in my backyard so I swim often. And my mom also made them take me to St. Joes because I guess it's a really good neuro hospital. And as for taking other medication what I meant was I want to stop using pain killers all together. I did physical therapy and it didn't seem to help any. But I will try the acupuncture. Thanks for all your help!

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