Will severe spinal stenosis prevent me from nursing?

Nurses Disabilities


  • Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

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Specializes in general.
On 4/6/2011 at 7:14 AM, *Posh* said:

Yes! Three years ago, I started having severe back pain and was dx w/ spinal stenosis, ruptured disks and degenerative disk disease in L4,5 - S1. I developed arthritis and bone spurs. I had numbness in several toes and severe leg pain from the nerve compression. I had to stop bedside nursing for a year and take a desk job that I despised. My doctor tried to talk me into getting out of nursing all together and take disability. After PT didn't work, I was sent to a pain specialist. He was excellant! I recieved 3 steroid injections in two months. Two months after that, I had a diagnostic nerve block. A week after the nerve block, I had a facet rhizotomy. That was last September. It worked so well that I quit my job a year to the date I was hired and went back to the hospital in October. I don't take any narcotics or muscle relaxers. I take Aleve for the occasional back ache after a 12 hour shift. I take care of myself with daily stretching and I ask for help with moving patients if I think I may need it. I said all this to say that it can be done. The worst thing you can do is sit at a desk or home health (not home care). Don't be afraid to be your own advocate and communicate with your doc. Good luck!

Hi Posh, After the successful injections, was everything fine every since, since 2011 I guess? Or did you have any more problems? 

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hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,839 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).
On 4/6/2011 at 8:35 AM, Faeriewand said:

I was thinking Psych nursing but I think they do "takedowns." I don't know too much about that specialty so perhaps someone else could elaborate. I just loved my psych rotation. ? Good luck in your nursing career!

Psych nursing is not as physically demanding as a acute bedside nursing. But there is still an element of physicality andrisk for injury. I've only been hurt twice in 20 years of psych nursing. That no withstanding psych patients are manipulative and demanding and you can't just blow them off as "Difficult"  

It very much like playing a game of mental chess in order to get the preferred outcome. I love it and can't imagine any other kind of nursing but it's not for the faint of heart. 


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