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work after microdiscectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I had a microlaminectomy and discectomy (L5,S1) 1 week ago. I had experienced horrible sciatic nerve pain for about 3 weeks prior to that. I had a 9mm herniated disc that had also fragmented. That awful pain was gone when I woke up from surgery, and I was discharged the next day. The only instructions I received were to not drive for 2 weeks and stay out of work for 2 weeks. I was also told to walk 2-3 miles per day by week 3. I'm 42 years old and I teach school. I have been more tired than usual and my back is tender, but that's about it. I am feeling guilty about not starting back to work next week. Should I just relax and enjoy the time to heal, or just go on back to work. I haven't been able to find much on the internet about the right time to get back to work or even why I'm not supposed to drive. I was just wanting some words of wisdom.



  • Hi Margo,

    If I were you I would rest! I had a microdiscectomy at the same location one month ago. My leg pain was completely gone after the surgery and all of sudden returned at the 2 week mark. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary was walking and resting as instructed and my surgeon thinks it may have reherniated. In the first month or so you can do basically nothing and end up hurting yourself.

    Don't rush it and take care of yourself!

  • terriblethrees,

    I appreciate the advice. Now I can feel better about being "useless".

  • Every case is different, but I can remember being winded just doing the dishes......and this was a couple months out.
    (I had a micro-d at L4-L5 and L5-S1)

    That disc is very vulnerable in the weeks after surgery.

    I admire your desire to get back to work, but take care of you first. It might be labeled "outpatient" or "micro", but it's still a serious surgery.

    Are you doing any physical therapy?

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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