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4 months post discectomy, can't sit too long?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, all!

I haven't been on here in quite some time. All is well.

I am surprised, however, at how achy my back gets if I sit too long this far post-op. I guess I thought my inability to sit for more than 30 minutes at a stretch would go away by now. Then I got to thinking: Does this happen because of the lack of disc between the vertebra, and will this be an ongoing issue because of that? Or are things still healing way deep inside, and one of these days I'll be able to sit to my heart's content without a timer nearby?

Hope everyone is doing well or well on your way to recovery!



  • How it will work for you but I had a microdiscectomy back in Dec 07 and it really took me about 9 months to 1 year to heal. I still can't sit for more than about an hour but I have other issues with my spine that is causing this. Hopefully you will continue to get better with time.
  • I had a diskectomy November 2006 and my back still hurts daily. I still cant sit more then a hour at work. Your still too early in your recovery and must be patient. spine operations require a lot of patients and many restrictions to be followed by your surgeon. 4 months isn't long enough to expect to be considered healed by a long shot. All the muscles in your back havent even began to heal. when I am at work I have a Lumbar pillow behind my back with a heating pad and I get up and walk every hour. I also use a heated pool for aqua therapy and go to deep tissue massage.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • I'm glad I came across this post as I am only 2 months post op and last about 30 mins sitting at work. If I sit for 45+ mins, my leg and back hurt a lot! Seems like recovery is a slow go.
  • What I don't quite understand is why the pain. I actually had a microdiscectomy, so no muscles were cut at all. I had no pain post-op. I still have no pain...unless I sit too long. And then it's just an ache that intensifies if I don't heed the message and get up & walk around a bit.

    I do use a lumbar-support pillow, and had an ergonomic evaluation completed when I returned to work. I made the adjustments recommended by the OT, and everything seems to be working fine in general.

    I just wonder if it's the lack of cushion (i.e., disc) between those vertebra that's disabling me from sitting for more than a half hour or so, or if it has to do with the other two bulging discs that weren't (aren't) impinging on any nerves. Does anyone know the mechanics of all of this?

    Thanks for any wisdom you may have to offer!
  • I had a micro at L5/S1 due to herniation and tear. The disc also had a lot of DDD. A small amount of the disc is removed to help the herniation. All that does is stop the herniation from jamming nerves. That covers hip/leg/foot pain etc from compression. It does nothing for DDD. DDD is basically arthritis of the disc. That arthritis is still present and with reduced amount of disc there is also less space. Sitting seems to be the killer of lower backs. Even more so for us spineys.

    Consider changing your chair to a different style. Get a pad for the seat. Try a stand up desk. Try sitting on a large exercise ball. I do all of the above except the stand up desk. Most important though. You really do need to get up every 30 minutes or at least every hour and stretch a bit. Just to decompress a bit.
  • Thank you so very much!! How in the world can a person forget she has other issues with her back?! #o

    I didn't have any trouble from arthritis, DDD, or stenosis before the herniation (which was from awkward lifting from a bad knee and overly stubborn determination), so it just didn't occur to me that now I would start having pain from those issues.

    It makes all the sense in the world now why I can't sit for long periods of time. Mystery solved! #:S
  • I agree, sitting seems to be a painfull thing for all of us. I know between my tailbone pain and low back problems I can't sit well at all. I did find I can sit on the edge of a chair for a while as long as I lean forward a bit, putting weight on my legs rather then my butt. Sitting in general just seems to be so bad and stressfull on backs. The car is the worse possible place in my opinion. Once my back and coccyx started getting really bad, about two years ago, it really changed my life. Gone were the day trips to Napa or Tahoe, I just couldn't do the 2-3 hours in the car, it was torture. Even taking norco didn't help. Someone else the other day said what I am thinking "how can one or two little discs cause us so many problems!!".
    Hope you all have a good night tonight!
  • I was wondering too why sitting hurts.
    It's like my coccyx/tailbone hurts. But I do have DDD up my back and I guess I never really thought about it as being like arthritis.

    I have made a point to get up an walk every 40-45 mins and it does make a difference.

    I also got an ergo evaluation and new chair with back support that has helped so I recommend that to folks as well. There is a conference room at work that has horrendous chairs. There is now 1 chair in the room that everyone knows is reserved for me.

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