Hello all. I had a microdiscectomy on October 7th of 2009 to correct a sever herniation at L5/S1 that had been causing severe sciatic pain down my right leg for about 8 months. I had actually herniated the disc about 10 years prior to this but it was treated with more conservative treatments and I was able to regain full mobility and had no residual nerve pain.
Immediately after the surgery I felt some relief. I had back pain at the surgical site as expected but overall felt much better. I was concerned about some residual sciatic pain that only occurred if I stretched the nerve (ie: bend at the waist stretch hamstring) but was told that the nerve was severely pinched and could take months to heal.
I started physical therapy about 5 weeks post-op and while I have not regained a full range of motion due to tight hamstrings and some nerve pain when stretched to the max, I pretty much feel as good as new. I am still very aware of my body mechanics and am careful not to do anything too risky, my doctor has signed off on activities such as bike riding, swimming, light weight lifting, etc. He advised that I wait about six months from the surgery date to participate in any risky activities such as golf, heavy lifting or jogging.
My only regret is that I did not have the surgery sooner as I have truly gotten my life back! Good luck to everyone and I only hope that your surgeries are as successful!