Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

I had my l5s1 microdiscectomy

phenom34pphenom34 Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my l5s1 microdiscectomy and I think it went great. I am about 4 days post op. I cant believe how much relief i already got from leg and butt pain. The tingling in my toes already vanished and a lot of my groin numbness went away.

I didn't realize that i had low level irritation in my butt constantly and it was nice to see that go away, it just feels soo comfortable without it.

The doctor didn't tell me too much about what to do post op other than nothing strenuous or bending for about a month and we would go from there. He told me to walk as tolerated.

Does anyone have any good advice on what to do during the rehab period. Ive been trying to spread my time between laying in bed and doing some walking. Should I be doing anything else?

Also, I got a ton of vicoden, i dont want to get hooked on this stuff, i was taking a couple every 4 hours as directed but i already feel like its time to start tapering off. Will I have any issues with addiction/dependance for taking it a couple weeks?


  • Glad you are doing so well after surgery. One of the biggest problems surgeons have is when their patients feel almost too good. They are so eager to resume all the activities that they haven't not been able to do while having pain, that they end up doing too much and this often ends up in a reherniation. So, keep that in mind and try to be very, very careful for the first three weeks, and then very careful for another three weeks.

    After the six week mark, you can gradually increase activity, but please use common sense!

    For now avoid any and all activity that requires bending at the waist, reaching overhead or to the side, twisting, lifting more than about a gallon of milk, riding far in a car, sitting more than about ten to fifteen minutes at a time.

    You are doing the right things -- walking is the most important activity for you at the moment. It gets freshly oxygenated blood to an area that does not have many blood vessels, and it stretches out the spinal nerves. This is very important because a certain amount of scar tissue will form as you heal, and walking helps to keep it from attaching to the nerves. When you aren't walking, and it is better to take several shorter walks each day rather than one long one (again to stretch out those nerves), you can nap, rest and sleep! Reclining or lying down is best. Your sitting should be limited, and be sure you are using good posture and good body mechanics at all times, but especially when sitting. Sitting actually puts 30% more pressure on the discs than standing or walking!

    Eat nutritiously and drink lots of water...and don't worry about taking the meds. Follow your doctor's instructions, and you will be fine. Studies have shown that when you are taking medications properly, and when needed because you are in pain, there isn't much problem with addiction. But if you are not in pain, there is no point in taking them.

    Keep up the good work, use ice if you feel any swelling, and enjoy the holidays!!

  • Hi and glad to hear your surgery went well.
    Gwennie's advice is right in line with what I would tell you.

    Key is do not sit for long periods of time especially the 1st 6 weeks. I'd say week 1-2 no more than 10 mins at a time. Also, walking is good but don't overdo it. I believe you don't want to increase more than 10% per week. Do not bend (not even to take laundry out of the dryer or to put socks on) until your doctor tells you ok but even then until 6 weeks, be careful. Also, do not twist. Do not lift anything more than 15lbs (was what I was told) and definitely nothing above your head. Be careful. I'd say even if a recliner feels good, it doesn't offer the support your back needs.

    I'd sleep in a bed on your back. If you want to sleep on your side, keep shoulders/hips in alignment and put pillow between your legs.

    If you can avoid driving yourself the first 3-6 weeks that's ideal but I know I wasn't cleared to drive myself until after week 2. I would limit your driving because you actually torque more than you realize.

    Remember that most recurrences happen within the 1st 3 months. Even after 6 weeks, the inner incision needs at least 3 months to heal. Be careful and keep us updated.

    I am going for a revision in January and am hopeful for the same result.

    I have met several people that are 3-10 years post op and still doing great!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    If you've been on vicodin (or anything similar) for quite a while (meaning months or more) then you wouldn't want to just stop the medication but instead taper off. The body becomes dependent on the vicodin so you want to remove it gradually. This is not the same as addiction, it's a biochemical physical dependency just means the body is used to the substance in the body and needs to be tapered off it slowly. The same can be said for things like seizure medications - it's not that the patient is addicted - but removing the substance "cold turkey" leads to the body having a hard time adjusting.

    If you need the vicodin on occasion don't be afraid to take it as prescribed. I've been on substantial meds for about a year. I'm very lucky that I don't have any addiction tendencies so I use them as prescribed. If my next surgery works my PM and I will have a formal medication reduction plan so I can wean my body off of it.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I also had a microD and the others are correct in that you want to sit as little as possible. I was only allowed to sit while eating or using the bathroom. I was told to recline or lie down for the first 2 weeks. No walking at all for the first 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I had to start very slowly. No lifting period for the first 2 weeks. After that nothing over 5 lbs for the next 2 weeks. Be very careful that you don't overdo it when you are feeling good. Walking is good in the long run but I was not allowed to walk further than to the bathroom or dining table for the first 2 weeks so I would suggest to be very limited on the walking at least for the first 2 weeks.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • advice here. I got wonderful relief from my micro-d and wish I had been more careful afterwards. I started walking fast distances and that working out. I ended up in great pain six months later. Eventually, it lead to my spinal fusion. Take it easy work up to strengthening on a slow pace, and don't worry much about the pain meds. Your doc will tell you if you begin to ask for too many. I'm over a year out and still have a standing (chronic) prescription for pain meds. I often don't need them for weeks at a time, then when I have a flare, I'll need them again for a while Unfortunately, I just got over a flare and suddenly have a pain level of about 7.5 today. Right butt cheek and the back of my right thigh. I have no idea how I will sleep tonight. It hurts so bad, I think I'll be sick.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
Sign In or Register to comment.