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Posterior Discectomy -What to really expect

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone

I am now 2 weeks away from surgery and starting to get a little anxious. With Christmas over it's time to get ready for the surgery.

I have read the lists of what to get and it is overwhelming. My doctor keeps saying that I should be back to work in 2-3 weeks. That makes me think this will be an easy recovery compared to what alot of you are going through.

As I look at the list I am trying to pick out just the things I think I will need. Does anyone have experience with this type of surgery in this area? He says he will just remove the piece of disc that is pressing out and that since it is t1/t2 I won't need a fusion or anything else. Might need to cut some vertebra to get to the disc. Sounds pretty simple - yeah right!!

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!


  • Don't let "the list" freak you out. A lot of it concerns people who are having a fusion surgery where mobility is highly limited for the first three months...and, even then, it includes everything anyone could possibly want or need...and is excessive in every aspect. It is helpful in that it gets you thinking about surgery and how things will be different for a bit while you heal.

    I have no experience with surgery at your level. I would just say listen to your doctor...but be prepared for recovery to take a bit longer just in case his numbers are a bit on the optimistic side.

    My surgeon told me the biggest problem he has with discectomy patients is getting them to follow instructions and take it easy for the first month or two to allow complete healing. Usually after surgery, relief is immediate. The patient feels so much better that he eagerly races back to his old lifestyle and tries to do all the things he has been prohibited from doing due to the limitations of pain. He ends up overdoing it, sometimes even reherniating the disc in a rush to get back to normal.

    Just don't become one of those patients! Follow your doctor's instructions perfectly and take the time to allow yourself to really fully recover before returning to something resembling "normal" activity.

    Try not to worry. The stories on the board are enough to scare anyone...but remember, many of the people with a normal experience and good outcome never return to the board. The normal stories do not appear here very often!

    Good luck to you and let us know how you are doing when you feel up to it.

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