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16yrstruckin116yrstruckin Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Been reading things on here I was never told.

1. No sitting for long periods.

2. no bending or twisting.

I was told no driving or sex for a week.
I was told to take it easy and call for follow-up in 4-6 weeks.
What are the do's and don't's for L5/S1 partial microdiscetomy(4mm herniation) I've been bending, twisting going up and down stairs. bathroom is upstairs so no choice there. Any help greatly excepted please


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Hi, and welcome to S.H. forums. If you look at the top of the page. There is a "search box" 2 tone blue colored. Type Microdiscectomy in there, and click search. You can get some info on that procedure there. I've never had one. And don't know anyone who has. Make sure you have the spelling right. You misspelled it.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Hi there,
    I think each doctor is different.
    I'm not sure what a partial microdiscectomy is.

    I've had 2 microdiscectomies (L5-S1 and a revision on same level). For both surgeries I was told no bending, no twisting (keep shoulders/hips in line as best possible), and no lifting more than a gallon (5 lbs) and nothing lifted over the head for 6 weeks.

    Some other tips...no sitting for more than 5-10mins the first 2 weeks. And, lots of small walks on flat surfaces. After week 2, I was told to walk every 30 mins since I went back to work and honestly, it just was uncomfortable if I sat longer than that.

    Stairs aren't an issue. If you have a weak leg, I always go up with the strong leg first, and down with the strong leg last.

    I had a 2-week post-op just to check incision and then they mad a 6 week post op for me. Some doctors do 3 weeks and 3-months.

    Each doctor is different. I would call your doctor for specifics b/c I'm not as sure of your procedure.

    I wasn't told anything about driving other than I have to be off narcotic (prescription) meds to drive so plan for 2 weeks. I was off prescriptions meds the 1st time by the end of the first week so I drove in week 2 but not more than 10 mins.

    Since I'm on a revision, I was given more instructions and just took all the basic ones to the extreme only because I am cautious by nature.

    How are you feeling?
    How many weeks post-op are you?
    What kind of bending are you doing? Maybe by nature of what you do, they weren't worried. I was told no laundry so my hubby takes it out of wash and dryer.

    By week 2, I can put socks on but try to bend as little as possible.

    Are you feeling better? If so, then just read up and ask your doctor what his thoughts are.
  • I called it partial cause they only removed the hernia, not the whole disc. When I bend it is to put the dog outside. And when I get up in the mornin' I bend to put pants and socks on. I had surgery on
    Feb 18th,2010 so 10days into recovery. I don't feel to bad except for the pain in the left leg and hip. The hip is the worst, at times i can hardly stand it even with meds. Hydrocodone and neuronton together make me feel weird, cause's me to loose balance at times. If I lay on my stomach I feel like the nerve is being pinched still. Same with on my side or back. Just can't get comfortable at all.
    The microdiscectomy was done on the L5/S1 disc. I was told to limit the bending and twisting none if possible. Nothing said about walking. Doc did say NO DRIVING OR SEX for 1 week. I drive for a living; that is hard for me. Been off work since my injury in August, can't stand to ride in a car let alone drive one even before surgery. Could you imagine what a semi would feel like. Afraid I will never be able to drive rigs again. If not ready to "retire". As for sitting on the couch,I can not sit in one position very long constently switching positions. All this because I stepped off the back of my truck after making a repair.(about a 36-40 inch drop straight down and I landed on my feet)
  • I didn't realize you drove for a living. I know how painful that must be and how frustrating it must be to be off work since August.

    If possible sleep on your back or side (if side with pillow between legs)...it stinks but I've finally learned how to do it despite the fact that I used to only be able to fall asleep on my stomach.

    You had your surgery after me.
    Have you tried icing to help with any pain? 10 min increments sometimes helps if I do it near the incision area.

    I know the hip pain your are talking about. You are probably compensating as you heal. Let the doctor know but I wouldn't worry too much. I believe at week 6, you can request PT and they will show you how to stretch the thigh hip muscle safely.

    Walking is good...not distances but maybe 5-10 mins every hour or 2. It just helps keep the scar tissue from tethering to the nerve. You don't want to overdo it but walking helps. I found that if I'm stiff, it even helps more than medication.

    I have a dog too!
    Tough but luckily she'll come to the couch so I can get her leash/collar on to let her out. I have a long lead for her so she can get pretty far into the yard without me risking walking or getting pulled. That might be an option for you.

    As for pants/socks...can you get a gripper or have someone pick on up for you? I think they sell them just about anywhere (pharmecy or even home depot) - gripper or gopher or grabber. It will hold your pant leg to help you step in so you don't have to bend. I also found that if you can sit on the couch or hard chair, it's less bending to get your socks/pants on.

    I hope these tips are helpful.

    Oh - I am not on Nuerontin (or Lyrica) but if my leg pain gets worse, I may opt for it. It is supposed to help as the nerve is 'waking up'. I'm on percaset (but only use 1/day), tyelnol (b/c I prefer not to use the percaset...makes me a bit dizzy), and valium if I get muscle spasms. I can't comment there but was told that the nerve medication can make you quite dizzy/loopy.

    When is your follow up?
    I would suggest if you have any concerns, call your doctor. The one thing I learned the first go around was that if I'm worried or unsure, I call the doctor. I've called 3 times in 3 weeks and sometimes they take a day to get back to me but generally that's what they are there for.

    I would suggest limiting your sitting to meals/bathroom b/c it's better to lie flat or walk for lumbar support while your disc heals.

    I'm not a doctor...but since I have been having similar problems, I figure I'd share what's working for me and/or I've been told.

    As for truck driving...do you drive distances or local delivery? I wonder if one is better than the other.

    Here's to wishes for a speedy recovery!

    p.s. I stretched upon waking up one more and it was enough to 'rupture' the disc. Painful. I can't imagine how much it hurt the way you did it...ouch!
  • You should not be laying on your stomach, not now, not ever. It is very hard on the lumbar discs as the back does not want to curve that way normally, and it puts the spine in hyper-extension.

    If you absolutely refuse to learn to sleep a new way, put a small, flat pillow under your abdominal area to support that curve.

    Truck drivers, as a profession, have the highest rate of disc herniations. You may recover enough to drive again, but you will probably be looking at more herniations in the future.

    It is unfortunate you were given no post-recovery instructions. There is a BIG different between what you can do and what it makes good sense to do. After going through all the pain and hassle of surgery, why push it? It makes sense to avoid those activities that are especially hard on the lower lumbar spine until that disc has fully scabbed over (3 months.) Just ask anyone who reherniated almost immediately after their first surgery.

    Good luck to you.

  • My follow up is march 24th My dr is Dr ABC with IU medical center. He is head of neuroligy Please excuse my spelling I'm not good at it

    Post Edited by Authority Member haglandc Name of medical professional removed.
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