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Will I be able to do distance running again?

BrianBBrian Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am 10 days post from a microdiscectomy. Last year before the pain started I was an avid distance runner. Is it over? How many years should I wait before I can try doing some running again. I am 35 and have a dream of someday finishing a marathon. Advice?


  • Did you ever discuss this with your surgeon? It's impossible for any of us to say whether or not you will be able to do distance running again. There are so many variables that go into determining that for us to venture a guess would be no more accurate than flipping a coin. Of all the things necessary to make something like that possible, most importantly you need to have the right attitude. I have a couple friends who have had very serious spine injuries an some complex surgeries and one ran the USMC Marathon last year and the other still runs 30 -35 miles a week.

    What I like to do is make a list of these types of questions, that typically come up after surgery, and I take it with me to my follow up appointment. By then the surgeon will be able to see how your recovery is going and give you a better answer.

    Welcome to Spine Health,

  • I know a couple different people who have had spine surgeries and they both run. I personally have too much degeneration and it hurts too badly to run. I would definately not count it out but let your surgeon know your hopes and ask for his opinion. He should be able to let you know what your bounderies should be. Do you have just one level involved? I would just take in consideration how it might affect your whole spine unfortunately hard impact exercise can be hard on the spine...darn it.
  • I will surely bring it up with my doctor again. I actually asked the resident doctor when I was discharged, he did not give me a clear answer. I have met with the senior neurosurgeon at the hospital and I have my neurosurgeons email. I'll try to get a better idea from one of them. Thanks for the replies!!
  • Each of us are different of course. You might be a runner when all is healed and good, might not! Your body will let you know after your doctor clears you. I am not a runner, but know some who "live" for it. I hope you are one that is able to go back to your obviously much loved activity!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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