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Microdiscetomy recovery

Existence19EExistence19 Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi everyone. I am 19 and have been suffering from back pain since 4 years. I didn't pay much attention to my back pain as at that time I used to play tennis and I thought that my back muscles gave me problem. Last year about 11 months ago I started having acute pain in my left leg. I also had a lot of numbness. I did a MRI and found out that I had 3 discs which were ruptured. I tries all conservative methods(epidurals, PT, accupressure etc) but nothing helped. Finally I had a microdiscetomy 4 days ago at L5-s1 and L4-l5. The surgeon said that the third level was nit troubling me. After surgery I have more than 50% pain relief in the left leg but i still have the same amount of numbness. The surgeon said it would heal overtime.
Now I am confused about how the go about the recovery. My surgeon said that the more you are able to walk the better the left leg would be.

I don't know how much I should walk in a day and for how long? I'm also confused about PT. When should I start with it? Any other suggestions and comments are welcome.


  • Welcome to spine-health! The members here are great, don't know what I would do without them.

    Your question is one that I have been thinking of asking. I had a discectomy of L4-S1 as well, 16 days ago. I have been stuggling alot still with pain, and weakness in my leg.I also still have numbness. I too know that walking is so important for recovery. How are you finding walking at 4 days out? I am still using a cane for security, but have been trying to build up the distance that I walk. The first week, I rested a lot and walked short distances every hour or so, so as not to stiffen up. Some people are able to build up quite quickly, some walking a few miles every day ( I am definately not there yet.)Let pain be your guide.

    Wishing you all the best. Please keep us up to date on how you are doing. I am twice your age, so you have youth on your side.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Even I am struggling. I walk with support of my mom. If I walk more than 5 mins my left leg starts to hurt. Still hoping for the best. Best of luck to you too.
  • Hey there,

    I can relate. I'm 23 and had backpain that I ignored for years, too. It led me to the path of a microdiscectomy on l4-l5 4 weeks ago.

    I would be sure not to overdo it. Every time I do I end up paying for it for hours afterwards. It's really frustrating to go from being active to being laid up, but you can only get better from here.

    You may want to call your doctor's office about walking limitations, physical therapy, and other recommendations for recovery. It seems like every surgeon likes to do things differently. If you trusted your doctor to cut into your spine, it only makes sense to trust their advice in the weeks that follow.

    For me personally, walking helps to a certain degree. If I walk for more than 20-30 minutes the gains start turning into losses, and I come home with increased leg pain. If I stay within the realm of my limitations, it does seem to loosen things up and gets some endorphins flowing. The limitations are different on every walk. Good posture and using the core muscles to support seems to help for me. You'll figure out your limitations and hopefully notice them diminish as time goes on.

    Best of luck in your recovery.
  • I am in India and need to go to USA for college. I will have to change 3 flights and the total travel time will be about 20 hours. Fall semester starts 22 august. I will travel first class. Should I go by the 22nd or delay it by a week?

    My surgeon Said I can go by the 22nd but I want to hear from the people who have suffered
  • I have a query. When i walk a bit in the room and then lie down, my left leg starts to pain. Should I avoid walking or just bear the pain and wait for it to go away?
  • After my first spinal fusion, I also had to travel by air. Flying First means a flat bed, so that's no problem. The bigger issues for me were wrestling the luggage. I found if I asked for wheelchair assistancge the airline staff would manage my luggage as well, which made long trips possible.
  • I am 10 days post-op of a L4-L5 lumbar discectomy. I was doing fine and even had gotten off my pain meds and went back to work last week for a couple of hours on the 7th day and then almost a full day on the 8th day. The only time I spent more than 20 minutes sitting without support was when I went to lunch with my boss. I then went lite grocery shopping but was sure not to lift more than 10 lbs. Of course, my laptap bag I carried on Thursday was probably 15 lbs. Yesterday, I woke up and could hardly walk the dog, I was in so much pain. I spent all day laid up not doing a thing and woke up this morning and had the same amount of pain, if not more, walking the dog again. Did I reherniate the disc, you think? I'm so concerned I did something to mess up my recovery! Any guidance and/or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  • Welcome to spine health! Sorry that you are having this new pain after surgery.

    You have been doing an awful lot so soon after surgery IMO. I am 3.5 weeks post two level discectomy and still feel that I am in the early stages of recovery.

    Please take it easy! Did your doctor clear you to go back to work so early? I would give the surgeon a call and let them know what you are experiencing, but definately relax,slow down, do short walks in between resting.

    Please please be careful, it is so early out and you don't want to risk your recovery.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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