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L5, S1 Microdiscectomy

SunpowerSSunpower Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Exercise and Rehab

I am a 40 year old American male. I live in Japan but had surgery performed in Taiwan.

I had surgery 11 days ago but have not done any physiotherapy or rehabilitation exercises until yesterday. I started walking several hours after the operation but have not really gone on any long walks outside yet.

I do not have pain. I have numbness down my left glut and hamstring (rear thigh). My leg is also week and I cannot lift my weight by standing on my tiptoes. I can walk on my tiptoes but am too weak to lift myself up with my left leg using tiptoes.

The doctor who performed the surgery told me that rehabilitation is not necessary after this surgery - just walking. He told me to stop running - forever - and to stop lifting weights.


1. when can I start physiotherapy or exercises?

2. I took the bandages off yesterday (after 10 days), can I have a shower now without covering the incision?

3. Should I ice or heat the lumbar area?

4. Can I start doing some calf stretches, hamstring stretches and back exercises?

5. When can I start swimming?

6. When can I start running - I have no plans to stop running even though the doctor who performed my surgery told me to. I do not run much - maybe 3 times a week, 2 miles per run. I am a big guy, but running is best to maintain weight and burn calories. I might run less now and do cycling or elliptical machine instead.

7. Can anyone recommend any exercises, websites or Youtube videos that I can access to learn more about how to do some of my own exercises?

I am asking because I do not have any physiotherapy scheduled for myself and the Taiwanese doctor told me that physiotherapy is not required. I do not agree and I want to start doing some exercises to help the nerves and muscles in my lower back and legs.

Also, where I live now, many doctors and nurses and therapists just do not speak English. So I am in kind of a bind here on what to do.

Thank you for any information that will help me in the meantime while I am here.
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