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8 1/2 weeks post op microdiscectomy..going strong

L4-5 microdiscectomy April 27th. I've been at work full time at about 90% return to regular duty. I took my first long drive from LA to Northern Cal, about 7 hours of driving and did remarkably well. My husband drove so I could recline the seat back and we also made several stops so I could get out and walk. I also returned to the gym and started back to very light weight lifting, mostly things I can do standing as well as the elliptical, treadmill and stairclimber. I'm doing light stretching and core exercises like planks and several others. I have been able to take a light hike and plan on now increasing my weight lifting gradually and hoping to return to cycling in another month or so. So far I feel the best i've felt in about 7 years and I'm really glad I did this. I'm also hoping to get pregnant as soon as possible. I pretty much am able to do just about all of my daily activities maintaining awareness of my posture and body mechanics. I have no pain aside of a "feeling" at the tip of my third and/or fourth toes on my left foot if i've been in one position too long, mostly sitting. I went from pain of about 7/10 before my surgery, to 0-1/10. I'm amazed I lived with a massive disc herniation since about 2002. Anyone else here returned to work outs or sports post micro? I really want to cycle again soon and wonder how other athletic people are doing...


  • First I want to thank you for giving me hope. I just had a micordisectemy on June 8th on L5/S1 and was feeling great until 7 days later I got huge headaches which was determined to be a dural tear and I had spinal fluid leaking. I went back in for surgery and am now scared to death to do anything. It sounds like you had good education on body mechanics and how to gradually move forward. I am an athlete as well and it is killing me to sit still so I am glad you are moving ahead. Just beware of pregnancy..many times the baby will sit on your sciatica and you will be thinking OMG here we go again..but that will only be temporary. Once the baby comes, the pain will go away. Good luck and continue with your great progress.
  • i'm so glad to give you some hope! I'm so sorry you had to go through all that... I know about the dural tear and spinal fluid leakage risks. I was hoping it was a small enough risk. What did they have to do when you went back in for surgery? What kind of sport or athletics are you involved in? The pregnancy thing..well i'm 42 so there is no guarantee...i had one miscarriage last October so we are starting to try again. How are you feeling now? Don't be afraid of every move you make. Just mainly watch flexion and rotation, don't lift anything heavy for the first 6 wks. I feel so out of shape right now and it's gotten me down but since I have always been in good shape I am optimistic my muscle and strength will come back in time. And btw, I am still concerned about reherniation but the worst is over so the risks decrease with time. I just want to build up my core again and avoid the risky movements that got me here to begin with. Thank you for writing !
  • Hi, Glad you are doing so well. I also had the same surgery 8 weeks ago. I am being very conservative.. no twisting or rotation, and very light stretching. Ive been walking every day since 3 days post op and at week 7 I started 2x a week Physical Therapy. I am going to go for 4 weeks.
    I started walking hills last week and the elliptical as well (without the moving handles). It felt too jolty so just holding the stable ones which helps activate the core. Swimming and water aerobics I started at 6 weeks as well.
    I also have gained 10 lbs in the last year due to inactivity mostly and then the surgery so i feel like crap, but i need to keep my head up and do what is most important. I can't wait to do situps again! :)
    We are also trying to get pregnant now that surgery is over and I am feeling better. Doc said it's fine to start trying. Good luck and I hope you continue to recover!
  • I'm so happyto hear you are progressing so well. I'm at just about 12 wks and am having a little set back since Saturday. I have been progressing to resistance training like I used to do and increased the weights Saturday and have had some nerve type pain again last few days. This has happened before when I overdo it. I should know better I guess but according to the doc I can resume my activities as long as I avoid obvious things that put me at risk. So I am backing off right now for the next few days til my symptoms go away. I know it's hard to see your body change after being so inactive. I went through that and quite a bit of depression at times. I wish you the best to and hopefully pregnancy happens soon ! :)
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