Please see my signature for my history. Currently treating most recent herniation with PT. Very glad that after 7 weeks it seems to be healing on its own.
Since first meeting my surgeon I have seen him about 8 times including the surgery dates. The first time he met me he said I should avoid high impact activities and I "wouldn't want to become a jogger." I hurt my back riding horses and he was neutral about me returning to that (crazy right!? I was expecting a flat out no!). Then when I had my second surgery he was clear that he did not recommend me returning to CrossFit/weightlifting, which is how I ended up needing a second surgery. Funny thing- that time he said I could jog if I wanted to after the 2nd surgery (I needed to lose a lot of weight so maybe he thought jogging was worth the potential weight loss?). I had a bad recovery from my March 2012 surgery. It took 8 months for me to have 3 days in a row with no back pain. I still deal with intermittent low back pain, though it is much better since I lost 50 pounds and continue to lose.
THIS time, I reherniated L4-L5 lifting a bag of horse feed. I was in shock because I felt I had been safe with my lifting technique. Pain didn't develop until the day after. I'm very lucky it is healing my itself. I explained to my surgeon my rough recovery from the last surgery (had 2 post ops and he basically told me take Aleve and shoved me out the door) and my battle of exercising to prevent injury, but getting pain from the exercise and my concerns about that.
Basically, he says no to some things, yes to others, changes his mind or is neutral. He acts like I should be able to be "normal" again, but I have been back in his office once a year with a new injury for the past 3 years. Clearly I need to change what I am doing, but I can't get him to say ANYTHING. So frustrating. I want some guidance!! Has anyone else had a surgeon like mine? My concern is that I am 22 and injury prevention is very important considering my history and age. Am I being too demanding/specific? I have a follow up in 8 weeks and I want some better answers this time.
I am a very active person- walking/jogging/hiking, some horse back riding, strength training, have a job at a barn, outside work etc. Surgeon knows this and still seems to have no comment. I am willing to limit things if only I could get him to give me some limitations. This whole "your back is fine until it's not" way of living is getting old!
25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.