Hello all. It has been 1 year today since my L5S1 Microdiscectomy.
Let me start by saying that there is NO comparison! I am so much better today than I was then. I was in extreme pain for nearly 2 years before my surgery.Now, the things I wanted to know the most during my recovery times. Am I normal? How long did it take to get back to normal?
No, I am not normal. I am probably as close to normal as I am going to get. Most days I feel about 95%. The pains I have now are very different from before & after surgery. I still have a lot of hamstring & calf tightness in both legs. I still have to stretch a lot. I have pain in both of my hips, its random though, and I cannot say if it has anything to do with my herniation or not. I am 33 btw. I also still have some random burning sensations in my lower calf. It is something that comes and goes, but at its worst it is annoying, not really painful. I still get swelling after strenuous activity. It does bother me sometimes that I get that swelling. And I was told by the PT it could last a year, maybe it will get better. I also know that the nerve can heal for 2 years, so maybe that burning will eventually go away.
Now the second part. It took me nearly 6 months to feel anywhere near normal. And that was even after 14 weeks of PT. Was it because I was herniated so long, or because I have conjoint nerve root. I do not know. I did return to work right away. And thank God I have a job where I could do office work for that long. Really just in the last 2-3 months have I been able to work physically. Running machines & pulling wrenches for whole days without serious pain after. Now just because I can work hard does not mean I can do whatever I want. I try to be very smart & conscience of every move I make. If I lift or pull I do it as slowly & safely as possible.
So, what do I do now. Actually there is a lot of upside here. I quit smoking, Itll be a year Halloween. I am probably in the best shape I have been in since I was a teenager. I go to the gym pretty regularly (though I have been slackin lately). I play basketball & do weight machines ( very conservatively). I ride the exercise bike ( tried jogging last week, bad idea), and I swim. I can mow the lawn, wash my dogs, and most general household activities no problem. I can work an 8 hour day, standing. Hell I can even do so multiple days in a row.
L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!