Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

How long until I can do PT or be active post microdisc.?

Sim11SSim11 Posts: 3
edited 02/07/2014 - 5:19 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My first time ever on a forum .....hope I'm posting in the right section....
Looking for post surgery recovery ( micro discectomy) and getting back to work advice. Here's my background story...

Im almost 43, from Toronto, Diagnosed with an L5/S1 large, central posterior herniated disc - a CT scan done after ER visit back in Sept./2013

Symptoms began May/2013 - sciatica in both legs usually alternating at any given time ( hence the central herniation), with extreme low back pain. I really just took matters in my own hands, as I had had back pain and sciatica many years before at various times....especially after 3 pregnancies and a fall down a flight of stairs. Anyway, I stretched like crazy, went to RMT, did yoga and other workouts toward the end of the summer, as I could barely walk by June. Sept. came around and that meant back to teaching ( Science, and Health & Physical Education), matters got even worse....woke up one day and couldn't bare ANY weight/ walk or move for that matter ....off to ER.

I saw the neurosurgeon who sent me for MRI and recommended PT ( Mackenzie Method) for 6 weeks, but made it clear that I was one of the 10% that would likely need surgery, mostly to size and location of the herniation.....he was right. A few days after ER my right leg from the butt to foot went numb. Since then, groin, pelvic, gluteus pain has stayed with me. Saw NS for followup Dec18th with no improvement. Over the Christmas Break, I had a huge set back, extreme pain with that followed new numbness on the left butt, also left foot has been tingling for a while now. Back on the 18th he set my surgery date, it's Jan. 28th ( in 9 days)!

I'm glad to finally put this constant pain and numbness behind me, and know that this is the right next step. On the other hand, I'm worried about the surgery ( simply scared) and recovery( what will I feel like, what will I and wont I be able to do?) I'm a mother of 3 young children, a large puppy, and teach middle school HPE for a living. NS has told me good prognosis, and the numbness may take awhile to go away, and likely off work for 4-6 weeks. Can anyone attest to the timeline? And any advice on recovery dos and don't s, and what I will and won't be able to do? When will I realistically go back to teaching ( PE especially)?

Any feedback to my questions would be much appreciated.

Thank you:)



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/19/2014 - 6:42 AM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

    Spine-Health Main Menu Tabs

    Conditions Detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal condition.
    Treatment List of treatments to the conditions identified by Spine-Health.
    Wellness Section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.
    Spine-Health Forums These are the forums you will be using
    Find A Doctor This provides with a method to search for doctors in various locations.
    Doctor Advice Health Center The Resource tab, has many important features. You can browse various doctor advice on given spinal situations, you can browse clinical trials and view a comprehensive glossary..
    Health Videos Index to all Spine-Health Videos

    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

    - All new members must read our FAQ in order to understand the layout of the forums, how to navigate through the forums, helpful terms, how to make effective threads and posts, plus a link index to many of the important medical forums and key medical articles on Spine-Health Forum FAQ

    I am positive any member, new or old will find this Chroinc Pain - Step by Step thread very valuable.

    Here are some links that all new members need to review to create effective threads and more

    Read before you post
    Tips for Newcomers
    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    You can also find Spine-Health on these Social Networks

    Facebook www.facebook.com/spinehealth
    Pinterest http://pinterest.com/spinehealth/boards/
    Twitter https://twitter.com/SpineHealth

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to[u] contact any one of the Spine-Health Moderators







    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • What kind of surgery are you having? Your recovery varies completely based on what you're having done, whether or not once the surgeon gets in there and sees any surprises, your physical health prior to the op (sounds to me like you are in very bad/weak shape) and how well you adhere to the recovery limitations . Without knowing what operation you're having and what approach or levels, it's impossible to say.

    That said, I think 6-8 weeks is a standard amount of time, but very limited and unrealistic. Of you're having a fusion, it will take a year for the bone to grow.

    Reply with what your operation is, and I'm sure someone who's had that operation will chime in
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 01/20/2014 - 7:18 AM
    So for example, a surgeon could do something very minimally invasive such as using endoscopic instruments which require only very small entries. The upside is that there is little collateral damage to your body. The downside is that the surgeon cannot directly see the tissues he's working on; he must use a small flexible camera endoscope and flouroscopy.


    He could make a fair sized incision, cut thru things like muscle, ligaments, and bone so as to have direct access to the disc he's working on. The upside is a clear view of the structures using his eyes (aided by magnification). The downside is the damage done to the surrounding tissues and bone. Scar tissue now becomes a factor also.

    A surgery like this would require much more recovery time and increased probability of associated effects. Ideally, a patient asks various surgeons (if possible) which approach they propose.

    If you like, I can send you a pm with a link to further resources. I see you are into science and health, this link would detail the spinal anatomy and pathologies.

    As far as what not to do in the future, I would say to live within the ability of the damaged disc; this ability will be decreased as a result of it failing in the first place. So, no jumping, lifting or moving heavy things, swinging baseball bats, golf clubs.... actions that put weight or torque or shearing force thru the disc.

    I know this is difficult to read, but it's the truth.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • BentechBBentech Posts: 64
    edited 01/23/2014 - 11:20 PM

    I can tell you I was so scared that I actually canceled my surgery in the 12th hour. With that being said because of some really good people on here I found the courage and did have my lumbar 360 fusion a few weeks later. Of course the recovery isn't a cake walk at all, but if you put your mind to it and follow your pain medicine regimen it's not too bad. The one most important piece of advise I can provide for you is walk, walk, walk and walk some more!!!! It hurts like a xxxx some days at first leg me tell you but I was back to work full time at exactly 6 weeks (I travel 150,000 miles a year air travel, electrical engineering). I just had a follow up and am almost fully fused on both the back back and the pedicals at only 5 months post op. I attest this to the amount of walking I did during my recovery process. I had nearly the same problems as you some days my leg hurt so bad I literally wanted to saw it off. I can say that I have zero regrets and I got exactly what the doctors said out of my surgery with that being said I really feel that a lot of people expect to be pain free the rest of there lives if they have such a surgery. Typically 60-80% pain relief is what you can expect! I do know many people that have lived the pain free lives after and I also know many on the other side of the spectrum. If you have taken your time and have a good surgeon, I would tend to say you will get out of the surgery what effort and commitment you put into the surgery! Don't convince yourself the surgery is a fix all and work hard and you will most likely be happy with the results, I am!!!!!!! Please let me know if you need anything at all I would be more then willing to answer any questions you have. Ben.
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Sim11SSim11 Posts: 3
    edited 01/29/2014 - 3:16 AM
    Thanks Ben:)

    I can't believe I didn't mention that I was having a L5/S1 micro discectomy ( no fusion- neuro said I don't want that) .... I'm home after a long day at the hospital yesterday. I'm in good spirits and alert today, but when I'm up and moving, it's at a snail's pace. The night went well, but up several times to move around as its uncomfortable to lay in one position for too long. I'm taking oxycocet for pain every four hours only as needed. My throat is soar as I didn't realize they had to not only put me to sleep, but paralyze me and therefore put a breathing tube down my throat during surgery. I was in post op longer than they expected, very shaky, dizzy, numb toes, cold and had to sleep a lot more than they expected before they could get me to walk around, I was the last one there and the nurses stayed well after their shift to make sure I was in the right state before they sent me home.
    The neurosurgeon said the surgery went as planned ' no surprises', but it was very ugly in there. I thought I'd be pain free, however for now I still have the gluteus pain ( I'm used to it) and all the numbness I had prior is still there ( as expected).
    So, with all that said, I'm very curious how long I won't be able to work (Physical Education and Science teacher) ....the post op nurse was questioning my 6 week return, she said it'll likely be longer than that b/c of what I do. I see my neurosurgeon for a follow up in 4 weeks.
    The post op instructions were brief: walk a little bit more each day, in 3-4 weeks 'light activities', no lifting or twisting, and the only (strengthening) exercise I'm aloud to do ( but haven't tried yet) is lay on back w/ bent knees bring one knee at a time to chest.....gently.
    So there it is:)
Sign In or Register to comment.