Hi, my name is Dale and I'm from Calgary, Alberta. I stumbled across this forum when searching for typical discectomy recovery times, and it has been interesting reading through all of these posts.
I had a herniated disc that responded acceptably to conservative treatments for maybe 15 years. The last flare-up (the fifth or sixth one) was getting worse with time and therapy, not getting better. So after six months of this (July 9th, 2014) I had a left L4/L5 discectomy. To make things a bit more complicated I have a partial sacralisation of L5 also on the left side. After about a month and a half things were looking up but then my (ex) wife decided she was done with me.... so now I am in a new house, newly single, working, and maybe a third of the way through what seems to be a bit of a rough recovery that seems to take a long time.
I've been the exercises as directed by my physiotherapist, my back stability is definitely getting better and even the 'worst' day post-surgery has been far better than before surgery. The leg/nerve discomfort has mostly settled down and maybe 60 or 70% of the time I feel 100% - no pain or discomfort at all. This is especially true when I walk. I am not on any pain meds but the discomfort comes and goes. Of course, I get freaked out about epidural fibrosis and failed back surgery when any new tingle or tickle or return of muscle tightness or pain shows up - and that starts my already overloaded brain (overloaded from work, divorce, financial pressures, and recovery from surgery) on a downward spiral.
Thanks for this wonderful forum!