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

Double discectomy and returning to heavy lifting job

MrAnderson1981MMrAnderson1981 Posts: 17
edited 04/21/2015 - 4:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello, I am 33 and have 2 herniated discs that I have had for over 4 months (Christmas 2014) I am having a double discectomy on April 30th (2015) for the L4. L5 and L5, S1 herniations. My question is this, I work for a moving company and my job consists of heavy lifting and driving every day. Often lifting 100 lbs + several times a day and frequently lifting 50-100 lbs along with bending, twisting, pushing and pulling.

Would I be right in assuming that my days in the heavy lifting / manual labor days are done or will I be able to return to my job and go back to what I was doing as if nothing ever happened after a few weeks or months of recovery. This is my first back surgery so I have no idea what to expect.

Thank you for any advice or information.


  • 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.
    Medical Articles
    Pain Forums These are the forums you will be using
    Find A Doctor This provides with a method to search for doctors in various locations.
    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



    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • From what I have heard others say, I am thinking your lifting days are over. Feel free to correct me if anyone disagrees. Good luck sir. Please keep us posted on your progress.
  • nutmegxoxoxonnutmegxoxoxo Posts: 14
    edited 04/21/2015 - 3:46 PM
    I'm really not sure. Everyone is different. For six weeks, I think it's safe to say that you're totally out of commission. You should do physical therapy after two weeks, and see how you're doing. You're 33, and if you make a full recovery and change bad posture and bad habits, maybe you could gradually get back to heavy lifting. Driving for sure. I wish you all the best!

    You can also investigate whether you can request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act for modified job duties white you're recovering and getting your strength back.
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 04/22/2015 - 3:36 AM
    Follow all your Doctor's recommendations and advice. Write down questions and write down answers.

    In my opinion, it is not realistic to think you can return to a job of that caliber after this type of surgery. I'm assuming the heavy lifting, bending and twisting is the reason for it? It is also not realistic to think you can do this to your body year after year and get away with it. Lifting 100 lbs + all day long everyday WILL destroy a strong healthy back, especially under "moving circumstances." You will fumble and struggle with large items all day long up stairs, etc.... Do yourself and your family a favour and re-educate. Go back to school and do something less physical. Thank me later!

    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • Mr Anderson I like the other posters here do not believe that you will be able to sustain that kind of job after back surgery. Maybe for a little while till you end up right where you came from. Even if I have an IT degree and did all kinds of jobs during my 13 years of work experience my last jobs was working in a furniture shop where I knew I already have a bad back. Went in the job with nearly no pain and after 4 months couldnt walk anymore :). Start looking for more forgiving jobs man..

    I know the only heavy lifting I will be doing once I recover from surgery will be lifting those pints in the local pub. Cheers now!
  • Thanks everyone for the comments, I am 8 days from Surgery and I am in agreement that I could not expect to do heavy lifting day after day for the rest of my life. I am hoping I can go back to college and get a degree that is less physical for sure, would like to learn to fly. I think after a few months of recover I could pass the physical required. My only concern with my current job is that they will let me go since there is really nothing I can do with my condition and what I would think my neurosurgeon will give me a weight lifting restriction of 50lbs or less. And I don't want to re injure myself, it's not worth it and I don't want to have a second, third back surgery.

  • Very wise of you mr Anderson :). Good luck with your plans. I'm sure everything will work out perfect.
    Keep us posted though. We wanna know :)
  • Thanks Daniel, and I'm a Daniel too by the way. I would like to go to flight school and learn to fly. I know there is a physical every year but I'm confident after surgery I can do what is required. Surgery in 3 days, I'll keep everyone posted.
  • I'm currently running through every possible option before I opt for surgery. I just got put on gabapentin yesterday, been taking motrin 800 and percocet for a couple weeks now and I'm hoping this non surgical decompression table works for me. The surgery worries me. I feel like once it's done, the chance of really hurting the disc increases. Apparently I just have a bulged disc but it's the worst pain I've ever felt and it's all day everyday. I have a consultation on May 4th to see a surgeon. Please let us know how it all goes and GOOD LUCK!!!
  • Doug I am a bit confused by your reply.
    What is a microdiscectomy done for then if not for relieve the pain that prevents you to move or sleep at night?
    My main goal was to relieve the pain that made me feel I was in hell and not in my home. I had it done, relieved the pain and now I'm grand.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 04/29/2015 - 1:16 AM
    .....but it is never a guarantee my friend.

    Patients who suffer from chronic back pain understandably want to find a solution – and many hope for a ‘silver bullet’ that relieves most if not all of their pain. For many patients, the hope is that surgery is the best answer to relieve their pain quickly. While back surgery has proven successful in addressing a wide range of painful back conditions, several recent studies demonstrate that there exists a viable, effective alternative to back surgery - the interdisciplinary chronic pain management program, which can offer a better alternative for certain types of patients. When physicians make an effort to inform patients about the potential risks of spine surgery and benefits of chronic pain management programs, many patients come to accept a rehabilitation model over surgery.
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • ivymiivym Posts: 278
    edited 04/30/2015 - 1:11 PM
    I would definitely like to see that.
  • Hello all, it's been a week since my double discectomy and thought I'd give an update. The operation was a bit longer than I thought it would be to start, I think it was around 3 hours from start to finish, my incision sites are a bit longer than I thought they would be (one being a bit over a inch long and the other a bit over 2 inches long) I don't remember much of the recovery but was at the clinic for about 2 hours after surgery and then went home. I still have leg pain and its difficult to move around. I'm not sure if the leg pain will decrease over time or if the nerves were compressed for too long. I have a wound check next week and then probably a follow up dr visit then start therapy I'm guessing. So far it seems that surgery hasn't exactly been like you seen in the laser spine tv commercials where the patient walks out with no pain. Or maybe mine is just a different outcome than is normal. Either way it's a long road ahead and I just will take it slow and don't want to re herniate the discs or cause any further damage.

    I'll update in another week and tell you how it's going.
  • Painful@74804PPainful@74804 Posts: 2
    edited 05/07/2015 - 7:03 PM
    Mr. Anderson, it seems as though we are in the same boat. I am 32 and have always done physical manual labor. I injured my back at work 8 months ago. I have the same two disc herniated and degenerative. I just had an appointment with a specialist today that recommended that I have a discogram done to help diagnose which of the disc or if both are going to need to be taken out and how many vertebrae will need to be fused. They are leaning toward the double discectomy as you had performed on you. I am afraid my days of lifting and constant physical labor are over. This freaks me out because it is all I have ever known. I am really curious as to how much movement and bending is restricted? How stiff will my back be after full recovery? I hope all is well with your recovery. Please keep me informed. I would like to keep in touch as it seems we will be going through roughly the same circumstances. Thanks and get well
    Being rich has nothing to do with money.
  • Well it's been 2 months since my L4/L5, L5/S1 microdiscectomy and I am not recovering well and had a followup MRI on June 12th, and got a copy of the report but not sure what to a make of it. I have a followup with my dr 3 weeks from now so have to wait and see. Anyways just wanted to give a followup and wish things were going better but so far not….
  • Everyone is different. It's when things get worse that you must not quit. Hang in there and let time do its thing. I wish I could offer more, but your post was very brief. If you want to give us some more info, we'll do our best to help u out.

    Again, let time do its thing.

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • Mr. Anderson, i am 8 weeks out of L4-L5 TLIF fusion along with another decompression.... and having some local pain.... Worse at times but getting better. I have had some mistaken movements that have caused more pain at times and the leg-foot pain has come back but not for long. I have a Tech and heavy lifting Job to go back to at 50 Lbs. with a lot of twisting squatting etc. I am questioning whether or not I can return successfully in 3 months to 5 months with therapy. If I read the comments ... Lifting like that is generally out of my future. Any ideas from anyone?
  • muffinsmama1mmuffinsmama1 Posts: 29
    edited 01/29/2016 - 4:22 AM
    Hi all iam 9 days post op I had L4L5 micro discectomy faucet laminectomy. Iam a manager for a big retail company my job is very physical bending twisting stretching and lifting totes that are between 20 lbs to 50 lbs .I have done this job for 20 years my concern is will I be able to continue to do this job again without re injuring my self .I go for my follow up post op app Thursday .if anyone has had this done how long were you off of work after surgery and if you had physical job like mine where you able to continue your job. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
  • fjcfjc451ffjcfjc451 Arlington vaPosts: 11
    Any updates on what the MRI showed ? Was it a reherniation?
Sign In or Register to comment.