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How long before you comfortably sit after micro surgery

I was just wondering if anyone who is further along than me can give some advice about when sitting isn't painful anymore. I had micro discectomy L5 S1 about four weeks ago now and I am able to drive but after about 10 minutes or so my buttocks start to get sore. Is that normal and if so when does it start to dissipate? I'm planning my return back to work which is going to involve a lot of driving. thanks and hope you're all having a good day



  • anddanaanddan Posts: 17
    edited 05/02/2015 - 5:31 AM
    Hi Maria. Same here . Four weeks after L345 laminectomy(minimally invasive) and sitting still very uncomfortable. I am or stand , walks or lying down :). Even watch TV standing as I am sick or lying down.
  • Sorry to hear that you're suffering too but at least we know it's probably normal recovery when we see others that have it too. I know what you mean about TV. Im uncomfortable sitting down to eat so am eating standing up sometimes. Hoping it gets better soon. Thanks for the reply.
  • anddanaanddan Posts: 17
    edited 05/02/2015 - 6:44 AM
    Hi Maria, thanks. If you don't mind me asking are you doing any stretches exercises yet. My appointment with surgeon only at 8 weeks po as he is going to vacation . I feel that half of my aches and pains and spasms all from not being mobile. I walk about 2 miles a day and thats all my exercise. In discharge papers they mention physio at 4-8 weeks , but i have nobody to ask. His nurse on vacation now too.
  • I've had my microdiscectomy about 2 weeks ago, I'm actually more uncomfortable standing! Sitting isn't great too. Walking and lying down is the best for me.

    I've actually already started seeing a PT already, I started a week after my surgery. He's given me some stretches and light exercises to do at home as well. I feel like that's really helped with my mobility and comfort.
  • That stinks when you are dependent on them and they make you wait. If it makes you feel better, my surgeon doesn't allow anything for the first 6 weeks anyway. He is adamant about that. He said later that you can do whatever via a physical therapist. I had a friend who had surgery with him and he is doing well so I am going to follow his regimen.
  • I am almost 3 weeks post op and find sitting to be uncomfortable, too. Standing feels best for me or lying down. When I do sit I try to have a pillow behind me. Sacral pressure /discomfort is what I am experiencing the most, especially by mid-late day. I have been trying to cut out pain meds during the day, but I think it might be a little premature. Are you still taking them? My doctor advised no activity other than light walking, no PT, for the first 8 weeks. I have been taking it very easy.
  • I havwnt been taking anything other than occasional Advil, aleve or if it's really bad a half Percocet. I called my dr today and he said it is normal, it will get better and to take aleve regularly day and night for about two weeks instead of just sporadically. He said that should help.
  • Thanks for your reply. I have not yet re-started naprosyn (alleve), but can do so tomorrow. I felt really great both yesterday and today, and actually think I got a little over-confident and then overdid it a bit today. :( I am totally exhausted, just spent, actually, and my affected leg is very tired. I was tidying up at home after three weeks of neglect and kept convincing myself it was ok to carry this, then that, and move this then that, since nothing seemed more than ten pounds. Well, I must have done this one too many times, or climbed my stairs too many times, or maybe did too much driving today (2 hours)....aahhh! I am mad at myself because I had been so careful for the past 3 weeks and hope this isn't a setback. Hope to feel better/stronger tomorrow. Lesson learned! !!

  • Here is the problem! I had an emergency laminectomy and discectomy on 4/12/15. This is a top notch neuro surgeon. I was up to bathroom 5 hours after surgery, PT next day had me go up stairs down stairs walk then went home. Did great! I was not to lift over 5 lbs, no bending over more than hands could touch mid thigh, no twisting. Always get in and out of bed keeping legs together bent at knees do a smooth walk up till sitting and knew how to get in and out of car. Fine. On 5th day started with sciatica which I never had before. Did heat 20 mins every 2 hours. On 4/28 surgery again to replace intrathecal pain pump replaced. Since I was down from the surgery all sciatica pain was gone. No pain meds after 4/30. Yesterday 5/6 had to go to surgeon friend took me. 45 minute ride one way. Came home, got quick supper, cleaned up. 3am 5/7 sciatica pain!! I am allergic to all NSAIDS. Today the pain is really bad! I am lying down, get up every 2 hours walk. Made yogurt. Pain no matter what and NO sitting of course. Don't take hardly ever but Tramadol was like taking an M&M! Has anyone my age (pretty active before) had this happen. Nothing touches the nerve pain! I am on Curcummin/bio-perine, alpha lipoic acid, extra vit C, using Essential Oils. If older how long did your sciatic pain last? I read about you young folks so it is concerning at may age. Was so happy after surgery that all pain was gone but at surgical site. And that was not two bad by 2nd day. Trying to stay positive!

    Thank you in advance for any input.

  • How is everyone doing with the sitting/ recovery? Feel like sitting isn't too bad until the next day and then my glutes hurt on both sides. So much so that I'm wondering if reherniated on the opposite side.
  • Hi Maria,
    Sorry to hear you are still hurting. Almost 6 weeks postop. Sitting getting a little better, can sit 30 min. Then need to move around.(knock on wood :)). Cleared for physio, driving, bending,twisting, swimming, eleptical and exercise bike. In couple day going to physio. It is quite a drive but she is excellent , i know her presurgery. I am stiff like bamboo stick of all this immobility. Walking 3 miles day now. Still aches ,spasms here and there but guess it is normal. Still easily tired.
  • Hey there, I'm at six weeks now and drove to work today for the first time. It was an hour and a half each way and although I took a break in between I am feeling burning in the lower back/buttocks right now. Don't know if anyone else has had a similiar situation. Just hoping it gets better with time. Can't take off work much longer. Hope anddan AMD everyone are doing well
  • This is so different for everyone. Sorry to hear you're still having pain. :( I sat for three hours on post-op day 5 and had only slight pain later that night that resolved by morning. On post-op day 12 I went away...car ride was 8 hours and I took one break. No problem. I went back to work today and sat for the majority of the day, and, other than some stiffness, I can't complain.

    I don't think it's uncommon at all to have difficulty sitting after surgery. You'll get there!

    Edited to add that I'm 2.5 weeks post-op.
  • This is the strict advice I was given by surgeon/physio/nurse ...
    Surgeon - listen to your body but do all exercises/walking set if possible as this prevents scar tissue build up
    Physio - 3 types of stretching exercises set and told to start immediately after surgery. It was made clear I would struggle to achieve full sets to start but even minimal stretching would help. I was told to walk to the first lamp post 5 days post op and then increase. For the first 5 days I was told to walk carefully in house in between lying down and exercises.
    NO sitting apart from 45 degree sitting to get home and maximum 20 minutes at this degree and perching 3 times a day for 15 minutes to eat.
    I am 18 days post op and have only sat for two family meals as too painful and also wary as nursing two discectomies and a Wallis Inswing L4/L5. compaction of discs at this stage by sitting.I was told by surgeon. increases pressure on discs trying to heal.
    Clearly all surgeons have their own pathway of treatment and I follow mine carefully
    Good luck to all with your recovery
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • Yes I have heard that from a lot of different surgeons and sites that sitting puts pressure on the spine and should be very limited at least for the first six weeks. I'm glad that mountain girl had some success but I didn't want to chance it. Now I'm just concerned because when I do sit longer than 2030 minutes I feel uncomfortable and was just looking to see if anyone out there had that at the beginning and how long it took for you to resolve. I know everyone is different but I just want to have hope that this will change someday. Good luck to everyone hope everyone's having a great day
  • I'm really glad that mountain girl was able to sit but I know my surgeon and a few other people have said that sitting puts pressure on the spine trying to heal so to limit it for 20 to 30 minutes for the first six weeks. I was just looking to see if any other people had trouble sitting for long periods at my stage about six weeks out and if they did get better at some point. Just wanted to have light at the end of the tunnel and hoping this is not a new problem.

    Thanks and good luck to everyone. Chronic pain stinks.
  • I'm almost 6.5 wks post op L4-5 discectomy laminectomy and I'm having major issues sitting. It's not my incision area but left buttocks and leg pain. It feels like I'm sitting on the nerve itself. I was so uncomfortable in the passenger seat on a 1.5 hr drive. I'm not sure if this is normal or not but hope it gets better. I was planning on driving for s trip in 26 days that will take all together 16hrs! So I'm thinking this will be impossible giving my situation at this time. I know I've read where ppl have said it is uncomfortable to sit after back surgery. I hope you all do better that I'm doing and time will tell all.
    Dawn williams
  • kkuylenkkkuylen Posts: 86
    edited 05/20/2015 - 12:19 PM
    Hi Dawn, I completely feel your pain both literally and figuratively. I'm at 6 weeks from a microdiscemtomy5-S1. I had the surgery because of a dull pain in my buttocks when I would drive and some leg pain and while the leg pain is doing a little better I still have the butt pain that I started with when driving, so I'm pretty disappointed. I am truly hoping
  • Hi Don, I feel your pain. Literally and figuratively. I'm at six weeks myself and had the surgery purposely to get rid of the butt pain when I was driving. It wasnt excruciating but it was always there. Now that six weeks later and I started driving an hour at a time the pain in my buttocks is exactly as it was before. So I feel like I did the surgery for nothing. My leg pain has gotten a little bit better but to think I'm not going to be able to sit for long periods of time is really discouraging. I pray it does get better in time for all of us
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