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Bad Boy rushing recovery too soon?

surferboy38ssurferboy38 Posts: 1
edited 05/19/2015 - 5:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
So I'm a busy body who thinks I could be rushing my recovery.. In 3 months will be my 2 years anniversary
since my injury incident. I'm into my 11th day of recovery from a microdiscectomy/ laminectomy on the L5-S1
disc. After injury it was a progressing pain and a bulge that led into a rupture. I did shots with PT and finally decided on
the surgery.
My recovery seems to be going as expected and normal except I'm feeling though I'm healing faster than I probably should be. Along with the drugs I'm realizing my stupidity is taking over my sensibility of letting myself heal correctly. I've read a few discussions with mixed results and knowing we all heal differently. Walking as requested is great therapy but
maybe I shouldn't be mowing the yard yet? Yes I've done that and more. I'm a physically fit person and except
for the degenerative disc issues in my back I try my best to lift correctly and not move more than my body can
handle. I use my brace daily but not at all times. Ice is my friend and I've actually reduced my meds to just daily
anti-inflammatories with maybe a one a day pain reliever. I'm still on Leave of my Job just FYI.
I feel the pain of surgery here and there and it's different everyday. I usually know when i've over done it and have to lie down with ice or just call it a day and sleep it off until the next. Soreness radiates but it's much milder then
before my operation. I've started having the slight sciatic pain in left leg again as I'm hearing that can be normal.
Each day that I'm feeling pretty good I go about business around the house or yard because I can't just lie around when it's so beautiful outside. My 2 week follow up appt is in a few days. Should I worry I'm risking another injury? Should
I tell my Dr. about my foolish unsettling work ethics? Or should I just cool it until I start my PT?


  • Hi Surferboy,

    I understand where you are coming from, I'm more of an extremist. For instance if I'm walking with my wife and my lower lumbar starts getting tight and uncomfortable, I will still continue on and not say anything until I'm in shooting pain and can't do anything the next day. My wife so ellegently tells me time and time again, that the body is sending signals that you need to pay attention to. A small ache may not be such a big thing but can easily get aggrivated, and begin to turn into a worse condition.

    For me it's extremely hard for me to just sit down and rest. If I don't rest until my injury is healed I run the risk of damaging my body permanently, and as a husband and father of a 5 year old, it is emotionally painful. I get you want to be active but, I really would recommend taking it slow and letting your body tell you when enough is enough. If you start getting pains, sit down, relax for a bit, then see how your body is doing. I constantly struggle with having to sit back and not be apart of my son and wife's activities because of my back's limitations, which will hopefully be corrected after my Spinal Cord Stimulator trial.

    From one extremist to another, recovery will take time, and baby steps. Before my back got so bad I was in Physical Therapy for a year, and my PT would always call me out. They may tell you to do 20 repetitions and rest, and I would look around, nobody was there, so I eh, and did 60. Knowing what I know now there is a reason PT is a baby step program, doesn't mean you're less masculant, it just means that growing patience and doing little steps will benefit the recovery of my back faster, with greater results, and hopefully I won't have to have another surgery.

    Long story short, if possible try to refrain from going extreme, take the time to recovery properly, it is a process I am still struggling with now for over a year.

    Wish you the best,
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Yes...yes..and no....

    You are eleven days post op...and mowing the lawn.?
    I would agree with you that something is taking over your sensibility to heal correctly.

    You say you lift correctly and wear a brace.
    Did doctor give you limitations? Restrictions in your activities? You are allowed to lift?
    Are you wearing your brace as ordered?

    I'm curious as to why you opted for surgery and not eleven days later, you're putting your mowing the yard..and more..as you said....as a priority?
    You know you are overdoing it or you would not have asked these questions.

    You don't have the patience to try to heal after a surgery .?
    Do you realize in risking your healing and possible further injury....you are risking that your own body may start forcing you to become patient with more permanent limitations.?

    When you do not strictly adhere to doctor's orders, esp post op, yes...I would think you risk further injury.

    Should you tell doctor of your foolish, unsettling work ethic? Yes..absolutely. Doctor needs to know so he can provide best possible care. If you remain silent, it's possible for doctor in assessing you...to have a finding and attribute it to something else..or unknown...when you fessing up to your activity level could clear things up.

    Or cool it until you see PT? No....doctor needs to depend on you for full information so he can give orders to PT that will be appropriate and best for your individual situation.

    Talk with your doc about your want to push the limits and or hurry the process. Doc may be able to use that info in guiding him with adjusting you're activity level. But it should be doctor's call.
    Good communication with doctor is so important.......and that goes both ways.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Go slow now to go fast later! This is my mantra . I am one month out from having a benign meningioma removed from my spinal cord that was so calcified it was like a rock . It was pushing my spinal cord over to the right and blocking all the fluid out of T-11. It covered T-10,11, and my surgeon removed it and did a laminectomy T-9-11. We didn't know if it was malignant going in and I was symptom free at that point . I knew the surgery was going to be dangerous so hearing that I was cancer free and would be able to walk when I woke up was incredible news. However, I am having so much more muscle spasm and heaviness and pain all over my back post surgery then I expected. Can't sit longer than about 20-30minutes. Can' walk around pretty normally for an hour or two, Lift light things, cook, have more and more flexibility for reaching or picking things up. But yesterday did too many reps practicing my PT plus took a shower and dried my hair which is a big trying deal , plus cooked a few times and completely regressed. Had to go back to the muscle relaxer and the hydrocodone last night in addition to the neurotin that I haven't stopped taking. My PT people said skip it today and tomorrow and stop pushing so hard. But I'm discouraged and worried about how long this recovery will take. My energy is better than I expected but my whole back is seizing up and feels like I'm lugging around a heavy wooden back pack inside . Trust me - don't push your activity! It's a very bad idea. Go slow now to be able to go fast later.
  • michaelrchmmichaelrch Bern, SwitzerlandPosts: 26
    Hi Surferboy
    just a vote for being very careful! I screwed my recovery from l5 s1 microd at 6 weeks by doing way more activity than my back was ready for (a hike up a big hill and and fairly intense bike ride). I regard this as the biggest mistake I ever made. My recovery was going great before. I could walk for an hour on the flat before, easy. No back pain. Leg was on the mend. All great. Now I can't stand for a few minutes without pain. Sitting is out. Etc etc. 
    You get one shot at your best possible recovery. The outcome might affect the rest of your life. The odd small mistake won't be a big deal sure, but make a big one and you will regret it so be sensible. Use you drive to control yourself, not push yourself. Healing is the opposite of training. Pain is bad, not something to 'work through'. You will not run out of urge to do more. What you need to do is apply the discipline to do less than your max.
    leisurely walks on the flat, great. Light cycling on the flat sure. Maybe swimming when your surgeon says ok. I am not saying take it easy, just that your fitness and strength are more than your body can actually bear right now, even if it does not feel like that. Believe me. Be patient. Don't get competitive with yourself. Just enjoy what you can safely do and add a tiny bit more each day. 
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