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L4/L5 & L5/S1 Double Disectomy - Post-op Recovery time and Do's and Don'ts?

Jon KinsellaJJon Kinsella Posts: 1
edited 06/02/2015 - 3:00 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello All,

I'm new to this forum and outside of the basics I'm unsure as what to expect in post op from the above surgery. I had the surgery yesterday morning, after 3 years of severe sciatica in my left leg,and I'm still in the hospital on a morphine drip as I was in quite a lot of pain. My nerve pain/sciatica appears to have been lessened, but my back is in agony - as to be expected a day after surgery - and as I am yet to speak to my Doctor or anyone else who has gone through this experience I thought I would join this forum and ask some basic questions (you seem to be a very knowledgeable bunch!).

I am yet to receive any consistent information surrounding the following simple queries:

- Is there a difference between a microdisectomy and a discectomy? And are there any differences or additional risks associated with having two discs partially removed instead of one?
- What are the chances of reherniation? I read somewhere that 10% of all patients who have this surgery are likely to reherniate (usually within the first three months). My Doctor told me months ago that the chances of reherniation are not something you can do much about. It will or won't happen regardless. But surely - outside of obvious don'ts like heavy lifting - there are things you can do day-to-day that will decrease the risks?
- Originally my Doctor told me that I would be able to attend a music festival that is in exactly 6 weeks time, and lasts 5 days with camping, providing there are no serious complications. Do you think this is wise? Amongst other physical requirements, it would require a lot of standing still, which will surely put a lot of pressure on the spine?
- And I know it obviously varies on an individual basis, but how soon do you think I can start physiotherapy and resume my usual routines that involve yoga and pilates classes and stretching in the morning and before I go to bed? (I'm a fairly athletic 25 year old who doesn't smoke and tries to look after my health if that makes any difference).

Any other tips, advice and some less obvious do's and don'ts from people with similar experiences or just people who are knowledgeable on the subject would be greatly appreciated too.

Thank you for your time.

Liverpool, UK


  • Jon
    Everyone is different as far as recovery. I am 7 weeks out from L5-S1 discectomy and have just started physical therapy last week. I am not back to work yet. Walking about 30mon three days per week still with some leg pain. I think to be out and about camping in 6 weeks is not realistic . This recovery is slow with one step forward and there back. I was very active working out 5-6 days per week working 50 hours /week 4 months ago when I herniated .
    Be careful and take VERY slowly
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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