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Physical Work after a L5 S1 micro discectomy

hubbohhubbo Posts: 1
edited 09/01/2015 - 1:08 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Im booked September 9 for a microdiscectomy to the L5 S1.
I suffered with lower back aches and pains for 10 years on a minor scale. In 2010 I had a blowout of the L5S1. I believe this was the original herniation. I would mend after a few weeks taking it easy and then pretty much on cue a year later a relapse would occur.
After 4 times having the blowout which would sideline me for numerous weeks I then developed pains down the inside of my right groin and almost a numbness to my abdomen and what felt like also my scrotum and groin. I assumed this was nerve aggravation and then this pain stopped and the sciatic began. After 4 months with sciatic that's progressing more painful each day I have made the decision to get surgery.
I have done kitchens as a cabinet maker for 15 years and obviously it has been quite physical work. I love what I do and hope that after maybe 4 months away from work after the surgery that i will be feeling as good as i have in 10 years. I have also started working out with a local exercise physio doing a combo of light cardio and core strength work. This was started 1 to try and avoid surgery if possible and 2 build core strength and have a stronger body. Whilst the pain has forced me to surgery I am happy with the work i have done on my core and overall body strength and flexibility, so i will continue with that in the future. Basically starting a topic to see how people in physical lines of work have recovered after a L5S1 discectomy and to what levels they can work, pain levels etc. My other discs are in good shape but the L5S1 is degenerate and impinging on nerves. I am maybe 10 kgs overweight which I plan on changing, although with the way my body has been over the past years it has been hard to be motivated after a days work alone...

Another issue maybe adding to problem is I had a massive leg break right side tib fib in 2006. 6 months off work and had compartment syndrome as a result. I have permanent nerve damage to top side of foot ( very slight numbness) but overall after the injury I sustained I have made a good recovery. I also have right leg different length to other as a result.

Any topic feedback on physical labor after such surgery would be good. I am apprehensive for the surgery but my biggest worry is not being able to resume my work. Iam self employed...

Thanks for reading.
Andrew, Melbourne, Australia


http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/return-exercise-after-microdiscectomy-surgery
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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,904
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 798
    Andrew...

    I guess you understand that a mico-discectomy is the surgeon "cleaning off" the ruptured or bulging portions of you disc. That disc WILL NOT grow back... and for the rest of your life that disc will continue to be "compromised" versus a healthy disc. The surgery will most likely relieve your current pain due to the elimination of bulging disc pressing on your spinal nerve column BUT if you continue to impose heavy loading of the disc with the cabinet work and heavy lifting like you are suggesting you will very likely end up with more pain/surgery down the road... especially since the L5-S1 disc takes the biggest load of your whole back. After all... it's all the hard work and heavy lifing you have done over your lifetime that has got you to where you are now. It may be hard to accept... but you have to find a way to "be nice to your back" for the rest of your life or you will very likely end up in pain again. I've been through 2 major back surgeries and the second one could have been avoided if I had just "lighted up".

    On the plus side a discectomy is a "first level surgery" and if at some point down the road you have further problems with the disc and pain your surgeon can perform a fusion surgery. Although this surgery is much more invasive and complicated versus a discectomy it will allow your L5-S1 lumbars to fuse into one solid lumbar and the potential for the disc to further herniate will be elimated as the disc is no longer even present.

    Best of luck to you...
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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