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Fitness and Gym

bhavyabbhavya Posts: 1
edited 09/05/2015 - 10:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey guys!
I'm new to this forum and just want to ask some people here how they've lived their life after similar surgeries.
An intro - i am a 16 year old, overweight male, about 6 ft. tall and had a L4-5 and L5-S1 microdiscectomy and laminotomy about 11 months back. Surgery went fine, and everything's been going really well. I am able to walk about 20 kms at a stretch without any sort of discomfort to my back. All daily activities are pain-free and i've never had any sciatica pain after the surgery. I haven't really done ANY medium-high impact exercise/activity ever since the disc herniated in July, 2014. I was a great footballer and cricketer, but haven't played any sports ever since surgery and recently got a desire to start cycling and getting in shape at the gym.
I've been told at discharge not to lift weights, but i believe 11 months is enough time for the back to heal up. How's the idea of cycling on a well leveled surface and doing some treadmill, cross-trainer, and small weights (about 7 kgs) for my shoulders and arms?
I'm sure there are many here with the same type of surgery, and i'd love to hear how they kept themselves active and out of a re-herniation. Thanks! :)

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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 732
    edited 09/07/2015 - 2:38 PM
    Dear bhavya

    Yes you have healed fine from the surgery but your spine will NEVER be the same and as strong as it was before the surgery. The microdiscetomy has removed a portion of your L4-L5 and L5-S1 discs and these discs will NEVER grow back. The laminectomy has removed a portion of your L4 and L5 lumbar and these will NEVER grow back. The L4 and L5 portion of your spine is now PERMANENTLY compromised... for the sake of relieving pressure on your spinal cord. I know you are young and that is good but you MUST head the advise to NOT do heavy lifting or high impact activities FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE as your back cannot take it. It won't happen overnight but if you keep stressing your spine the issues will come back and you will then most likely have to have fusion surgery and that is a massively more difficult surgery/recovery versus the mico procedures you've already had done. Trust me... I've been there... I also didn't listen to the doctor's advise and went back to doing all the same heavy lifting and high impact activities prior to surgery and within a year my back was messed up again and I had to have fusion surgery. Rather than going to gym and pounding your body on the weight machines... go swimming... it's a wonderful excercise that builds your back muscle strength and stamina without any impact to your spine or other bones/joints in your body.


    Before you try any supplement, herb, over the counter item, exercise program, mechanical aid, brace, etc always consult with your doctor to make sure you get their approval.
    Some of these products may be very effective, but no two individuals or medical conditions are alike. What works for one, may cause trouble for another.. The outcome of one patient is not the same for everyone else. We have had members here with spinal surgeries and have been able to continue with weight lifting (adjusted) The key here is to talk it over with your doctor to get their input.

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator

    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
  • I agree that the key is to "talk it over with your doctor to get their input." Keep in mind there are plenty of us out there who went too heavy on the weights and suffered the consequences. It was a problem I never saw coming.

    Something that helped me was to get with a Physical Therapist and learn exercises/stretches for back strengthening and conditioning. Sure, she had me work out with "wimpy" weights, but she invited any questions I had about how much is too much and what is safe and not safe. I regret not following her advice exactly, because I was too enthusiastic on overhead press and caused myself another flare-up. Well... that's the story of my life.

    I also learned to swim and took up swimming for a while. I had to go super-early in the morning to catch the open swim times. I even talked my wife into going a couple times with me. She has been an unbelievably great helper on this difficult journey.
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