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Does it get better?

spinehealthy15sspinehealthy15 Posts: 1
edited 10/11/2015 - 3:28 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, 38 year old male...I had a laminectomy (L4-L5) and disketomy in July 2015. I am normal weight and height, and was healthy prior to my back issues. My recovery has been very slow and I have a VERY physically demanding job.

Right now, I can't lift more than 10lbs and can't bend well. I am worried about going back to work and reherniating. I do not want to have an future surgeries and I am wondering if I'll need to switch careers long-term. Prior to surgery, I was lifting anywhere between 20-100 lbs at any given time at work. Any thoughts?******************************************************************************************************
Welcome to Spine-Health

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Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 10/11/15 22:28 est



  • I can tell you from my personal experience, I am a 44 yr old female, and I had a discectomy (with a laminectomy of course) in February 2015. By May and June I was able to lift at the gym again, with a few modifications. I was able to train at swimming and actually did complete a 9 mile ocean swim. i will also tell you that in the month after my swim my back situation deteriorated quite a bit because of a pars fracture which I needed to have repaired, so I am going to have surgery again.
    Have you asked about possibly doing some physical therapy. i see that not a lot of surgeons prescribe this after a discectomy, but... it might help you.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 10/12/2015 - 6:57 PM
    ....and want your spine to behave for more than a few more decades.
    You really need to discuss all of this with your doctor so you are both clearly communicating.
    He needs to understand all that is involved with your career, and you understanding restrictions or limitations....if he gives you any.

    Also, need to discuss, as you say, your slow recovery. Since everyone is different your care is individual to address your issues.
    After discussion you can more properly make your decision and make plans.

    Does your place of employment have space for less physically demanding work that you could switch into? If your doctor gives you restrictions...
    For ex when my spine issues first occurred and I could no longer bend, lift, twist, etc....they didn't blink and moved me into more administrative....paperwork work stuff.

    I wish you all the best on your recovery!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 732
    edited 10/12/2015 - 10:28 PM
    Of course it can/will get better... but it can also get worse.

    It is most likely the hard work and heavy lifting over the past years that got you to where you are now. In short... you wore your back out... or over stressed it somehow. Your surgeries have relieved the nerve pain... but NOT made your back stronger/better like when you were 20 years old. Good PT can help your recovery and improve your back muscle strength... but it will never replace the portion of your disc that your surgeon cut out during the discectomy or replace the portion of your lumbar that he removed during your laminectomy. Both your disc and lumbar do NOT regrow they only scar over. As Savage has said you should discuss your future activities/plans with your doctor as he is the best source for advice... but in my non-professional opinion you are only asking for more trouble by going back to a very heavy labor intensive job.
    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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