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Running after Laminectomy /Discectomy

janehejjanehe Posts: 3
edited 01/27/2016 - 8:33 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anyone successfully returned to running long-distance after a L4-L5 Laminectomy/ Discectomy?

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

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I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

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Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

Liz, Spine-health Moderator



  • Many determining factors. How old are you, how long have you had your back condition, what does your doctor say, how are your other joints ( hips, knees). I have had 2 back surgeries ( fusions, diseconomies) and a hip replacement. I was into running, HIIT, and cross fit. Coming out of my second fusion, I am thankful to use the elipitical. Be smart and cautious. In the long run, exercise did not speed my degeneration, but it did add to my pain. Just some thoughts.
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    I was an avid 30+ mile a week runner until I injured my back shoveling some heavy snow. I ran for more than 30 yrs but didn't cross train. I had a microdiscetomy 2 1/2 yrs ago and was walking 5-6 miles a day after but never had the stamina to run , only able to jog a bit. I now need another surgery for the same disc that reherniated. My former running partner had the same surgery and even same surgery and ran weekly a long run of 10 miles and even trained and ran in a marathon post surgery. I think it is very important to cross train. Also it depends like davbov said on many contributing factors.
    Hope it works for you as I really miss it!!
  • janehejjanehe Posts: 3
    edited 02/02/2016 - 9:36 AM
    Liz53: I am so sorry you are having another surgery! That is my fear! I am 8 months post-op. I feel great-some days I still get achy. I have been spinning and running 3 1/2 miles at 85 % body weight on an Alter G (antigravity treadmill) . I am just afraid of doing too much too soon as I am a marathon runner and this has been so hard to accept those days might be over. Do you know how long after surgery your friend starting training again.? It's nice to hear it may be possible :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    until you have discussed everything with your doctor and get their approval.

    What one member here can do after surgery in terms of exercise does not mean it is correct for another member. In fact, it could be potentially harmful.

    NEVER take on new exercise unless you have first discussed it with your doctor and they approve it.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had the exact same surgery. I asked my neurosurgeon and he said no running, no way. I asked my pain management doctor hoping for a better answer, and he said the same thing, no way.

    It was very shocking to me. A big change. So after some thinking I asked "how about walking?" and I was told that walking was fine, just nothing that would cause impact on the spine. Running would simply put me back in the OR.

    So now I walk, fast, fairly fast, but I walk. No impact to my spine. It has been a tremendous change, but I love it. I have to move every day, I have to get my heart rate up, and walking fast while not the same makes me just as happy and fulfilled.

    Maybe your doctor will feel differently. Good luck. I know it is tough.
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    edited 02/02/2016 - 1:28 PM
    i was given the green light to run from my surgeon and it was not the running that caused my injury but trying yoga which was also something I was encouraged to do. I of course tried it with a personal trainer and thought I was being safe but apparently not!
    My running partner had her microdiscectomy 20+ years ago, same surgeon and think she slowly started training, doing a lot of walk run until building up. We were not fast runners but I ran one marathon and lots of halfs before this. I had been mostly walking after the first microdiscectomy like Florida guy but still never felt the same as running.
    Best to get advice from your surgeon as all of them have different opinions.
    I really hope you are able to get back to doing what you like. I am hopeful one day I will be out there too!
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Yeah, I have an S2. The more x-rays and MRIs they do, the more "extra bones I have. Extra teeth, extra bones- if the originals were supposed to be good I wonder why I was sent to this earth with replacements?

    Anyway, I had my first lumbar surgery in 1998. I came through that very well. I was 32. I went right back to training horses, from the ground and from the back. But I know what is usual pain and what is "OMG this is NOT normal!" Doctors urged me to "be careful" and I was. I wore a helmet and a protective vest.

    In 2008 I had my second lumbar surgery. I again went back to riding but it didn't feel right. I tried 8- 10 times and I stopped. Now I know I could still get on a horse but it would hurt and probably do damage. I'm sure my doctors would think I had lost my mind but I had been riding horses as long as I've been walking. Don't push your limits beyond common sense. Listen to your doctors. If your docs say to go for it, you may still find out that it's not comfortable for you.

    Good Luck!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • Thanks everyone . My surgeon ( Neurologist ) does not recommend running but is not saying I can't . The running did not cause problem. I had hurt my back lifting wrong at work and then herniated on a jump squat . I will never jump again ! I guess it all depends on the patient . I just miss throwing on my shoes and hitting the road , yet I never want to go through this again. I guess time will tell .
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