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L5S1 discectomy. Fastest recovery ever???

craigysccraigys Posts: 1

i have been reading the conversations on here for weeks as I have been going through my discectomy journey and have found fear and comfort alike!!! 

I had my L5S1 microdiscecromy 3 weeks ago today and seem to have recovered in remarkable time so wanted to share my story with other hoping to offer some positive eveidence for those considering or awaiting the op! 

I went into the Spire Hospital (bupa) in Hull, UK at 16:00 on the 26th June. Went down for surgery at 18:00 and was sat up eating a sandwich at 20:00. 

The next morning the physio came to get me out of bed and I couldn’t stand, the pain was like nothing I’ve ever felt (even after months of sciatica). When my consultant came round he said I shouldn’t worry, he expected me to me in a bit of pain because of the ‘tugging and pulling’ he’d had to do whilst in there! 

I stayed another night and sure enough the next morning I was on my feet albeit with crutches. 

Spent the next few days in bed at home in an awesome Oxycodone fuzzy haize! 

By day 4 I was taking short walks around the block, by the end of the first week I was able to walk a mile but felt very tired after and needed a nap! 

In the second week I was building the miles a most daily to the 3 mile mark by about day 10. I almost felt like I was doing to much but I felt comfortable and wasn’t hurting, tired yes - very but not in pain. 

By week 3 I was beginning to feel like a fraud being off work and again thinking I shouldn’t feel this good! 

I hadn’t taken a pain killer since about day 6 after the op. 

Spent all of week three walking and going to the gym taking it easy on the cross trainer.

Had my first physio appointment on the 3 week anniversary, my physio has me try and touch my toes and have me a decent hamstring stretch which felt great! 

He told me to do a set of 20 squats morning noon and night but stop if I ever felt any pain. 

So I’m now into week four, back at work, 60 squats a day and walking up to 4/5 miles no problem at all. 

The squats are making me ache like hell but it good and not ‘pain’ it’s more just my legs and hams because I’ve been so limited in movement for months! 

I should mention that prior to my slipped disc I was very fit and ran marathons so I’m sure that’s played a part. It will be a while until I’m back running again but I feel like I could do it right now - I won’t because I’m not stupid! 

Now I signed up I’ll continue to update and read others progress. I think the key really is - just listen to  your own body, people recover at different speeds. 

I should also add that both the surgeon and physio both said that because I posted for surgery as soon as the MRI showed the slipped disc my recovery will be quicker, people that suffer for years before the op take longer due to the prolonged trauma on the nerve. 

Thankfully I have private healthcare through work so was able to have my consultation, MRI and operation all with in about 8 weeks. 



Edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator Removed medical advice


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