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2 weeks post microdiscectomy - feel good, playing basketball

Paul_R_23PPaul_R_23 Posts: 13
edited 10/31/2018 - 10:19 AM in Recovering from Surgery

OK, I'm not playing basketball games, but I did shoot around for an hour a couple days ago at the gym.  Mostly free-throws and no-jump layups.  OK a couple 3 pointers too towards the end.  I haven't seen many positive posts of people getting a micro-d and happily playing basketball a couple months later without re-injury, [edit], I'm starting my own.  43 yrs old, had L5-S1 mdsctmy Oct 16 and have felt great ever since.  I'm regaining strength in my calf and the numbness in my foot is down to just the pinky edge of the foot.  I went back to work 6 days post-op and what a joy it was to have a pain free drive.  I know the just because I feel good doesn't mean I'm healed, and I will not over-lift, bend or twist the next few months, but I also am eager and hell-bent on returning to my pre-op life of balling and bike riding at least once a week.  Besides the shooting, all I've been doing is walking so far and we'll see at my post op tomorrow what kind of PT my surgeon will recommend for me.  Hopefully all my posts will be positive and reassuring to others that a full recovery is possible.   




  • Surgeons place a great sense of caution on you post surgery...and we all respond differently anyway. 

    I feel like I among those who have had a successful surgery. At 7 weeks I am swimming and walking 5 miles a day. I do some body-weight exercises, but I know one thing. I'm not going to play basketball until I feel tip-top. I'm afraid of jumping to be honest.

    I promised myself I would wait until 5 months before I test the waters with my aerobic activity and some safe strength training. But I will never return to being a gym junkie. That is what landed me here

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528

    Exercising/Sports after surgery always seems to be big topic.  Its understandable, for those that were doing so much prior to surgery , then had surgery, were idle for a while and are anxious to get back to some routine.

    So many people do go back to doing the things that they love.  We have people here that go back to playing golf, one was a professional hockey official, some have even go back to motorcycles.  .

    The key is talking with your doctor to find out what you should be able to do and what you can not do.

    There are many gyms that have trained personnel that can help with people with spinal problems.  The problem is that not all gyms have people trained for that and they may tend to push you too hard.   I know at most YMCA's there are no one trained in this area, but some of the bigger gyms have people that can work with you.

    Also in other sports, there are professionals that can help.  We have a number of people on our community who have had back surgery.,  We have our own 9 hole executive private golf course and many of those folks want to play golf again.  Our golf pro has contact with a golf pro that works directly with people with spinal problems.

    Its all about moderation and learning to adjust.   We might not be able to do everything we did before, but there is still alot we can do

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Just saw my surgeon a few hours ago and he said no PT until the 6 week post-op mark.  Then PT twice a week for 8 weeks.  That puts me at the end of January minimum to get back to balling.  I was thinking PT would start week 3 but who am I to defy my surgeon?  Just gotta do as he says, not re-herniate, and stay on track.  

    The funny thing is my dr showed me (and texted me) a photo of the piece of disc he removed. it looks like a dead mutant goldfish. gross. 

  • I'm 12 weeks post op and have been doing PT and occasionally shooting & dribbling solo.  I plan to train a little harder tonight and if I feel good I'm thinking about playing a few actual games of pick up ball at my own pace this weekend.  Everything's going according to plan and I'm very thankful for that . 

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528

    Just before you do that, I would suggest that you contact  your surgeon to get their opinion on this.

    No one can tell you what to do or not to do, but just having some reassurance that what you are about to do is ok would be good.

    Just as on the other side, if the doctors says that they would not recommend you doing that, it still would be your choice.   Not to do it, playing it safe, or doing it and potentially taking a gamble.

    I know how difficult it is to have been active enjoying specific activities and then spinal surgery happens and it puts a tweak into all of that.   So much depends on the actual surgery.  Minimally invasive vs a major procedure all have different recovery times and does and do nots.

    I enjoyed snow skiing and ice skating.  I wanted to continue to do that after my second lumbar surgery.  My surgeon said, sure, as long as you dont fall.   Years and surgeries later, I was active somewhat in golf.   After surgery #4, I asked if I could continue to play golf.... The same surgeon said sure,  but I need to play left handed one time and right handed the other time!   

    Years later, I did discover that there are golf pros that can work specifically with people who have had spinal surgery and disc problems.

    I think a key word here would be moderation

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I'm 14 weeks post op today and I played basketball two Sundays ago, last Tuesday and this past Sunday.  I actually felt best after the first time playing, but after this last time I definitely had some soreness in my lower back afterwards.  Dr just says listen to your body and don't over do it.  I'm just happy I'm at a stage where I can play, but I know in my heart I am not 100% so I will take it easy and take a few weeks off from hoops to do more PT and keep healing.    

  • I felt good enough to play two days ago.  I played for almost two hours and hit the deck a couple times and got up no problem.  But later that night and following day I was extremely sore right at that L5-S1 area.  Today is a little better and I'm sure tomorrow will be too but unfortunately I have to reset, recover, and try again in a month.  As long as I'm in that 4 - 8 month post op window I will not get too discouraged, but if it goes past that, then I'll be really disappointed. 

  • Paul, Sounds like you are trying to be smart about your activity, listening to your body is the right thing to do, often times trying to do too much too soon leads back to the operating room, and I am sure you don't want that, work on those core muscles in the meantime as that will be very helpful.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Looks like I wasn't smart enough.  Back pain has mostly subsided, but sciatica in the glute and decreased of range of motion has returned.  I hope it's just some inflammation and a setback, and not worse.    

  • Paul

    Sorry to hear that the sciatica has returned, I always tell people that the hardest part of recovery is patience, when you start to feel better you automatically want to go back to the things that you did before, I am guilty of it myself, done it many times and pay the price for it, now it is time to rest, use your ice packs and see if you can get it to calm down, if not call your doctor, they may need to see you or give you something for the inflammation. You may want to take the air out of your basketball and hide it, HA HA. Take it easy and good luck, keep us posted on your progress.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

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