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Post L5-S1 Microdiscectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So I just had my L5-S1 microdiscectomy yesterday and it was incredible!

No pain any more, just a little bit on the incision but that is all. I'm not even on pain meds. So my question is... I don't want to overdo it - how much walking did you do after your discectomy? within the first few days? week? weeks?

Thanks all!


  • that's good you have no pain that's great . I didn't walk too much the first couple days but after about a week go nuts with the walking the more the better, just take it easy with the bending lifting and twisting and under no circumstances don't do any of them together .good luck
  • It's great you are feeling better.
    You are in the "honeymoon" part of recovery.
    These next coupla weeks will be telling.

    I did very little walking the first week.
    The 2nd week, they had me start with the PT and honestly,
    it was tough for a while.
    It takes work, sometimes hard work, to build the strength and stamina back up.

    No bending, lifting, twisting, shoving, nudging, straining, pulling, dragging, sitting for long periods of time.....
    go easy. Protect that disc. O:)

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • Often the problem is that patients do too much immediately after surgery such as laminectomy or discectomy. After months or years of being in pain, they have surgery and find themselves pain-free for the first time in ages. The natural reaction is to try to do all the things you haven't been able to do, which inevitably results in overdoing it...suffering a flare-up and then the need for a more slow-paced recovery.

    Unless you were very active right up until your injury or onset of back pain, try to increase your level of activity gradually. Walking is the best activity -- I think that's something everyone can agree upon. But that doesn't mean you need to go from a block to five miles in a week's time.
    There is no way to rush recovery. Your body will have its own pace. The important thing is to learn to listen to your body and go at your own speed. If you do too much one day and pay for it the next, back off and rest a day, then resume at a slightly slower pace.

    Just remember that healing occurs at a very individual pace. The most important lesson to learn for any of us that has had surgery is PATIENCE. For most of us, recovery will take longer than any of us thought possible.

  • I had surgery (microdiscectomy)a week ago. I have felt good - just tired. I was feeling bad about taking 2 weeks off of work but after getting some responses to my post on here, I think I will just continue to take it easy next week and not worry about work. I certainly do not want to reherniate that disc! My surgeon told me to increase my walking distance a bit each day until I built up to 2-3 m. by the 3rd week. Did your doctor tell you not to drive for 2 weeks? That has been difficult for me,and I'm not sure why driving is off limits. I'm not on pain meds - just ibuprofen.

    Take care,
  • I agree with gwennie 17. Patience is necessary, and I'm having trouble with that. I am almost 3 weeks post-op and until today I was feeling pretty fabulous. I had one small setback from overdoing the walking about a week and a half ago, dr said just rest a day and then try to walk a block or so the next and slowly build back up. I did that and felt fine again. Today the old pain was back. The nerve pain that radiates through my hip all the way down to my foot. The pain I was living with for 6 months before surgery. I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged, but after feeling so wonderful after surgery now I feel like I'm right back where I was. I know it's normal to have these little set backs, but I'm having a hard time with this one.

    Geer9d-to answer your questions, i just walked down my street and back the first 3 days. The first day was rough and then it got easier. The fourth and fifth day I went a little further, about a block or so. Don't rush it, you will regret it. Let your pain tell you when to stop. The most I have done so far was 1.5 miles at 2 weeks, but that was too much. I'm doing about a mile a day right now, almost at 3 weeks. You can also break it up, do 2 or 3 short walks in one day if you feel up to it, that way you keep from doing too much.

    For Margo, the no driving thing is to keep you from sitting too long. Obviously don't drive if you're taking pain meds, but since you're not just don't make your drives too long. My surgeon told me that after 2 weeks, short trips (5-10 minutes) was fine if I felt ok, but you definitely don't want to be driving for long periods, because you are putting pressure on your incision the whole time you are sitting. Also, I don't know what kind of work you do, but definitely don't rush it. I have to be on my feet all day, so my dr is keeping me out completely for 8 wks.

    Good luck everyone, I hope we all continue to improve.
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  • I felt fabulous the day of and next day but 2 days later i was in agony i asume from doing to much. I keep asking the same questions How much is too much. but i don't think a good answer exists. I walked around Wal-mart yesterday for 2 hours yesterday just walking while hubby loaded the cart and by the end i was really dragging. This AM i had trouble rolling over in bed to get out. Owie! Today i will just cruise the house and driveway and see how i feel

    Good luck finding a happy medium and make sure to rest lots

    Happy Healing
  • I have been struggling with back pain for the past five years, as the result of a pretty serious L5-S1 hernia.

    It used to be horrible, I had tingles and numb all the way down my right leg into the foot, shooting pain, etc. I was able to get it to an acceptable level with dedication to yoga. Lately it has been worse again and my new doc suggested discectomy.

    It sounds great, but in some places I read horrible things about peoples pain afterwards....I don't know what to do and honestly I'm scared of surgery.

    But I also want my life back...I'm 28 and it hurts to put my shoe on.

    I still manage to be very active and athletic...basically i just deal with the pain.

    I would really appreciate any insight you can give me.

  • I had my first surgery in 99 and it was amazing, 3 weeks post op i was back at work, jet skiing and canoeing. Great for almost 10 years. In Nov08 the pain came back, and I had surgery on the 13th of nov. it was good until the 4th week post op. i believe it was my fault, I did not take it easy, I cooked thanksgiving and did too much. Jan 27 I had the surgery again. I am going into the 4th week and I feel ok right now. took it easy the first 3 weeks and now am doing water therapy and walking. walking helps alot. And lots and lots of prayer. It seems the more I read, and the Dr said the 2nd surgery is never as good as the first, and so I'm sure the 3rd is even worse, but I am hopeful. My prayers are with you all as well
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