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Almost 10 weeks post op - things are good?

L4/5, L5SI microdiscectomy on 2/29.  7 inch incision and reaction to vycril sutures.   It took 6 weeks for wound to close.  Then, my father passed away. I flew from Colorado to New York.  It was a long and difficult week.

This last week, after returning home, I feel like I  making progress.   I have gotten in 10,000 steps twice this week and also did a two mile hike with about a 400 ft vertical climb.

Is this progress normal?  I have stiffness afterwards but, I feel much better the day after the walk and turning over in bed is getting easier.  I am also down to Advil once a day. Does it sound like I am on track? Tx.
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Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Victoria

    Good on you... for sure you are on track!!!  The walking is key... don't stop... but instead of big chunks try smaller chunks daily... your body will thank you.  Being off the pain meds is a BIG step... very good.    Have you discussed with your doctor any kind of  PT other than walking??  At 10 weeks you are probably ready for it.

    Harry - 65 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
  • 3dm33dm New MexicoPosts: 24
    He wants me to wait for two more weeks before starting something like yoga or pilates.  He has said for pain to be my guide and to walk for at least 20 minutes a day and that hiking is great.  I use a hiking pole because I am not yet comfortable with uneven terrain.  He also said that in about a month, I can start to horseback ride.  I am a little more leary of that though.  I just want to get to the point of putting on my pants without holding onto something.  I feel like my core is really weak still.

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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 05/07/2016 - 3:52 AM

    Victoria

    Your doctor is right about listening to your body... don't over do it... if there is pain... stop.  A little muscle soreness is ok... but not pain.   Personally I would put off the horse riding bit for a least a year.  Doctors by their nature are always overly optimistic on healing and post-op activities. 

    I'm 15 months out from my last fusion surgery and putting on my socks in the morning is still a very carefully cerographed and deliberate routine... not like it used to be... just bend over and throw on your socks without thinking anything of it... nope... life has changed in lots of little ways after fusion.

    Are you a swimmer..???  Most doctors like swimming as a good PT... it's a good back/core muscle builder and it doesn't put load stresses on your spine and joints.

    Harry - 65 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
  • Sounds great! I'm 6 weeks L5/S1 and like you reacted to sutures, wound doesn't want to close. I'm doing physio, walking (aiming for 10,000 steps a day), and I just started riding a stationary bike again last week. Want to start swimming again but the wound problem means I can't. Also did a fell walk last week which I was proud of. I think best advice is to start off a new activity very slow and work it up, even if you feel fine. I overdid it in week 3/4 and set myself back. I'm supposed to be starting pilates next week but I'm just waiting for them to get round to organising it!
  • 3dm33dm New MexicoPosts: 24
    Wow Kiapo, that is great!  My doctor doesn't want me to start pilates/yoga for about 2 more weeks to ensure the scar stays closed and muscles heal.

    I did hike about 6 miles yesterday.   It was wonderful!  I was in a Wilderness area in eastern New Mexico. It was not challenging as I was himing on a canyon bottom on an old road.  It reinforced why I am happy to have gotten my discs fixed.
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  • Same here, every day I feel grateful at the moment for the relief and the ability to do regular things again with minimal pain.

    I think it is sensible advice. My surgeon was happy for me to do any non-contact activity after week 4, but I think from what I've read in the UK the advice is to mobilise as soon as possible and it does seem to be earlier than other countries. I've taken it a bit slower just to be on the safe side anyway, I'm not in a rush.

    I have noticed the scar opens up when doing stretches. Hoping it will heal over soon, really bad reaction to the end-knot sutures.
  • I am 2 weeks post op, L3/4 and if I thought in 10 weeks I would be walking that far and almost of pain Meds, I would be more than happy!  It sounds like you are doing fantastically

    i just have no idea what I should be doing at this stage,  i do two or three small walks and avoid lifting and twisting.  Having said that I cooked dinner tonight and when I sat down had stabbing pain in the disc area, so went to bed! ( I didn't  even eat dinner).

    Can I ask what you progression was?   Luckily stitches have practically healed already with no bruising - I take arnica prior during and post any operation, it's amazing.

    many thanks.




  • Sounds like you are doing exactly what you should. 2 weeks is very early (you only realise this when you get to about week 6!). With the benefit of hindsight I think walking around 1.5 - 3 miles a day in 2 or 3 chunks should be the limit of activity up to week 4. Obviously though this varies from person to person, surgeon to surgeon, so just follow your own rehab plan.
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