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    Old 03-15-2007, 06:14 PM   #1
    OnHold
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    Discectomy recovery

    How long does it usually take for recovery from discectomy before you recover from the post-surgical pain? How long is the average before you can return to work (office job)?

    It seems someone mentioned as little as 2-4 weeks, but lately all the stories I'm reading are talking about heading toward fusion before recovery from discectomy is even complete.

     
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    Old 03-15-2007, 06:45 PM   #2
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Hi there,

    I had a microdisectomy at L4/L5 and I couldn't return to work until 3 weeks after the surgery. I was a teacher at the time. I am not sure if it is the same time frame as a disectomy. Just thought I would share my experience with you. I hope you are doing well.

    Angie

     
    Old 03-15-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Hi onhold,

    I had a discectomy on feb 26th. The surgeon at that time told me that I could probably return to work 3 weeks out but that was before this nerve thing flaired in my right leg post surgery. Now I will be out until the end of April and I also have an office job. So it depends on how smoothly your surgery goes and if you hit any complications. That being said on the usual, I think three to four weeks with no complications is the norm. for office type work. Usta

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 11:17 AM   #4
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Hi,
    I had a micro-d 11/21/06. It was L4-L5. I finally returned to work Feb. 26. I am not sure what the time frame is for a discectomy. I just thought I would add my thoughts.
    My post-op period didn't go well, because of the severe nerve compression. I am still not pain free and wear a lidocaine patch. Hopefully, all will go well with your recovery.
    Take care and a speedy return to work
    Kay

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Thanks; you all confirmed what I suspected.

    I have a big trip I insist on taking in just under 3 months. I don't think I can be certain that surgery recovery will be complete enough to handle the trip after hearing your responses. Though I don't sit for long periods of time now, it sounds like I'll be able to sit longer pre-surgery than post-surgery. Besides, if I hurt something on the trip, it will be nice to have surgery after rather than thinking I might have to redo surgery because of the trip!

    The big question on my mind now is whether to go on the trip, whether to try to have surgery now to be healed by then, or to go enjoy the trip with lots of Lortab handy just in case and then have surgery after. I might not say it in all my posts, but this is the root of all my questions. I go have my first surgical consult on March 27 and I'm feeling overwhelmed with all these decisions!

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    OnHold,

    You might want to find a surgeon in your area who specializes in the new endoscopic microdiscectomy techniques. Only some patients are candidates, from what I understand (think it depends on your specific herniation and where it is located), but the endoscopic procedure has a faster recovery time. The muscles are not cut, just pushed aside by a small tube, and the entire surgery is done through the tube. The incision is smaller than with a micro-D.

    Sometimes the endoscopic surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and people can go home the same day.

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 02:51 PM   #7
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Hey on-hold... I too am being faced with surgery but the 1st nuero surgeon I saw thinks I should wait a little longer. I too have a trip planned in about a month. I am planning to go with "my" lortab, vic & perc & have the best time I can!

    I would do your trip 1st if u think u can have a good time.

    Take care & keep talkin... Dave!

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    Cythren, I watched an endoscopic micro-D surgery on the internet (morbid, I know, but I just wanted to know for sure what it involved) and the thing that caught my attention was that the tube was only 18 mm in diameter. I'm wondering with my 14 mm herniation now if there might be an issue with size. This is something I intend to ask the surgeon, but I agree with you that it is definitely better not to have to cut muscle and the least invasive, the better. The surgeon I'm going to meet first is fairly young and I believe has been exposed to these new surgeries and did his residency at Stanford. I'm hoping that will be better than an old guy who likes to do the old-fashioned "open" surgeries.

    Crookedback, I'm glad to hear that you understand my thoughts about the trip. I'll be anxious to hear how you do on yours. I figure that after this year of agony, I need something to look forward to (besides surgery). Why did your neuro say you should wait?

     
    Old 03-17-2007, 03:21 PM   #9
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    Re: Discectomy recovery

    [QUOTE=OnHold;2862623]Thanks; you all confirmed what I suspected.

    I have a big trip I insist on taking in just under 3 months. I don't think I can be certain that surgery recovery will be complete enough to handle the trip after hearing your responses. Though I don't sit for long periods of time now, it sounds like I'll be able to sit longer pre-surgery than post-surgery. Besides, if I hurt something on the trip, it will be nice to have surgery after rather than thinking I might have to redo surgery because of the trip!

    The big question on my mind now is whether to go on the trip, whether to try to have surgery now to be healed by then, or to go enjoy the trip with lots of Lortab handy just in case and then have surgery after. I might not say it in all my posts, but this is the root of all my questions. I go have my first surgical consult on March 27 and I'm feeling overwhelmed with all these decisions![/QUOTE]before you have the micro procedure i thought i'd let you know my experience with it. i had the micro a year ago and had absolutley no change in pain. the surgery didn't work. i just had a second surgery yesterday because my new surgeon told me that often when you are doing that operation through a scope you can miss the herniation, and that is what he thought happened to me. he described it as doing surgery through a straw. when my new surgeon looked at a new set of mri images he showed me where the herniation was still there, and it was huge. when he cut me open yesterday he told my girlfriend that the herniation was enormous and smashing my nerve root flat. it seems incredible that my previous surgeon could have missed it, but there you are. the post-op recovery is no different, in my opinion, than the recovery for the microendoscopic version, so i really really really wish that someone had told me not to get an endoscopic version of the surgery, and there is always a chance that what happened to me could happen to you. i wasted an entire year of my life because my first surgeon sold me on the "minimally invasive" endoscopic surgery without telling me about the risk of him missing the herniation. the non-endoscopic operation i just got was also considered minimally invasive, just not done with a scope. my new surgeon said that when he opened me up he could see everything and it was easy to see what needed to be done. trust me, it's not worth it. if i could go bck in time or if i were you i would ask -- no, DEMAND -- that my doctor not do an endoscopic surgery. good luck, hopefully it will work out for you. oh, yeah, my dad just had a discectomy a month ago and it cured nine years of back pain totally. no endoscope for him either.

     
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