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  • Post Op - Microdiscectomy L5-S1 - Do's and Dont's

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    Old 11-24-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
    zeon's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Post Op - Microdiscectomy L5-S1 - Do's and Dont's

    Hello All,

    I am posting this request with the hope that a few of the veterans who are still around on the boards after having a L5- S1 discectomy performed can provide some valuable guidance.

    I am 5 days post-op a L5-S1 microdiscectomy and I have read quite a bit of advise in a few posts. In fact, some of the posts that I read were so relevant that I could not believe they were from 2003.

    I wanted to ask in hindsight from your surgeries that could have happened as early as 7-8 years before now, do you have any do's and dont's for days/ weeks after the surgery. Something that you see as you would have done or avoided if you had known it before and/or things that you did that you believe really helped in the long run.

    I will appreciate if you can list from your own experience as that will allow us newly operated ones to more readily accept the advise/ suggestions.

    Thanks in advance to all again and hopefully your advise will help more people than just me.

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    Old 11-25-2010, 04:39 PM   #2
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    Re: Post Op - Microdiscectomy L5-S1 - Do's and Dont's

    Here's a few things that I learned since my L5-S1 partial-discectomy, laminectomy 11 months ago...

    1) Be patient. It took many months before the majority of the pain went away. I had many flare-ups of leg pain, foot pain, foot burning, numbness, and back ache. Still get some every now and then.
    2) Retrain yourself bending and lifting and use your legs and knees. Even simple things like lifting the toilet seat up, tying your shoes, etc.
    3) Avoid lifting and overextending your reach the first couple of months. I put a log in my fireplace a couple weeks post surgery. Didn't think it was too heavy but the weight combined with the reach set me back a couple of weeks.
    4) Have the physical therapist teach your exercises that you can do at home. My copay was something like $40/visit so I only went a few times and did the rest on my own.
    5) "Do your exercises" (as my wife and 3 yr old like to say). Keep up w/ the PT exercises at home every day even if your feeling better.
    6) Avoid putting on extra weight. It just strains your back even more and it's particularly hard to get rid of now that I can't be as active as I used to be.

    I'm sure there's much more good advice from folks out there. Best of luck w/ your recovery.

    Old 11-25-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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    Re: Post Op - Microdiscectomy L5-S1 - Do's and Dont's

    Hudson has given you some good tips. Add pushing and pulling to the list of things to avoid, along with reaching.

    I would just like to add that I have seen too many people redevelop a herniation or move on to another injury or problem because after a couple months post-surgery of "being good," (paying attention to body mechanics, using good posture, doing their back and core exercises, etc.), sooner or later they return to all the old habits that contributed to the "problems" to begin with. You will be better off if you can train yourself to think of your back before you do things that harm it....

    Even after you are "healed," there will be some activities and situations that have the potential to cause you pain, so they are best avoided. People who stop exercising, who gain weight and who abuse their backs and necks are almost always guaranteed to end up back at the spine surgeon's office.

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