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  • Running after disc surgery...??

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    Old 10-31-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
    Frootcakes
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    Running after disc surgery...??

    Hi! In June, I herniated a disk in my neck (forgetting I was 44, I played too rough in a giant blow-up alligator causing the injury...although, it has been a great story to explain my constantly stiff neck!) Now, after months of physical therapy and three epidural injections, I still have very limited movement of my neck and radicular pain and weakness in my left arm. The orthopedic surgeon has recommended disc removal.
    I have been training for a half marathon for many months now, and my daily runs do not help or hurt my neck. So - I am wondering that if I have surgery in December, I know I'll have to take some time off training for my neck to heal, but it is even slightly possible that I could resume my training in time for a half marathon in late March? I'd have to start running at least by the middle of February to feel comfortable doing a half marathon. Has anyone had any experience with running and neck surgery?

     
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    Old 11-01-2008, 03:14 AM   #2
    Nicole74
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    Re: Running after disc surgery...??

    I injured my neck 5 weeks ago and it put my running to a complete halt. I run 36 miles a week and I've just increased my speed to an all time high right before I injured myself while playing with my girls. I can't even walk to the mailbox without having horrible pain shooting down my arm. They told me that I have to be really careful due to the spinal cord compression and running is out of the question. I just had the epidural injection yesterday, he is only going to try one before they decide surgery, which is good. They hurt like heck afterwards. I really doubt you'll be able to run in the race. I bet you could do more damage then good if you try and run too soon. They tell me that it's a long road to recovery after you injure your spine and it will be quite a while before I'll be running again. I'm assuming it's going to be up to a year before I run again. The only thing I've kept up are my walking lunges every other day.

    Last edited by Nicole74; 11-01-2008 at 03:21 AM.

     
    Old 11-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #3
    poopoopadoop
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    Re: Running after disc surgery...??

    Hi,
    I had ACDF C5-6 in Spring 07. I played some light tennis about 3 months after. I think that the tennis was a mistake (all the twisting involved) and I had pain. An MRI (6mos post surgery) showed small herniations in the levels above and below my surgery. I stopped ALL TENNIS FOREVER. I just rested and did not exercise.

    About 1-1.5 yrs after, I started running (slowly). I also ran a few 5Ks. I am now running about 10 miles/week (3 days/wk) and feel pretty good. I get sore and achy at times, but overall I think it is good to be active.

    Take care,
    Lisa

     
    Old 11-08-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
    purpletrail
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    Re: Running after disc surgery...??

    I haven't posted here for awhile, but thought that I would drop in today. I am an avid runner who has had neck surgery 3 times, unfortunately. The first time was a microscopic discectomy and cord decompression at two levels. I think that I was told not to run for 3-4 weeks. The second and third surgeries were fusions. The first fusion was 3 months no running. The second fusion was 4 months no running, since it was posterior C3-7 with titanium rods and laminectomies.

    So, depending upon the type of procedure they are performing you are probably looking at 3 weeks to 4 months. Of course your surgeon is the person who really needs to make that call.

    Not running is a real bummer, so I did keep up with faster paced hiking and walking. You can tell if you start too soon after surgery; your neck will tighten and you will be sore after you stop.

    I also was a long distance runner prior to my neck problems. After my latest surgery in March, I have had to resign myself to the fact that distance is just not good for my neck. It tightens up between 1-1&1/2 hours running. The next day I really pay for overdoing it and it is not worth it.

    I hope that you have a good outcome with your surgery.
    Happy Trails,
    Holly

     
    Old 11-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
    Frootcakes
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    Re: Running after disc surgery...??

    Thank you for all the information---I saw the surgeon yesterday, and he told me I should have surgery as soon as possible. He did tell me I could possibly get an aritificial disk, and he said that would heal quicker. I guess running will be out for a couple of months... :-(
    Thanks again for all the replies-
    Liz

     
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