Back Surgery

Last year I slipped a disc in my lower back and trapped my sciatic nerve at the same time. I had a microdisectomy last december, and after 5 months of physio I am almost fully recovered. Except for a numb calf and odd feeling in my foot. I bought a tunturi treadmil and yesterday got some decent shoes. So far have only managed to walk for 30 mins at 6-6.5k per hr. Has anyone out there had the same condition as me and gone on to be a reasonable strong runner without many problems. It would be great to know all is not lost.


  • Hi Suzanne

    A sports physician of my acquaintance claims to have been back in full training 6 weeks after having a microdiscectomy. However, he didn't suffer long before having the operation as he knew which strings to pull to get prompt surgery; also, he's more a cyclist than a runner.

    My husband had a microdiscectomy over 4 years ago and still says his back feels every step he takes. I think having an "excuse" not to exercise suits him well.

    You're doing fine. You only got the treadmill yesterday, after all, and 30 minutes at fast walking pace is a good start. You will probably have to build your cardiovascular endurance up from scratch, so be patient. It will come.

    The only other thing that might delay your return to running is if your funny foot has a problem with proprioception and isn't sending the correct messages about its position to your brain. You'll only know when you try.

    Keep at it. you're well on the way already.

    Cheers V-rap.
  • Thanks V-rap, i have actually been using the tradmil for about 4 weeks but not more than twice a week. So I guess it's not too bad then. Wow full training 6 weeks after surgery that's really impressive, they must have been really fit. I have heard that running is one of the worst things you can do for lower back but i guess that's probably road running. I look forward to being able to run.
  • Running may not be as good for your lower back (esp. in terms of bone density) as it is for your legs, but even road running should be OK for you eventually. The absolutely worst thing (short of major trauma) that you can do for your lower back is to spend several hours every day slouched on a soggy sofa while you pour beer and Bombay mix down your gullet.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Hi Suzanne
    no, all is not lost. I had to have emergency microdiscectomy (L4/5 removed) nearly 5 years ago after a long history of back problems and have run 3 marthons, several half marathons and numerous 10K since. I also cycle and regularly do circuit training - in other words almost back to normal. I too have lost the feeling in parts of my left foot and from half way down the shin but that is a minor problem considering what you have had. I was told I was lucky that was all I got as it could have been far worse. This is a result of nerve damage from either the injury itself or from the surgery. You sound like you are doing well. Keep at it and you will get back to fitness pretty soon.
    In April this year I went to see a chiropractor for the first time and I would really recommend this to you. Make sure you tell them about the surgery first but after several visits it has really made a difference. You tend to live with a back ache but these guys really can help put you straight - literally.
    Hope you are back running full speed very soon
  • Hi Suzanne, I had a discectomy too last year (Mine was in October) L3 I think and I'm glad to say that I'm running again just as well (or badly!!) as before. This was after spending september crouched double over two sticks -I guess you know how it feels. As for running being bad for discs well I started off 2 years ago with increasing back pain but found that the only thing that helped ( I thought it was fixed at the time) was training for the FLM 2001. I laid off running afterwards and the back got progressively worse. I'm on for two marathons this autumn and the back's fine. Best of luck with yours -I'm sure you'll get there!
  • Thanks guys,
    It's good to hear all is not lost, having been inactive for 14 months apart from a bit of swimming i have put on a few pounds.Let alone become quite unfit, i never thought about running a marathon before, but who knows in a couple of years i might do one myself.But i will be happy if i can run 3 times a week at the moment.Good luck with your future marathons.
  • Hi Suzanne, I have never had surgery on any of my four disk prolapses, as I felt the risks outwieghed the possible gains in my case. Having been diagnosed with a premature disk degeneration condition, I face the prospect of more disks popping in the future.
    I was off running for over a year after my last bad flair up, and have just, within the last three months, rethurned to running at all. I am now up to running around 6 or 7 miles, once or twice AT MOST each week.
    It's been a long battle, and I have to take things very slowly but I'm getting there. Daily stretching, based on a programme I learnt at a pain management course has made all the difference to me, so this may be worth you checking out too.
    'Back' to basics
  • Hi 'Back' to basics. Sorry I didn't reply sooner, have been in Mallorca for a week, then lost the email that let me know you had responed. I am only just starting the 8 week beginners running program, have been power walking three times a week for last ten weeks or so and now feel ready to begin. My back has actually made a remarkable recovery, but the damage I have done to my Sciatic nerve was chronic, and although almost fully recovered, have recently stretched it too hard and am having problems with my lower leg, Going back to my physio on Monday. I am sorry to hear about your condition, I had a horrendous 12- 14 months and would not welome a relapse. You sound as if you are doing really well.
Sign In or Register to comment.