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Shoes & Lifestyle Changes Post Lumbar Microdiscectomy — what did you do?

laurelc88llaurelc88 Posts: 1
edited 10/05/2019 - 11:04 AM in Recovering from Surgery Forum

Hello all,

I am nearly four weeks out from my second L4-L5 microdiscectomy in 3 months. As background, I’m 30. I’ve only ever had occasional low back pain but a series of long trips and a new job had me off my game this June. I developed a bad cold, and the next thing I knew a cough caused a herniation with severe weakness/numbness in my calf and foot. I am used to biking 20+ miles at a time and walking hours a week in NYC (my home) with no pain, so it was a shock — I’d embarrassingly never even heard of sciatica before this.

I was lucky to have had a microdiscectomy within three weeks of my injury. They removed a huge 5cm fragment from L4-L5, and I woke up instantly feeling better. That lasted a week before I reherniated doing a gentle stretch, with pain in both legs. Ultimately, I had the revision after seeking a second opinion. My surgeon estimates I have 30% of my L4-L5 disc left; L5-S1 is bulging. 

Thankfully, the surgery was successful, my leg strength is 95% back, and pain is tapering. I’m learning to be patient, and am on a gentle walking program with plans to introduce PT and Feldenkrais. I start remote work in a few weeks then will ease back into office life. 

After 3+ months of pain and limited activity, the idea of returning to my normal life is intimidating. I know I’ll need to make big changes to stay healthy — but I also need to walk the city, ride the subway, take stairs, and carry necessities to the office. No car. Currently all I wear is Hokas! Not exactly professional. 

What changes have folks on here have made to improve their outlook and be comfortable after discectomy or fusion? Orthotics? Compression socks? Foot pads/rests at the office? A light backpack? How did you ease in? 

Cheers,

lc

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Comments

  • Welcome laurelc88 we’re glad you’re here!

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read the article Practical Advice for Recovering from Back Surgery on Spine-health? It offers a lot of practical tips around what to expect before, during, and after surgery. You may also want to check out the video How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery, which also has some great tips.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.

    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Hi there! I know this post is old but I'm in a very similar boat as you - 31, lived in NYC, was super active (including yoga, runner, walking miles in heels), then travelling/moving to the Netherlands was the final straw on my back. I had surgery about 7 weeks ago, and my sciatic pain is back but less. I'm really worried I reherniated and will have to do all this again, and the doctor agrees its a possibility.

    Were you able to recover and get back to some type of normal, or did you have to make a lot of adjustments like shoes,etc? Thanks in advance :)

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