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Activity and time in bed after microdiscectomy laminectomy.

I very recently had a microdiscectomy and laminectomy at L5-S1 due to a herniated disk causing severe sciatica pain in my right leg. 

I was lucky to find a great surgeon, and was originally scheduled to have surgery in late June, as that was the earliest opening. I was extremely lucky to get in on a cancellation 4 days ago. I woke up with no pain in my right leg, and it has stayed that way so far. I have some minor numbness and tingling in my right foot, which is to be expected. It has already decreased, and I understand it could last for several months. The surgeon said that he was surprised at how badly the nerves were pinched and understood how I was in such debilitating pain.

I have had to live with my mother since January of 2016 because the pain became too much to function. When I came out of surgery the surgeon spoke to my mother about the success of the surgery and my recovery since I was staying with her, and she works from home and would be taking care of me. Some of what my mother has told me doesn't sound right to me.

My surgeon wants me to stay in bed for 2 weeks, getting up every 2 hours to take pain meds and move around. It was extended from one week because something was thin(my mom can't remember what) and he wants to make sure I don't re-herniate and to allow the disk to heal. I'm not supposed to stay out of bed longer then 20 minutes. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing during that time other then walking around our small house. I can sleep though the night.

I was under the impression before going into surgery that I was supposed to slowly become more active then this in order to promote healing. More walking and not spending all my time in bed. I did see the surgeon before being discharged the same day, but it was brief, he checked my wound and I was still somewhat out of it from the anesthesia. 

I have asked my mother for more details on what the doctor said, but she doesn't remember exactly and gets annoyed when I prod her for answers. It's frustrating. 

Is this recovery similar to what other people have experienced with this type of surgery?



  • I would call and ask your doctor for specifics. They might even have a sheet with instructions on it that they can send you. I had a similar surgery at L4-L5, but mine only said to limit walking the first few days and then gradually increase how much I was up. I was also allowed to drive after 48 hours as long as it wasn't for more then an hour at a time. Everyone's situation is different though and your doctor will know what's best for your case. 
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