High Impact Sports After L5-S1 laminectomy & discectomy
I am a 45 yr old male who has had degenerative disc disease for 15 years. Over the years I've been able to treat multiple herniations of L4-L5 and L5-S1 with conservative treatments (chiropractic/accupuncture/oral steroids/PT/epidural steroid injections) but I finally had an extrusion of L5-S1 that was not receptive to any of those treatments. MRI showed it was about 10mm x 15mm and was compressing over 50% of the sciatic nerve roots! I had a laminectomy & discectomy on 3/18/15. I was recovering well until about day 9. The radicular nerve pain came back even worse than ever before. I had a repeat MRI and there was a new extrusion that was even bigger than the first one just removed. Exactly 2 weeks after the first op I had another op (4/1/2015). No fun, but it was a success. Now I am just over 2 weeks post op #2 and feeling good but very nervous about failing again. My neurosurgeon has me on very strict restrictions. I can't even lift over 10 pounds. He says I can't surf anymore and that is very depressing. I have a new boat and he says I can't use it for at least 6 months. Contact sports are also prohibited long term. I am only 45 and have led an extremely active lifestyle. I was in the best health of my life before this recent episode started 4 months ago. Is my neurosurgeon just being over cautious or do I really need to make some permanent lifestyle changes?