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What to expect after spinal surgery.

Started by redjune on 02/05/2010 2:22pm

I have spinal stenosis, a bulging disc, degeneration in all other discs, foot drop and intense pain and pins and needles in my right leg. I walk with a stick and can only walk very short distances and very very slowly. I am on gabapentin and co-codamol, which dont really help a great deal.
I am due to go into hospital later this month for an operation on my spine (Im not certain which operation yet).
What I want to know is what I will be like afterwards. My physio had some doubts about whether I would return to my job as a primary school teacher because all the bending, standing and walking about make the symptons worse. Other opinions are that I will virtually skip out of the hospital!
Is there anyone who can advise me please?

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4 Responses


I can tell you that I have had surgery on my neck and it failed. Still in a lot of pain taking 2 different pain pills and the cortizone shots. I had a bad reaction toThe shots. I couldn't walk and I was in terrible pain.I had to go to the ER. The only thing that help the pain was Morphine and an anti-inflamatory medication. My brother and sister inlaw has had back surgery and it failed on both of them. My brother had surgery on His back twice and He's in worse pain then He was before He started all of this. Think hard and long before you have surgery. It only gets worse. I have not heard 1 person say that they were any better after surgery NOT ONE!!! . I personally think and so does my sister inlaw ( who by the way is a nurse) that all the surgeries are for no other reason then money in the Drs. hands. I was in my Drs. office not more then 5 minutes and He was already talking surgery. May the Lord bless you and very good luck to you. :-)


Having looked on this site and a similar one, the impression I have got is that what you say seems to be what other people are saying. I cant understand how the doctors can still churn out the same reassurances when they must be faced with the same patients returning over and over again. I was told I would be ok after 3 weeks! The only person who has been more reserved about the outcome is my physio. She actually said that she was unsure whether I would be able to return to my job and also that there would be loss of flexibility/movement.


I had a back surgery a little over 18 months ago. A large herniated disk, spinal stenosis and another bulging disk. Prior to back surgery I was very much like you unable to walk( could only walk very short distances aprox. for 5 to10 min. at time in extreme pain in my left leg) I had back surgery . It was much better after surgery, 6 months of therpy and recovery. I went back to work after 4 month from surgery date.

I find I am better off then before surgery however I was not expecting all the continued problems or length of recovery it took. So be prepared it does take some time to get back to normal. Within the last 6 months I have finally started to be as active as I used to be. After actual surgery it did take me some time to really walk easily. I used a walker for about 5 weeks or so. And did not bend well at all until after almost 6 months after surgery. But I now can bend, squat ,and walk easily .

I still suffer from leg pain, occassional back aches and muscle spasams and muscle cramps and went back on the Gabapentin after a few weeks of returning to work. Not nearly as bad as before surgery. I am mobile. And that is a big thing when you have gone any length of time not being able to move freely. . I would have to say it has been a life style change as well. I am cautious with what I will do and how I move.

I like you was told by the doctor that he did not think it was wise to return to my career . I am a retail manager and work 10 to 12 hours on my feet ect.. And I am doing my job with out any large difficulty now but did take some time to get back into the swing of it all. Took me several months ... .Worth it yes,but I still was surprised with the challenges I faced. I really expected to be back to normal much, much sooner with no leg pain . I wished I had been more realistic on what to expect.

I hope I have helped. I wish you the very best and would love to read your update.


Hi. I had 2 ruptured discs removed dec.1st 2009. I was up walking that evening. I did have problems with my left leg numness, foot drop. I walked a lot to correct my leg. There are doctors that correct these problems. On january 4th i was back at work. I work in a nursing home caring for people. I had minimal pain. I did get tired easy but just walking will help so much. Now i have little stiffnes in the mornings. I still have a bit of worry for my future but i do not regret having the surgerie. more info on my doctor. you can email me at chiggered@yahoo.com.