Tips on post op for discectomy yesterday

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Hi I had my discectomy yesterday and looking for any post op tips is how to sleep etc my wound is painful but that's expected and I've for the corset to wear the corset when I'm up... Hope the wound isn't sore too long !! Just glad its over 

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  • Posted

    I'm pleased your surgery is over, hopefully following a few days of discomfort (which is honestly all it will be) following your op, will allow you to appreciate what's happened to you and your original pain has gone - yeah!

    I had the beehive dressings on my wound so could lie on it fine immediately - they are like a padded honey comb, did they not put these on? 

    Make sure you keep your pain killer levels to the maximum - hopefully you will have anti-inflam tablets along with something like Tramadol and paracetamol, if not stronger. Don't miss any of them.

    The district nurses came out for a couple of weeks to check how I was and to make sure I had meds and dressing changes. They are a great support network for you so use them, they won't mind.

    I didn't get a back brace/support, my consultant got me up and around the next day and feels that having a brace wouldn't allow me to move in a 'normal' way and would therefore slow my healing process down!!! I managed great without one.

    I used crutches to assist me for a little additional support, think it was a comfort thing rather than helping me to be honest. But if they help, try them!

    I could also lie in a 'recovery style' position as well as on my back (with the padded dressing). If you have any spare quilts in the house lay them over and over until you have a sponge type effect, you may find that assists. Use pillows to bend and support yourself, maybe a recliner style garden chair will be more comfortable?

    I used to have a memory foam mattress, but was advised to get rid if I have back problems!? This seemed strange until I took the advice and got an individual pocket sprung was just fantastic, not hard but not too soft, I lay great on it. Needless to say, I'm not suggesting to rush out and buy one, but having gone through what you have, think more in the long term to keep yourself correct.

    Honestly, honestly, honestly, you will only be like this for a few days, it does ease off. You have just gone through it so you are going to be sore, think in the long term, and the pain you have had previously, this is stage one of your cure.

    Take care x


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    • Posted

      Hi oh I hope so as it is painful.. They have a brace to support and stop pockets of scar tissue forming and they didn't give crutches as they said it doesn't support the spines natural curve it's so funny that everywhere does different things, I've to keep this dressing on for 10 days as they don't like to take it off and let in anything new even to change it, even after ten days it's then to be left to air... I can't sleep on my back the physio said to sleep straight on side with pillow between legs ! I can't take anti inflammatory as being on them with back issues has now given me an ulcer, god u would think I'm 100, I feel it today ... I'm so glad its over I was terrified to panic attack state yesterday ... Thanks for your reply ! How are you now and when did u get your op x
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    • Posted

      Hi lorraine.glad you had your op!Im 9 wks post op and can say that  keeping on top with pain meds is a must also  rest and listen to your body take iit slow. i bought a body pillow in aldi it was great for support laying down it hhelped alot.Dont try to do too much give yourself time to heal.
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    • Posted


      I am currently waiting for a date for double discectomy. I've had problems with my back on and off my whole life. In October 2014 I started with what I now know to be two disc protrusions - one of which is pressing on my sciatic nerve. It's taken a year and 3 months of serious pain/numbness/burning sensation etc. Medication only partially helps. Now I'm desperate to get the op done so I can start to get my life back.

      Having read all the comments in this thread, I feel less nervous about the whole thing now. I am wondering though if anyone can suggest any exercises I can do pre op to try and lose some of the weight I've gained since this all started. My hamstrings are very short, and my calf muscles are tight all the time now. I also get some kind of cramp/spasm that pulls the muscle/ligament on bottom of my foot so tight it's agony for about 20mins it also causes my toes to pull tight. My feet are always ice cold. I used to hike an average of 13 miles every Sunday. Currently if I rest often enough I can manage about 3 miles if I push through the pain and it's a good day.

      If anyone can help with stretches and exercises that I could try , I would be so grateful. Would love to hear how everyone is doing now as well since last writing on here.



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  • Posted

    It's serious isn't it, all different tales.

    My consultant doesn't believe that the back support promotes natural movement!

    The district nurse changed my dressing every other day to ensure the wound healed okay and there were no signs of infection.

    I was advised to lie on my back - which was fine for me with the honey comb padded dressing, or in this recovery style type position - I've had back trouble for years so the pillow between the knees does keep you in line. It sounds like your team follow the McKenzie treatment structure. Look up Robin McKenzie in Google.

    I was encouraged to move around as much as possible but not do anything serious, so I was up and around the following day and kept going from there.

    The key is to do what feels okay for you. If something hurts, then stop immediately, if it feels okay, little and often usually helps.

    Ive heard about loads of people with issues following the use of anti-infam tablets. I take Lansoprazole which are given in conjunction with them to protect your stomach plus I choose to take Milk Thistle too - have a look into these as they protect your liver from all the rubbish your putting in, again I'm not pushing you to rush out and buy, I'm just suggesting.

    I already had crutches, but they helped me, not sure if they would have approved, but they took the brunt off sometimes.

    Ive had back problems for years, since I was sixteen, when I bounced down some concrete stairs! I had your op in 2011 and it cured me at that time, three discs out with foot drop too. The short period of discomfort from the op was nothing to the pain I had before. It was worth it, plus I had the use of my foot back.

    You're on your way to recovery, take each day as it comes and just make sure you keep your pain killer to their maximum. Do what you have been told to do, they are your team and should have a bespoke plan for you. Clearly different consultants think and work in their own way, as do the physio teams - I've been to a few and they usually contradict each other as do the consultants!?

    I'm looking forward to you realising once your op pain clears that you can move properly again!

    Keep smiling and thinking of the good that will come of it! :0)


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    • Posted

      Oh thanks so much, I slept on my side last night with the pillow between my legs ... Feel ok today will get up and walk a bit! 

      Yeah its funny how they all contradict one another ... Whatever works I'll be happy with 👍

      I might try that milk thistle that'll help in sure as putting all these painkillers in can't be good for you 

      Thanks again 

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  • Posted

    Make sure you're okay to take Milk Thistle with your stomach issues, just to make sure you don't add to any problems.

    Thats what I like about this site, everyone has something to suggest, and when it hurts, you will try most things to help!

    Take care, put a post on in a week or so to say how you are getting on. X

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    • Posted

      I definatly will yeah it's really nice to know people have gone through same thing and try and help! I've just walked about the garden I feel actually quite good hope it diesnt relapse x
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    • Posted


      Getting up and down tends to hurt the most as you're using you core to move. Going to the loo is the thing that causes you to do this the most, if it fits, have a chair or something/anything for you to hold onto to assist you as you get up and down. Sorry to mention this but it's something you can't do anything about!

      Keep moving gently but rest too. Lifting is not good, the kettle is the one that usually catches you out, I know it seems extreme but wait before you do this type of thing. Even throwing the quilt back and forth, don't do it, leave any cleaning too. Potter around to give you something to think about, but rely on family and friends to do the harder stuff.

      Ah, bless you, I'm chuffed to bits for you. X

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    • Posted

      Oops I lifted the kettle and the quilt, ok I have to get into the I can't do a thing mode, I'll get up a couple of times through the day and just have a little walk it is sore lying on my back anyway it irritates the wound ... I'll try and sleep the days away! Hard though very hard if that's not what's the norm, saying that I've not been able to really walk for 6 weeks at all anyway so least I can now 👍
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  • Posted

    Hi Lorraine Not really pain just when i over do it ,in fact im just home from a week n spain where i was at a wedding and i even danced the night away away (much to my partners horror as he thought i would end up being carted off on a strecher haha) but i was fine just a little stiff from using muscles i hadnt used for over a year ! I still take pain killers paracetamol and maybe the odd solphadine but thats a million times better than the oxycontin or oxynorm i had to take pre and post op.i know after the op i thought oh god what have i done the pain was horrendous i thought i would die on day 2-3 but it got better each day with plenty of rest and walking when i could.I even did a 5 k walk 2 nights ago something that i used to do maybe twice a day before i herniated the disc.You will get better i didnt think it at the time either but now im so happy i had the op my life is slowing returning at last .,even plan on going back to work in sept which i didnt see happpening either .I count myself one of the lucky ones some people cant get the op and have to live through this everyday taking pain relief that just doesnt hit the pain .all the best and take it easy its early days .x
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    • Posted

      Thanks terrie, yeah I've managed to get up and go walks about the garden this morning I'll try and stay active and keep the blood curculating, the wound is getting so tight! It's hard getting from lying to standing! Hope all will settle... The nerves in my legs are probably. Still settling down can feel like a throb but nothing like before x
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