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Herniated Disc(9 posts)

Herniated DiscJaeP
Mar 7, 2003 2:51 AM
I'm told by my doctor that I have a herniated disc that requires surgery. I haven't to the to "back" doctor yet because I'm waiting for an approval from Workmans Comp. My question is, how long can expect to be off my bike?
re: Herniated Discbsdc
Mar 7, 2003 5:23 AM
I assume this is a low back disc herniation. If so, the flexed posture in the low back required while cycling puts a lot of stress on the low back discs. If everything goes extremely well, I would think you need to be off the bike for at least 12 weeks after surgery. If you don't allow ample time for your injury to heal before you get back onto the bike, you are more likely to have more problems later on which will mean far more time off the bike.
Think carefullyMel Erickson
Mar 7, 2003 6:52 AM
before jumping off the cliff of surgery. I've been living with a herniated disc for over 10 years. Recent shoulder surgery (arthroscopic and simple in comparison to back surgery) has convinced me to continue to do everything to put off back surgery. How was your back injured? Have you had an MRI? What are your symptoms? You should definitely see a specialist and listen to his/her evaluation but it's your back and don't let them push you into something you may not be ready for. Physical therapy has been good to me, as have epidurals when I need to get over a hump. Sure, I get episodes that put me down for up to a few weeks but that's miles better than the 6-12 month recovery from major back surgery. There are many success stories and many horror stories with back surgery and every case is unique. I'm not saying don't have surgery but, if recommended by your specialist, do some research, get a second opinion and be absolutely sure it's what you want.

As for cycling, obviously I'm on this board because I cycle. For my back (L5 disc) cycling actually is reasonably good therapy. I have changed what I ride (gone to Softride) but that's about it. I spin during the winter and just had a particularly bad episode with my back. Put me down for about two weeks but I continued to spin and it helped. Cycling after surgery is between you and your doc. Depending on the type of surgery and how you recover it could be as little as 6 weeks or as long as 6 months before you're back on a bike.
Think carefullytmotz
Mar 7, 2003 7:46 AM
I have the L5 disk problem,last Friday got a steriod shot which didn't work.I had a MRI which showed it up very clear.The doctor said if this doesn't work they can acid burn the disk to cut down on recovery time.Everyone I know had limited active for 6 weeks.
Yes Think carefullympm32
Mar 7, 2003 7:52 AM
I've got two herniated disks. The last two in my lower back, I've long since forgotten the L numbers. I herniated them in 1985 playing high school football. 155 lbs and playing starting nose guard. The kids today are huge; I would never make it today. Anyway, I digress. I went through years of PT and it was recommended that I have surgery. Fusion is what they wanted to do. At the time I was really into downhill skiing and I didn't want to lose flexibility by having three of my vertebrae fused. So I said no to the surgery. I've been living with it for 18 years. Some days are worse than others but today the pain is mostly gone or, I have learned to ignore it. Before jumping under the knife, I would try the PT and live with it a while to see if you can take the pain. Once you go under the knife, you can't go back so wait it out. Naproxn (sp?) always worked wonders for me when I was in a high pain day.
I've been theregopokes
Mar 7, 2003 7:58 AM
As stated below, it depends on location of disk. I had a the C4-5 disk(neck)removed and a titanium plate secured to the affected area in late 1993. I was able to resume easy spinning (indoors)in 2 weeks and back to normal by 8 weeks. I do not have quite the range of motion as before, but I'm the the only one who would notice. My surgery was not optional as the herniated disk was compressing the spinal cord and causing numbness in hands, feet and...um... other areas. I have some other problem disks, but so far nothing that has required additional surgery. My riding position is a bit more upright, but not radically so. A sore neck/back after a long ride is the cross I gladly will bear to continue to ride. Good luck.
Agree... first try PTDSR
Mar 7, 2003 8:56 AM
I also have two herniated discs (lower back) from way back when. It comes and goes. Usually once a year I do something and it flairs up back for a couple weeks. However, physical therapy has done wonders and I'm not even that good about doing all the stretches on a regular basis. Obviously some are worse than others, but I'd give PT a strong shot before going the surgery route. Surgery in general is risky. Back surgery seems particularly risky. I don't think there's as much risk of something catastrohpic (although it is work all around your spinal column), but there's definite risk that it doesn't do any good or possibly makes things worse. Anyway, I'd try all things short of surgery. Another thing you may want to try is one of those tables that you strap into and then flip upside down on - an inversion table I think. I started looking into that, but ended up not trying it. The idea is to decompress the discs and undo the effects of gravity. I think there may be some possible downsides, but again worth looking into. Anyway, my thoughts. S
re: Herniated Discdstahl
Mar 7, 2003 8:56 AM
I had a herniated disk that caused numb fingers and lack of strength. I was told that surgery was the only option. Then I read a book by Dr. John Sarno titled Healing Back Pain. I applied his method and was able to reume all activity in a short period of time and the pain did not recur. I ride, run, swim, lift and play basketball with no pain. I know plenty of folks that had back surgery and the pain is eliminated but eventually recurs.
yupgtx
Mar 7, 2003 9:38 AM
I was diagnosed with two herniated discs after a mtb accident. Didn't ride for two years and was in terrible pain. Saw tons of docs, PTs, chiros, etc. I couldn't even pick up my cat. The Sarno book cured me in two weeks. It's been four years no pain. I ride my hardtail over horrible rocky/rooty trails, no issues.