Recovering after surgery!


New Member
Hey everyone, I don't post a whole lot here but I was just released from the hospital yesterday after surgery and thought it would be a good idea to get some insight from other buzzers on recovery. I went in for a discectomy in my lumbar spine (specifically at L5-S1 to relieve sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain) and was wondering if anyone else here has been through something similar or perhaps the same surgery. What kind of recovery time did you face, how long did it take before you felt like you were truly 100% healed and could work as you usually did, and was the pain you were experiencing before surgery completely gone, or do you still have issues from time to time (maybe in colder weather)? I have not been able to see my surgeon yet, but the surgeons assistant told me it will take about 2 weeks for the incision to heal, and about another month or two for the deeper muscle to heal, does that sound about right? Thanks in advance for any information you can send my way, and a big thanks to all people who make TreeBuzz possible! Having a place to go and get advice from potentially thousands of fellow tree guys from all over the world is truly a blessing to all of us!


Well-Known Member
Yeah, same as Mark said. I can say from my experience recovering from a fall that your doctors have a pretty good idea of healing times so I'd go with those numbers. The recovery process though is tricky. Talk to them about all your options as far as PT goes. Keeping your body in tune is incredibly important. Much of my recovery is focused now on all the other parts that have been affected.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Hey Dewar... I feel your back pain.

In '09 I prolapsed my lowest 3 disks. Couldn't walk for a month... shuffling around with hands on knees. It sucked, work was hard as I couldn't go for a month and I wasn't a candidate for surgery. Lots of pain, but nothing numb. My wife was awesome and very patient.

In short I had a TFI injection... basically a cool real-time X-ray guiding of a massive needle to inject cortisone directly to the disk prolapses. I was a good candidate for this and I was upright and walking pretty normal right way. Friends who have had your surgery have been the same. I wasn't a climber then, but I was and am a runner. It took a year before I could run as I needed the time to heal. Those with surgery, and I'd too listen to your suggested recovery times, often run sooner than I did.

Anyway, I still run and have two other sports bad for backs... namely cycling and field hockey (that sport that's huge globally except in North America unless your 're a chick... or on the national mens teams), but my rec climbing had been fine. I say this because eventually you'll know you're back to a state to do the things you enjoy or need to do. I have to be careful, really careful how I sit. I need really good lumbar support all the time, sofas, dinner table, airplanes and vehicles. If I don't watch this, my back goes bad. I've had that the last week after sitting badly so I haven't tried out my new scuba clip lanyard thingy. Struggling to sit and walk, but it'll be fine again in a few more days. Weather doesn't bother my back.

Oh, if you want a forum that has lots of people with back and disk issues, check out the sport of triathlon! Back carnage over in that world.

As your probably still in misery, or I've made things worse my mentioning an obscure sport like field hockey I should share something else. No, I won't now talk about Cricket and that the Aussies just took us Kiwis out in the World Cup final on Sunday. I found my back injury put my head in a bad place. Everything I enjoyed - sport and activity wise was gone for a while. To keep positive, I read a lot of forums and kept my mind busy learning new things about work, sport and my back injury. The Buzz would be great for this. Maybe you don't SRT much... then become a well-read buzzer and when you're better, bust out your new found SRT knowledge in the trees. Not telling ya what to do, just sharing what worked for me.

Speedy recovery to you

(edit, fixed some typos)


New Member
Thanks so much for the advice guys! Yeah definitely going to stick with what the doctors are telling me since they are the experts after all. I was just curious if you "feel" better after their suggested recovery time, I have heard a lot of people say that they didn't feel %100 until close to a year or more after surgery. So it looks like I am just going to have to take things slow and make sure I don't overdo it once I'm back to work. Reading up on the SRT forums isn't a bad idea, I've got a hitch hiker sitting in my gear bag thats begging for some action but I just haven't had the time before surgery to really play around with it. Thanks again for the help!


Well-Known Member
Consider the recovery time for normal daily activity. You're likely to feel some discomfort, aches and pains for what could be a year or even more. That's all part of the game!


I had back surgery 8 years ago. I'm not exactly sure of the term used for what they did, but basically they cut the buldge out of a disk and grinded bone away from nerves. The best feeling I ever experienced was waking up after surgery and not feeling the constant pain that had been with me for years prior.
I think I was pushing it two weeks later and to this day, it feels great.
I messed my back up when I was 14 and had surgery when I was 40.