T Nation

Recovering from Back Surgery

I’ve had back pain since 2008 due to a L3-4 herniated disc and L4-5 bulging disc. I went the PT and chiro route but it didn’t get any better. 4 weeks ago it spasmed worse than ever and I could not walk or stand up straight for 2 weeks. My balls constantly felt like I got kicked in them.

I went to a spine surgeon, had an MRI done and he scheduled surgery immediately. He said the disc needed removely ASAP and it was at the point where I was in risk of permanent nerve damage. My balls hurting so bad and the MRI is what prompted the urgency.

He removed the badly herniated L3-4 2 weeks ago and put a plastic spacer where the disc was. He says it’ll take a year for the bone to grow in. I’m in pain but at least I can stand straight up again.

He told me to never workout heavy again. He said keep the weights light and reps high if I’m going to go back to the gym. He said to hold off 6-12 months. I’m curious what some others have done in the situation. Or if there’s anyone who has trained or treated someone in a similar situation . I’d appreciate your feedback or experience.

“When can I hit the weights at all and when can I go heavy” is what I’m trying to figure out.

I’m pretty familiar with the recovery process from this type of surgery. What your doc said was pretty decent advice. Couple of quick questions for you though; I think what they used on you was the INFUSE cage. Which is actually made up of cadaver bone and a little shaved bone of your own. Does that sound familiar? They did a fusion on you correct? Lastly, did they use any hardware like a plate to hold the graft in place?

sorry to hear about that bro. Good luck recovering. I would take it really easy for at least 3 months, and then maybe ease into light exersise, but im not sure.