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Had Microdiscectomy. Taking less pain and spasm pills. Experiencing pain after few hours of work. Remedy?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I am 12 days post op which was a Microdiscectomy L4-L5 right side. 57 year old male in good shape. everything seems to be progressing well. I have been taking less pain and spasm pills since I don't seem to be having much of a problem with either of those items - except when sitting. Also walking about 1200 feet 3 to 4 times a day. My main question is when to return to work at least part time for office duty. I am Land Surveyor so would previously have 2/3 outside work and 1/3 office work. My employer has plenty of paper work for me to be doing when I feel ready to start. I do know that sitting is definitely my most painful enemy at this point so trying to sit for 20 to 30 minutes then walk a bit and sit -etc. etc. for a few hours of work would have me completely wore out and in pain. I have tried it for a few times here at home and I end up laying down for a nap for 2 hours. I am also still tired most of the day regardless of my activity. My Doctor's nurse/assistant suggested that I stay home for another week or two (walking, sitting etc.) before trying the paperwork at the office. Just looking for other opinions. Thank you, PBR
Posted Thu, 10 Oct 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You can do desk job work right now.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

The very essence of Microlumbar discectomy is less morbidity, lesser complications and Early ambulation.

So, I personally feel that there is no meaning in confining yourself to rest even 12 days after Microdiscectomy. The more you rest, more the paraspinal muscles of the lumbar region will become stiff.

The only thing you have to avoid for a few more weeks is Forward bending, this is because the soft tissues needs atleast 3 weeks time to heal properly and return to their preoperative status.

I suggest you to wear a Lumbar back support and carry on your office job. Use of ocassional muscle relaxants will take care of your pain.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had Microdiscectomy. Taking less pain and spasm pills. Experiencing pain after few hours of work. Remedy? 2 hours later
Thank you. The start of my problem with terrible spasms in buttucks, hip and leg was three weeks be fore I actually had the surgery so I have not much exercise untill the last week and a half. Could that be part of the reason I get tired so easily or is it still some of the pain and spasm meds. still in my system. Should i be walking more if i feel up to it to gain more energy eventually.
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You can do Physical activity as tolerated.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Nice to hear from you.

As I said earlier, the soft tissue inflammation inside the wound will be still in a state of healing for upto 3 weeks. Propably, this could be the reason why you could be getting tired easily and being a bit unwell.

I suggest you to do all your activities of daily living subject to the level of your tolerance. Try to execute your activities with a slow and gradually increasing pace.

Hope I have justified your query. Good day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had Microdiscectomy. Taking less pain and spasm pills. Experiencing pain after few hours of work. Remedy? 24 hours later
You mentioned taking an occasional muscle relaxant if needed to help. The Meds. I have left over are Valium and Norco. I do still take one of each a little before bed time but what type could i use during the day at work if I need some relief? Would it be a milder one that I should ask my Dr. about? XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
A Non-sedating pain medication will help.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Majority of the muscle relaxants produce some amount of sedation depending upon the dosage.

A non-sedating muscle relaxant is better for day hours which will not interfere with your activities. Preferably a medication with caffeine combination will counter the sedation and keeps you awake.

Consult your treating doctor and discuss the issues.

Have a great day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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