Recovery Time From a Microscopic Discectomy

The length of recovery time from a microscopic discectomy depends on many factors, including the patient’s age and general health prior to surgery. Regardless, most people who have microscopic discectomy return to moderate to normal activity after a couple of months.

Recovery Depends on Postoperative Care

The easiest way to recover quickly is to recover the first time without having to undergo revision surgery or to have any postoperative changes, such as a re-herniation. It is extremely important to guard against these by paying close attention to the doctor’s orders for postoperative care. Postoperative care is incredibly important in reducing the recovery period.

Other effects of improper postoperative care after surgery include risk of re-herniation of the disc, and risk of infection. You want to avoid complicated revision surgery to permanently correct the problem.

Infection can complicate recovery, because it could disturb an area that has already been disturbed by the surgery. Additionally, it would bring pain to an infected site that was already tender. Revision surgery to treat an infection reproduces all the pain from the initial surgery and prolongs your recovery time.

Personal Pain Tolerance

Additionally, every person’s tolerance is quite different. For example, two patients could be in the same amount of pain and one might rate it at 9 out of 10 on a pain scale, while the other might rate it a 4 out of 10. The one with the greater pain tolerance may be able to return to normal activities sooner than their counterpart with a lower threshold for pain.

Prevent Revision Surgery

If you get an infection or require revision surgery, your second surgery will most likely be more complex than the microscopic discectomy. For example, you may require lumbar fusion or cervical fusion operation, which would involve removing the disc completely. Sometimes doctors must put in replacement discs or use metal cages to fuse the bones together.

No question the greatest risk the patient faces is a more complicated surgery because of failed post-operative care, preparing and following physician advice is critical to your recovery.