View Full Version : Spinal surgery for a compressed disc.

Bob Conrad
11-28-2016, 10:11 AM
As anyone had spinal surgery for a compressed disc?
If so what was the recovery time, before you could start driving,
and do other chores.
And were the results satisfactory.


Sean Troy
11-28-2016, 2:21 PM
I've had spinal surgery for three ruptured discs but never heard of it for a compressed disc. A compressed disc can heal without surgery. Get a second opinion.

Bert Kemp
11-28-2016, 3:21 PM
I had 3 ruptured disc's , the surgery went well, almost a year to complete recovery but was walking ina week or so, driving in about 5 weeks, back on my bike in 6 weeks with no Dr permission LOL I should mention it was over 30 years ago. so procedures are better and recovery time shorter I hope

Ken Fitzgerald
11-28-2016, 3:49 PM
For the record, compressed discs can bulge and compress the spinal cord creating problems. I have seen a lot of MRI images illustrating it.

It never hurts to get a 2nd opinion.

You probably have already had a MRI scan. Those images can be sent to another surgeon for further analysis. Though I worked with radiologists daily, orthopaedic or neuro surgeons often are trained and read the images to confirm a radiologists opinion. In fact, they often use the images as a map in surgery.

Robin Frierson
11-28-2016, 5:42 PM
Is the disc in the neck or back? I had surgery for a herniated disc in the neck...they took the disc out and fused the two vertebra together with plate and screws. I only spent one night in hospital and was up and around in a few days. Have friends who had low back surgery and they were in hospital longer and took longer to recover.

Shawn Pixley
11-28-2016, 9:10 PM
I had two deteriorated discs in my neck C5/6 and C6/7. It impinged upon the nerve to my right arm leaving me with pain and loss of function. I had implants to fuse those vertebrae together. Worked great. Two months later, I was back at work.

You can't run, exercise, strain or otherwise risk re-injury. I seem to remember feeling able to drive at about six weeks. I was too hopped up on painkillers to be safe driving anyway.

Today, you would never know that I had a problem.

paul cottingham
11-28-2016, 9:37 PM
I had c4/c5 surgery replacing the disk (it was completely gone) with titanium. I was up and on my feet the next day, but I recover from anesthetic very quickly, and my neck is big enough, I didn't need (nor could they find) a brace that would fit. I almost died, but that's a whole different story, and related to my huge neck, I'm sure you will be fine.

Even with my setbacks, I was up exercising (walking) in the hospital after the second surgery the next day a lot and was driving within a month, and swimming in 2 months.

Rich Riddle
11-28-2016, 9:55 PM
I chose the non-surgery option last time (almost exactly a year ago) when having compressed discs (3 of them). I functioned in about six weeks. It took approximately six months to feel decent and nine months to feel "good." When in my forties, I had the surgery. Back then the recovery times were approximately half as long as the non-surgery option. If/when it happens again, I will choose the non-surgery option unless there is no other choice but surgery. Get a second opinion.

Bob Grier
11-29-2016, 12:35 AM
I have had 2 lower back surgeries. First was emergency because body functions shut down and I couldn't walk. I was up and walking when I woke up after surgery. They kept me in hospital a few days while functions came back on line. Removed bulged disk and bunch of bone.

Second lower back surgery just below the first surgery was just a pain in the back. I tried injections and physical therapy for a year. It started out as bulged disc impinging nerve and injection helped that but after several months it got bad again. At end of year I couldn't take it any longer. Couldn't roll over in bed among other things. Lots of pain. Had surgery and bone was removed to make more room for nerve. When I woke up, I got up and could bend over and touch the floor with my fingers. Went home right away feeling as good as could be. That was in 2012. Today I am stiff as a board. Bulging disc will be absorbed by body but it takes several months. If that is the problem , I would try infusion in spine and not do surgery until the bulged disc has been absorbed and the problem doesn't go away.

Best to get good doctor, either orthopedic or neurosurgeon to advise options.

Larry Frank
11-29-2016, 8:29 AM
Some pretty good advice and here is my advice...

If a doctor suggests surgery, get a second opinion.
Find a real good doctor and check references and resume. The doctor who operated on my hands was very good and had published peer reviewed papers on the surgery.
Read any published papers that you can find and understand the expected out comes.
Find a good pain management doctor. My pain management doctor has been the most important part of my feeling better.
If you do not like your doctor or he does not explain things to you, find another one.

I have been fighting chronic back pain for too many years. I have had lower back spinal fusion and numerous other treatments. A month ago, I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted and it has provided significant pain relief.

Good Luck to all with severe back pain.

Bob Conrad
11-29-2016, 7:54 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated.



Roger Feeley
11-30-2016, 4:05 PM
My mother fell at about 95 years. She kind of sat down hard and suffered a spinal compression fracture. As it was explained to me, your bones get kind of soft and squishy with age. It was unbelievably painful for her. When she laid down, the vertebrea would expand back to it's original size. When she stood up, it would squish again. Every state change caused her intense pain.

She went to an interventional radiologist. On the way there, she pretty much wanted to die. She was talking about living in 24 hour nursing care and just didn't see how she could go back to her apartment.

The radiologist put her under a local. They stretched out the bone and basically injected epoxy in to stabilize them.

On the way back she was ready to do cartwheels. The pain was completely gone and she lived another 8 years without spinal pain.

Rich Enders
12-06-2016, 12:09 AM
Just saw Mayo neuro. He said a compressed disc has lost mostly hydration. Lots of non-surgical recommendations for pain management, and for rehydration while you allow up to a year for that to happen. Before you consider surgery, make sure you go see tha apparatus used in "fusion". That will help you decide to put up with non-surgical.

Larry Frank
12-06-2016, 8:22 AM
The X-Ray of my back shows a number of "deck screws" in my back and chain links.

I agree that one should do everything you can before resorting to fusion type surgery. I did that with my back but in the end there was no choice but surgery as my spine was not stable. I good doctor will guide you through the process. In my case, it was a pain management doctor.