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3 Months post L5-S1 laminectomy and I am riding again

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

3 Months post L5-S1 laminectomy and I am riding again

Old 08-02-13, 01:56 PM
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3 Months post L5-S1 laminectomy and I am riding again

The short story is that I had a back injury where one of my herniated discs @L5-S1 ruptured (turns out I had two herniation). The result was pain, numbness and what the experts call weakness; about 50% of the muscles in my right leg didn't work. Due to the extent of injury and on the recommendation of 4 different doctors, I had the surgery. Now I am riding my bike again.

A laminectomy and discectomy later and the pain was gone. As my Dr. said, everyone is different, so no predictions on recovery, but I should expect improvement for 6-12 months. All I wanted to know was if I would be able to ride again - well, that is impossible to answer since we are all different.

For those who also go through this life experience, or are about to - there is a great chance you will ride and do many things in life again.

I am now doing 2-3 rides per week. I've only recently gotten my calf muscles to fire, so it is weak, but the muscles now work again. I got my hamstring back pretty quickly and then my gluetus after that - all are weak but can flex a little now. I am still pretty numb, but that is getting better with time and I have temperature sensation back in most of the leg now too.

My point of this post is to let others know you do have a chance. I'm not 100%. I'm not even 70% of the rider I once was, but you can't take the smile off my face as I ride around now and I am feeling much better. The strength is coming back and I'm learning how to pedal again. 6 weeks into the recovery I didn't think I'd ever walk normal with zero chance of riding. I am optimistic that in another 3 months I'll be riding about where I was before (I may appreciate it more though).
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