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Returning to running after neck surgery (Read 63 times)

The Mc


    After being on the shelf with neck and arm issues for over a year, I finally underwent a partial discectomy back in April.  I asked the doctor about returning to running, and he was very nonchalant about it, saying "wait a few months, try it and see how it goes".

     

    Honestly, I am very freaked out about aggravating the injury and potentially have to undergo a fusion.  Has anyone had this type of surgery and successfully returned to running?  How long did it take?

    Papa don't take no mess.

      After being on the shelf with neck and arm issues for over a year, I finally underwent a partial discectomy back in April.  I asked the doctor about returning to running, and he was very nonchalant about it, saying "wait a few months, try it and see how it goes".

       

      Honestly, I am very freaked out about aggravating the injury and potentially have to undergo a fusion.  Has anyone had this type of surgery and successfully returned to running?  How long did it take?

       

      I had a ACDF on c5-c6 and c6-c7  December of 2012. I was given clearance to run 3 months after surgery. I'm not sure about a partial discectomy but I do know that neck surgery has come a LONG ways! Good luck!

      Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

      FTYC


      Faster Than Your Couch!

        I wrecked my back riding motorbikes, and I've had 4 partial discectomies in my lower back (L3/4, L4/5 twice, L5/S1). I don't remember any more how long I stayed off running, but not more than 3 months. The surgeries were between 1994 and 2005.

        Meanwhile, I run ultramarathons with no problems at all. I have also done a lot of hiking, mountaineering and backpacking after the surgeries. I do not do any special training or exercises for my back, just make sure I don't sit around too much, and that my posture or form are good.

         

        I have also had two whiplash injuries which have left my neck a bit weaker and "looser" than before. So at times, when I haven't been running in a while and start up again, I get some pain (more discomfort than pain) in the neck, especially when running downhill. Sometimes the neck "cracks" with every step for some distance. I then make sure that I hold my neck upright and straight, and prevent the head from wobbling and wiggling. I have found that after a few weeks, the neck is just fine again, pain and "cracking" disappear, and I can run long distances, and look around, without any problems.

         

        Chanes are good that your neck will be fine with the running. If the disc problems re-occur, you can always try another partial discectomy without causing harm, before considering a fusion.

        I thought with my severe nerve damage that fusion would be the only option, but my neurosurgeon was adamant that fusion should really be the last resort, and 20, or 10, respectively, years later, I am so glad to have to admit his approach was right. I have no limitations, and I am pain-free permanently. Only a very slight permanent nerve damage from the injury, not the surgery, has remained, and I only realize that on extremely technical trails (I tend to trip more often with that leg).

         

        Just try it, and go with the flow. If you experience trouble, you can also message me, maybe I can help. Good luck!

        Run for fun.