As some of you are already aware, I had to undergo back surgery in July for a herniated disk and sciatic nerve issues. This is something that I had been coping with since last fall/winter but was really starting to take a toll on my quality of life and physical therapy and cortisone spinal injections were no longer providing enough relief from the ongoing pain. So on Friday July 15, 2016 I had my second back surgery and was advised not to rock climb, lift weights, run, golf, swim, work, basically anything physically demanding for a minimum of four weeks. Anyone who knows me on a personal level understands how extremely difficult it was for me to remain dormant for that long of a time, but after dealing with daily pain for the past six months I realized that proper rest so that I could fully heal and recover was the only option.
My surgery was a two part procedure. The first is known as an Endoscopic Discectomy where the surgeon inserts a tool into my spine to remove all of the herniated parts of my disk to alleviate the pressure that has been on my sciatic nerve. The second part of the procedure is called a Dorsal Rhizotomy where the surgeon burns the ends of key nerves around the affected areas in my spine to further help with the pain. Here is a nice youtube video that explains the procedure in more detail...
So here we are over a month after my surgery and I have finally been cleared to resume work, working out, rock climbing, basically all of the awesome things in life that I missed so much over the past four weeks. There has been a considerable amount of strength loss as a result of not being able to work out and my climbing conditioning has pretty much disappeared. I am not frustrated however, because the pain I was dealing with is finally gone and I am confident that if I train properly for the next 4-6 weeks I can easily get back in really good climbing shape for the fall season! I will have a follow up post within the next week outlining my training strategy to get myself ready for the fall. For now, here are some pictures of what a herniated disk looks like and what I looked like the day of my surgery pre and post operation.
Happy training and climbing everyone and get psyched for the upcoming fall season!!!
|Pre-Surgery...happy and eager to get "fixed" up|
|Post- Surgery...all messed up on medications but feeling okay|