Riding after back surgery

Is there anyone out there who is now riding after back surgery? I had a lumbar disc herniation removed a month ago and I want to get back to riding in a few more months however; I'm still a little scared of re-injury. Comments?


Moto Greg in the forum had serious neck incident, and I was shocked that he was riding only about 8 weeks after.

He may have some input.

Did they fuse the vertebrae? ...Or just remove a little bit of the tissue that bulged out?... And did they say..or do you know what caused the herniation to start with?.... I've got a herniated disc but did not get it operated on... the pain comes and goes... but the good news is that riding doesn't really affect it... in fact it sometimes loosens up a back that is stiff from pain to where it feels better.

I am in the same exact boat as DeBarker.

Hey Bryan,

I am sort of in the same boat. The accident that I had some month ago has permanently damaged my lower back... Nothing too serious and not overly painful, but it did take me a while to ride again. Fear of hurting myself again... :)

Bryan, understand, fear is real and be aware of it. I know it is an unusual thing to say, but be aware of it. Yes, you may fall agaim and maybe you wont. But, that is the key, maybe.

That is all the advice I can offer my friend. Just be aware and balance the consequnces with you life as it currently is.

Good luck


I did not have spinal fusion, I just has the bulging disc material removed plus a little extra to give the the sciatic nerve lots of room.

I cannot say what caused the problem in the first place. My lower back started becoming sore the first week of January. By the end of the week I could hardly walk I was in so much pain. The pain got better and worse for the past 6 months until I couldn't walk without severe hip and calf pain.

My surgeon says I should be able to ride in in any 60 days however; I never want to go throught this again. Back surgery is a humbling experience to say the lease.

Thanks for all your comments. I'll just have to ease into riding this fall and make sure to keep in tip top shape. After all, riding is a risk and I'm pretty sure I'm willing to take the risk. The alternative I cannot live with.


I sympathise with you mate. I have a neck injury that gets better and then worse. At it's worst it causes a fair bit of pain and head aches. I am too scared to have the surgery and I just live in hope that it fixed it self some how. Best of luck with your back and I hope you are riding again soon without pain. It would be funny to see if we could all get together when we are about sixty or seventy. Maybe we could have some sort of lawn bowls competion. Or maybe just race around the car park of some pub in our electric wheel chairs. I wonder what sort of hot up parts are available for those things.

I don't regret having the surgery at all. In least than a month all my pain is gone and I feel great.

Like anyone who has gone through this ordeal, one thinks about whether you should risk another injury by riding. Afterall, there are many other sports I could do that less taxing on the body.

I guess I was fishing for 4-5 people that had success stories. I can't image stopping riding however; I can see me changing my riding style a bit. On those occasions when one of my buddies dares me to jump over the 30ft ditch I might just have to say NO!

I'd rather ride safely than not at all. I do feel for you guys with back problems. They are no fun. If you pain is cronic and is making your life miserable, looking into the surgery. I'd do it again if I had to.


Have you been infornmed by the Doc or Physical Therapist about rehab for your abs and back, i.e. exercises you can do to better support your spine?


99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and IMS seat, jetting by Clark, got forked by Pro Action, WAITING IMPATIENTLY FOR MOAB!!


I have the best Doctor, Dr. Kenneth Burres in Montclair CA. He's a neurosurgeon who specializes in the spine and sports medicine. He published a video on everthing you need to do both to avoid future injuries and back fitness. I put on 10lbs. before the surgery because I just couldn't be active. I'm swimming laps 5 days a week for 45 minutes and the extra weight is gone. My Dr. feels that various swimming techniques are the best in combination with a healthy diet. I feel great and my abs and back are looking very good. In a few more months I'm going to cross-train by adding strength training (weights) to my regimine.

Byran,I found myself in this same predicment approx 12 years ago and was classed a walking parapaglic. I had a big getoff on a IT490 while racing along a beach with my mate.The bike came off alot better than myself.I ended up spending 3 months flat on my back in a spinal unit with fractured L2,3,and 4 vertabra, dislocated hip and fractured scapula.I was given a 10% chance of walking again.Anyway i was lucky and after having surgey to insert Harrington rods to stablise my spine and retraining to walk and to get my bladder to function by itself again i was able to leave the hospital.It was three years before I started riding bikes seriosly again.Even to this day i am always thinking whats around that next blind corner.Byran , I reccomend that you keep yourself fit, watch how you pick up the bike ( bend your knees) and wear good protective gear


Ross, glad to see your back in the saddle again! My injury sounds pretty minor compared to your ordeal. I'm sure I'll be riding soon however; I know I'll be a over cautious for a little while. In time I'm sure I'll forget about the ol' back. Fortunately, I don't have a history of crashing hard. For some reason when I get out of shape I seem to pull it out at the last second. I'm already working out very hard so I'll be in tip top shape. I'm going to spend some time looking at protective gear for the back and well as talking with my Doctor to see what he recommends.

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