It typically takes up to eight weeks to recover from herniated disc surgery, according to WebMD. Patients with office jobs can usually return to work in two to four weeks after surgery. Patients who have labor-intensive jobs that require lifting can typically return to work in four to eight weeks.
Patients often resume their daily activity and work schedules soon after the disc surgery, notes WebMD. Physicians routinely perform the surgery in a hospital, while patients are numb or asleep. After the surgery, patients are prompted to move around once sedation wears off. Doctors may prescribe pain-controlling medications to help patients recover and resume their activities.