Recovery from a discectomy takes one to four weeks depending on the patient's overall health and the underlying condition, explains Mayfield Clinic. Patients with jobs that aren't physically demanding may return to work within two to four weeks; those whose jobs require heavy lifting return in eight to 12 weeks.
Discectomy patients usually schedule a follow-up appointment with their surgeons two weeks following surgery, notes Mayfield Clinic. They may need to participate in a physical therapy program. To avoid recurrence of back issues, patients should maintain proper posture, engage in appropriate exercise, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and use proper lifting techniques. Maintaining a positive attitude and employing relaxation techniques are helpful as well.