Recovery time following L5 S1 discectomy occurs gradually, and most patients return to sedentary work within two to four weeks or physical labor in about four to eight weeks, explains WebMD. Walking around frequently in the first few weeks helps prevent the formation of excessive scar tissue.
While most patients are able to resume daily activities with some safeguards, total recovery time varies according to the individual and the extent of surgery performed, notes HealthTap. The surgery generates some discomfort that resembles a pulled muscle, according to Mayfield Clinic. However, the stiffness and pain gradually subside with the passing of time, and as the weeks pass, most people experience just minor aches and brief periods of discomfort.