Lumbar Discectomy and Return to Work

Sometimes despite our best efforts patients will have to get surgery. If you have a patient that either had surgery or going for lumbar surgery, they will no doubt be worried about the outcome.

The 2 studies I refer to in this video show that

  • 75% of NBA players return to play
  • 78% of NFL players return to play
Both after lumbar discectomies. This is a very powerful message that especially people with more difficult, stressful, and physical jobs can successfully return to them.


Anakwenze, O. A., Namdari, S., Auerbach, J. D., Baldwin, K., Weidner, Z. D., Lonner, B. S., ... & Sennett, B. J. (2010). Athletic performance outcomes following lumbar discectomy in professional basketball players. Spine, 35(7), 825-828.

Hsu, W. K. (2010). Performance-based outcomes following lumbar discectomy in professional athletes in the National Football League. Spine, 35(12), 1247-1251.