Two time L5/S1 surgery patient checking in;
I had microdiscetomy both times. Symptoms came back after 5 years so I had a second surgery because surgeon agreed from quality of life perspective it was low risk and high probability of success.
I actually recovered using some help from coach chad on a modified plan and was back racing and winning within 3 months.
You need to check with your medical team (doctor, surgeon, physio) on what is right for you. Listen to your body, if it hurts stop doing it. There is good pain and bad pain. You likely know what the bad pain feels like so stay away from that.
I found cycling to actually be pretty easy for me to do and was riding up until surgery date. I believe that this really helped with recovery because i was starting from really good health and was fairly strong. You may have to adjust your fit to accomodate back pain. For me longer rides were tough and my stem was WAY up in comparison to others just to get me more upright.
I found glute bridges to be a huge help. They seemed to help me activate my glutes which were really suffering from the nerve irritation with the piriformis syndrome that i developed. Also using a softball to mash into my butt by sitting on it and rolling around was helpful to loosen up my glutes and piriformis.
If you want to talk about surgery i’m happy to tell you about mine. It’s not the only solution, and a good surgeon will tell you if you’re not the right candidate for it. It’s a massive decision to go into it willingly. (un)luckily for me the first time round I had no choice. I woke up and had no feeling in my left side and minimal feeling in my right leg. Disc had ruptured and done some serious damage to the bottom end of my spinal cord and the nerves were just not firing as they needed to. Walked the night following surgery though…
Second time round I knew exactly what i was in for, both the good and the bad.