Martell Webster OUT 3-5 months following back surgery

Posted on June 27, 2014 by Dr. Ray Solano (@DrRaySolano)

Martell Webster had successful surgery yesterday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The surgical procedure, which is called a microdisectomy, will keep the forward out for 3-5 months.

This is Webster's third back surgery in 4 years, with the first two being in 2010 and 2011. Each time, the procedure has been to repair or remove a portion of the disc in the lumbar spine.

Although it sounds like Webster has had the same procedure three times to the same disc, its more likely that the other surgeries involved a disc at a different level because disc herniations usually come in pairs. Another important thing to remember is that healthy discs don't herniate. They degenerate until they herniate over time. This is likely the reason why Webster was in and out of the lineup this past season with back issues.

It may take 4-6 weeks for Webster to just heal from the microdisectomy followed by several months of rehabilitation. Its unlikely that Webster will resume basketball activities for at least 3-4 months.

Its a long time for a basketball athlete to be away from these activities, but running, jumping, and shooting usually come second hand to a basketball athlete after surgery. A bigger question upon returning will be if Webster can resume basketball activities at an NBA level. Only time will tell, but Webster's age of 27 is definitely on his side.

Younger athletes recover faster and generally return to play at the same level before a microdisectomy. However, there is always the possibility of Webster needing additional surgery down the road for a new problem or even a clean up procedure from a previous surgery.

Follow Dr. Ray Solano (@DRRAYSOLANO) on Twitter for injury news and insight regarding your favorite DC sports teams.

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