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Question on 4 lvl Laminectomy

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone! :)

I've been wondering if it is common for a neurosurgeon to have his patient stay a few days in hospital after this surgery. I will be 57 yrs old March 26th. My Surgery is April 8th. I have type 2 diabetes.

I would be very uncomfortable going home the same day after this. What are the experiences of some of you? I've also read it is wise and common to have some kind of instrumentation put in to stabilize the spine after a laminectomy.


Ken GreyEagle


  • On the hospital stay question--that is something you should ask your admitting Dr on the day of,or before you go in.I know that some Drs/surgeons are sensitive to the patients view on this and will take you seriously if you mention that it would make you uncomfortable going home so soon with the medical conditions that you have.

    On the other hand-sometimes the Drs & hospitals are bound by HMO's,insurance regulations,and lack of space.

    I have no idea about the instrumentation question.
  • It is my understanding that instrumentation along with laminectomy depends on whether there is spinal instability and whether the laminectomy includes complete or partial removal of the lamina. Some patients I know have had 2, 3 and 4 level laminectomies that did not include removal of the spinous process and therefore required no instrumentation to stabilize.

  • Ken,
    After my surgey last March, I was in the hospital from Monday until Friday afternoon, I spent 2 days in ICU, that was from the length of time I was in surgery, 10 hours, I had more done than just the laminectomy. My upcomming surgey they have told me would probably be a 2-3 day stay, it is a 2 level laminectomy. My lamina will be removed, but I am fused from c3 to c7 so I won't hardware put in. I would ask your doctor about what he is going to do as far as hardware goes. Good luck and perhaps I can post before your surgery to let you know how things went.

  • My NS said I will be in hospital for 3 to 4 days after my Laminectomy. But I have heard some people have just a 2 days stay? Depends on your specialist I guess?
    Nana Shan
  • Thanks so much for all your responses, guys! I received all my pre-surgery instructions in the mail yesterday. I will be staying in the hospital several days.

    I am also supposed to go get a Philadelphia Collar and a Soft Collar and bring them with me the day I go in.

    I'll ask him about whether or not there will be instrumentation during this surgery. I see him a week before my surgery for a pre surgery appointment.

    He did tell me sometimes they find more problems during surgery then what they could see in MRI's. I hope mine doesn't last 10 hours! Wow, Mark, you went thru the ringer! That's a long one!

    Again, thanks for all your responses. Now I have to have an EKG, Chest X-ray, blood tests and clearance from my Primary Care doctor.

  • Oh, I had one other question. I guess once one has had cervical surgery (laminectomy, ACDF, whatever) the prospects of more surgeries down the road are pretty high?


  • Ken, I don't know the answer to your question, but I really, really hope not.

    I'm glad things are finally moving along for you. Your road to get answers and relief has been a very long and frustrating one. I'm wishing you success and a pain-free future life.


    PS I find it surprising that you have to bring your own collars to the hospital. Both of mine were supplied by my surgeon.
  • Ken,
    I think alot depends on what shape your other discs are in, and probably how active you may be after surgery. In my case I had alot of damage done at multiple levels, some very severe that needed done right away to prevent more damage(myelopathy) to my spinal cord. Sometimes doctors only do what they think needs done at the time, that could be a insurance issue. My next surgery will hopefully prevent any more symptoms to come along, I have to say that my pain level after my last two surgeries is very low, nowhere near pre-surgery.

  • Yeah, I think it might be an insurance issue. I know my neurosurgeon will not do more than is absolutely necessary at a time. Having said that, I also know I have issues from C-1 thru C-7, some worse than others. If any given level is not producing symptoms at the moment he is not going to deal with it.

    I do think I'll have future surgeries, including ACDF. The last time I saw my neuro about a week ago I noticed part of the letter from the 'second opinion' neuro on the flat screen computer my surgeon was using. Part of that letter said, "Considering the terrible state of his neck, I recommend...."

    At any rate, I'm thankful he is going to get something good done April 8th, that I'll be in hospital a few days as well.

    Thanks for all your input!

  • About future surgeries....I think it might depend on the reason for original surgery. Whether or not it was an injury due to auto accident, or if from disease such as DDD or arthritis. I know that I had my C5-6 fused in June'07, and had a MRI in Feb 08. The level above my cadaver bone is now bulging and deteriorating. I'm staying far away from dr's offices :D I'm afraid of what they will say is next step! I prefer the Ostrich plan of action.......Bury my head in the sand, and it will go away :))(

    Hope this surgery for you will give you much pain relief, and ability to live life as it is meant to be lived.

  • Hi

    I had a three level laminectomy in 2007. I did stay for 5-6 days. I also had 3 level ACDF in 2008 and stayed just 3 days. The laminectomy was for cervical stenosis.myelopathy. it didnt decompress all areas so i still had compression on my root nerves at one or two levels. After the LAMINECTOMY some months after I DID feel my neck was less stable maybe this was becasue there was no hardware who knows but I use to feel the need to support my neck when sitting etc by having my hand under my chin. Also standing in queues and such a no no as pain would increase. This may not happen to you of course. I did need the ACDF to completely decompress my spinal cord which was not possible with just the lainectomy so further surgeries I guess depends on the problem to be addressed. i dont think many have both Laminectomies and ACDF back and front but my cervical stenosis cord compression was very severe hence i am sadly left with permanent damage. I think there maybe an increase in further surgeries when one has an ACDF due to possible accelerated degenerative changes adjacent to the ACDF but believe this can be many years or never. The laminectomy was harder to recover from and I needed more help after the laminectomy than the ACDF in the recovery period and I am not kidding it was painful but my experience may not be yours. Fingers tired now. Take care
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