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For anyone contemplating a Laminectomy

darbymai59ddarbymai59 Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Contemplating Laminectomy?

My operation was March 5th for the L4/5 level only. I had central spinal stenosis. I only stayed one night in the hospital because they said I could go home if I wanted, so I did. I knew my daughter would be there and take care of me. I don't really remember much about my hospital stay other than the short time I was there I got 5 shots of Demerol for pain and was released with Hydrocodone 5/325 - 2 every 4 hours. I think I was in surgery for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. My pain was enough that I took the pain meds as directed for the first 3 weeks. I am now trying to cut the doseage in half. I can still feel pain when I sit too long. I have a desk job and have just returned back to work for 4 hours a day after being off for 3 weeks and 2 days. I have worked for this company for 35 years so I can get up and walk around whenever needed. Right now I don't think I could handle 8 hours a day but next week I'm going to try it.

If you are thinking about having this surgery don't worry too much about it, it will be over before you even realize it. When I was in the surgery holding area I told them to just hurry up and knock me out (I was a nervous wreck). They took me to surgery right after I said that and knocked me out. I'm glad its all over but the healing inside. The outside is healed.



  • I'm having a Laminectomy this coming Wed morning, April 8th. Mine will be in my cervical spine. My Neurosurgeon is going to do C-3 thru C-7 if necessary but may only do C-3 thru C-6. I'm told I'll be in the hospital several days. I will stay as long as they feel I should. I have diabetes, so that may make a difference too.

    My surgeon says he treats the incision site with Novacane when he is done. Hopefully that will help some with the pain.

    I like your idea of 'Hurry up and knock me out and get this done with!' attitude. I certainly don't want to be waiting any length of time in the holding area either. I do know my surgeon says he does the cervical ones first than the lumbar patients. I'm listed as being Case 1.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. When I'm home I'll share mine. I'm told I'll be wearing a hard collar for 4 to 6 weeks and I start physical therapy after 4 weeks. I'm not to ride in a car more than 30 min for 4 weeks.

    My spine doctor and surgeon both told me I appear to have permanent nerve damage. I am not to expect my pain to be relieved after my surgery (left arm pain for 2 years). The surgery is to prevent further damage.

    Ken GreyEagle
  • Darby,

    It's good to hear you are on the road to recovery! I'm glad the hospital stay wasn't too bad and that you are starting to heal. Getting back to work is one step in the right direction. Just make sure to take it easy and follow your surgeon's orders at all costs. No bending, lifting or twisting! You don't want to do something stupid that may risk a successful recovery.

    I had a laminectomy at L5-S1 and the surgery did help for a bit, until I somehow reherniated the disc and started back at square one.


    I wish you lots of luck for your upcoming surgery. I hope the surgery helps to prevent further damage, and maybe even help some of the nerves thought to be permanently damaged. The nervous system is a funny thing. You never know what is going to be affected or what will heal. I wish you all the best and hope for a speedy recovery!

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