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Two Laminectomies

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
On May 28 I had a laminectomy discectomy and bone spur removal at L 4/5 to relieve extreme sciatica pain in left leg. At the time of the surgery, my NS was aware of an additional herniation at L 2/3, but felt addressing L 4/5 would relieve the pain and would deal with L 2/3 later. Post surgery I continued to have weakness in the left leg and pain in the left hip; I cannot put full weight on the left leg and walk with a cane. My NS has said to resolve this problem, I need a a second laminectomy. Will these two laminectomies result in destabilization of the spine requiring fusion? Is there a downside to fusion?


  • As you know, none of us are medical professionals, but I see no reason why a second lami would destabilize your spine. The segments are not adjacent. It would certainly be worth a try to do the lesser procedure.

    There are a number of downsides to fusion. It is a BIG surgery and requires a very long recovery. There is no guarantee that it will fix what is wrong. There is nowhere left to go after fusion. The chance for success decreases with the number of levels that require fusing -- in other words, fusing one level has a higher rate of success than fusing multiple levels.

    Also with multiple levels the patient begins to lose flexibility in the spine.

    Have you thought about getting a second opinion before proceeding with the second surgery? Are you quite sure it is the other disk that is generating your pain?
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