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Laminectomy - how serious is the procedure?

rapid_refillrrapid_refill Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
I’m 32 and I live in pain for over a year now – herniated L4 and L5/S1. I did PT, anti-inflammatory meds for about 3 months and no relief. About 6 months ago I had 2 epidural injections and no relief.
Went to a doctor last week again to see what my options are as living in pain 24/7 doesn’t sound like a fun life (I’m only 32). Out of all the possible options he recommended – laminectomy as the safest and said that by doing so I’m "not burning any bridges". Please note that he only recommended "laminectomy" and not "laminectomy/discectomy" as in his opinion "discectomy" is 50/50 and could accelerate my need for future surgeries such as fusion. The way he was describing it, it really sounded like a quick and easy procedure with quick recovery time.
I understand that this procedure will only give me leg pain and hopefully some back pain relief. It doesn’t completely take care of my back pain but I would like to give it a try and see what results I get from it.
What do you guys think? I’m going to another doctor for 2nd opinion but would love to get some feedback from you first. Is this really "not burning any bridges" procedure with minimal risk of any back related complication?

Thanks for all your help.


  • First off I think getting a second opinion is a very wise decision and perhaps even 3rd. Back surgery is obviously something not to be taken lightly so do all your research. I don't know if anyone here could tell you that yes try the laminectomy as each of us differs, and each of our discs are unique on their own. Are you seeing Ortho Surgeon or a NeuroSurgeon?

    I wish I could say to yes that this procedure is as he said, but I can't. What I will suggest is that you ask both surgeons how many of these they've performed, and what is their success rate. You don't want to be a failed back syndrome statistic.

    Wishing you the best of luck
  • I was seeing Ortho Surgeon.
  • I heard a good quote on this site that I strongly agree with- "Whenever surgery is contemplated, get a second opinion". Nobody here can answer your question. I don't know if it would be worthwhile or if you have significant spinal stenosis. I consider surgery as the last resort- no matter how minor the surgery. So get some other opinions and then decide with your doctor(s) if you really need to proceed on the surgical route.
  • that the laminectomy is a good route to take initially. surgeon did this for me in the lumbar,,,chances of something going wrong are minimal and youre making more room for nerves....
  • both operations are major even if you have the laparoscopic version {many surgeons prefer open surgery} i wont boar you with detail .only to say that the operation is being done to save you leg even though you may still have leg pain afterwards i can guarantee that you will have back ache and your back will be weaker .if you want to know anything about the procedure feel free to contact me
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