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19 Days After Laminectomy L5/S1

Slkep2004SSlkep2004 Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just wanted to check in here and let you all know what is going on since my surgery. I am pleased to report that the pain in my buttock/hip and leg is all gone. I no longer walk with a limp. I am no longer in a haze of pain. I can now read my books without being distracted. I am cheering up and smiling a lot. I do not have that pain and fullness in my lower back area that I used to have. I feel a sense of freedom.

I keep thinking that this is only temporary and that it is too good to possibly continue forever. I keep thinking something is going to make the pain come back. I was so used to living with restricted movement that I have had to retrain myself on how much I can move now. I was used to that flash of nerve pain with all of my movements before surgery. I feel so lucky and so blessed and so undeserving of such a miracle. I wish everyone could have this kind of outcome.

I am back to walking my little dog and I am gradually doing my chores and taking care of business around the house. I am now trying to slowly decrease my oxycodone intake from 120 mg a day. I am down to about 90mg a day and still have far to go. It makes me feel like I have a hangover or like I have the flu but I don't care because my back doesn't hurt. I awoke at 2am feeling like the back of my head was going to pound off. I only took 15mg instead of my normal 30. Each six hours I have a different symptom such as goosebumps with sweats, nausea or diarrea. I still am smiling usually though because it all has worked out okay, for once. All I have to do is slowly ween down and in a few weeks I'll be the normal drug free girl I usually am.

I just want ya'll all to know that there is hope and that sometimes these surgeries do actually work. That's coming from a girl who has had a double lumbar fusion with all the steel and a bone graph off a hip. Also the laminectomy/lipomatosis removal surgery I just successfully underwent. I am better today because of them and have a hopefull attitude when I look at the future now. I just want the same for all of ya'll. You deserve this too and I want it for you. Thanks for listening and being here.


  • I am happy for you. Its nice to see someone with a good outcome.
  • Great news! Keep us updated. This is so encouraging to me!
  • Tomorrow is my three week anniversary for my surgery. I am able to shower myself and wash my hair. I clean the kitchen but have to be careful about the dishwasher. Still am not bending or twisting because I want this to heal really good. One great thing is that I'm sleeping more. I can sleep on my back and on my stomach. It's unbelievable! Oh how I love sleeping on my stomach and had not been able to because of nerve pain for so so long. I am learning to realize that this is permanent and it's not going to get taken away from me. My surgeon's assistant called this week to check on me and see if I needed to drive to Dallas for a 2 week checkup. I had such a good report that she said I could wait until my six week appt. to go into town.

    Still weening down on the meds. Am going to be so glad to be free from their hold. No more making sure I have them, making sure I stay ontop of the pain and time, no more being nauseated from so much drugs in my system, no more pill bottles everywhere. I can't wait! I never expected this kind of outcome. I told my surgeon I would be happy if we could just get my pain below a 5 and here I am at maybe a 1-2. This may help someone decide to go ahead with that surgery so they can get some relief. I hope so. There is hope for us. I am proof. Going to start doing some stretches today. Just easy little things but I'm wanting to start now so I am ready for my PT when that comes. I want to beat this!

    Maybe this will help someone today.

    by Emily Dickinson

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune--without the words,
    And never stops at all,

    And sweetest in the gale is heard;
    And sore must be the storm
    That could abash the little bird
    That kept so many warm.

    I've heard it in the chillest land,
    And on the strangest sea;
    Yet, never, in extremity,
    It asked a crumb of me.


  • I am thrilled you feel you are doing so well. Please try to be patient -- just take it easy and don't try to do too much too soon. I cannot stress enough what a very small amount of "too much" can cause big problems. ;)
  • Right you are, Gwennie. One wrong move and I could be back in a world of hurt. When I'm getting in and out of the shower I think that, when I'm getting in and out of the bed, I think that...and so on. The first week or two I kept thinking that at any instant I may make the wrong move and feel that familiar jab into my nerve. After about ten days, I realized that I could cough or laugh and not injure myself. I found I could roll all the way over without undoing the good surgeon's work.

    I am the type of person who pushes and pushes so I'm quite likely one who re aggravates problem areas. When I had my double fusions, I relearned how to move and live with the rebuilt spine. I am having to do the same with this surgery, I am finding what my limits are and then trying with all my might to stay within them. I'm still buying half gallon milk jugs so as to not lift too much. Still not able to feed or water the animals because it's just too far down there. Not able to pick the bar of soap up when I dropped it last night. (highly aggravating) Lots I am not willing to risk on. I am learning to just let it go if I can't get it with the grabbers. Also am learning what a klutz I am. I drop so much stuff.

    Anyway, I must heed your warning and always keep in my mind how fragile I am and how once you get something aggravated, it's hard to get it to go down. I need to always remember where I've been and where I've come from, so as to try not to have to go down that dark road of pain filled days again. I want to put as much time as I can between me and those days. Pain took up over a year of my life. Thank you for your well wishes, Gwennie. I hope you are doing okay. Have silently wondered what decisions you reached concerning your own health and how you have been doing in your day to day living. Feel free to drop me a line any time as I found your notes so helpful and enlightening.
  • Great to hear you are doing so well!!
  • for you. Keep protecting your back and I pray that your recovery will continue without incident. What a wonderful outcome!


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Shannon,
    Nice to hear of another good outcome from spinal surgery. I had a laminectomy of L4 thru L6 back in August of '06. My results were very similar
    to yours, I just felt awesome. But due to severe OA throughout my spine and entire body I am aware that this is not the end of my problems. Although other non-related issues have surfaced, I think back to what pain I had in my lower back I realize what a success that surgery was. I wish the same continued relief for you and others here.
    Take care, Ranger
  • Thank you for all of the kind words of encouragement. Today is my three week anniversary. I am feeling really good. Since I am feeling so well I am having to be extra cautious about doing too much. Last night we had to bring in plants because of a possible light freeze and although I didn't lift, I was afraid I had done a tad too much. Have to keep telling self that it's not time for that, I am still healing. In order to be good in the long run, we have to be careful and still now. The only other thing that is giving me trouble is the weening off of pain meds. I'm going to the med forum and am going to ask for advice.
    Have a nice day everyone!
  • Hey Shannon.. I am 4 weeks post L5/S1 as well.. I have 0 pain that I had prior to the surgery.. I am walking about 2-3 miles per day and started PT this week.. They have me doing some pretty tough yet stable exercises.. Core work.. I try not to twist or bend but I have to be honest I have caught myself bending at times for like my socks and other things.. Sometimes I forget that I jsut had surgery 4 weeks ago.. Only time it really hurts is when I have been sitting upright too long.. Do I still have pain?? Yes, but it is a light ache in my lower back and nothing like the pain I had previous to surgery. I am hoping htis is simply due to what I had done weeks ago.. I hope that pain goes away.. As for your meds.. I would not worry.. They slowly weaned me off Oxycodone and I am now on loratab.. I can tell a difference but can handle the slight pain.. keep us posted!! YAHOOOOOOOO!
  • What a great outcome. Please dont push yourself to hard. Baby your body and yourself for a while. I hope your progress continues as well as it has.
    God Bless and Keep you,
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