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L3/L4 laminectomy without fusion

tonya5800ttonya5800 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
12-23-09 had laminectomy same day surgery. I have been feeling really great, felt like the issues of numbness while walking had been totally resolve just like the doc said it would. however starting on day 5 a I was taking my walk and just like before about a 1/2 block into it the numbness came back, just like before...Wow! what a slap in the face I felt. All had been so GOOD and now the one thing that troubled me the most is making it's appearance. I need to know from others, Is this normal? Does it take time for the numbness to go away? What is your experiences from post op laminectomy. How much did you do after surgery. My family thinks maybe I have over done things! I also have some drainage from my incision the last couple of day. This being a holiday week since my surgery makes it hard, Since I cannot call upon my Dr.

Thank you in advance for ANY input you may have to help me.



  • i too had 3/4 lam and felt good right after surgery for a while. turns out they dumped steroids in me and thats what eased the pain. it really took 6 months before i started to get pain and numbness relief.
    as for drainage call your dr quickly. it could be sign of infection. if you get fever go to emergency room

  • Are you running a temperature? Your doctor must have an after hours call service for emergencies. If there is no temperature, you are probably OK to wait until Monday, but if your incision looks worse, or you have fever, you might want to think about getting it checked out at the emergency room, as Joan already suggested.

    Infection is an increasing risk these days. And, it is nothing to take casually. You really need to be vigilant about this and call your doctor if you are suspicious.

    Regarding the numbness, it is hard to say. Sometimes the symptoms go away immediately with surgery. But if the nerve had been compressed for a period of time prior to surgery, it can take awhile for the nerve to regenerate and for the numbness to go away. Sometimes it never resolves completely.

    Did you have any disc problems prior to having surgery or what was your original diagnosis?

    Did you find the information pertaining to laminectomy on this website, and the animated video? Sometimes it helps the patient to restrict activity appropriately if he understands exactly what the procedure entailed. Here's a link:


  • First Thank you for responding: No, I do not have a fever overall I have felt exceptionally well. The numbness and the drainage all started on the same day. after posting I did contact the after hours office and they have not called me back yet. My diagnosois was DDD with spinal stenosis. I had spent 2yrs doing all conservative treatment with no avail. my symptoms were low back pain-buttock pain and could not walk a half a block without foot going numb. Back surgery was my last recourse. I will keep everyone posted on what the after hours nurse says. Thanks again for caring enough to write.

  • Well, it's good you don't have a raging fever since they haven't called back!

    I would guess that the numbness and the incision drainage is not related. It may be that the increase in your activity has caused a bit of inflammation, which may result in a bit of pressure from the inside against the incision...and this is resulting in the incision itself becoming a bit inflamed and causing it to drain. In any case, you need to at least speak to the office, if not be seen by the nurse or surgeon.

    Maybe back off on your activity level, but do keep up with walking. It is more important to take several short walks than one long walk...in other words, frequency is more helpful than worrying about distance. This helps to supply freshly oxygenated blood to an area that has few blood vessels running through it, and it helps to prevent scar tissue from attaching the the nerves.

    Try not to worry. This is probably just a little set-back in your recovery.


  • I did finally hear back from the nurse and she called me in and antibiotic and said they would see me in the office on Monday.
    I guess I get confused about level of activity. some say not to do to much and mainly lay around, others including my Dr. said no restrictions other than the BLT's. so I have been just doing normal day to day things and also do some extra walking. This forum has been such a huge help in my situation from the very beginning and I can't thank everyone personally for their help, But I do appreciate all of you.
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