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10 wks post Laminectomy on L4/L5....

oc5755ooc5755 Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Had a lumbar laminectomy on 11/10/11 it'sbeen 10 wks. I'm back at work working full time and I feel great. Don't get me wrong I still have some back pain but most of my leg pain is gone. I do get the occasional reminders of leg pain but it's after a very long day.It's probably a 1 out of 10 when it happens (which is not often at all)

So far it was the best thing I did for myself.

Day of surgery nerve as heck and I paced outside the hospital for about 20 min before I checked in. I was getting prepped and you don't know how much better I felt that I was doing the right choice with the right DR. One nurse had her neck fused with the DR who was performing my surgery. Every single nurse said" he was the best and they would have there surgery with him."

Woke up from surgery in a lot of back pain and the pain pump didn't help much and NO leg pain. I was in the hospital 2 day's and the pain was just awful. The ride home was agony. The first 2 weeks I said to myself "what did I get myself into??"

3rd week it was easier to get around and by the 4th week I was back to my old routine without the bending, twisting, and lifting.

The Doc has me at a 25lb lifting, which I think it's a joke. 5 or 10 lbs is the maximum for me.

I know it's early in my recovery but so far so good.

i prayed and prayed for a miracle and thankful God has blessed me so far.

I look at life as a gift and I am enjoying everyday of it.


  • ~X( I went for a brain and cervical MRI this past Sunday. I had an appointment yesterday with the Neurologist for the results. He had ordered them because my balance is terrible. I have been using a cane for the past year. He showed me the images and informed me that I have had a small stroke that I was not aware of. I also have Hydrocephaly which is too much Cerebro/Spinal Fluid in my brain that is probably causing it. He said the treatment would be like a spinal tap on my brain to drain some fluid. He said that he wants to keep an eye on me and would only do this procedure until after I got to the point that I couldn't live with the symptoms anymore, including awful headaches.

    Then the second bomb! It hasn't been 3 1/2 years since my Posterior Cervical Fusion C3-C7 with rods and screws. There is a 4mm anterolisthesis C7-T1. C3-C6 are fused, right-sided spurs C4,5 and 6 and moderate stenosis while irritating nerve roots. There is uncovering of the disc C7-T1, secondary to listhesis. Right para-central disc herniation without effect on cord. Moderate bilateral stenosis C7-T1 potential impingement on C8 nerve root. I have been noticing more neck pain for a few months and hearing that grinding sound in my neck.

    I am going in for a Laminectomy L2-L4 on Tuesday. I have been incapacitated with pain and mostly bedridden. I also have had a fusion L5-S1 with cages.

    The thought of my future terrifies me. Just can not comprehend another cervical fusion. I am not the same person anymore. I'm a former athlete and want to be able to get some exercise. I need to lose weight. Mentally can't take much more. Sorry to be such a long post but, I am in a very complicated condition. Does anyone here have a similar cervical fusion?
  • I have a laminectomy and discectomy next Thursday and I'm getting nervous. I have my pre-op meeting tomorrow so I'll get a lot more information on the procedure and recovery. They said I'd be in the hospital one night.

    If you have any specific recommendations for before or after, I'd be glad to hear them!
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • When I went in I was under the impression it was a minor surgery and would be walking out with no problem. That was not the case. At the hospital they had to order me a walker. I was not able to walk without it for about 1 wk to 1 1/2 wks.

    a grabber so you don't bend at all. a toilet riser would be good the first 3 days it's very painful to sit and stand up from the toilet.

    The first week I was instructed to lay as much as possible and short walks to the restroom and back.

    2nd week he had me do a little more walking around the house and by the 3rd he said go outside for walks.

    Hope all goes well for you.
  • I am new on here, just been reading everyone's posts and consider myself very, very fortunate.

    Had herniated L4/L5 in June 2010. Had terrible back pain and some weakness in right foot. Waited just over a week for surgery, but was advised to get it done asap as there was already nerve damage. Had an Open Discectomy and Laminectomy. Had no complications, started walking only about 48 hours after surgery, went home on day 5. Two weeks post-op and I was back at work. Re-herniated 12 days ago (18 months after first op), severe nerve compression and drop foot, operated next day, which was 11 days ago. Open Discectomy again, at L4/L5. I feel great and want to go back to work. Seeing Neurosurgeon in 2 days time (2 week follow-up) and am hoping he gives the go-ahead. I am grateful that my recovery has been so quick, both times. This time I was walking about not even 16 hours after the op. Both times they started physical therapy within 24 hours of the op and I feel this has been my saving grace. I have been told the nerve needs to start "sliding" as soon as possible after the op to avoid it being pinched, to avoid scar tissue etc. They are gentle, subtle exercises, but not even 2 weeks post-op and there is such an improvement in my foot. Still walk with a slight limp though. I have also found icing and heating the area works wonders and speeds up recovery. I have also been told to get a Vitamin B shot as this is great for healing nerves.

    Will pray for a speedy recovery for everyone :)
  • Welcome to spine health! So great to hear how well you are doing only 12 days post op.

    Try not to rush things too much though,going back to work too early. Do you have a desk job? Make sure that you get up frequently to walk around and stretch. Are you able to start back at work part time at first and then build from there?

    It is great to hear possitive outcomes such as yours. All the best with the rest of your recovery.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Yes, I do have a desk job. With the previous op I went back after 2 weeks too. Half day the first week, and full day after that. The first week I would go straight to bed when I got home, switched on the electric blanket (heat for my back) and napped for 3 hours, then did my exercises before collecting my daughter from school (after care). I try avoid taking any pain meds as pain really is an indication of what you should and what you shouldn't do. I honestly feel the physical therapy has helped me tremendously.
  • Hi. I had an L4/L5 laminectomy back in 10/11 and I still have a great deal of back pain, which, when it gets really bad, triggers a migraine for me. I was in the ER twice last week...my blood pressure goes through the roof...and I am just VERY depressed and anxious that I still have so much pain.

    Have been following neurosurgeon's instructions re exercise...walking 1-3x per day, and am about to try to add yoga to the mix.

    I am on a taper-down program from Valium and Soma, and tapering up on Neurontin...but I have so much stress and anxiety that between that and the pain I end up spending a lot of time flat on my back. Additionally, I have horrible insomnia, which makes everything else worse, of course.

    Any advice would be welcomed. I, too, find myself doubling up on meds to relieve pain and as a side effect, to relieve anxiety.
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