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Laminectomy "Survivor" seeking support

Jules011769JJules011769 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Julie. I am a 43yo female and had a laminectomy of the L4 and L5 joints back in October. I tried everything possible before having the surgery: PT, chiropractic, pain management (the latter ended up earning me a severe reaction to a shot in my SI joint, and a few months later, a grand mal seizure that put me in the ICU for five days after my meds almost completely depleted my body of sodium and potassium).

Everyone I talked to before the surgery acted like I would be skipping through the buttercups immediately after I was operated on. but I am still having back pain, and it seems to have kicked up my migraines (which I have had since I was 12).

I am currently taking:
- Soma
- Gabapentin (generic Neurontin)
- Valium
- Ambien for sleep as needed

Despite following all my neurosurgeon's instructions, I am still in a lot of pain and am concerned about how the pain in my lower back spreads up to my head and gives me migraines.

Additionally, I am trying to get off of the meds, and am currently on a taper program for the Soma and the Neurontin, but I am finding it difficult.

That's me - thanks!


  • Hi julie. Sorry you still having issues after surgery, Lami hopefuly did free up the nerve that was the problem and it will take some time to heal after they cut through all the muscles in the back.

    Hopefully once you reach a stage where you start pt to build everything back up it will start to get beter,

    Spine surgery is not always simple and does not always stop the total pain,

    Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Ps. The head migrains can very easy be caused by the pain which causes stress and tension from back all the way to the neck and results in migraine,

    I get them myself when pain is real bad stifness rides all the way up the spine,

    Usualy once pain gets beter in my back it lets up, All the nerves are connected in our body so any injury to the spine puts nerves in to over drive,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Hi Julie,
    welcome to S.H. I to had a lami. On 11/29. Following a anterolateral fusion on L-2 to L-1. And a posterior fusion on L-1 to T-12. Then I thought he was going to due some "clean up" and exploratory on some previous work. (L-5, L-4, S-1) But after getting in there he decided to due a Discomectomy and open laminectomy. He said he worked on that an additional 5+ hrs.
    Please believe me, I've had a lot of surgeries. And nothing compares to a open lami. In fact, I have so much pain from that, that I don't even feel the pain of the fusions!
    I typed it into the blue search box at the top of the page and there was a lot of very informative info. on it. So that and driving my surgeon nuts with all of my concerns. I suggest you do the same.
    Because you need to know just how invasive of a surgery It is. And just how long the miserable recovery is.
    With your age and if your in fairly good physical shape. Your looking at a very long painful recovery of 3+mos. And a year to 18 mos. to a total recovery. Now I'm much older (63) and was pretty much sedentary for 1 1/2 years. And in terrible physical shape. And I don't know if you had a open lami or not. Or if that even matters. But your progress is going to happen so slow that a snail could go faster! It's absolutely maddening.
    I have also tried to cut way back on my meds. And it's important to me. But it's just not possible! And the migraine's or any other pains can surely be blamed for that. And much more. But I can't sit here any longer. So if you have any other questions please feel free to P.M. me.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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