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4 weeks post op laminectomy/discectomy

BMWX2BBMWX2 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,
I am new to this forum and am wondering if someone can offer some advice on what to expect when recovering from L5 laminectomy/discectomy surgery. I was sent home with basically no instructions other than no lifting, bending, or twisting and to walk. What I don't understand is how much is too much? If I stay home and just do the basic walk every hour type stuff I am fine. However, when I attempt to go grocery shopping, I do have someone with me so I am not lifting, the next day my sciatic pain returns. So I rest and get better, than go out again and the pain is back. Wondering if this is something that will get better with time and is normal or if I am just doing too much too soon. I am lucky and don't have to rush back to work but am ready to get back to a normal life also. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Don't go back to see my neurosurgeon until another week and a half.


  • Your getting close. I had the a similiar procedure back in October. A discectomy/laminectomy two level L4-S1. Was your procedure micro or open incision? The reason I ask is that your lower back muscles need time to heal and stablize. An open incision will take a bit longer as more muscle was encroached on. You are rounding the bend obviously because of your questions and the time past. At this point use your head!:P Meaning be careful. It's easy to have set backs at this point. Also call your doctors office and ask for the doctors nurse or admin assistant. I had the same issues and was I learned this basic function, I got back ahead of the game. Dont wait for your next appointment. Tell them it cant wait and you need a return call that day if you cant get the answers at the time of the call. As patients we forget that we hire these people and believe me, its true and they will not see it this way. But regardless they should have given you a direct line to call in for such questions. They give you most of these answers going into the procedure but oh ya, we have mentally checked out, we just want to know how much it may hurt and so forth. And after all the meds we get, retaining anything will be similiar to remembering a dream you had last night,vague. So call these folks, make them do the work, again was I got to the right person and knew who to ask for, getting meds, info whatever was a breeze. Hang in there!

    Also, welcome to the forum! I have been here for a year or so and use this place as my back bible! I tell people this site is like AA for bad backs, nothing but kind people here. Always an ear available for what you are dealing with. Believe me, I just found out last Friday that I have to have a two level fusion. It has always been luming but now it has to be done soon, not my choice anymore. Point is besides family, this is where I came to vent. You will find people here are like distant family, so welcome! Also back peddle to the new member introductions. Its a great place to start. The moderators are always waiting to greet new folks, and again you will find that people will understand you and what you are going through. Ive never been a coom by ya open up to all persons but this place has allowed me to be the closest ill ever be to that. Just good folks who understand, best of luck
    Weight room accident at 18. Had compression fracture and was paralyzed for month until ruptured spinal column healed. At 37 did all the epidurals/blocks. At 38 had two level open lami and Discectomy. At 39 (Sept 2012) had two level ALIF L4-S1 fusion.
  • Hi Rob,
    Thank you for the great advice. My laminectomy was micro so that was good. I am one that wants to run before I walk! I did contact my NS and they gave me a muscle relaxer which has helped? I have been a little down since my first posting as I had some emotional stress a few days ago and on my feet too much and now my lower back is very sore and achy which it had not been in the past so that scares me. It's in the disc area where surgery was could this area be healing? Trying to take it easy and relax but with back surgery seems the healing is more mental at times? This is a great place to vent. My husband and kids are very supportive just hard to be patient and every new ache and pain is scary.
    I am sorry to hear about your fusion? I have been seeing that a lot of people that have to have fusions. Is this something to worry about after a laminectomy?
    Good luck with your next journey. Thanks for your input.
  • I had a laminectomy on 4/16 and was given muscle relaxers right off to take with the pain meds. I think it was a great combination for me. I have started walking every day and it does a lot for me mentally to get out of the house. I agree that there is a lot to deal with mentally when recovering from surgery. I am just very careful about lifting. It is not worth it to have a set back. Give yourself permission to take naps and heal. It will pay off. Good luck with the rest of your recovery. Leslie
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    And welcome to the S.H. forums.
    You have just had a major surgery! 4 wks. isn't very much recovery time. Take things very slow. And give yourself time to heal.
    And if you expect to much from yourself, to soon. a set back is just waiting around the corner.
    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!
  • I had a minimally invasive laminectomy discectomy on L5-S1 on Friday 5.14.12.There is a bit of a diffrence between this and the Micro discectomy,,The right side was the one done and it feels great all the way to the toe,But my Butt and Left side from mid back to my knee hurt alot,Even myGroin area is sore,This pain is quit sometinmg,Hope it goes away soon.Like tomorrow,I have been sleeping ok,Get up evey 2 hours to pee and thats IT.This brace feels cheep and I wonder how much it has to do with the way I feel.
  • Hi I'm.new here I also had lam/disk but mine was l5 s1 but I'm experiencing the same thing since it has been a fee months for you now I was wondering if u.have any advise for.me and if u are feeling any better
  • Thanks for sharing all of your insights... I have had my 2nd laminectomy L4-5 - first in Oct 2012 (incision); 2nd Aug 28, 2014 (micro) -- same area. Felt so much better this go round that I went back to work last week...UNTIL tinight when I got upbfrom aseated position and felt/heard an audible pop down below. Needles to say, saw stars and the pain is vack in my sciatic nerve. Now the fun part, I have a bulge with pain to the right of my incisiin site. What gives? OUCH
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