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Using a walker post microdiscectomy/laminectomy?

For those of you who have a microdiscectomy or laminectomy did you have to use a walker afterwards? My Physical Therapist mentioned today that I would need one after it it made me really sad.


  • I had a microD in sept. No walker was ever mentioned, nor did I ever think I needed one. I am 32. Are you past 60? That is the only thought I would have that would even seem right for you to need a walker. I have not read about anyone using a walker after microD. I have read alot on these forums.

    Walking is what you have to do alot of starting right after surgery. Just a little at first, but you gotta move to keep that scar tissue from forming. Also, I started PT 2 weeks post-op.

    The recovery is slow going. But I returned to work 2 weeks post-op. Working on week 7 now. Still in PT for awhile I think. I have an uncle who had same surgery 20 yrs ago & he was down & out for months. So in the grand scheme the recovery is fast, but it sure does not seem that way.

    More info from you will help people on the forum to give you info. I have gotten so much help here.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • But only because I had to re-learn how to walk after the micro-D.
  • When I did the big pre-op visit with the neurosurgeon he told me I would temporarily need to use a walker postoperatively at least until my strength and balance came back. I looked at him, annoyed, and he looked back at me, annoyed. He stressed to me he wants me to use the walker because he wants me up, WALKING, and not on the couch or in bed, to promote healing and prevent complications. Although I don't like the idea, I'm okay with it, because I'd hate to go through a re-do if I messed up the site by falling. So I'm planning on behaving myself (for a change) and following his instructions. It's bad enough to go through spine surgery once. No sense in going through it a second time because of a fall that could have been prevented.

    I'm admittedly not the best patient in the world: Yesterday, I was looking at the postop chairback brace and trying to figure out how I'm going to defy MDs orders and drive with it on. I'm very bad with confinement, and if my hospital stay goes beyond the projected overnight stay, will probably be wanting to beat on my bedside table with my coffee mug and yell, "Yo! CO!," because I feel like I'm about to go to jail! The only reason I comply is that it is in my best interests to do so.
    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
  • Yeah, after my L5S1 micro, July, I used a walker that night, the next day during discharge, and for, I think, three days following. By the following Monday I was ready to put it in the closet except for when I was trying to take an extended walk.

    I used it more for stability, as my right leg was pretty dead.
  • DJ: How did your dead leg recovery go? Did it fully recover?
  • It's still a work in progress, I guess. By late August, early September, the regenerating nerve pain was unbearable, so the doc started me on Neurontin; still on 1200 mg/ day.

    Most of the time the ankle and foot have no feeling. I still do steps one at a time, as most of the time my right foot doesn't have enough strength to take the weight. (And I work in a building that has 23 steps to my office with no elevator, so it takes me forever to go downstairs...)

    But every week I sense and feel improvement. I notice when I forget my neurontin. The kids are fascinated and creeped out when I can poke my foot with no pain!
  • It's good that there is still progress. Nerves can be slow to recover. It's good that they have that ability!

    How did the nerve get affected?

    All the best. Let us know when you have developments.
  • What I'd really like to know is this: How the sam hill do you use a walker in the SNOW??? They're predicting snow over the next 48 hours, and I need to get out and walk! If I don't get out, I feel like I'm on house arrest or something!

    (Banging cup against wall: "Yo! CO!")
    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    After several of my surgeries, specifically the total hip replacement, I used the walker.
    For me, the walker was the only way for me to get around. Once I started to build up enough strength, I went back
    to work with my walker. I work part time in a wine store, so my emphasis is on selling wines. I would walk up and down with my walker to help anyone I could.

    Sure, it was clumsy. and yes it could be embarrassing... But after all my years in dealing with chronic pain, I never even
    think of any embarrassment when it comes to whatever I need to do to move on
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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