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Post Op 1 Week 3 Hemilaminectomies/2 Formanotomies/1 Partial Disectomy

Hi. I am a 44 year old female. I went in for surgery on October 22, expecting a one inch incision for L5, S1 laminectomy. Came out with 3 Hemilaminectomies, 2 Formanotomies and 1 Partial Disectomy and a 3 inch incision. Most of my foot and all toes except the big one were numb after surgery. Now 2 toes have feeling and a long with those toes pain is coming quite severely. I do not take pain medication, period, and am having a difficult time dealing with this different pain. I am used to the sciatica and the electric shock type pain. I have been dealing with that for years, this new pain I don't even know how to describe except that it is bringing tears to my eyes. I thought I was doing better because I was walking around yesterday, getting in and out of the car on my own and trying to proceed with life as usual. Last night and today the pain has been fierce. I think I may have over done it but I don't know what is really expected for recovery. I have read a lot but my surgeon gave me no restrictions. He did say that the numbness was on account of several of my vertebrae being adhered to the thecal sac and the amount of pressure they had to use on the disk and cord to remove them. He seemed totally nonchalant about the whole thing, like really no big deal. He didn't order PT after the surgery, he didn't have Occupation Therapy come in to visit me at the hospital and I don't see him for another week, he also didn't give any bending restrictions or a back brace. All this seems different than what I am reading. Basically, I am just scared and looking for support from those that have been through this. And before the conversation starts, I want to re-iterate that I don't take pain meds. I refused the shot after the surgery and only allowed them to sedate me while operating. I have taken nothing for the pain (not even Tylenol) and won't be doing so no matter how awful it is and that isn't going to change no matter how many people suggest differently. I would just like to hear of how much activity others consider normal and where I should be at one week post op or other suggestions. Thank you for reading!


  • It's only 1 week and your jumping in and out of cars? I was still in hospital then after my microdiscectomy! Wow

    As you will have read, one needs to be mobile but careful. Most doctors do instruct no bending, twisting or lifting.
    You may wish to review http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/postoperative-care-lumbar-microdiscectomy-surgery, from the FAQ, if you have not already done so.

    When the nerve is handled during surgery, it almost inevitably gets aggravated and often there is numbness. Then the nerve regenerates. It's a bit like your arm going to sleep and when you move, you get pins and needles. So it's a 'healing pain'. Lasts a bit longer though. From what I've read and experienced, usually less than 3 months. Having said that, my foot is still numb and tingly after 3mths since the single lumbar fusion.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. I had my first lamenectomy at L4-5 in 1994 and still have numbness on outside of right ankly and last 2 toes 18 yrs. later. I had nerve damage and will live with, would rather have some numbness than pain. I had a microdiscectomy on May 24 and have still not gone back to work and probably wont. I have had increasing pain since thoracic surgery and have tried ESIs and am hopefully going to try RFA to get some relief. I do take pain meds daily. I consider myself to have a high pain tolerance but this thoracic spine pain along with lumbar and cervical pain have just been overwhelming and I can't imagine what I would be like without pain meds and muscle relaxer.

    I can't believe your surgeon did not go over any do and donts with you. With all 4 of my back surgeries I was given strict rules not to ride in car until recheck and not to drive for at least 3 weeks, no bending, lifting or twisting. The only equipment I brought home and used was the grabber to use to pick up stuff without bending. It was a lifesaver. I never used a walker or shower seat but for my surgeries I did not need. I believe I would be calling my surgeon and asking lots of questions. I know sometimes they don't know what they will do until they get in our backs but can't believe he didn't go over what he did to you.

    Well I hope you continue to heal and am sorry you are in enough pain to bring tears to your eyes. If this pain is different and worse than maybe you should contact surgeon since you were very mobile early in recovery. Perhaps you reherniated a disc or something??? Please try to take it easy for awhile and see if maybe it will calm things down. Please PM me if you would like. Let us know how you are doing.

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