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laminectomy ???

mufasa01mmufasa01 Posts: 5
edited 05/09/2013 - 6:13 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had emergency laminectomy surgery on April 12th. I had hurt my back in the middle of January and just thought it was out of place or pulled muscles. So through the weeks I babied it and finally had a MRI, so on April 11 I had my first appt with a neurosurgeon and he admitted me to the hospital ASAP and did emergency surgery the following day. I had a bone fracture and a piece of the bone was embedded into my sciatic nerve, I had right leg numbness and pain and no strength. I could not walk with that leg. He removed the fragment and did the laminectomy. He said if I had waited any longer I would have had no chance of recovery. I can now walk somewhat normal but still have numbness, nerve pain and weakness. My six week check up is may 23rd and am suppose to return to work on the 28th. I have no idea how I can do it. It hurts to sit to long, to walk, to sit in a car.....I have a 40 mile round trip commute. I am not ready, what is a normal recovery time?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm behind you in time, so no answer. I blew my disk and lost a lot of muscle control in my right leg. Was a big enough concern by all the Dr's I saw I had surgery 10 days later. That was almost two weeks ago.

    I can do a lot more than the 10 days before surgery, but I am also having a hard time sitting in a chair. Please do share your updates. I think things are getting better, but it is hard to measure.
    Before surgery, I could not sit upright at all. Note I can make it through a quick dinner.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

  • I had a lumbar laminectomy in 2006. By 6 weeks post op, I felt great, no back pain and more importantly, no leg pain. I pretty much resumed all my normal activities by the 6 week point. I do not work outside the home, but I had 3 kids living at home, the youngest was 3. That procedure just really fixed me up and gave me my life back. Best of luck.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • shari514, are you still fine after all this time?
  • No, sorry to say I'm not. I was GREAT for 2 years and 6 months and then it started hurting again. I went into pain management and have done every treatment, pill, shot, etc. it just recently got to the point where my husband insisted I get some answers. Thankfully, I do not have a failed back surgery. I've seen 2 orthopedic surgeons and 2 neurosurgeons. They all agree that I would not have been a candidate for fusion in 2006. If they had known then what they knw now, they would have fused it. I had a synovial cyst that caused leg pain, the laminectomy fixed that. Because I had a synovial cyst, I was more likely to develop another and those with cysts are more prone to degeneration. It turned into spondylolisthesis. 3 weeks ago I had fusion of the L4, L5 with placement of posterior pedicle screws. I'm doing well and recovering nicely. I wish I could have told you I had no further problems.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • I am still hurting and didn't have a fusion???? Wondering if I will have too
  • Recovery time is so subjective. I am 8 months out from my successful microD and I am still recovering. I have been on the site for awhile now & so many people including myself at many, many times have the same questions. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is the 6-8 week recovery time and what exactly "recovery" is. Maybe in 6-8 weeks mst people have physically "healed" from the surgery. It seems many surgeons including my own are like the mechanic of our back. They remove the herniation (or bone fragment for mufasa) and thats it. They have done their job and you are "fixed" But its not really like that. Nerve damage is a big deal. I was herniated for 2 years and obviously my nerve is not yet "healed". But i just had a 2nd MRI and everything is ok. I also still have internal swelling sometimes that still flares up the nerve.

    So for you guys and all other who come across this, understanding that real "recovery" is more likely a 6-12 month process than a 6-8 week process. Take it slow, take it easy, listen to your docs, and listen to your body. You cannot rush recovery.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • I agree with above; it's just too soon to tell. Your surgery was only a month ago. I think we all want "fast track" healing, but very few of us get that. Now, if only I would take my own advice! My back feels pretty good, but I'm having this crazy "aching" in my hips and thighs, although I think it's my body telling me I'm doing too much.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • So do you think an additional 6 weeks off is crazy to think? Because I'm thinking there is no way I can do day to day
  • Hey if your job is ok with it & your finances allow it, take as much time as possible. I returned to work in a little over 2 weeks. But I only worked 20 hrs the first week, then like 26, then like 32. Easing in def helps. I also returned on desk work only. I am also able to stand or walk around whenever necessary. Maybe you doc will put you on some nerve meds like neurontin to help you return to work.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 121
    edited 05/18/2013 - 1:01 PM
    Just wondering how you're doing. I'm beginning to notice that I'm healing in "chunks"; every 3-4 days there seems to be some big improvement. I noticed this afternoon, all of a sudden that I was walking normally.....I've been doing this late pregnancy waddle type thing - and I am not pregnant! I hope you'll be feeling better this week, you know May 28th still a long way off.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • lobeck74llobeck74 Posts: 2
    edited 05/18/2013 - 1:08 PM
    I am not noticing a huge improvement, the doctor called me in some medicine for the nerve pain and some steroids thinking there may be some swelling that's causing the discomfort, but so far I am to seeing a difference. My walk is still off and leg and foot is still numb. I am so happy to hear that your owing so much better!! That's wonderful news!!! I was put off for 6 weeks and I have an appt on Thursday, I really not think he will release me, do you think he will extend my leave time?
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