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Decompressive Laminectomy


I had decompressive laminectomy surgery L4/L5 5 weeks ago. I was told by my surgeon that he had to remove quite a lot of bone. I had a bulging disc which he decompressed successfully. All was really going well. Was a very happy bunny. Original pain completely gone just left with healing pain from op. During week 4, I have noticed, what I can only describe as a buzzing sensation in my legs. This only happens when I go to bed at night. It starts around 10,30pm and as if someone has clicked a switch at 1am it stops. I have had to get up during this and now of course as each day goes by I am really tired. Thinking logically, I thought it may well be due to nerves having been upset through the surgery but now week 5 the buzzing has stopped and I am now getting, through the same time frame, pain in my legs. The pain is quite strong, not a bone pain but a muscle pain. Is this normal? Would appreciate it if someone could advise




  • It seems to be a very common theme for most of us discectomy & laminectomy people that 4 weeks is a hot spot for returning pain. I think it is because we are weaning off meds and trying to return to normal activity. Another possibility it seems is after being compressed for so long the nerve starts to "awaken" and give us sciatica like sensations. As for the muscle pain, for me at least, is a constant struggle. Even before my surgery my PM doc explained to me how the hamstrings, glutes, and calves tighten to attemt to protect the injury in the back. Even 9 months post-op it seems my muscles havent learned that the injury is gone & I still deal with pain & tightness. And I have had a recent MRI showing everything is normal.

    Are you in PT? They are usually the ones who help with these type of problems post-op. It is very likely that this is all normal, but consult with your doc to be sure.

    Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Maple LeafMMaple Leaf Posts: 8
    edited 06/14/2013 - 11:48 AM
    Hi Ben

    Sorry I am a bit dense ... what is PT?

    Thanks for the advice, seeing my consultant on the 27th so hopefully will know more then. What you have said does sound logical albeit a damned nuisance I bet. You are right though I am off my meds. I am always amazed at how the body copes. Doesn't always help though a?

    Oh and just worked out PT, DOH !!! Yes I have been but am now not seeing my PT again until after the 27th as he said the exercises that I am doing are fine and that I can be left to do them on my own, which I might add I am doing religiously as I don't want to become stiff want to be nimble. I have found walking really rewarding.

    Thanks again, will keep you posted {:o)

  • My neurosurgeon told me he wants to remove a synovial cyst from my spine and do a lumbar decompression without fusion to relieve a pinched nerve at the L4 L5. Has anyone had this exact type of spine surgery? What should I expect afterwards, "if" I decide to have it done?
  • Hi Roxanne

    Sorry cant help you there, mine was bone removal.
  • Hi Ben

    Saw my surgeon and he has advised that due to the invasive surgery there would be some nerve upset. He has prescribed me some Amitriptyline 10mg at night. So here goes, fingers crossed

    ML x
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