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PLEASE HELP - Laminectomy 6 days post-op


I had a 360 degree Laminectomy performed on my L5 S1 and still have a lot of pain doing the following activities;
- Sitting for more than 1 hour
- Standing / Walking for more than 15-20 minutes
- the pain is severe on my left hip/buttock and hamstring (feels like a charley horse)
- pain meds (HydroMorphine) is barely keeping the edge off taking 1 2mg pill per hour (at max scrip amount)

Is this normal at 6 days post-op?

Thanks for your help and suggestions...


  • Hard to tell. Each person seems to be different. For me, my nerve root was swollen and bruised. I'm 9 weeks and 4 days (who's counting?) and can't sit for a long time. Sitting is one of the biggest stress positions on that area.

    I think around 6 days I made it around the block and then went to ice, so you won't be walking a lot in terms of distance, but get a lot in in terms of frequency. You likely either had muscles cut or stretched a lot, so that takes time to recover.

    I had the hamstring bit about 6 weeks. Some of it may be the nerve waking up, and some is sore tight muscles.

    I think the 6-12 day range was pretty hard still physically. Hang in there.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

  • Appreciate the feedback - having never been down this path, not sure what is a typical timeline. Hearing you are at 9 weeks and still having issues explains the 14-16 week recovery recommendation by my surgeon (I figured to cut it in half). I now realize I have approached my recovery wrong - go slow and rest rather than push myself too early and have a setback.

    Thanks Steve - great place to rest and recovery...
  • It is critically important for you to follow the discharge instructions that your surgeon gave you, otherwise, you risk doing damage to the area that you had surgery on. Walking, bending, lifting, twisting restrictions, etc, all are vitally important, and while you need to push a bit in recovery, doing so too early or too much, or too often puts your recovery at risk and being kept out of work or your regular activities for longer periods of time.
    If you are unsure of what the limits are, contact your doctors office or consult the discharge instructions from the hospital.
  • Thanks Sandy - I took your suggestion and called the surgeon and referred back to the discharge notes (very general no bending, twisting, lifting > 10#. Fortunately I was doing everything as instructed and have a great support network with my wife and adult children (thanks) which helps you honor the instructions. The doctor thought I was having issues with inflamation and has me on a 7 day streriod treatment and my Gabapentin. I am now 8 days post-op and feeling like I am starting to "turner the corner" with my recovery. THIS SITE IS AWESOME BECAUSE ITS MEMBERS ARE THE BEST! Thank you, for the past 3 years this site has been a godsend for me - glad I finally joined and can contribute to the community. Mark
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