Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Bilateral Lumbar Laminectomy L4-L5 decompression with disc fragment removal - any one have experienc

casale2accasale2a Posts: 6
edited 04/30/2014 - 3:39 PM in Recovering from Surgery

I just joined this website because yesterday (April 29th 2014) I had this procedure done after finding out that I had extruded discs. I am 23 years old and have been overweight for quite some time - before this happened I was making great progress and working hard on getting into shape. One morning I woke up and I couldn't move at all - I was living in NYC at the time for film school, walking all over the place and working out a lot.

Apparently the disc herniations were quite large. The surgeon and everyone said that my surgery went great and I am at home now - the next evening - and I am trying to figure out what I am in for!

The incision hurts when I lay down on my back - which is obvious why because it is so fresh. BUT I need to figure out the EASIEST and least painful way to get in and out of bed. The doctors all have pushed into my head that I need to progressively walk more and more. They told me that frequent short walks is a good thing. The problem is that I get comfortable in bed and then realize I have to walk a bit and the pain that I have getting in and out of bed is the worst pain I have ever felt. The nurses all said that there is no way for me to injure what they did to me and that the pain I am feeling is the muscles - they compared it to pulling a rubber band actually. Does anyone know of an easy way to get in and out of bed with the least pain?

Also, they told me that within a couple more days I should be feeling a little better with the pain and that it might come back a couple more days after that. But, they've told me that by 2 weeks I should be practically 100%.

It is amazing that I don't feel the HORRIBLE pains in my legs anymore - for the first time in years - knock on wood. But, this back pain because of the 3 or 4 inch incision is pretty shitty.

If there is ANYTHING else you all might want to suggest that I do or something that might help me recover this whole ordeal, it would be very well appreciated!!

Thank you so much. I am hoping for a quick and full recovery - crossing my fingers so that I can get back to school and working on getting into shape.


  • kcateskkcates Posts: 68
    edited 04/30/2014 - 3:59 PM
    I get into bed by sitting down (I have a walker I use to help me sit). Then I lay on my side and log roll onto my back. Getting up I log roll on my side and it gets a tad bit trickier but have to put my legs down from bed and push my upper body up at the same time. Would this work for you?
    Bilateral pars defect L5
  • Thanks for getting back to me! I try and do that, but it's so difficult and hurts so much! When I get into bed I sit down (I don't have a walker, so it's quite painful) and then kind of lean back while lifting my legs up. When I get out of bed I push my legs out of the bed and lift my upper body up with my arms. It's at least a 15-20 minute process getting in and out of bed because of the pain... Does it hurt this badly for you? Or at least when you first had your operation? I should probably try rolling on my side? I am also finding it sometimes painful to even lay on my back at home, which sucks because when I spent the night at the hospital I was actually quite comfortable in those beds. I wish I never left right now.

    I hate this so much. And I really worry about injuring the wound...
  • When you get into bed, sit down SLOWLY, sit there for a bit, slide sideways to your elbow, then lift your legs on the bed, then ever so SLOWLY roll onto your back. From there you can roll to either side or stay on your back. This gets easier every day.
  • Thank you so much for the advice. They didn't really go over how to do this at home in a regular bed while I was in the hospital. It was so much easier on their beds. They told me that I have to make sure that I'm walking at least every couple of hours though. Short walks frequently, they said. It's just so hard to get in and out of bed. Is it supposed to hurt so much while laying on my back though? It hurts to lay on my side as well.

    Thank you everyone!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 04/30/2014 - 8:27 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I took off my dressing today - per the doctors orders. I guess they said not to cover it back up, but I lay on my back while in bed and sleeping... I can't hurt it by doing so, can I? Should I cover it back up? I'm so concerned.
  • HanniesmomHHanniesmom Posts: 23
    edited 05/01/2014 - 8:49 PM
    Well, I had fusion surgery so I think my vertebrae may be a little more stable? I would leave the dressing off of your incision. If it has some drainage, you don't want that on the incision all the time. As for hurting in all positions, are you using a lot of pillows? One between your knees when you're on your sides and one under your knees when you're on your back. Try that. And lots of ice! Use a walker with wheels and go for baby walks when you can. This does get better the first couple weeks are a little hellish.
  • Thanks Hanniesmom! I appreciate it a lot. I'm very OCD and a freak with this stuff. I just want to make sure I'm doing stuff correctly and I'm not going to screw this up! I absolutely abhor the fact that I'm 24 years old and I can't do everything I should be!
  • you could try getting ur knees onto the bed.and then push urself to the bed as push up.to be on ur stomach.and then turn slowly onto ur back.
    thats what i actually do when its hell to get into bed.
  • I am pretty anal about this stuff too and wanting to do it the right way. I watch a TON of youtube videos also on logrolling and movements that you can do. Look a few up, it will help!
  • Understand ... Had a two level lumbar fusion, disc out, cage in, rods,bone grafts etc. I understand .... Getting in and out of bed reduced me to a sobbing, shaking wreck at the start.. Logrolling is the right way to do it... I am a short lady or only five foot, one inch and found the mattress at home high ... So even if you are a taller man ... I bought I small step ... Like babies stand on ... If I sat on the edge of the bed with my feet on this I was able to shuffle back more to the middle of the bed which gave me more room to logrolling ... Sometimes I panicked I felt I would fall off the edge of the bed. My shoulder got a bit sore from the weight of sitting up sideways, but it is the correct way .....
    I also found lying on my side worse than lying on my back because all my thigh and buttock muscles tensed Nd tightened from the surgical and nerve pain .... Totally normal and this does get better.

    The incision pain will also die down .... Now it is uncovered you could get a small bottle of Vitamin E oil ... Squirt a little into your palms after your shower while your skin is warm and hold the oil against the scar ... No need to rub, just hold your oily hand over it. It is a very natural way to help heal the wound ... Just do it while your hands are clean! I have. Four inch scar each side and at my four week check up they were healing well ... Ten weeks now Nd occasionally one spot gets a little sore
    and a bit sensitive from clothes against it ... Also quite normal.

    It sounds like this may be your first experience of surgery? You are quite normal feeling shocked and overwhelmed .... And to come home after only a day would leave anybody floundering. Take it slow .... The logrolling the right way will become easier and you will find the pain of moving does get easier ... Do not sit on one position too long ... Use your arms to lift you upwards out of a chair so you do not bed forward too much, walk around your home and outside just a little two or three times. Day if you can. Also make sure not to bend, lift or twist ... Buy a GRABBER from Amazon so you can pick things up more easily and try putting the things you need next to you on a towel on the bed ... Just pull the towel nearer to get things.
    I notice you do not mention what you are taking for the pain? Are you not taking any meds? If not, check with your surgeon or family doctor .... If you can get all the muscle tightness down you will feel loads better .... I found lying on my back hurt the wounds and lying on my side was hell because my thighs were so tight ....
    Good luck and keep posting .... You will improve!
  • GrasslandsGGrasslands Posts: 3
    edited 05/04/2014 - 7:57 AM
    Hi- I had almost the same surgery 12 days ago. It gets better. Getting in and out of bed is actually good for your muscles, even though it doesn’t feel that way. The muscles need to move and learn again. Walking has helped me more than anything. At first I could only hobble a few steps. The pain was horrible but I knew I was helping myself by even taking a few steps. You will not hurt yourself, you will help. My doctor said walking helps decrease scar tissue forming. The main thing is no BLT’s- no bending, lifting or twisting. I use the back scratcher to pick up small things I drop. Also duct tape a little roll with tacky side to pick up small things. When I left the hospital on the 3rd day I could walk around the nurses station one time. I was told to walk 3X a day 10 minutes. And every hour I was awake to walk and move around a little. I have noticed each day it gets a little easier. I started with 2 percocet every four hours and I started reducing it every six and now every 8. I think being scared you aren’t doing something right or thinking you will damage what they did is normal. I have a great doctor and his advice about moving and walking was spot on. I wish you great luck. Keep posting how you are doing.
  • I forgot to mention, I took off the steri strips off the wound on day 6 and I was worried about infection or hurting it as well. But the doctor said it needs air to heal and it should not be covered. He also said NOT to use oil or cream on it and to gently wash it with mild soap in the shower. I really only kind of dab at it and let the shower wash over it. So far, so good. He told me about one person who had hot oil therapy and got infection- so I am staying clear of anything on the incision for now.
  • SebagoSSebago Posts: 1
    edited 05/06/2014 - 6:36 AM
    I had a realllllllly rough recovery from a 3 level lamenectomy. They are right about walking. I was so bad that I would walk around the living room once and that was all I could stand. I kept doing this until I could do 2 laps, then 3 and so on. This took many weeks to accomplish. The physical therapist in rehab would push me too far and I would crash for 2 or 3 days. I finally got the hell out of re-hab and did much better at home. As for pain when laying down, make sure you have your legs bent, preferrably with a pillow under them when on your back. On your side keep a pillow between your lower legs. To get out of bed, I rolled to the edge and used my arms to get me to the sitting position. Once sitting up, you need a walker or 2 canes to push yourself to standing position. It take time....but you'll get there
  • I am 5wks. ;post-op from a second surgery for the same thing...I sneezed 2wks. out from the first one and they had to go in and grab the fragments and scrape more of the bulge disc... I am 5wks. p;ost-0op from the second surgery and having alot of leg and hip pain right now...cannot sleep[..was given the permission to drive 2 days ago so I went two days in a row but now my legs are in so much pain right now...bad back spasms also...For almost 10wks. I have done nothing...no bending , lifting over 5lbs. so on and so on...no more muscle...can't imagine how bad the PT will be..good luck to you and hope you have better luck than I am having.
  • I was reading your post and was wondering what your search pattern is. I did it with log roll. But what combo words for exercise movement

    Fell 11ft 2007 numerous fractures broken arm, 4 head bleeds.
    Nerve blocks, tried stimulator, acupuncture, massage, numerous injections, nerve blocks. Ect. Vitamins
    2011 laminectomy, april 4. 2014 Fusion l5-S1. PLIF
Sign In or Register to comment.