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Laminectomy Recovery

My doctor has said that i am going to need a Laminectomy on my L5. What is the recovery like and is there any medical equipment required?


  • Hi, Darby01,
    I had an L5 laminectomy in '93, so I am confident that procedures have improved since then. That being said, I awoke in recovery with NO pre op pain. None! Post op muscle pain will be managed well with narcotics. You will be up and walking the first day, and the more you walk, the less stiff and better you will feel. Hard part will be getting in and out of bed. You will be using a technique appropriately named "log rolling." In the hospital you will have a bed rail to help you get on to your feet, as opposed to rolling to the floor (that's another story), so it would make your life so much easier if you got yourself a bed assist rail (under $50 online) for home. You will have to follow the BLT rule, which means no bending, twisting, or lifting greater than 10#. I drink lots of black tea, like my Grandma taught me, so I get my milk in half gallon containers and in the beginning even those felt extremely heavy. Some folks on this site recommend a reacher, but honestly, I can't pick up a darned thing with one, so I leave it, or squat down carefully to get the remote off the floor. It's usually the remote that I drop. Your surgeon will have instructions for incision care, and they will depend on how your incision was closed, sutures vs staples. Follow them! Increase your protein intake to promote healing. Stay on top of your medications. Very, very important as playing catch up to pain is not pleasant. I am a community health nurse by day, and a "spiney" by night, so get yourself a notebook, your journal, and write every dose of medication, along with the time you take it, in it. If your doc says to take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours, for the first 2 weeks take 2 every 4 hours, unless you are having side effects such as nausea, etc, which you should immediately report to the surgeon. It's " Better living through chemistry." You need to move to heal, and to do this you need your pain to be managed. You will not become addicted to the narcotics. Now to a really important thing to also note: narcotics=constipation. Think Senna and Colace. Both over the counter medications. I have had multiple surgeries over my 59 years, and have learned the following through experience. I start 2 days prior to surgery, and this is the concoction that works for me: at bedtime I take 2 Sennas and 1 colace, in the morning I take 1 Colace. Sounds like overkill, but I have seen people end up in the ED with constipation! So, as with all medications, check with you doc before you take any. I have to say this, but be sure not omit this step, and keep it up for as long as you are taking narcotics. Sorry to be so long winded,
  • Thank You Maregold!

    Having same surgery on Nov 24. Heading out to buy some Colace and Senna. I don't need to be plugged up too! :)

    God Bless
    Atlasmiss [\]
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