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Minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy

New member here but was reading for 10 months already. I am scheduling minimally invasive laminectomy for L3,4-5 severe central canal stenosis. Was doing conservative treatment for 10 months now (physio, exercises, chiro, massage, ostheo ) . I am very active 55y male, avid hiker and backpacker. My problem with legs (I dont have back pain) started 18 months ago with tiredness and progressed to full claudication, can walk only half a mile, tingling, feet weakness. Phisio and exercises started to work, my walking distance increased to 3-4 miles, tingling and weakness gone.But I cannot progress more than 3-4 miles, legs just gave up. And I do exercises every day for last 10 months. Recently my legs symptoms began to return , again tingling, weakness ,inability to walk . I saw 3 spine surgeon and every one said with severe central stenosis I have I need a surgery. I am going with one that offered minimally invasive laminectomy and he is very respected and have only positive reviews. As my understanding it will be simple laminectomy , he said he will not cut facet joints . I read everything on this site regarding laminectomy but fall to find enough info about minimally invasive laminectomy.
I would like to hear if somebody already had similar surgery that they planned to do on me. What to expect and recovery. I understand that everyone recovery different but any response welcome.


  • I have had two minimally invasive discectomies/laminectomies, plus a minimally invasive hardware removal /foraminectomy. All three surgeries were from the end of May to the end of December of last year, with a TLIF (fusion) in between.

    The three "smaller" surgeries were pretty easy to recover from and it sounds like I had a bit more done with each of mine. I had massive disc herniations, so a different issue, but the surgery shouldn't be that much different recovery-wise. I had very little true pain as long as I took my meds faithfully (even setting an alarm overnight) for the first 3-4 days. Then I would stretch the time between doses as much as I could and usually within a week, week and a half, I was completely off the narcotic meds. After that, ibuprofen worked just fine, but I really didn't need anything that much. The incision was about 2 inches long each time and closed with medical "super glue", except for my last surgery, and the glue is awesome compared to stitches. So in my case, I now have 3 two-inch lines on my low back....one in the middle, and one on each side.

    I'm 36 and had A LOT of radiating leg pain. I couldn't stand or even sit upright before the first surgery, forget about walking even half a mile. After the surgery, I had total pain relief for a few weeks, but I ended up reherniating multiple times, so my recovery wasn't exactly typical.

    Best of luck to you...I think you'll find the surgery isn't so bad.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
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