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Recovery from laminectomy

BigDogBBigDog Posts: 1
Hi all, new guy here.

I had back trouble with sciatica begin about 18 months ago, which turned out to be a 5mm misalignment between L3-L5, with a disc herniation in there to boot. After chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and cortisone shots did nothing, my surgeon did a laminectomy in late November 2014.

The sciatica in my right leg is still bad, sometimes unbearable, and the doc says it may take up to a year to calm down after the surgery.

Anyone else have this trouble? I have an appointment with the neurologist next Wednesday to see if there's anything to do from that side of the house.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome to Spine-Health

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Melody_MayMMelody_May Posts: 1
    edited 03/24/2015 - 6:50 AM
    Not sure if this helps or not but I had a laminectomy just over 12 months ago on my thoracic T5/T6 area, recovery from this had been a rollercoaster, it was much harder and challenging than I anticipated before the operation, I couldn't even break toilet roll for a few weeks after. However a year on I would say I am 90% back on track with the help of an osteopath and pilates classes which I took up a couple of months ago. The back muscles surrounding the scar are still numb although I would say since receiving treatment from the Osteopath in the past four months, the numbness has subsided and my flexibility and movement has improved tenfold! I think without this treatment I wouldn’t have regained my flexibility and strength any further as I think your body kind of 'sets' unless you actively try and help it. Do you have an osteopath? If not I really do recommend getting one to work with you as they can help your recovery, apparently the sooner the better post op however I couldn't imagine having let anybody near me for the first 6 months to be honest! But osteo says that I should have gone sooner really but its not too late now.

    It takes a very long time to recover, like even up to a year, as your body is changing and healing so it may improve in my opinion.
  • Hi Big Dog,

    I too had laminectomy surgery, plus discectomy at L5-S1, in Oct. 2013. The only time I was pain-free was immediately after surgery while I was on morphine. My left leg sciatica pain came back after a few days and, for the first time, I had lower back pain. My pain develops while standing or walking and I must sit down (or lay on my back) to let the pain ease off.

    I have tried many treatments - pain medication, physical therapy, chiropractic spinal manipulation, a BeActive leg brace, acupuncture - ALL without ANY benefit. My original back surgeon finally had me get a lumbar myelogram (dye-enhanced x-ray) followed with a lumbar CT scan to allow him to diagnose the cause of nerve compression when standing vs. reclining. The results of those tests didn't convince the surgeon and he ordered a MRI with contrast. The results indicated my pain was PROBABLY caused by an unstable L5 vertebra. He concluded that fusion surgery was needed to keep the vertebra from pressing on the L5-S1 disc, causing it to bulge and "pinch" the sciatic nerve root. He suggested I get a 2nd opinion, which came back the same. Having become skeptical about more surgery, I declined.

    All MAY not be lost. I recently started daily wearing of a so-called back brace, a DDS-300 spinal-air decompression belt. It has allowed me to stand longer before the pain becomes unbearable. You can read about my experience to date at my recent post on this forum.

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