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6 weeks after laminectomy for lumbar spinal stenosis

I decided to post my story so my be somebody will find it useful for there search of information. Before surgery I desperately searched for stories of simple decompression for spinal stenosis. Mostly I found or fusions or microdiscectomy . I had just laminectomy( minimally invasive) on two levels for severe central canal stenosis L34 and L45. I am 55 male, avid hiker and backpacker, very active that in april 2014 developed neurogenic claudication. MRI showed severe central canal stenosis L345. After 5 min of standing or walking my legs became very heavy, tingling, but no back pain, no problem when sitting or lying down. I quickly went from walking 7 miles a day to barely 1/2 miles . I saw 4 spine surgeons and every one said surgery is only option. No even physio or injections. Anyway decided to give a physio chance. After 10 months of everyday exercising I was same days able to walk couple of miles, but very little overdoing send me back. So 6 weeks ago I went to surgery. Stopped exercising day before surgery, never took any pils before. Surgery was 2.5 hours and they send me home 3 hours later.
That was rough. Fist week was very painful. I stopped percoset after 2 days as it make me very sick. Regular tylenol and advil all i have for pain. Started short walk outside second day. Had burning, pain, spasms, tingling in my legs and lower back that never had before surgery. Many time I asked why I put myself through this. With time there feeling began to diminish.
Now at 6 weeks off I cleared to bend and twist, can drive, swim and exercise bike. I walk 3 times a day up to 4 miles.
Started physio, now just simple stretching . I am so stiff for there weeks of inactivity. I can stand and walk, dreadful feeling in my legs gone. I am not tried walking my usual 7 mil a yet. Time will tell. I am not pain free, but it is more discomfort not a pain.
Not taking any pills. I hope with next 6 weeks slowly rebuild strength and flexibility With physio and increase walking distance.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 05/16/2015 - 8:37 AM
    Thanks for sharing what seems to be a very optimistic and encouraging experience post-op!

    I wish you the very best in your continued recovery!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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