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L4/5 Lumbar microdiscectomy or laminectomy

Kat88KKat88 Posts: 1
edited 10/06/2015 - 8:42 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I'm new to this forum. I live in Sydney, am a single Mother and about to have either a L4/5 Lumbar microdiscectomy or laminectomy. I'm not sure which (I should know) and will find out in a few days. Surgery is likely to go ahead next week from Monday 12/10 as an emergency. From what I am reading these procedures are quite straight forward and recovery quite quick.

I'd really like to know what other forum members have experienced in regards to the following:

1. Whether surgery is really necessary. There is a 70% disk protrusion. I've had 2 cortisone injections in the last 6 weeks. They have helped greatly with some of the pain at the site, sciatica, muscle spasms, scoliosis etc. The pain is still there though but only kicks in after walking for about 10 minutes – still right down into my foot. The pain prior to the second injection was excruciating and I was unable to walk 4 metres without intense pain.

2. Length of time in hospital.

3. Whether a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeion should operate. I had brain surgery late last year and the the neurosurgeon who operated on the aneurism can do the back surgery.

4. The realistic recovery rate, i.e., how long until I can walk, dance, work, carry a few kilograms, fly interstate.

5. Will I need assistance at home after the surgery with meals, showering etc.

Thank you so very much for your time.


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Liz ...Spine-health moderator


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I think you will get most of your answers from your surgeon. as to if surgery is needed that is up to you. I honestly wish i had had my discectomy (and hemilaminectomy) sooner.
    You will be able to walk the day of surgery, and many people go home the same day, though again, up to your surgeon.
    I have a personal preference for neurosurgeons when it comes to discs, but there are excellent surgeons in both fields.
    I did not have much help at home at all for my discectomy, a few people stopped by once a day. I literally was back walking on a treadmill the day after surgery, and in the hospital halls the day of surgery. I did have a very large herniated disc with a lot of loss of motor function.
    To me the discectomy was a very easy surgery to recover from, but others will have different opinions.
    Hopefully this helps.
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