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Upcoming Laminectomy

Hello everyone. I'm a 32 year old female who is "mighty young to be having surgery" in the words of the surgeon who said that is basically my only shot because of how badly one of my discs is herniated. I have two herniations (L4-L5 1cm  and L5-S1 1.5cm), two bulging discs (T11-12 and L3-L4), some bone spurs, two punches nerves (L5 and S1), bi-lateral foraminal narrowing (surprisingly worse on right side, even though my pain is and had always been worse on left side), DDD (which includes changes in my sacroiliac joints).

My pain started in late February where I ended up in the ER, then was referred to my PCP to follow up, then referred to a gastroenterologist, then finally referred to a orthopedic. I was originally only treated for L4-L5 with ESI. The first ESI seemed to really help, but was short lived and when the pain came back it was worse. On my second ESI, the increase in pain was almost unbearable, lasting one and a half weeks, had to do a prednisone pack, and was even more short lived at just over two weeks of mild relief.

This last episode started in the 26th of May, I am uninsured and was trying to put off being seen so neglected to call my neurologist until last Friday. When I called I was told I needed to be evaulated ASAP, so the following day I went to the ER where they did another MRI, ruled out an emergency (cauda equina), increased the strength of my narcotic (I was taking 5/325 Vicodin and they increased it to 5/325 Oxycodone.) I called my doctor back on Monday and followed up like I promised I would and faxed over the results from my MRI at the ER. They said I needed to be seen immediately but my neurosurgeon was on vacation so set me up with one of his partners.

I saw him yesterday and he said he doesn't think anymore ESIs will help and that the damage is pretty significant and because I am self pay is only doing one disc at a time, he decided L4-L5 from my understanding. I am scheduled to have my surgery Tuesday to avoid any further and/permenant neurological damage. 

I can barely walk at this point. I can't sit, stand, walk, lay, recline, for more than a few minutes at a time without having to do something else. I am a mother, wife, and only child to my recently widowed mother (who thank God is in good health herself). The doctor has me on Norco 5/325, one to two every four to six hours, that along with Zanaflex barely touches my pain, but does sedated me enough to sleep.

I'm worried about the surgery, even more worried about the recovery. I've prayed and will continue to do so. I'm anxious that my Daddy won't be here because he could always calm me before surgery and just made me feel safe, and his prayers always brought me so much comfort. I know he will still be with me just not physically.

After my hysterectomy in 2016, I had to be kept overnight because they had trouble getting my pain under control and I'm anxious about that with this as well. What kind of medicine do they give you when you are inpatient surgery? My doctor said I couldn't do it outpatient at this facility, he didn't elaborate as to why. 

Surgery scheduler said two weeks bed rest, four more weeks severely limited activity (basically everything a stay-at-homevmother and wife does), and a back brace the full six weeks.

Please tell me about your experiences with inpatient  (or outpatient) laminectomy, the recovery process, your results, etc.. 

Thank you and God bless!



  • Surgery scheduler said two weeks bed rest, four more weeks severely limited activity (basically everything a stay-at-homevmother and wife does),
    Moms do tons of bending, lifting and twisting. Make sure to go over this with your surgeon (the post-op do’s and don’t’s). 

    Don’t worry. You will be fine. And like you said your dad will be there with you. o:)

    Please keep us posted.

  • Would it be awful to call my doctor and ask for something to help with my nerves. I'm really jumpy and irritable (bad enough with the pain, much less adding severe anxiety on top of it.) 

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  • That’s up to you! Everyone is different.  :)

  • Doctor won't do anything but muscle relaxers, which he already gave me, they have helped me relax a bit since I took it. Thank God. 

  • How did the surgery go ? I am new to this board and I have a herniated disc L5 S 1 as well and I have had one steroid shot and it didn’t heal it. Pretty sure I will be having another one and if that doesn’t work , surgery. 

    I am scared as I have never had any kind of surgery’s and having this back surgery is freaking me out. My dr would never give me pain meds and I don’t know why other than 

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