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Upcoming laminectomy – realistic recovery time?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
After 12 years of trying to manage degenerative back disease (since my late 30’s) I am desperate enough for surgery. A neurosurgeon is recommending laminectomy at L3/L4 and L4/L5. I’ve been told I’ll be out of the hospital in 2 days, and back to “normal” in 2 weeks. For anyone who has had this surgery, is this at all realistic?

I just started law school and will have to sit for hours each day 2 weeks after surgery, so if my recovery will be longer, I need to delay my surgery. I’ve been reading the post-surgical posts and it seems that the recovery time for fusion is on the order of months, not weeks, but I don’t know if recovery time for a laminectomy is substantially less. Thanks for any advice. And thanks for all your words - as someone who has tried everything on earth to try to manage my pain, it’s been comforting to read about what others are going through.


  • I had a complete double laminectomy L4 and L5 and was walking up to 7 miles a day (split into two walks) within 2 weeks. Sitting was a bit more of a challenge, but was doable for about 1 hour at a time with a short break before going back. Sitting gave me a dull back ache for about 1.5 months, but went away as I was able to strengthen my core muscles.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • Thanks so much, that's helpful. When you took "breaks" from sitting, could you just stand for a while, or did you need to lay down? Is there anything you would have done differently before or after the surgery to speed your recovery?
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  • surg. sched for tue 3/2/10 looking for advice
  • going in this tue 3/2 reading some of these coments makes me feel like runing for the hills any positives out there????
  • I had a microdiscectomy which is I believe same as laminectomy/hemi-laminectomy but just less invasive.

    I personally think 2 weeks is optimistic but that's just me. Depends on how bad your symptoms are.

    I had lost feeling in the back of my left leg. Sitting for more than 10 mins the 1st 2 weeks is not an option. Even in week 3, it was an issue...after 30 mins, I hurt. I could get up an walk around but by the end of the day, my entire back was tense. But again, I was in bad shape.

    I would talk to your doctor about this and what you hope to do. Ask him to be realistic. He may not know you need to sit for hours per day.

    I had to go to a training class 5weeks post op of microdiscectomy on L5-S1 and requested to sit in the back so I could stand as needed. I had a good chair and could sit about 30 mins at a stretch and then had to stand and "rock" (move) b/c still standing is also bothersome.

    Recovery varies from person to person. The key is not overdoing it when you think you are feeling better. Walking and lying down are best.

    Good luck
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  • thanks your reply was helpfull
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