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Post Op tips for a Laminectomy

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

As you may know I am having my Laminectomy L-4 to S-1 on Tuesday December 14th. While I have been cry baby type nervous about my upcoming surgery which i am trying to deal with better, it's just my anxiety disorder gets in the way sometimes,LOL.

I am interested if someone can tell me what I can expect as far as recovery from this surgery. I mean time it takes to recover, pain severity, any special tips for things I might need at home etc..

Anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. I thank all of you in advance for your posts that I'm sure will help me out here. I also thanks everyone for all the past support and prayer as well as the kindess everyone has offered me. But if you have time around 7:30am on Tuesday a prayer on my behalf would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,



  • >:D< >:D< >:D< Ive only ever had fusions or a replacement Al but my cousin had a laminectomy and he was up the day after the surgery and only spent 3 days in hospital..He said the difference in pain after it was done was amazing and he could start to feel some numb spots get feeling after only 24 hours and the improvement in his movement was amazing too..I was jealous of him... LOL.

    The main thing is to look after YOU and to take things easy even if your feeling like "Superman" after the operation as remember our bodys take a while to heal even though we maybe feeling better.

    I wish you all the best my dear MATE and I will be thinking of you and cant wait to hear from you as to your progress.

  • I've had several decompression surgeries from L4-S1 to include a total laminectomy at L5 and an 80% on L4 (surgeon left an 1/8 inch bridge to hold ligament intact). I was walking up to 7 miles a day just 2 weeks post op. I had to back that down a tad when pain in my lower back got bad for a bit, but basically I walked and walked and walked.

    I made a daily schedule and kept to it. For instance:

    0600 Get up, make coffee
    0700 Make and eat healthy breakfast
    0745 Take shower and put on fresh clothes.
    0815 Rest for a bit
    0900 Take a 45 minute walk
    1000 Rest
    1200 Make small lunch
    1245 Rest
    1330 Take a 45 minute walk

    Anyway I structured my day and stuck to it and it helped me tremendously. Very important to take a shower and put on fresh clothes every day.

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  • Thank you guys for the information, it really hopes. I know everyone is different so we'll see, but I just wanted to here from experiences not from reading materials. Once again my sincere thanks.

    AL S
  • I was also very anxious before my spinal surgery, so much so that I tried to avoid even seeing the surgeon for almost 2 years. As the pain worsened and I became more and more limited in my life, I eventually gave in 'just to talk to him.'

    Well, he said that I needed to have surgery or I would end up in a wheelchair, due to the very severe stenosis that I had! That was just what I needed to convince me that I could somehow manage to face surgery!!

    My surgery was a decompression with fusion. The decompression was a laminectomy with discectomy and wide undercutting of facets (?), and fusion. It was at the L4/L5 level. My surgeon did say that everyone concentrates on the 'fusion' word of this surgery, but actually the decompression (laminectomy) is the most invasive part.

    I am glad that I was prepared for the worst after my surgery, painwise. It meant that things weren't as bad as I had feared and I coped quite well.

    My surgery was in March and I couldn't return to work until September, but I am a teaching assistant and so my job involves a lot of bending and even sitting on small chairs (try to avoid that now).

    I would say expect to be in pain for the first few weeks, and be ready for a long while before you feel anything like normal BUT there are a lot of great success stories out there, and generally, although our backs are not perfect afterwards, most people do get a big improvement from the pain that led them to accept surgery in the first place.

    You will need at least 1 grabber (I had 3, bathroom, bedroom and downstairs). I found that a silk bottom sheet made turning over in bed much easier. Make sure that you have slip on type shoes, and loose comfy joggers for the first few weeks (you won't want anything tight over your incision). A shower chair was great, because you will feel very weak at first. I did borrow a toilet riser but didn't use it as I am only 5'2" and it was too high. I found a revolving cushion useful to help me sit up at the dining table without having to tuck myself under the table. (I would just back onto the cushion and spin my legs round under the table. I needed a cusion/tray to raise up the level of my plate as I was sitting higher. My husband raised the tv so I could watch it comfortably.

    I will try and post more later - being called to go out!!!!!!!

    LATER ......
    I wish you well Al, and hope that we will hear that the surgery wasn't as bad as you had anticipated. We will be here to support you through the recovery. This is the route to get your life back on track. You can do this!!
    I'll say a prayer for you for Tuesday :-)

  • >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
    For your surgery on Tuesday my friend..xxx
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  • Well in 23 hours leaving for hospital in 10 degree temps, but i thank everyone for the posts and support. Take care and I hope to be reporting back soon post op.

    AL S

  • Hoping that your surgery tomorrow goes as planned and that when you wake up the pain will be well controlled.

    When you feel able, do let us know how you are getting on. We will be here waiting to hear from you. :-)
  • I will update you all just as soon as I am able. In 13 hours I should be in my very hard pre op bed begging for pain medications. Surgery will follow two hours later. They had better give me something because those beds make my pain go through the roof.

    Please don't forget a prayer, I appreciate you all. God Bless and I should be posting soon.

    AL S

  • I will be praying for you; for His peace to keep you calm (place yourself into His care) and a successful surgery. :) >:D<
  • I am placing myself in His hands because I have faith in God and he will guide me through to the best outcome for me. I too am praying for calm, and a sucessfujl surgery for us all and that he would keep us as pain free as possible.

    I have faith and trust in the Lord. Oh darn I named my surgeon and broke site rule ;).
    AL S
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