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Wanted: laminectomy recovery suggestions

BMWX2BBMWX2 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was just released by my surgeon at my 6 week check up for a L5 laminectomy discectomy to resume all normal activities. No restrictions. Just told to "use my head.". I am going to start work next week for a few hours a day at a time - I do computer work so means a lot of sitting. I was wondering if any of you who are ahead of me in your recovery would share your do's and don'ts with me? I am just afraid that now that I am no longer in the "safety" of my own home that I will do something and really set my self back. I am ready to start feeling as "normal" as I can but at the same time a little anxious also. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Feb. 10th laminectomy discectomy at L5


  • Having the option to work a few hours a day is the smartest way to go back to work. Do you have a comfortable chair? It's a good idea to get up every half hour and walk a little bit to release some of the pressure. I used to keep an ice pack and heating pad at work for short periods of time. You might find yourself getting tired very quickly even if the pain is not too bad. Plan to take it slow when you get home. If you feel up to it, a short walk might feel good. By the end of the first week, you should have a better idea on how to pace yourself. Wish you the best and hope all goes well.

    Lorraine :H
  • BMW, I don't want to scare you but I think it's something you should be aware of. My surgery was on 11/2/2011 for L5S1 laminectomy and discectomy. I was doing very well at the six week mark. Walking up to a mile a day. With little to no pain. Then I started PT. After two days the muscle spasms were so bad, I was on the couch again. Since then I am on my second round of muscle spasms. They have lasted somewhere around three weeks each. Have been able to alleviate some of the spasms with muscle relaxers. Also Chiro has helped with manipulating scar tissue to speed recovery. Best advice I can give is be patient if this happens to you. Hopefully it won't. Defiantly helps to know that this can happen. I had no idea. The trauma caused to the muscles that we're cut for your surgery will have to be compensated by other healthy muscles. I'm told that this is the cause of my spasms. Sure hope you do not have to experience this. Best of luck with your recovery.
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  • Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciated the advice. Terri
  • Thanks for the advice. I was told that I don't need PT but thinking about it anyway as I am very stiff. I do feel fairly good so I will keep this (hopefully in the back of my mind).
  • Terri - I guess I'm about 8 weeks past my surgery. I've had a lot of muscle spasm too. I am past the point where I can work any more. One suggestion for work besides echoing Stan about stretching, getting up, etc. is using a back support driving to work and if you need it, on the chair. I think you're really smart to start out part-time and work up from there.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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  • Hi Karen,
    Where are your muscle spasms and can you describe them to me? Wondering if that isn't what is going on with me now? Hoping my back is just "stiff.". Are you doing PT?
    Hope you get to feeling better...
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