I am having a posterior laminectomy foraminotomy a week from tomorrow at C5, 6 and 7. I'm not sure if there is an actual acronym for that? I am NOT having a fusion. I have 3 bulging discs, spinal stenosis (which is not too bad), foraminal narrowing, straightening of the natural lordosis, DDD, bone spurs - I think that's it. No injury - in all probability from OA. My PT told me that I have the neck of a 70-80 year old woman! :-( .The hard thing is that it seems like the bulk of the info that I've come across seems to assume a fusion and so wondering if anyone else has had this surgery and if so if you have any tips or experience that you'd be willing to share with me both about the procedure and recovery.
I know that I will stay 1 night in the hospital after the surgery. I was told that I will not have to wear a cervical collar. I was also told by my neurosurgeon that it's a 2-week recovery. I think he said my incision will be 3-4" in the middle of the back of my neck. I have talked to one person who had this same surgery but only at 1 level. She said that for her more realistically it was more like 3-4 weeks before she was back doing most normal activities. And I have no expectation of being 100% in that time period. She is 62 and I'm 46 which could make a difference. But due to neck and back pain along with radiculopothy in both arms through hands (and legs and feet but that's a different issue we'll look at after my neck has been dealt with), I'm definitely not in the best physical shape ever. I'm a high school teacher and I go back to work almost exactly 5 weeks post-surgery. I do have a pre-op appt on the 10th so I have started putting a list of questions together so that I don't forget if it doesn't come up. I also go to the hospital for my pre-reg that same day.
I read through the list of what people advised to have on hand during the recovery period. I plan to get a shower stool, handheld shower nozzle and a grabber - that's my list for now. I have waterless shampoo just in case and will probably pick up some baby wipe type sheets as well. I will move as many things to waist height as i can. Oh and probably a bed tray.
My parents will come for the surgery and stay for about a week after. I have 2 boys ages 10 and 13 who can help with a lot of things as needed so I will have a fair amount of help. My ex-husband lives 2 blocks away and has offered help if I need it and I have a few friends/neighbors who I can count on if I'm in need as well. I will also have my mom cook "double" so that we can freeze 1/2 for the week after they leave to make things easier.
Anyway - hoping there's someone out there who has had this procedure and can provide some info. Maybe even things you wish you'd known or thought of prior to your surgery! Thanks.