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upcoming laminectomy surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
I am facing a laminectomy in about a month and would like to know if anyone can give me advice on preparing and/or recovering from this surgery? To give a background, I have two herniations that are comprimising my sciatic nerve so badly that I live in constant pain in my lower back (sometimes so debilitating that I cannot breathe) and sharp pain down my right leg. I have tried non surgical methods, but have had no change in the pain. Surgery to me at this point is the only option left and I would like some comments on how to prepare for this event as it is one that I am not looking forward to. thank you...jeanette


  • Hi I had a microdisectomy/laminenectomy back in feb 07. I went through epidural shots, lots of physical therapy and still my feet would be numb most of the time and I had constant pain. After the surgery, the first week was the hardest. Btu I was able to go up and down the stairs in my home really well by the end of the first week. The thing I remember the doctor told me was " don't be surprised if you wake up with no leg pain and it comes back, then goes away again...nerves take time to heal" And it did happen. I was back to work three weeks after my surgery. I still had some pain, but no where near what I did before. After a couple of more weeks I remember thinking one day...hey there's no pain!

    If you check my signiture you'll see there came other problems later,but I went into the surgery knowing that. If they are just doing a laminectomy, and not a disectomy, is it because the herniated disc is not pressing on the nerve?
  • thank you for the reply...the MRI I had showed that the nerve was being crushed by the herniation. The surgeon however does not feel that a discectomy with the laminectomy is necessary. I guess when he goes in, he will make a decition to do more than he needs to. He too says that recovery is fast depending on how much pt I am willing to put in. He suggested lots of walking. I will do whatever it takes to get back to having no pain. I am nervous, but I believe that this is the right course for me at this time. thank you again, and good luck in your continued recover.
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  • This is usually the case where your condition overtakes your decision of what to do and in reality is the only option left, it is a balance between doing it at the appropriate time rather than waiting too long and is usually based on your clinical need and the evidence of your diagnosis.

    I had my laminectomy in 1990 but one does not forget how I was feeling just as you are now, apprehensive and bit unnerved and with some trepidation for the future. The majority of this type of surgeries goes well relative to the overall volume, so I am sure your surgeon has said you have a good chance of a full recovery. This is a big operation and you will have to give yourself time and patience to recover, set realistic goals every day and works towards them. As with most pain it is not necessarily apparent for the observer, so be kind to yourself and others close to you. Try to do what is asked of you although this may be very difficult you will need to adapt your mobility and mind to an alternative ways of accepting change that is being imposed on you. Take things steady and rest when required, take your medication by the clock to ease the peaks and troughs of pain.

    Your accumulative capacity will be restricted and you will need to change what you would like to do to what you are capable in doing every day. Pacing is vital and the less in more analogy is a good basis of how to improve.

    Many thousands here have gone what you are about to go though, we all know how this feels and perhaps I would have liked someone to reassure me through experience that it would all be ok in the end. You will have good and bad days but you will get through with support and encouragement. Have a plan and review it continually, treat yourself for reaching short-term goals and have FUN !

    Take care and good luck it is the right decision, as with many you could not have continued with your deteriorating condition and this is the most effective option for you at this time.


  • i have had 3 since the age of 29. "95 L5-s1","99 L4-5","02 L4-5", in my case surgery was a miracle as soon as they removed the herniated part i was good to go. i left the hospital the same day on my last 2 surgeries and the first one i left the next day I didnt want to get any infections, when you leave the hosp just take it easy and follow what your doc says. If im not mistaken i think it takes about 3 months to totally heal. good luck with your surgery
  • I would like to thank those of you who have offered advice for my upcoming surgery. I have taken all and will give myself extra reassurance especially since I know that all will be fine in the end. I am getting less anxious as I know that this is the option that I chose to take. Thank you again. Will let you all know how the surgery went.
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  • I had a discectomy (with laminectomy I believe) a few days ago. I am feeling only slight discomfort where the incision is bandaged, nothing I can't handle, but my left foot and calf are totally numb. This is more numbness than prior to surgery and is incredibly uncomfortable. I was only in the hospital overnight as I showed that I was able to walk fine even with the numb foot..

    I was told that it will be a few weeks...I'm an impatient person and I know this will take time.. I had sciatica for a year, and having the surgery was a big step so I'm anxious to go about my life again.

    I was very nervous about the surgery - anesthesia etc.. but of course you feel nothing and you wake up and it's over.
    Now I am just anxious to see if it worked.

    My problem was at L5/S1. MRI showed that herniation was pressing on 2 nerve roots.

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