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Pain relief timeline ?

I am now 8+ weeks out from laminectomy with pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion at L5 - S1. Not sure why, but my surgeon chose to do both anterior and posterior approach.

My question relates to the timeline for the nerves to heal. I still have considerable pain down both legs and into my feet.
Each day I wake up with some relief but after normal activity around the house and maybe 30 minutes of walking at the gym, the pain is back in full force. I feel great otherwise!

What can I expect going forward? Is it normal to take this long for improvement. My surgeon says don't worry, that it sometimes takes months !

William gibbs


  • Happy to report some relief from my sciatic leg and foot pain. I want to give you all some hope that things will get better. I'm far from 100% but I do feel better and you will too !
    My surgery, called a 360, was very intensive according to my surgeon. Even after 10 weeks or so, I was still waiting for things to improve. He told me to be patient and he was right. Now after 12 weeks I do think I'm getting healed. My surgeon says the process may take an entire year. Good luck !
    Bill G
    William gibbs
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Bill, I like your word choice - "the process".  That is how I have thought of it.  Mine was cervical, so I don't know what exactly you are going through, but for me it has certainly been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to which!


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • Yes I agree. Some days a good some not so good.  I think resting and patient are the hardest when pain dominates your life.    I am hopeful when I think about the fact that I feel better this week than last week or last month.   
    William gibbs
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    As your doctor said, it could take months....
    Sometimes with nerves it could take a lot longer.   Depending on how much nerve damage was done prior to surgery, it could take from several months to over a year to heal.   My last lumbar surgery, it took about 13 months before the nerve pain disappeared.

    Unfortunately, there is no formal time table that could indicate when you should recover and feel better.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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