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I had a laminectomy, when does the pain go away?

first let me say, I have been reading the forums as I've gone through my miserable experience, and decided to join because there seems to be a lot of information and a lot of members with great advise. 

Heres my situation. I was diagnosed with herniated disk back in February of 2016, my PCP sent me to see a surgeon and prescribed me some pain medication. The surgeon stated I needed a laminectomy, but because of my weight (375) at the time, he would not perform the surgery until I lost at least 45lbs. So I had the injections while waiting for surgery to try to make the pain ease enough so I could exercise and lose the weight needed. The injections did not help. My PCP was passionate enough to make sure I had medication to deal with the pain, I made an agreement with my PCP for pain management and that I would follow up to be weighed every 2 weeks. 

In October I had a minor heart attack but I was still working to lose the weight. And by December I had lost just over 50lbs and was then scheduled for my surgery, I was cleared by cardiology to have the surgery and it was scheduled for January 17, 2017.

i had the laminectomy and I swear to god when I woke up from anesthesia I felt like I was shot in the back by a 12 gauge shot gun ( I have no clue what that actually feels like it's just the best way to describe the pain) it must have been the 30 staples they used on my incision. 

I left the the hospital about 24 hours after the operation and about three days later I slipped on some ice and did everything except fall, I twisted and turned and did splits etc. I called the surgeon and they said to just be extra careful. 

Wow im dragging this out sorry, anyway at my one month follow up I asked "when will the pain get better?" And the surgeon said, "well due to the extent of your injury, the length of time you were injured before it was fixed, and the fact that you are overweight, this is going to be a long painful process, you will be in pain no matter what you do for several months." I was devastated. I have been living with this damn pain for over a year and was hoping after six weeks I'd feel better. Since the surgery I have not been able to sleep in a bed, or do pretty much anything without incredible pain afterwards. Has anyone else experienced 



  • kmankkman Parker, CO.Posts: 4
    I too, had a lamanectomy L3-5.  The amount of pain I was in was reduced significantly but not 100%. 

    I have been going through series after series of injections however none have helped more than a couple weeks. My surgery was 10-17-15. I am still trying to lose weight 170 @ 5'3". Walk,  etc. I'm sure you've heard your share of suggestions from others so I won't repeat all of them either.  

    Been going to a P.M. Dr. Since April 16' and still on medication.  My surgeon says that because I just "dealt with the pain for so long that I may never get off of the meds. Nice thought,  I know. Might die of liver failure but my back won't hurt...  They mix up my cocktails every month or 3. However,  my only other option is another surgery and I refuse to even think about leaning in that direction.  I came out, after the first one and was able to get rid of the cane I was on. The last thing I want is to go back in and regret it for the rest of my life. 

    Long story short.  I do not expect to be pain free but will continue on the path I'm on. Probably not the answers you were hoping for however no one else had answered your questions so, I thought I'd be honest.  Feel free to respond or send me a message. 

    Take care and good luck. 


  • Thanks, Ken
    my other concern is that my PCP is cutting my medication, I was informed by his nurse and didn't get to discuss this with him.  I'm not on a ton of pain meds either just 10mg Percocet a day. Now that that is going away I have no clue how the hell im going to deal with my pain or recovery. 

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  • Jules1JJules1 Oklahoma City, OklahomaPosts: 93
    I am 7 months post Lumbar Microdiscectomy and still in a lot of pain. I've had post surgery MRI's, physical Therapy, and Accunpture. My PCP is forced to do pain medication which he doesn't believe in long term and will soon end 1 Hydrocodone at nite. I've gone from Neuro surgeon to Physiotherapist. Now being sent to Osteopath for possible Epidural ( pre surgery Epidural didn't work) I am overweight, but have lost some.  I  want off pain meds too, but very scary due to Prescription Drug Management Program in my State. I'm also going to Start with a Mind/Body specialist and some meditation. Anybody else with a "successful" Micro and wondering when the pain will end? Other experiences that might be tried?
  • Hi bababooey,

       I had the same surgery in Jan of this year as well. The moment I woke up, I knew it didn't work. The pain was worse. When I got home, I would get up and walk, do everything they asked of me and it got worse. I could barely move and when I did, I felt like I was being stabbed or tased.  I am considered overweight too but my doctor said it wouldn't be a big issue if I just followed directions because these injuries happen to people of all shapes and sizes. My doctor asked for another MRI due to the pain I was in and now, I am scheduled for yet again, a repeat surgery. He believes something was missed during surgery and according to my MRI.  I am dreading it. Recovery was not much fun. I have tried to stay as positive as I could. (All the pain meds made me sick even w nausea meds so I didn't take but a handful of pain pills since surgery) . My doctor has no prognosis for me this time around and said if it isn't better after surgery, he said it will probably be permanent nerve damage for life. I don't know how to feel about that at 35. 
  • Sorry to hear that you have to have a repeat that sucks, I,haven't had any imaging since the surgery but the pain is still at a ridiculous level.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,298
    I had a semi-urgent laminectomy 03/21/16 because of the extremely advanced and severe lumbar spinal stenosis.   In 2 years or so, based on MRIs, I went from a mild to moderate spinal stenosis at L2 to very severe stenosis L2-L5     That was quick.   I started to lose bladder function, so my surgeon wanted to operate as soon a possible.

    The surgery took more time.  The surgeon told us afterwards that my condition was worse that what the MRIs indicated and what he believed to be the problem.   There nerves were totally compressed, he had a lot of cutting to do to allow those nerves some room.

    I was extremely weak in the legs after surgery and for the first 3 weeks, I had problems with any stability ....
    After that my back was feeling better, it was my nerve pain that was something to deal with.  My surgeon told me give it about 18 months
    Well, I am just about at 12 months and I still have a lot of nerve pain, but the back pain, pain in my thighs has gone.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello bababooey!
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • TildaTTilda Posts: 1
    edited 04/04/2018 - 1:44 AM

    I AM SO THANKFUL TO SEE THIS POST !!!!!!  I am a 49 yr old WAS a very active EMT and FEDEX courier UNTIL I had a complete cervical laminectomy with cage and I was told AWW YOULL BE FINE IN NO TIME!!!  I am 9 months out and still in so much pain.  I have blurred 20/70 vision now also along with pounding headaches in my occipital area and ITS MY AGE AND ALL IN MY HEAD and these Aleve is all I need AND ALL IVE BEEN GIVEN TO TAKE!!  I AM IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND KNOW VERY WELL ALL ABOUT MEDS and I give my life and time and body to help others and I cant get pain relief?  They make me feel like a hypocondriac and a drug seeker and I dont know what to do.....Any suggestions at all?

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,657

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I have to close it.

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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