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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Laminectomy
Oct 7, 2006

I just had decompressive laminectomy 2 weeks ago due to severe spinal stenosis, however I also have DDD and had 2 herniated discs also. I did have epidural shots for the discs & the shots seemed to help the disc pain. However my laminectomy might also have helped open up space for my problem discs. I am only 37 but had back pain and leg pain that progressed over 3 and 1/2 yrs. I tried everything also including physical therapy. But I got to the point I could no longer walk upright or walk or stand up for more than about a minute...otherwise my back, legs, shoulders, neck went into severe spasm and I had bad burning pain in my rear and down my legs. Since my condition was never going to get better & would probably only get worse ( I couldnt imagine how much worse it could get) I finally decided on surgery. In general, for laminectomy, people are usually in the hospital only about 2 days unless one has complications. Thankfully my surgery went great, no complications, no fever, the wound looked i was released in 2 days.

Mind you, it is painful as any surgery would be. But for me at least, all my other pain I had before surgery was gone! THey get you up out of bed usually on the 2nd day and walk around a little with a walker. It does hurt like hell but if you follow their instructions as to how to get out of bed it does make a big difference in the amount of pain you feel. They call it a log roll to get in or out of bed. The pt's at the hospital I was in showed me how to do this, how to get in & out of a car, how to use the toilet, how not to bend or twist, and how to get up & down stairs before I left. You can't really bend or twist at the waist...I got a "grabber" device which is a godsend as I'm always dropping everything.

So far my recovery seems to be going great. I did everything they said, I walk as much as I can with either my walker or a cane. My wound is just about healed up. In my case they stitched me up on the inside (which will disintegrate on their own) and on the outside of my skin they used "steri-strips" (which is similar to butterfly bandages). I had to leave them alone & just let them fall off on their own and not really wash over that area. But already they all fell off. My scar is about 5 inches long ( I had 3 levels decompressed) but it looks pretty good already. It's been a couple days over 2 weeks and I hardly need any more pain killers. I take 1 or 2 per day now and will probably stop them all together soon. (Also, before I left the hospital, they gave me valium and some painkillers b/c I had a 2 hour drive home....this made my ride much more comfortable)

All in all, I am sooooo happy I went through with the surgery. My old pain is gone and my surgery pain is almost gone. I am looking forward to a more normal life again! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and I wish you lots of luck with your surgery

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