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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Just had a laminectomy on 1/6/2012, I'm 51. Surgery followed 3 months of conservate treatment with exercise, acumpunture. Symptoms became increasingly worse (pain in right buttocks extending down back of leg, bad enough to cripple me repeatedly throughout a day, increasing weakness). Numbness in calf and foot then set in. After X-rays and MRI, back specialist advised epidural was not an option and sent me for surgical consult.

Surgeon is conservative and advised he would not to a fusion at this time, just removing the vertabrae spurs, scraping out the central canal, and removing the bulging parts of the badly herniated disc. My issues are hereditary, not due to an injury.

What to expect? I guess we are all different.... My surgery was at 6:00 a.m., done by 9:00 a.m. By 2:00 p.m. they hauled my butt out of bed and had me start walking (well, the first trip was only to stand up and then sit down), then we walked every 3-4 hours. Had issues with pain medication making me nauseous, and spent some extremely uncomfortable time. I was in the hospital for two nights, home on Sunday afternoon.

The first 3-4 days were pretty much a pain blur for me - although the original pain (sciatica in right leg) has been gone completely since surgery. The surgical pain has been pretty bad. I took Percoset every 4 hours for the first few days at home, gradually moving off it completely by Day 7 (I hate the way drugs make me feel). Since then, I have occasionally taken a half a Percoset if it gets really bad). I used a walker for the first few days, but managed without any other special equipment. If your mom does not have good leg strength, she may find a raised toilet seat helpful!

I gradually started walking more, first around the house, then around my property. At this point (2 weeks post-op), I walk a total of 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile daily (not at the same time, usually in 2-3 trips). No issue with stairs. I am slow, but steady. No leg pain, although the numbness is still there (getting better, I think). I am very, very frustrated with the mobility restrictions (no lifting, bending, twisting), but the pain of bending pretty much keeps me in line!

Best of luck for your mom!

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