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I am set to have a lumbar laminectomy for a herniated disc at L5/S1 in two weeks. I was told that I should expect to be in the hospital for about 24 hours. I haven't had my pre-op appointment yet and I am wondering what recovery at home will be like. My husband is taking the first couple days off of work, but should I ask relatives and friends to come over to help me with tasks like getting out bed and taking my dog out to potty? Thanks!

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I am also having the same surgery in 1 week and dont know what to expect? Let me know if you want to chat....

Jeannie
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I had lumbar laminectomy surgery on my L3/s1 about 4 days ago. I still have alot of swelling in my lower back and my right foot (esp. my heel) is numb. Is this normal?
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Today is Wed jan 14th. I had my surgery on Monday 12th and i can tell you that i have never had so much pain in my life. I find that if I sit for more than 10 min i cant get back up alone. If i lay down i cant stand by myself. It is harder to get down than to get up. I woke up this morning at 3 am to take my pain meds and while laying I was ok.(minimal pain) but when i tried to stand my nerves when crazy. my left hip would not take any weight and i could not breath from the pain in my back. PLEASE HAVE SOME ONE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. It is now 44 min later and i have some range of motion back due to the pain meds taking affect. I am enclosing my e-mail if you want to talk further. I am a 39 year old female and to my understanding this problem knows no age limit.

mary
lewisnclark25@msn.com
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I'm 62; had severe spinal stenosis; degenerative disc disease, disc herniation; disc bulges along with other items. Each day was harder and harder to walk let alone be a home maker because of all the pain. I'm not overweight (129) so that wasn't an issue. I finally researched until I was blue in face, saw two Neurologists and two Neurosurgeons. The second Neurosurgeon asked me about my life, my health, my family health...he showed he cared. Told me the three "shots" would never help and showed me and any husband why they would not work. January 23rd I had the surgery. It was supposed to last one hour it lasted three because of unforseen troubles. After the surgery, he came into the Recovery Room, picked up my hand and patted me saying "I'll never have any more pain in my legs." Today, my husband has to hold to down to rest. I'm off my pain meds and really into the exercises the Surgeon gave me. I'll be somewhat recovered in a month, but the spine part will be in the Spring. I'm Thankful, painfree, and nearly independent. Get all the help you can, most family love to help each other. God Bless you.
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Last May, at 25 years old I had to have an emergency L4-L5 laminectomy and discectomy. Before the surgery I had pain that I could never have imagined. After the surgery, I woke up and was no longer in pain. It was the most amazing feeling to know that I would no longer have lightening going down my leg and out my toes. I tried to avoid surgery at all costs, but in the end, it had to be done. I recommend being proactive about getting the surgery and not try to avoid it like I did. It is incredible how tolerant we can become of the pain we are in. Now, I can't believe that I was in that much pain regularly and didn't go insane. I did lose some feeling and strength in my left foot, but it is now mostly back. FYI - when the nerves wake up, it feels like a bad bee sting.

I did have complications. In the hospital, for 3 days before my surgery, I was pumped full of painkillers like morphine (which is no where near as good as they make it sound) and vicodin. These narcotics caused me to become severely constipated, despite the regular dose of Miralax and stool softeners they had me on. To make a long story less long, I ended up baring down too much when having a bowel movement and caused myself to have a CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) leak. I had to go back to the hospital and have a second surgery to repair the leak.

Despite everything that went 'wrong' I have been happy since the moment I woke up and wasn't in pain. I felt like everything was downhill from where I had been. It was not an easy or enjoyable experience, and having gone through it, I feel like I can (and will) do anything.
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I have been battling sciatica in my left leg off and on for 3 years. I have tried everything including "the shots", chiropractic, accupuncture, etc. I am scheduled for fusion L3 toL5 with bone graft on Feb 10th. I don't know what to expect during recovery, but I am praying that this is the right decision. Everyone tells me its the only solution. I am keeping a positive attitude and preparing as best I can. If anyone would like to chat during my recovery, let me know. I should be back at the computer by Feb. 15th.
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:'( I am new to this board and computing--I have been reading
some of the questions posed, bur canot seem to pick up the replies!!!
HELP!!!
Many thanks.
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XD hello, fellow, sufferers, I had interlaminal decompression on l4/5
od Friday. home on Saturday afternoon. and doing very well.after years of suffering, i feel as if my body has been freed from a trap--Good luck
to all who are awaitng surgery-it is not all bad.
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%-)

I had a laminectomy/discectomy on Feb 6th and am still not back to myself. My surgery took 4.5 hrs instead of 1-2. My Dr. said recovery time was 1-2 weeks.

I'm 28 & healthy. But my recovery has not been what I expected. I experience an upset stomach & dry heaving if someone touches near my scar area in the wrong way or if I do too much of anything. This sucks! I still experiance a lot of pain and although things have gotten better I'm not able to work a full day or even a half a day. And going out for a couple of hours makes me exhausted.

My docotor doesn't seem to understand and I my PT doesn't want to see me and thinks I need more bed rest.

Does anyone relate or
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I had a lumbar laminectomy with fusion (hardware) S1 to L5 Dec 2008. At this point I am still unable to do things for myself, and not for sure when and if I will be able to return to my job.
I am still having the pain that I had prior to the surgery even after all of the prednisone, lyrica and 7 other medications that they have given me. No setting, standing or walking for more than about 10 minutes or the pain shoots down my legs and they go numb. Thank goodness I have a great little boy to help out!
My doctor tells me that it could take up to a year maybe 2 before I will be able to do normal activities.
Because of my high pain tolerance, he is now worried that I may have permanent nerve damage because I let it go for so long.
My surgery was to take at the most 2 hours and ended up being almost 4 because the nerves were entrapped in the discs as well as the bone spurs.
Don't wait as long as I did to get in to see a doctor about your back pain, as the recovery time from this surgery would not be on my top 10 list of things I would want to do again.
My sympathy goes out to anyone that has had back surgery :-)
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I'm a 33 year old male. I had a perpercutaneous lumbar laminectomy with fusion, L5/S1, on March 6th, 2009. I was in the hospital for only one night. Surgery was at 7:30 am, I woke up a few hours later. I had uncontrollable muscle spasms in my upper body and was freezing. I was in a lot of pain. They loaded me up with Dilaudid and put some heated blankets on me. I think they gave me some muscle relaxer too. Once all that kicked in, I was pretty good.

The night sucked because the hospital bed was terrible and I was really sore, as you'd expect.

Now it's 6-7 weeks later and I have yet to have any leg pain or the dreaded lightning pain I would get in my left testicle. Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that is gone.


I'm still sore. I can tell the recovery is going to be a long road but so far it's been worth it. I couldn't pick up my 1 yr old prior to the surgery, he's 35 lbs. I'm still not allowed to pick him up until mid-June since my weight limit is only 20 lbs until then but I WILL be able to pick him up soon, and that is good enough for me.


If anyone has any questions or concerns about their upcoming procedure feel free to email me, _[removed]_.

I'd be happy to answer anything I can and hopefully help you feel better about what is going to be done to you.

It's worth it. My father had the same surgery 2 years ago and is doing great. Like I said, it seems it's going to be a long road until I feel "normal" and the soreness goes away but I'm so glad I did it.


Good luck!
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Maybe you should change a doctor(the second opinion)

Your problem may be involve of the soft tissue adhesion

Do some gentle massage after hot packing(around spine,not over it)

If possible,prone and put a pillow under your abdomin for 15 minutes

It may be helpful to reduce your pain

P.S. Don't forget the corset or lumbar brace!

goodluck
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Hello,
I'm glad to find this forum, I've had a hard time finding good post-operation information. I have been very worried about numbness in my legs.

I am a 37 year old male that was in reasonably good shape, but started experiencing back and leg pain in May, 2009, and my right leg getting more numb each day. In early June I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. Because my surgeon went on vacation, I didn't get surgery until July 13, 2009. The numbness was in my lower right leg on the outside down to my toes. Sometimes my left heel and big toe felt numb, but not all the time. I almost fell at work one day because the numbness affected my balance, and had to resort to walking with a cane.

It's now July 25th. My surgery I was told was a "success". I had a fusion on L4/L5 and laminectomy for L5/S1 (I think). I was in the hospital two days, (they estimated 2-3 days). The pain was tolerable where the incision was made thanks to the meds. My right leg I wasn't able to move for a few hours when I woke up. Later I was able to move it, but it was still numb in the same spot.

The surgeon and a physical therapist came by to check my leg/foot a few times. They seemed concerned, but kept telling me it would come back.

At the hospital and at home, I was able to get around pretty good with a walker. About 4 days after the surgery I think I turned a corner as far as the pain. I got some of my strength back to where I could sit and watch TV in a recliner for quite awhile and have a conversation with people and not feel miserable. After about 7 days I was able to use just a cane and not the walker. It took me about 10 days before I could get out of bed or out of the recliner without help or a struggle on my own.

It's about 2 weeks after surgery and I went to the mall to the movies tonight. I used my cane. It was the most I'd continuously walked since the surgery. It was sort of a strain and exhausting, but was nice to get out.

Because of the fusion, I have to wear a plastic/foam brace around my lower back. It's not very comfortable. I'm supposed to keep it on all the time except when I sleep. But I didn't get clear directions on that and wasn't using it the first week after surgery until I went to my follow up a week and a half after surgery.

At my follow up, the doctor wasn't in. The nurse removed my stitches. My back still hurts near the incision, but it's tolerable. I go back in 5 weeks for a follow-up and I'm told that's when they will schedule physical therapy. I had some questions she answered, but I really wanted the doctor to talk to me about the numbness.

My left leg after surgery is now numb in the big toe and the next toe. I didn't have as much numbness there before surgery. My right leg is still numb from the knee down.

I'm really worried about this? Does anyone have any experiences of the feeling coming back? I'm told the nerve can grow back, but I'm very worried it won't. If it was a few months I'd be glad, even 2 years as long as I get it back.

I plan to go back to work on Aug. 3, 2009. I think I'll have enough strength, I just dread wearing this brace around.



Sorry for my long post, but just wanted to share information to anyone on what to expect and to ask about if the numbness will end. Thanks!
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Okay. Here is my story: In June 08 i started having pain in my right calf. I thought nothing of...i just stretched it and it felt somewhat better. The pain eventually subsided but then started to go into my lower back. i would get pulsating pain in my lower back from time to time (especially in the morning). Fast-forward to August 20th 08 i have the shock of my life. Pain like i have never imagined in my life. I think it was at that point that my disc actually herniated. For three days i did not sleep. It would KILL me when i would stand up. Lying down was the most comfortable position i could get myself into. After a visit to the emergency and some codeine i was set to get a MRI the nest day. Of course if i were to go with medicare it would be a six month waiting list so i paid 700 CAD and went private...ANYWAY... The MRI said i had herniated disc L5 S1. Degenerative disc disease is my diagnoses. I was 24 years old (now 25) and in great health! I weighed 165 pounds. What went wrong???? First thing i did was get an epidural (also known as a cortisone injection) at 145 bucks...That helped a lot, but only for 2 weeks. Went back for another injection (thank god for work insurance) and that helped for another 2 weeks. At this point it’s october 08 and i saw a orthopedic surgeon. I begged for the surgery and he put me on asap. Got operated on January 26th 09 (lumbar discectomy) and the “electric shock” in my right leg completely diminished. HOWEVER 6 months post my op (today august 3) and i still cannot touch my tows. I can do anything but bend down. I was doing physio once a week for 4 months and got tired. Currently i see a massage therapist and she breaks down the muscle in my leg while working on my scar tissue (to break it down). I also do a basic stretch when i can (3-4 a week?)....I just want to know if this is normal? I was told it’s the scar tissue swelling that is touching the nerve and that is causing the pain when i bend down. Will this go away? Will i be able to touch my tows like before???? Please respond if this is your case. I’m desperate for someone who has been through this!!!
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