Health Concerns & Diseases

Recovering from a Laminectomy: What to Expect

Chronic back pain is a problem that plagues millions of people worldwide. If you are suffering from back pain, you’ll be happy to know that there is a way to alleviate the pain that you are feeling in your back.

A laminectomy is a surgical operation that is done in order to remove the lamina, or the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord, thus enlarging the spinal canal and relieving pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. If you are thinking about having this surgery, you’re probably wondering what to expect after spine surgery.

Post-Operative Care for Spine Surgery

One of the most nerve-wracking things about any surgery is wondering what will happen after. In order to ease your mind about a laminectomy, here is a detailed look at what you can expect after the surgery is over.

  • Once the surgery is complete, you will be taken to a post-op location in the hospital where you will be observed and your condition will be monitored. You’ll wake up from the anesthesia in post-op and you will be groggy for a while.
  • Depending on your condition, your doctor may allow you to go home a few hours after the surgery; however, you should be prepared to be admitted to the hospital for a few days, as this is the case with many people.
  • You will have pain in your lower back after surgery. In order to manage the pain, your doctor will prescribe a pain killer, which can be taken as often as needed to keep the pain at a minimal.
  • Expect that you will need help after your surgery. It is not uncommon to experience difficulty with getting up, sitting down and walking for the first few days after surgery.
  • Plan to limit your activity level. The less bending, stooping, lifting and walking you do in the weeks following surgery, the better for your recovery and for your pain level.
  • Keeping the incision site clean and dry is imperative for healthy healing. You may require assistance with doing this.
  • In about a week’s time, the stitches will be removed from the incision site.
  • Avoiding sitting for prolonged periods of time is recommended, as this can lead to the development of blood clots in the legs.

Depending on your specific condition and your healing time, you can expect to resume your normal routine within a few weeks after surgery.

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