Main Article on Lumbar Laminectomy Question: Please describe your lumbar laminectomy experience. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Casper, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 06 I am 4 weeks post lumbar laminectomy at L4-L5 and L3-L4. I had sciatica pain for 3 years prior with increasing leg weakness. I had immediate pain relief and was up walking the same day. I didn't realize how much pain I was in until it was gone. I have been very careful with my recovery and felt great up till today. All of a sudden I have a sharp pain in my back when I move. No radiating pain but just very sharp and it is painful when I sneeze. I have no idea why. Comment from: Mystical, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 18 I am 48 years old. I have what they called extreme severe spinal stenosis. I had a decompression and lumbar laminectomy surgery on March 28, 2018. He said I was more likely born this way with a smaller spinal column. Since then I have had severe pain in my lower back down my left leg to the foot. My left foot once in a while goes limp while walking. I have pain coming out from my groin and down my leg, and can't stand. I walk less than 5 minutes and I get severe pain and my knee wants to buckle on me. Comment from: Overthepain, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 I am 3 months out from lumbar laminectomy and discectomy on L4 S1. My pain is worse than before operation. Now I have the lumbar pain that radiates into my right buttock and down my leg and around into my groin. I work full time (nurse) and by the end of my 10 hour shift I can barely walk. Now my leg is a solid ache with sharp pains and feels heavy and weak. I'm so over this pain. Gabapentin does nothing, oxycodone does nothing so I suffer. It took 5 years to find the problem so I know there is a lot of nerve damage. Comment from: Sam, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 05 I had a lumbar laminectomy operation on 5th July. It was meant to be a discectomy but my discs had become hard as stone so the surgeon only shaved some off. I have recovered from the surgery but am still in pain. I came off pain control and was awake for 41 hours. I see my surgeon on Tuesday but dreading telling him I'm still in pain. Comment from: Grunt, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 10 I had a lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy at L4 L5 to relieve pressure on my sciatic nerve on the right side caused by a herniated disc. I'm a US Marine officer, 42 years old who was very active but had to choose between getting this surgery or medical retirement, my leg pain was so bad. Post-surgery the leg pain was gone entirely. Two weeks out I've had some minor pain recurrence but rarely, normal for this operation, and restless legs syndrome symptoms in arms. I'm much better than before surgery, so far it's worth it. Comment from: Klumziekel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 19 I had my lumbar laminectomy bone fusion with titanium hardware surgery on August 8, 2017. I don't know if it's because of the weather changing to the colder air late during the nights and early in the mornings, or maybe just doing some activities (chores at home) that's been causing my back to really hurt, stiffen, have a tight feeling and also throbbing. I'm even getting that tight and stiff feeling in my quadriceps because of it. Comment from: Becky, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 17 I had a lumbar laminectomy on May 1st on L3-S1 to relieve degenerative disc and spinal stenosis. Surgery went fine. I took it easy for several weeks. At 6 weeks I got the go ahead to do physical therapy. I didn't put my whole heart into it, and now on July 15th, my back is hurting like before. I don't know what to do. I am very depressed. I did have leg pain which has subsided, but they still feel heavy. Not sorry I had the surgery, just wish I knew what to do next. Comment from: Staying positive, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 11 I had surgery on L5, L4, 10 weeks ago in February 2018 and all seemed to go well. But 4 weeks after my lumbar laminectomy surgery the incision area aches badly. I can't sit for more than 30 minutes or stand for more than 1 hour. I don't know if it is the muscle or the disc that's the issue. I was told 6 weeks but that is being modest, from other posts I see on this forum. I'm hoping it will get better from what I have read. The leg and back pain are gone, but it is a different kind of achy pain that's deep and dull in the lower back. I am scheduled to see pain management next week. Hope it is good news or I will be getting MRI soon. Comment from: Lurija, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 11 My husband had L4 and L5 fusion and now has numbness in groin and below knees. He can go to the bathroom on his own and can walk with a walker. It's been a week since his lumbar laminectomy and he is getting very nervous. Comment from: Dan, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 02 I am a 40 year old male tree service owner/operator. On December 5th debilitating lower body pain began out of the blue. I couldn't even climb in the lift bucket. Mainly pain in the right hip down to the knee. I tried everything in the book. January 6th I got the MRI, CT and x-rays. Pain was so bad I wanted to cry. Discovered I needed a lumbar laminectomy of the L3-L4 and L4-L5. Outside of both legs to my toes was numb, hips were on fire and the slightest wrong move about put me down. I was only out of bed an hour or 2 a day. At this point, I would do anything for relief. February 23, 6 pm I finally got the laminectomy of L3-L4 and L4-L5 with disc dissection at both locations. The pain in recovery is the worst I have ever experienced. The night was horrible. I spent it sweating, crying and pressing a little green button every 8 minutes. February 24th noon I turned the corner. Things were slowly getting better almost by the minute. All pre operation symptoms were gone. I was out of bed doing laps around the floor. I wanted to win very badly. Now it is February 28, 8 pm and I'm typing this in little pain. I am slightly limited with bending, twisting and lifting but it is getting better quickly. I am amazed how quickly this is coming together. If not for the first 20 hours after surgery, this is a great experience. Comment from: skiing43, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 17 I have had 3 L4-L5 lower back lumbar laminectomy surgeries. December 2015 was my first. Six weeks later in January 2016 was my second, and then my 3rd was in May 2016. I had 2 bulging disks and they kept rupturing. Laminectomy was performed. I can go on and on. I went through so much pain. I would be ok for a little while after surgery but then the pain came back. When the pain got unbearable again the disk had ruptured again and my surgeon said that I would have to have fusion. This I did not want to do. I changed doctors and went to a new pain management doctor. It took 3 injections and the last one really hurt but that along with physical surgery saved me. I thought I was doing the right thing and listening to my surgeon but having a 4th surgery I did not want to do. I am very careful with everything I do now. I am a 1st grade teacher. Comment from: kinsey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22 I had a decompression lumbar laminectomy for staph infection (not MRSA) 5 months ago. Initially I was unable to bear any weight, I have now progressed to using a walker. I am told my spine may take up to a year to heal and my progress for normal ambulation is unknown. Comment from: Tonya, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 14 I have just had lumbar laminectomy surgery a week and 3 days ago. I'm having leg pain in both my legs. I can't stand for a long time, especially in the shower; I have to sit down on the side of the tub to take a shower because of the pain in my legs. I drove for the first time, it was ok until I had to lean up to watch for traffic. I go for my follow up on March the 17th, 2017. I was wondering if anyone else had leg pain in their legs, if it was normal or how long it would last. I felt my back hurt today March 11th, a little bit. That's the first time I felt my back hurt since the surgery, maybe because of my driving put a strain on it. I had the laminectomy on my L5 S1. Comment from: DebRN, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04 My back and leg pain were relieved by lumbar laminectomy. But, now I have terrible bilateral foot pain. I can barely walk. Comment from: Shirley , 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 27 I suffered for years from back pain. I am glad to read the stories. My doctor says I need lumbar laminectomy. I am inconstant pain. Hopefully it will help. I cannot stand or walk. I would do anything for relief. Comment from: BONKA, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 13 I am going on the 3rd January for lower back decompression and laminectomy. My mobility has got so bad I can just manage a few steps with the help of a rollator. I am taking oxycodone liquid 2.5 ml every 4 hours and a 5 mg tablet at night, with 50 mg pregabalin twice a day. I have had problems with disorientation, constipation and nausea, but I think we have the balance right now. REFERENCE: Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.