Main Article on Lumbar Laminectomy Question: What was the recovery period for your lumbar laminectomy? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Loucy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07 I am 3 plus years post lumbar laminectomy surgery. Then I recently fell down steps and fractured 2 vertebrae. I am still experiencing chronic severe pain and muscle spasms. Many days I am unable to even do daily housework preparing meals because I cannot stand for long. I am most comfortable flat on my back. I can't understand why this is taking so very long. It's ruining my marriage. He believes I make it all up! Heartbroken. Comment from: Ryan , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 05 I am a 38 year old female and had a lumbar laminectomy on 12-18-18. I went home the same day. I went back to work (transmission plant) two weeks after surgery with some restrictions. I could've taken 6 weeks off but thought getting back to work would be better for my healing. I am more than pleased with the results. My sciatic pain is almost completely gone. I still have some muscle soreness at times, when doing repetitive lifting, which is to be expected. I am very happy with my results so far. Comment from: davo, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 29 I had L3-L4 and L4-L5 lumbar laminectomies 4 months ago. Operation and recovery were a dream run but now I am experiencing weakness in legs, my right lower leg is still numb, and chronic fatigue which is frustrating as I like to be active. Hoping it will improve over time. Thanks to all for your comments, my problems are insignificant compared with some of yours. Comment from: Alone, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 28 I had my lumbar laminectomy done on 10/22/18. I just turned 56 in December. My surgery was a complete failure. I feel worse now than ever. Not, sleeping, and out of work ever since. I wound up back into surgery a week later due to a hematoma. I told the nurses that something was wrong. They released me anyway saying that my insurance company wasn't going to cover another day. I was furious. I'm still furious. I wonder if there is anything I can do about it. Comment from: Doreen , 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 24 I am 18 days out of a lumbar laminectomy with faucet. I am recovering from the surgery pretty good. But I have this terrible pain in my lower back starting on my left side and going across to my right side. I've been to the doctors twice already within four days. He has taken many x-rays and now he has ordered an MRI. I wonder if anyone else is having this problem. Comment from: Joey, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 28 I've had 3 discectomies and 12 other treatments and still have low back and leg pain. The lumbar laminectomies took place in 1996, 97, and 98. Comment from: Planti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 14 I am 64 and had bilateral lumbar laminectomy at L4 L5 for sciatica of 3 years. I was limited in household duties, had problems with sleeping and difficulty walking more than a couple of blocks. Immediately after waking from surgery I was walking and left the hospital that night. I had one night of sciatica for a few hours on day 12. I was off of narcotic pain medicines for the surgery site after 4 days. I am 6 weeks out now and no significant pain, very happy. Comment from: elizabethstans, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 08 I'm 21 years old and 3 weeks post lumbar laminectomy for severe spinal stenosis. I used to have sciatica pain, muscle cramps, and a curved spine. I was unable to stand for more than 3 minutes at a time and was always in pain. I was walking within an hour of my surgery and had no pain down my legs. I can now say I have absolutely no pain at all minus minor incision pain and minor muscle strain. I tried everything including physical therapy and injection but surgery worked and now I'm free to do anything. Comment from: Linny, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 08 I recently had a multilevel lumbar laminectomy (12/13/18). Even though it is early in my recovery I feel great. I suffered from severe leg pains and lower back pain... it is all gone. I am also not taking any medicines except Tylenol for some surgical pain. I am so glad I chose the surgery. I feel like I am getting my life back. I know I still have weeks of healing and things could change but for now everything is good. I know the success of my procedure was because of the very skilled surgeon I had and his staff. Comment from: Sharon, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 07 I am 3 months out from lumbar laminectomy on L1 through L5. Honestly I wish I had never had the surgery. The pain is much worse in my back and I can barely function. I cannot stand or walk for over 5 minutes without intense pain. Surgeon had me do another MRI. There is some inflammation around L4 and L5 but in his words, 'everything looks like it should' after such a big surgery. So no sense in going back to him. I am back on pain medicines which I was hoping the surgery would stop. Very Frustrating! Comment from: Pipetrain01, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 31 I am 3 months into recovery from lumbar laminectomy and still have sciatic nerve pain in my right leg. I have had a steroid shot and it didn't help, high doses of steroids and pain pills, along with a CT myelogram. I just want the pain to stop so I can go back to work. Comment from: mskp, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 28 I'm 32 years old and in October 2018 I had a laminectomy with discectomy on my L4 L5 discs. Before surgery it was 1 year that I was unable to sleep in my own bed. I slept in a recliner. After surgery I do feel better. My leg pain is pretty much gone. I'm in my bed and able to sleep in it again. For the most part surgery helped about 75 percent but now I suffer with back pain. If I stand too long, walk too much, or overexert myself cleaning or doing any kind of activity I'm in lots of pain and get no relief. Comment from: Greg, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 20 I had a lumbar laminectomy surgery end of August and I am still in pain as well as the sciatic pain that was supposed to diminish, which it has calmed down but is still there. I am 4 months in now and still have lower back pain. Very limited as to what I can do. Comment from: Sick of pain, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 11 I am 4 weeks post lumbar laminectomy of L4/L5 after treating conservatively for 8 years. I am in horrible pain, if I don't stay ahead of my pain it takes 2 hours to get to an ok point. I am having severe left side and groin pain, surgeon has no Idea why. I went in for post operation appointment and my reflexes were so off my surgeon ordered an MRI of my neck. Results are protruded discs all along the right side but two of them need replaced with artificial discs. I have surgery next month on that and I'm nowhere near recovered. Comment from: GiuliamMilliken, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 27 I am 14 weeks post lumbar laminectomy, foraminotomy, decompression, and a cyst removed. I am overall doing very well. The pain was gone the day of surgery and I went to work 3 days later. I'm experiencing now very deep aching pain into my lower lumbar and sacral area to the point of bringing me to my knees. There is still some swelling and slight discoloration. Overall I'm 90 percent improved. Comment from: Jebsw, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 27 I'm only 2.5 weeks out from lumbar laminectomy. I had a laminectomy to allow access to a spinal schwannoma. I have tons of other back issues; the tumor was an incidental finding on an MRI. Muscle cramps on thighs have disappeared. Tingling, which was present for years, is gradually disappearing. Walking a bit better each day. If you read all these comments, you'll be nothing but scared. So far, mine's really helped. Be sure to get both sides of a story. Comment from: Deb, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 23 I had a lumbar laminectomy and discectomy in August 2008. It was a horrible experience, I should have had more opinions. After surgery I could not move my legs for 2 days and thought I was paralyzed. The doctor came in and said come on, other patients are walking. I was sickened. After 2 days and medicine change from another doctor I was able to move my legs and walk. Then I began suffering restless leg syndrome. Never had prior. Then after surgery MRI was done of neck where I had spinal stenosis. I have significant issues. Comment from: UPSJOE54, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 05 I read these comments and I identify with all of them. I am a 55 year old male. I had a lumbar laminectomy of L5 S1 in January of 18. My buttock and the area right above it are excruciatingly painful. Pain medicines aren't even touching the pain. I am considering going the medical marijuana route. I can't walk, stand, sit, lie down; to top it off I just lost my father to breast cancer, rarest cancer for men. I am tired of doctors, medications, and I have been at this for 6 years. Comment from: Tosha, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 I had L4 L5 lumbar laminectomy on 5/3/18 and as of today am so much worse. To the left of my incision it feels like there is a knife in it. I cannot walk long, work out, nothing. I am 46 and nobody has answers for me. They got paid for the surgery and now I am left out to dry. Comment from: Tired of the pain, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 It's been 2 years and I'm worse off now than I was before the C2 through C6 laminectomy. I have horrible swelling, numbness and muscle spasms, and the surgeon could care less, he got his paycheck. I don't know where to go next, other doctors want to do fusion and pins and rods. Comment from: Rccrazybill, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 17 I had my second lumbar laminectomy on the 6th to relieve severe numbness in both feet. I'm 7 days out and the numbness is still present. My first laminectomy was at the T 10 level, this one was at L 3/4 and L 4/5. I know it's supposed to take time to decompress but I thought I would be a bit better after the surgery. The numbness is maddening! I don't know what to do at this point. I don't sleep right so I'm always fatigued. You wouldn't think numbness is that bad but it's worse than back pain! Comment from: Chuck, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 14 I had L5 S1 lumbar laminectomy surgery done on May 7th, 2018. I'm in so much worse pain and numbness that I can hardly walk or sleep. I told my surgeon. He had me get a CAT scan. He said that everything looks good, and there was nothing he could do. I'm on the verge of being paralyzed. Comment from: jlc, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 13 I had spinal fusion, L4 L5 In 2017. A year later the pain is excruciating in my lower back. X rays have shown no defect and it all looks as if it has healed well. I cannot bend or even turn over in bed without getting severe pain in my back. It feels like someone is sticking a knife in and twisting it. So my question is why the pain is much worse now. My answer is I don't know and I wished I had never had the lumbar laminectomy done. Comment from: Blessed, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 31 It is 9 weeks since my spinal fusion surgery. In the beginning I felt my recovery from lumbar laminectomy was going well. Now, I had knee replacement in 2015, not only does that knee hurt, but the other knee and hips hurt. I can't sit too long, lie too long, not getting any sleep due to pain mostly on my whole left side. I'm worried I did something wrong. I did bend a little too much but used my knees as best I could. My post operation checkup is 9/11. I'm hoping my x-ray shows that I'm healing the way I should. Comment from: Turn back the clock, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 I had L5 S1 lumbar laminectomy done 5 months ago. I have been left with numb foot and calf, low back pain, hip pain, cramps day and night in left leg, groin pain, buttock pain, and pins and needles in hands. I keep dropping things, I get 2 or 3 hours sleep a night maximum, and I am unable to sit, stand, or walk for any length of time as I am in too much pain. I have had 4 different MRI done today to see why I still have pre-operation pain and now new post-operation pains. I'm worse after the operation than before and I was in a lot of pain before. Comment from: m0rningangel1, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 21 Finally I am at almost week 3 after lumbar laminectomy. No pain at all, no cane or walker, and best part is no pain killers. I had an awesome surgeon; only thing I don't like is he said no to getting back in the swimming pool till after the first of September, so about 10 more days. I might survive. My knees I thought were getting bad but now that my back is good my knees aren't hurting. I only had one set back and I fell during week 1, luckily only a few bruises and a pulled muscle. Life is good again! Comment from: Birmi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 16 I had 2 lumbar laminectomy and discectomy surgeries in 2006 within 4 months of each other on the same disc, L5 - S1. Now 12 years later I still cannot sleep in any bed without waking up in horrific pain that is so bad I sometimes cannot move or walk. I mostly sleep on the sofa with pillows stuffed under my lower legs. When I travel for work or vacation I'm forced to sleep in a bed and it's so bad I really don't sleep at all. I just turned 49 and don't know how I'm going to deal with it as I get older. Comment from: Barbara C., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 08 I had a lumbar laminectomy/discectomy three years ago for a severely ruptured disc at L5, S1 when I was 64. It has left me with pain at the surgery site, hip and buttocks with numbness, burning and tingling at the back of my thigh, calf, toes and heel. The pain has continued and often feels disabling when trying to move normally - sitting, standing, walking, etc. A recent MRI revealed a complete collapse of the disc with no further surgery recommended - damage is permanent. Comment from: [email protected], 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07 I had lumbar laminectomy. Day one I took hydrocodone after the surgery. I was up and walking within two hours and went home a couple of hours later. Day 2 no pain and no drugs. Now I am at day 6, no pain, numbness in my toes and feet is about gone, and I can feel my toes again. I came home alone and am taking care of myself. I am walking 30 minutes and either sleeping or watching a movie for 30 minutes during the day time. I am fine. I drove my car today to get a cherry limeade. I am good! Comment from: Sherry, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I had laminectomy on my cervical and thoracic region on April, 25 2018. I fell today and unfortunately there is an increase in the neck and upper back pain. I gently stretch all areas that hurt after I take pain medicines Flexeril and gabapentin. Try Epsom salts bath if your incision is closed. Soak 20 minutes. It helps some. Best of luck to you. I am still out of work - don't see going back as I had anterior 3 level fusion with instrumentation in 2009. My body is screaming. Comment from: EBA's Nonna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 20 I had a lumbar laminectomy on June 13, 2018 after several years of increasing pain and finally numbness and pins and needles particularly in my left leg. I was unable to stand or walk for any length of time without severe pain. I'm so thankful to say that I immediately noticed a decrease in pain and have no numbness left, and only needed pain relievers for a couple of days after surgery. I continue physical therapy and have stretches to do 2 times a day. Sorry to hear of those who had bad results. Comment from: Nana5911, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 19 I was off for 3 months after my lumbar laminectomy. I felt great for about 2 weeks, then started physical therapy, and after the first session I was in pain. I continued for 4 weeks, then stopped about a week and a half before going back to work. Since being back to work for 2 weeks I am in unbearable pain, worse than before the surgery. I have to go back to the surgeon after I have another MRI. Comment from: 123landsman, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 17 I just had surgery May 29, 2018 for the 3rd time. This time it was a quadruple lumbar laminectomy and a bone spur removal. I am now 7 weeks out and have severe frontal thigh pain in both legs. I also have an inability to stand up straight. Nothing helps! I've tried pain pills, gabapentin, Flexeril, Medrol dose pack, pain patches and more. Nothing works. I feel like maybe something has collapsed inside my spinal column. Maybe something shifted after the surgery. I have doctor appointment on Friday. Comment from: Lynn_P, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 12 I had a lumbar laminectomy on June 13, 2018 and one month later I'm still recovering as I have worse pain now in my buttocks and legs then before the surgery. Some days it's difficult to walk. I had another MRI yesterday to see what's going on. Still waiting to hear. However, my back issues are now gone but the pain in my buttocks and legs gets unbearable at times. Norco doesn't even help. Comment from: Want100%again, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I had lumbar laminectomy about 6 weeks ago. After surgery, I was just achy, no real pain and only took Tylenol until day 3 when I had severe muscle cramps that I couldn't get out of bed. I was prescribed a muscle relaxer which helped. Then starting week 3 I started feeling a backache on the left side of my incision and a little numbness on my right side near my knee. The doctor said that I am still healing and it takes 6 months to a year before I recover completely. Coming to week 6 after recovery and still have backache near the incision and now in the back of my right thigh. I feel the muscle pulling to the point that it's hard to get up from sofa and out of car. It takes a few minutes before I can straighten up. Comment from: Sandie B, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 06 I had two laminectomy/discectomies last summer. I am for the most part completely healed, after having a resulting staph infection. My problem is I still can only sleep in a recliner. I can start off sleeping in my bed, but my body naturally turns onto my stomach and I wake in a lot of discomfort and have to go back into the recliner. We have a sleep number bed, queen size. To upgrade to the king size that has two adjustable sides would be USD 4000. I can't use a Mattress Genie because it only works with twin beds. I've tried a wedge but it was uncomfortable. I'm afraid I may never be able to sleep in my bed again! Comment from: Jerry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 30 I was diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis and had a lumbar laminectomy on L3 through L5 on 2/13/18. I'm a physically fit 65 year old male, 5'5” 140 lb. I have a high pain tolerance so I would put my average sciatica pain at a 3.5 out of 10. I could have lived with the pain but I didn't like the fact that I was walking hunched over and more importantly was losing muscle mass in my right calf and right buttocks due to nerve damage. I was also developing a slight limp in my right leg. But with all that being said the week before surgery I rode my bicycle 150 miles, did an 11 mile hike and played 4 hours of high level pickleball. Well, the surgery was life changing in a good way. Immediately after surgery I was back to walking upright. The numbness and tingling in my right leg was completely gone! I was up and walking around the hospital within three hours after surgery. I was discharged from the hospital 23 hours after surgery. I took a total of nine pain medicines during my first four days post operation, mostly to help me sleep. I took a couple Tylenol per day for a few days after I stopped the prescription medications. All of the post-surgery pain I experienced (which wasn't much) was around the incision area. I walked several times a day from day one post operation. I was walking up to 5 miles a day within 2 weeks and at 2 1/2 weeks did a seven mile walk. At 3 weeks I started physical therapy which I performed faithfully every day. At four weeks I was back on an upright bicycle and at eight weeks was back on my racing road bike. I just met (15 weeks post operation) with my surgeon and have been cleared to do whatever my back will tolerate pain wise. I'm back on the pickleball courts but taking it a bit easier, I'm back to riding a bike 150 miles a week and hiking as far as I care to. Ten years ago I would have been one of those who said “I would never have back surgery!” Well losing muscle mass and limping can sure change one's mind. If you are in good shape and good health prior to surgery and are willing to do the work afterwards the results can be very pleasing. I also encourage you to seek out a top rated spinal surgeon in your area. Comment from: Sandi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 04 My first lumbar laminectomy surgery was on L4 and L5 in March 2015, second surgery was in November 2015 because 2 more discs fractured while I was exercising. I was doing great, walking 4 to 5 miles a day. Last November I began experiencing pain. I had revision laminectomy and fusion on January 17. I was discharged after 4 days and was walking great! I went for a short walk at home and developed side pain from the back to the front, just under the breast down to the pelvic bone. I was readmitted to the hospital 48 hours later because I couldn't get up on my own or walk at all. I was in the hospital for a week and sent home again because I had help available at home. I went back to the hospital 24 hours later because the pain was so bad. The hospital sent me to a rehabilitation hospital where I had to learn to walk again. I was discharged from there on 2/13/18. Last week the doctor put me in a back brace because the bolts in L1 are moving. I am experiencing severe pain in my sides again. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. I was told it might have been caused by the operating table they use but I would think that would be resolved by now. Comment from: Wawa, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 13 I'm a 70-year-old young woman. I work full time at a mostly desk job. I suffered from excruciating sciatic pain -- levels 10 plus. An epidural failed to help. Norco was a mild help. My MRI was misread, therefore it seemed as if I was opiate seeking. I organized a second opinion with a reputable surgeon. He immediately found a huge cyst compressing the sciatic nerve and very inflamed lamina. He offered his help. It took months, but I switched health insurance plans and proceeded with surgery with my new surgeon. After a L4 L5 discectomy, laminectomy, decompression of sciatic nerve by removal of a huge synovial cyst, and fusion, I am doing great. Now two weeks post operation, I barely have any pain since post operation day 1. I would recommend this procedure with a good surgeon if you're suffering. I'm ready to get back to work next week. It seems, no more Norco for me. Comment from: Gem, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 28 I had a lumbar laminectomy on January 10th, 2018. The first two weeks were awful. The pain was excruciating, I took the pain killers prescribe every 4 hours. By the second week the pain subsided. I had the staples taken out by the fourth week. My healing process was awesome. I saw my surgeon again in my sixth week. He was very pleased with my healing progress. I am back to work. I have started training at my gym with light exercises. In the last two day I have been experiencing slight pain at the sides of my incision. I'm concerned! Hoping to discuss this with my general physician. Comment from: Mcllosm, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 20 I had a laminectomy on L5-S1 on December 29, 2017. They told me to walk every 30 minutes. I did just that; but not around the block. It was too much right away and re-herniated the disc. Therefore I had to have a revision of the first surgery. That took place on January 3, 2018. I felt pretty good afterwards and followed the recommended healing process. I've been to physiotherapy, and signed up at the gym, basically doing senior exercises. I was doing great but now the pain at this point is awful in the right pelvic region. Tomorrow I'm having a shot in the sacroiliac joint which I hope will help. The doctors told me for people my age, healing takes longer. I am usually quite active and I must say now, the pain is no fun. Occasionally I take hydromorphone for pain. At least it helps me sleep. Comment from: bucksflyer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 09 I had L4 L5 lumbar laminectomy on 2/6/18. I was up and walking after seven days. Then the right hip pain came back with a vengeance! Today, 29 days later, I still have right hip pain. I am not walking as much either. I was told that the numbness, and the leg and back pain situation were not going to be over for almost 1 year. I am a hiker and have plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2019 when I turn 70. I would love to hear similar experiences from people who are in my age group, and have similar hobbies of hiking in high altitude areas. Comment from: Bonnie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 24 I had two lumbar sections laminectomy done. It's been a month. I am still experiencing pain in right and left lower leg, with right leg being worse. I am taking Percocet and it helps some. I am taking 900 mg gabapentin, but not sure if that helps. I still have some back pain, depends on activity. The doctor tells me recovery could take up to 18 months. Sure hope it gets better. Thank goodness I work part time. Comment from: Roc, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 17 It is 4 months after my lumbar laminectomy on the left side L3/4. The pain in and around the surgery area is so bad that after I get up from bed I can't sit down on a chair. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to ease up. I have lost confidence in my surgeon. After 3 surgeries I am still not pain free. I'm an active person and this has got me down. Comment from: Happy Camper, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 11 I have suffered increasing lower back pain, numbness in right leg while walking. I had L2 L4 lumbar laminectomy on August 30, 2017. I was walking about in about an hour after getting to recovery. I had no major pain or numbness. I was only on Tylenol for pain management for 3 days. I was being careful to follow instructions. I am walking about 1.5 miles daily, no major discomfort, and the incision is healing nicely. Comment from: Retirede, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 13 On June 13, 2017 I had a discectomy, lumbar laminectomy, and spinal fusion. I was bedridden from the pain for most of early June, and over the past 15 years dependent on pain management. My pain was entirely on my right side, and in early June, excruciating pain resulted in my right leg going numb, first from the knee down to ankle, and then migrating into my groin. Post-surgery I spent one day in hospital, I had minimal pain, and right leg was still numb, but could support me. In the past 4 weeks I am steadily gaining stamina, I wear a brace from morning to night, sit for no longer than 30 minutes at a time. I am having trouble getting in and out of my compact sedan, and am seriously considering a crossover. I am 70 years old, was active throughout my life. I don't think I will be getting into my kayak again, but to be almost pain free, I will take the sacrifice. Comment from: still in pain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 13 I had a partial laminectomy 3 years ago on my L4 L5, now I still have pain in both hips and legs. I have tried pain management and had several injections that didn't last a week. My primary care giver still only gives me 3 pain pills a day 7.5 Norco and I work full time still. If I ask for anything they make me feel like I am a drug addict or seller. I don't really know where to go from here. Comment from: Sunshine, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 08 I got 5 different consultations and am so glad I did as they all had different recommendations. I had a lumbar laminectomy 5 weeks ago at L3, L4 and L5 with a neurosurgeon. The pain in my back, buttocks and legs is now gone. I got lots of friends support and holistic care before and after, including lymph massage. Now I just have to be patient for the fatigue to lessen as the body heals. I wish you all well. Comment from: JohnnyPiper1945, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 09 I'm 16 days past my lumbar laminectomy. I walked around the hospital 1.5 hours after surgery, and the symptoms were gone. I then went home and the pain got increasingly worse over the next 3 days, but then I woke up on day 5 and it was much better. Since then, I've improved each day. I am a little worried about the infusion area, because it is stiff and swollen. Oh, and I'll require surgery on my cervical spine. I'm told they open up your throat, pull your esophagus and larynx. Comment from: Czechmary, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 10 I had L4, L5, S1 laminectomy and discectomy 5 weeks ago. Initially I had severe left groin pain that traveled down my inner thigh. I am taking oxycodone several times daily. I now feel like my back and hips are stuck, they are so painful; my low back and both hip areas. My left leg feels like it is tight all the time; the same feeling I have in my buttocks. I am wondering if the pain medication is making it worse; that's how it feels. I am also taking Soma 3 times daily. Some days I feel better but I cannot even sleep in my bed. Comment from: Ms. D., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 06 After 15 years of back problems I had a laminectomy on the L 3, 4, and 5 vertebras. It's been two months and I still have leg pain and my leg is very weak. I am going for therapy, can't walk much. I thought I would feel better by now. Comment from: Meow808, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 27 I had a discectomy and lumbar laminectomy in mid-December 2016. This was supposed to help me by relieving my excruciating back pain in L4 L5 where I had issues. Doctors told me initially it would be about six weeks to heal but now they say it could take over a year. Ever since the surgery I can barely walk. While my back pain is better I now have pain in my right sacroiliac (SI), very deep into my right hip, and pain and tingling all the way down the right leg. I take strong painkillers, hydromorphone, but they only help for a couple of hours and even then only to a small degree. It seems ever since I started pain management a few years ago it's just been downhill. I am going in for a temporary nerve block next week but I don't think the doctor is doing the right one. He is not doing the SI joint but instead is doing for L4 and L5 nerves. If that doesn't work then he will do SI joint. I'm tired of being a guinea pig. I cry myself to sleep almost every night. I want my life back! I have tried everything I can from basic to pain pump implant to no avail. I am wondering if there is any help out there for me or is it just a matter of finding a good doctor. I can't even spend the day in bed because no matter what I do it hurts, not that I could anyway. Comment from: vppn, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 30 I am 8 days out of lumbar laminectomy of L2/L3 and L3/L4 plus I had fusion hardware removed from surgery 8 years ago. Walking around the house is ok plus in and out of bed ok. I still have pain at a level 5 in the surgery area. Hip pain has decreased significantly. Middle of the night bowel movements have stopped. I think I am on par for only being 8 days. I am night and day better from when I got home. I had one night in hospital. Comment from: BSquatty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 25 I had L4-L5 lumbar laminectomy with fusion four weeks ago. Post-operation I had a lot of weakness and numbness in one of my feet and up the leg, so on day 8 I started going to the gym to walk on treadmill, and do leg-strengthening exercises. I had no pain in my back except a little ache on my lower left that I think was muscle strain from bending a bit too much one day. Also, I was no longer feeling the need for a brace. At 3.5 weeks, I went on a long walk (4.5 miles) without the brace, and now (3 days later) I am still so sore all over my back (muscles, not incision area) that it is hard to walk! Obviously, I overdid it, but I hope I haven't done irreparable damage. I put the brace back on to walk, which helps immensely, but I am hoping this will pass. Comment from: Conni, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30 I had a lumbar (L2, L3, L4, L5) laminectomy. That was September 22, 2016. I am 12 weeks out and still in pain. The day they took my staples out my sciatic nerve got pinched and most days I can't walk. I am still using a walker. Very frustrated. I'm overweight which I know doesn't help. I just want to walk again. I had hip replacement 4 months before the back surgery. It's doing fine. Ugh. Comment from: Savitri, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 28 My wife underwent L-4 L-5 lumbar laminectomy during in November 2016. Her leg pain is gone. Now, she is able to walk and do small jobs since surgery of 2 weeks. She had all the medications in time. Hope she will be better and better. Comment from: 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 02 I had an intradural tumor removal done along with a laminectomy done at my L3. I was up and around moving very well about a week after. I still had pain and was limited for about 5 weeks after which I felt good enough to do more. I still waited 6 weeks until I started lifting anything. I am 3 months removed from surgery and have healed well. Comment from: SuziQ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 28 I'm three weeks out from L2 L3 laminectomy. The pain was gone immediately. I was walking with the use of a walker going into surgery. I am now using crutches. My left leg is still numb and so are the toes on both feet. My feet are cold constantly and the veins in my feet are more prominent. I was really hoping to be able to walk on my own by now. I have post-operation checkup tomorrow and then I am heading to physical therapy. It's been very difficult to stay positive but I'm trying. After reading the many posts here I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. Comment from: 815snicker, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 27 Three weeks ago I had a lumbar laminectomy and fusion with 4 screws. The last three days my pain level has been about a 3 down from 10 just last week. When the doctor tells you not to do anything like bend or lift, listen to him! I stopped even dusting the floor and vacuuming and have improved tremendously! Plus I don't have to take heavy drugs anymore! Comment from: Catnandu, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 19 I had a hemilaminectomy and microdiscectomy on 4/14/16 as outpatient surgery. Sounds as though everyone else had a hospital stay. They sent me home after I got up to urinate (1 or 2 hours after surgery). Comment from: nightside, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 20 I am rounding the bend to six weeks out from lumbar laminectomy and I do feel a lot better but still so far from fully functional. I was told by my surgeon that my recovery was excellent. I can't imagine if there were problems. I have learned about myself and have, of necessity, learned patience with myself. If my husband had not been so attentive, concerned, informed and available, I don't know how well it would have gone. He is my rock and he has no idea how grateful I really am. Ok, he knows a little. A bad day feels like what I call triple gravity. A not good day is double gravity. A good day is normal gravity. Comment from: Gremlin, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 29 I had pain so severe I could not stand or walk 50 meters even with a walking stick. I was misdiagnosed by my first general physician (GP) and went through 10 months of pain while having physiotherapy and acupuncture to no avail. Second GP said it was pinched nerve, and CT scan, MRI and operation found cyst at L4, L5. No pain after the lumbar laminectomy and I was walking same day. Now it is 18 days after operation and it is going well. Comment from: Ms. M, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 07 I had hip and leg pain as well as numbness in my foot for about 5 years. I was misdiagnosed for all those years until a physiotherapist figured it out. I had a lumbar (L3, L4, L5, and S1) laminectomy two weeks ago. Some of the pain has resolved in that I'm now able to stand/walk for 15 minutes or so, however I'm still having some hip and leg pain as well as numbness. The numbness has actually moved further up my leg since surgery. I'm hopeful that some of the residual symptoms will resolve, but even if they don't, I don't regret having surgery. Most of the post-operation pain occurred the first 2 to 3 days after surgery. Comment from: David, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 29 Eight years ago I was getting terrible pain in my left leg and spasms in my lower back. My doctor suggested physiotherapy and epidural injections, which I did. About 5 years ago the pain in my left buttock and thigh was so bad that I could not walk more than 10 minutes without excruciating pain in these areas. I tried epidural injections again and they lasted about 6 months. I talked to my back surgeon about relief from lumbar laminectomy surgery and he said I should receive at least 70 percent improvement from the pain. It has been one week since he operated on L 2 through the sacrum and I took my first walk outside about one mile without a cane or walker and I had 0 percent pain. I don`t know if this is still too soon to be optimistic yet, but it feels great to be pain-free! Comment from: lawlyn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04 On April 23rd of this year 2015 I had a lumbar laminectomy, due to severe spinal stenosis. Bone was cut out of my spine before the lumber laminectomy. I am still in the healing process. I still have pain, but I am getting better as each day passes. My surgeon told me it would take 6 months to a year to heal. I have weakness in my legs. My insurance wouldn't pay for physical therapy. Comment from: Geezer Rich, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 20 I had lumbar laminectomy in my L4 L5 and fusion two years ago. I was back to normal in about three months, felt fine at one year. I did my normal stuff from three months. No pain in activities. I took no pain pills except acetaminophen after second day in hospital. I had a three day stay in the hospital. I walked two miles a day for therapy. I had a second laminectomy in L3 L4 with synovial cyst removal. After three weeks I was driving shorter distances, no more than 35 miles one way, I was moving well, no pain. No pain pills except acetaminophen ever. I am feeling good. I was up to walking two miles on back trails after three weeks post operation. Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21 I had a lumbar laminectomy L4, L5 just a week ago, on May 8. I had had calf pain symptoms for several years, could hardly walk without pain in my left calf. I am very active, and the pain was causing severe lifestyle changes. I walked the hospital hallway pain free within hours after surgery. I have been home now for a little over a week, and walked 6 miles with no pain yesterday. My incision is still sore, and am careful not to bend or twist, but I wish I had had this surgery years ago. Can't thank my neurosurgeon enough. Comment from: Marilyn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 20 I had my lumbar laminectomy on April 30th. I was released May 13th. Today is May 17th. I started driving yesterday. I have been pain free for over a week now. I had suffered with terrible pain for over a year. Wish I could have had this surgery much sooner. Comment from: me, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 14 I had lumbar laminectomy 6 days ago due to a car accident 15 months ago. I had pain in my hip and leg daily, which prevented me from doing any exercise and made most walking activities a painful event. Then severe pain would last for days and sometimes weeks after any type of physical activity. It has been 6 days since my surgery and I am walking 2 plus miles per day and riding my exercise bike for 20 to 30 minutes. Other than tight muscles around the surgical site I feel great. There are still a few movements that cause a quick twinge of the nerves in the area, but they are improving quickly. I only took the prescribed pain pills for 2 days and now just some OTC ibuprofen. Comment from: saima, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 06 I had a lumbar laminectomy just 1 month ago and the pain was gone instantly. It was in my L4 L5. My daughter is a nurse and made me get up and walk in that afternoon and again in the evening, and I have been walking ever since. My doctor was fabulous! He said to keep walking. I am bending to feed my cats and clean their litter, but for safety brace my back with arm holding on to counter. I have been doing laundry, but holding close to body. I suffered for years with buttock pain and it ran down left leg. I followed all rules, did therapy first, then surgery. Finally! Comment from: shahadat, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 08 My father aged 65 had lumbar laminectomy at L4/L5 disc 3 weeks ago. But he cannot stand up still. The surgeon is telling that it will take time. But still I am confused why it is happening. He is doing physical therapy daily. Comment from: To young for this..., 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 13 I had lumbar laminectomy when I was 27, May 15, 2017; going on 2 years. I have 3 herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. The herniated tissue was pressing on nerve roots which caused me to lose 90 percent feeling in my right leg. I had the tissue removed in L4, L5, and S1 which brought instant relief from numbness. I had what doctors called 'foot drop'. I also have what seems to be permanent nerve damage in my right leg. I also suffer from horrible cramps in my right leg from hip to toes. Comment from: Donna, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I had my lumbar laminectomy on March 2. I am still not walking well without a cane. Comment from: Nokin28, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 20 I have had 3 lumbar laminectomy surgeries on my L5, S1 due to ruptured disc. All 3 have been done in a 6 month time frame. All have been done by the same surgeon and is workers compensation related. I wonder when malpractice should be an issue, doesn't sound normal to me. Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 28 I have had extreme numbing and tingling pain in my feet (on top of them mostly), now moving up to my calves. I had a spinal back surgery 6 months ago. It did not start happening until about a month or two ago. I am starting to feel bad in my ankles as well. It is hard to walk, feels like pins and needles. I was doing so good after the lumbar laminectomy, then this started happening. Comment from: m0rningangel1, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 10 I wrote in here last week after my lumbar laminectomy and I was doing great, no pain. Well, I fell, so now my lower back where they put a metal piece in the disc, hurts. Hopefully it is normal pain from a laminectomy and I am fine. I am going in tomorrow to have my surgeon look at it and make sure I am ok. Comment from: I had my surgery nin, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 19 I had my lumbar laminectomy surgery nine years ago. I'm 75 and I still cannot walk properly, I have to walk with a cane. I don't understand what the problem is. Comment from: Ademp, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24 I had a lumbar laminectomy on my L3 and L4 on March 7th, for stenosis in my back and pressing on my sciatic nerve. I could only walk holding on to things in my house. I was ready for some relief. The sciatic nerve pain is gone but my right hip and groin area hurt so bad it is hard to walk. I don't know what is going on. I am on gabapentin 600 mg and muscle relaxers. They don't give me much relief. I don't know what to do. Comment from: Magdag, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 04 I had L4 L5 poster lumbar laminectomy 8 days ago. I have not been the best patient, I have been bending at waist and lifting things more than 2 lb. Now I am worried I have done damage, since I am still sore and stiff. I tend to take my medicines after the pain is bad. The incision is healing fine. I'm worried I have created damage. Comment from: NOLA, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02 I am a week from having an L4 L5 laminectomy. I am being very sensible with my recovery, I am still sore where my wound is but no pain anymore down my left leg which was so severe I became depressed. I have been taking short walks but will not be going back to work for a couple more weeks as I work constantly on my legs and do not sit down at all. Well worth going through with the operation, the pain was so severe. Comment from: Florida, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15 On June 20 I had a lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy on L2 L3. I'm three weeks out and I get a vice grip pain in my left leg in the morning upon waking. I'm worried I injured the back directly after surgery. In the hospital I had a difficult time urinating and strained quite a bit to empty my bladder. I am feeling discouraged. Comment from: steve, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 15 The surgical team was very good, before and after lumbar laminectomy. I should have done this in 6 or 7 vertebrae. It is 5 days and I have mostly burning type leg pain. I am walking lightly. Construction work can wait. Comment from: Buckeye, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 27 I had laminectomy, partial discectomy 4 days ago. I still have searing pain in my left buttock and hamstring which precipitated the surgical need. I am very disappointed with how much pain I still have. I am eating Percocet like skittles with very limited relief. I was offered much different expectations prior to surgery. No hospital stay, no home care instructions. Depression is setting in quickly. I question how anyone can live with this type of pain. Comment from: Adagirl4682, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 01 I had lumbar laminectomy four weeks ago; I have suffered with horrible back, leg, foot and toe pain for five years. Incision site is fine. The rest of me is no better or a small amount worse. Tramadol for pain does nothing. I will soon be 80 and hope I do not last much longer; this pain is so miserable. Comment from: Gill, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 23 I feel worse than I did before I had laminectomy L4/L5 11 days ago and now cannot walk at all because of pain in my buttocks and lower back. The medicines make me feel dizzy and I drop things. I cannot stand for more than a few minutes. When I rang the hospital they put my medicines up and suggested morphine. Comment from: Rugrats, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 20 Post lumbar laminectomy for L2, L3 disc fragment, I did well till day 6 when severe pain (worse than pre-operation) occurred involving the entire anterior leg and hip. It lasted 24 hours and then I had drainage on dressing. On day 7 pain was back to a 3 from a 10. I wonder what happened. Comment from: bparks, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 06 I had a laminectomy in October. Exactly three months to the date, I felt great; I didn't need any pain pills. Now, on the opposite side of my body from the waist down, I have a lot of pain, and I am limping. I have an X-ray appointment next week. Then I will know just what the heck is going on (I hope). Physical therapy didn't help; I would have to come home, take a pain pill, and go to bed. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Comment from: Bstoc63, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 19 I had a lumbar laminectomy surgery go horribly wrong. Legs are weak, also pockets of muscles are disappearing. I have atrophy like crazy. No one knows what happened. Then I had been seen walking without a limp. I am stuck in bed. My best wishes to you. Comment from: Necessary2, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 19 Get an MRI. My CAT scan showed nothing and I had re-herniated my disc 3 weeks after my first lumbar laminectomy. It showed on the MRI. You may also want to ask for medicines like Lyrica or gabapentin. Comment from: Hd2002, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01 To everyone who has had lower back surgery, I just had my fourth lower back surgery, and now right out of lumbar laminectomy on my left side. I came out with groin pain and numbness down my right leg, I don't know what is going on. My surgeon says it is a hip problem, but I am not buying it; never had any problem with my right side before this surgery on my left side. Comment from: duplo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 19 After L3, L4, L5 lumbar laminectomy I have had severe restless leg syndrome and jitteriness throughout my body. I wonder if this is a side effect of the laminectomy. I'm just about losing my mind. The neurologist has me on medication and keeps increasing the dosage but it doesn't seem to help the jitteriness. Comment from: Tdugan97, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 15 I had a lumbar laminectomy 6 days ago on L2 L3. I am experiencing very sharp pain and numbness in my upper right leg. Comment from: Jimmy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 18 I had a Lumbar Laminectomy at L4-L5 when I was 24 years old. I am now 58 years old and suffice it to say I have lived with chronic back pain ever since. When I woke up the morning after the surgery I knew I had made a mistake, possibly the biggest mistake of my life. I have an 8-inch scar on my back and as a result. Arthritis has set in over the years, right up my spine. I now have stenosis at C5-C6 caused by the impact torque on my neck now I have pins and needles causing interrupted sleep at night. Living with chronic back and neck pain is horrible and narcotics only mask the pain. I need to do my yoga every day to keep the blood flowing. Anyone out there considering to have a Lumbar laminectomy please think again. Comment from: sofia028, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 30 I had two L4/L5 laminectomies within a year to remove a synovial cyst and bone spurs. After the first surgery, I was able to go home that same day and felt instant relief. After about three months, I was feeling awful. My neurosurgeon wasn't helping, as he just gave me refills on my meds. I decided to get a second opinion and got a new MRI. The previous neurosurgeon failed to remove all of the synovial cyst so it came back. I needed another lumbar laminectomy. The second surgery required me to stay overnight in hospital and it was very painful recovery. It has been 6 months. I have the same chronic pain. Comment from: sue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14 I had a laminectomy at Kings College in December for a trapped nerve and spinal stenosis. The pain was very bad after the operation requiring morphine etc, but now 4 weeks on, I have recovered and I am swimming and walking my dog again! Comment from: Bushmaster, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 18 I had a laminectomy on my L2 vertebra after a burst fracture about a year and a half ago and it was successful in relieving the pain that would shoot down my right leg, but I still experience bad chronic pain from the site of the surgery and all across my lower back. I had a family doctor treating my pain, but he has gone to teach other medical students and the new doctors have decided to cut my pain medicines which aggravates me because it took so long to get some sort of pain relief. I can't believe I still hurt so much. I go to a pain management doctor soon and hope I can get some relief there. I wish all of you the best of luck! Comment from: rick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 28 i had L5-S1 fusion about 4 years ago. I have been in severe pain ever since. I wish i had not had it done. I can't take enough pain pills to help. Comment from: Carol, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20 I am still recovering from my laminectomy procedure after six weeks. I have severe pain my legs, feet and toes. My doctor is in the process of ordering an EMG to check for nerve damage. Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18 I had my surgery 16 years ago. I had numbness going down my right leg for about a year following the surgery and the only after effect I have is it feels like there is a little pea under my little toe on my left foot. I sure can live with that. The strength that I did have is not there but there are very few things I cannot do. Still work in a factory that is physically demanding. I still ride my horse, although I was told not too, been thrown several times, broken ribs, concussions, more broken ribs but never hurt my back. So hang in there, hopefully it gets better with time. I did have an excellent surgeon. Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 09 I had laminectomy of l4 and l5 5 mos ago I can walk with no leg pain. REFERENCE: Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.