©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Lumbar Laminectomy

Question:

What was the recovery period for your lumbar laminectomy? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: The Newbie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I had the lumbar laminectomy surgery done about 4-5 days ago, and everything seems to be going well except for random knee pain that is in the leg that was potentially my good leg. I don’t know if it is normal or not but when it hurts, it is awful. Other than that I'm doing fine; I can even get into bed on my own now. It'll be a long journey to recovery, but with some help it’s not that bad, to be honest. One thing though, make sure you have a good anesthesiologist! My experience is too long to share, but trust me, make sure!

Comment from: Stace, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I am a 56 year old female and in very good health. No-fault cat accident slipped my spine at L5-S1. I had lumbar laminectomy fusion done on 7/22/20. I am walking unaided, slowly. The only pain I have is in my legs, and that because you are literally moving dead weight around. It’s hard to just sit and relax so healing can happen, but there’s a reason they tell you to do it, so you can heal and not be in pain. Physiotherapy will start in a couple months, and I will get the legs strong again. Do what they tell you after surgery.

Comment from: TTN, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 04

I had multilevel lumbar laminectomy and fusion almost 3 weeks ago. It was perfect for 10 days. A trip to the doctor’s office on day 10 resulted in bilateral foot swelling and numbness. I called and was basically told it’s normal. I started feeling better on day 18, and walking just a bit more. Today, day 20, my entire thigh is numb. I am icing and resting, and trying not to be completely freaked out. No use calling the office as I’m sure, “it’s normal” will be the response.

Comment from: Indianlisa60 , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I had my lumbar laminectomy surgery on 6/18/20, it’s been a month and I can’t walk on my own. I woke up from surgery unable to move my legs and my legs from my buttocks to my toes are numb. They say they don’t know what happened and I should be walking soon. But my feet are always swollen and feel like I’m carrying two hundred pound weights. Sometimes the leg pain is so bad I want to scream. I have therapy 4 days a week but progress is slow. I just want to walk and get back the life I had!

Comment from: Getting better daily, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

I had lumbar laminectomy surgery on 06-09-20. My L3, L4 and L5 were compressing my cord horribly. I had numbness, muscle loss, and even hair loss on my right leg prior to the surgery. I had horrible pain for the first 48 to 60 hours. At 53 years old I still work out. I can tell everyone that it will get better. I am thankful for finding a doctor that worked through me and not over me. The secret I have found is a baby aspirin 81 mg and turmeric. I am not totally pain free, but I am mobile.

Comment from: Nmit5903, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

It is 16 days post discectomy and rhizolysis on L5-S1 for chronic sciatica in left leg. I have felt I’ve started to go backwards for 4-5 days after the lumbar laminectomy, with sharp pain in my upper thigh and deep in the buttock, however, I am unsure whether it’s a return of nerve pain or very tight hamstrings, as hamstring stretch and rest seem to relieve it temporarily. I’m 62, I was bedridden for 4 weeks prior to y surgery with onset of sciatica. I’d hoped for a faster clearer path to recovery and now am getting nervous about where things are headed.

Comment from: Mona, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I had a spinal fusion surgery and did well after surgery and during rehabilitation. My lumbar laminectomy surgery was in the end of May. It has been over 6 weeks since my surgery and my pain is getting worse every day. I can barely walk and my back is constantly swollen. Pain medicines, ice packs and Abreva do not help.

Comment from: Ange , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I am 34 and had L5-S1 surgery 3 months ago. A week ago I was feeling great, but the past week the pain is back in my lower back and down my leg. I’m so over it; staring to regret surgery.

Comment from: Latitude_30, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I had decompressive lumbar laminectomy in L4-L5 and L3-L4. I am 4 plus weeks post operation and very happy that my radicular sciatic pain is gone. I do have numb feet now and occasional discomfort (deep aching) in one leg (usually at night while lying down). On the whole I am much better off than before the surgery. I am still stiff and walk a bit awkwardly with the numb feet. I am hoping physiotherapy will help with this. Overall the surgery was easier than anticipated. I am happy I made the decision.

QUESTION

Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: Jo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I had a lumbar laminectomy. When I first had the surgery, first three weeks I had no pain and here it is it’s going to be months, and I’m starting to develop pain that wasn’t there before!

Comment from: Ro72!, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I had spinal fusion and lumbar laminectomy 5 weeks ago, for decompression in L2 -S1. I’m walking with a cane now but I’ve been dealing with numbness and tingling sensation in the right lower half of my leg, along with weakness. Wonder if this is normal and how long this will last.

Comment from: Lewie, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

I had L5-S1 lumbar laminectomy in 1984 as my leg froze a month after the injection (probably waited too long). I took 3 months to recover, and had residual numbness. Had discectomy in L4-L5 in 2000. Thought it was FBS (failed back syndrome) and scheduled to redo a week later, but steroids fixed it. Took 3 months to recover, and residual numbness in the opposite leg. I was in bed for 8 weeks 2016. Epidurals fixed it. Had microdiscectomy 2 weeks ago in L4-L5 for foot drop. Took 3 hours to recover. Foot is slowly waking up. No pain. Amazing. Don't wait lest it becomes permanent. Will see in a few months if dorsiflex returns to normal. Good so far.

Comment from: PJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I am 62, I had L4 L5 lumbar laminectomy disc surgery. He cut two holes in my sciatic nerve and one hole in the nerve next to the spinal cord on May 1st, 2020. It’s been 6 weeks, and the back of my right leg from my rear to the right side of my right foot, and my toes are numb. They keep telling me this is normal. They forgot they told my person what happened in surgery. The assistant has lied and has said no complications. I had the same surgery last August and I was perfect. This one from May has made me sick.

Comment from: Edna D, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I had a lumbar laminectomy 3/17/20 and today is 3/25/20, one week in! I have had numbness in my right foot along the outer arch and smaller toes, and cramping in my back thigh. I know it’s still early so hoping it gets better. I still hurt after about 20 minutes of standing. It was a single level procedure. I was given gabapentin for the nerve pain. Let’s see how I am in a month!

Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

I am 62 years of age and 1 year post lumbar discectomy at L4-L5. I have weak legs on both sides. I do not walk strong. It is frustrating but I am seeing a chiropractor, an excellent one at that, and they are working on straightening my curved spine since the surgery. Hoping I will gain strength in my legs and that it does not get worse. I work out my legs daily to keep my muscles strong also.

Comment from: Not happy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I had a lumbar laminectomy in September and then I had another in November, 2019. I have so many more problems now. I'm not healed. I continue to have lower back pain. I can't bend over, it hurts to squat, making my legs sore, it's hard to get up from squatting. I have severe pain in my hips. They are so tight and the pain is horrible. I limp because of my hips. I can't sit, drive, walk, shave my legs well, I have tissue in my back that moves around in my back, and I get burning sensations.

Comment from: Joan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

The recovery period for my lumbar laminectomy was about 3 months total. I am one year post surgery. I read a lot of horror stories and was very afraid. I have had very good results. No more numbness or back pain. I had a great surgical team; an orthopedic surgeon and a neurological surgeon. My back gets tired if I overdo it, but no pain. I have not taken but 2 pain pills since discharge from the hospital. I have taken an occasional Tylenol. It was not nearly as bad as I expected!

Comment from: Christi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I am 52 I had L4, L4 and S1 lumbar laminectomy surgery on November 16, 2017. Had I known then what I know now I would have never got this done. I cannot walk, my neuropathy is out of control. I can't sleep at night because I hurt so bad. I am still in a recliner after all this time. It ruined my 13-year marriage. I am now depressed, alone and unable to even do daily things. I take a ton of medications and that take the edge off. But I am using a walker off and on. And I've gained about 70 pounds since surgery.

Comment from: jamie, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 13

I’ve just had what I believe they call a perianal abscess. I went to the doctors, where I was given a strong course of antibiotics and told to give it 2 days to see if they helped, and if they didn’t, to go to hospital emergency room. The pain was unbelievable; it was constant and I became pretty much bed bound. The morning I was supposed to check in at hospital I woke to find the abscess had burst and with it a great part of the pain went as well. Fingers crossed it heals now.

SLIDESHOW

Back Pain: 16 Back Pain Truths and Myths See Slideshow
Comment from: Dawn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I’m 68 years old and had lumbar laminectomy back surgery almost 4 months ago. I am still having some discomfort and have to wear back brace. I had 4 screws and bolts, and cage. I am not sure if this is normal, and wondering how long before I feel better.

Comment from: Jeanette , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I had a lumbar laminectomy and fusion a year ago. Now my lower back is so curved that I look like I have scoliosis and the pain is worse than before! At 68, I walk like a 90 year old and can't walk without a cane. I'm told my MRI is ok but my back is obviously extremely twisted. Now I am totally crippled and can't even stand up straight.

Comment from: LULU, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

I had L5-S1 discectomy on February 13. I had virtually no pain at all and thought it was completely resolved with the lumbar laminectomy, until about 6 days ago. Now my left lower back, buttock, thigh, and calf are all in severe pain again. I have done nothing I shouldn't have, no lifting, heavy exercise, etc. Wonder if anyone else has experienced this. Wondering if the disc could have re-herniated and again be compressing the nerve. Any information would be appreciated.

Comment from: Mayman, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

It’s been almost 2 months since my lumbar laminectomy and discectomy surgery. Feels like I didn’t have it, bad nerve pain still in leg. And weakness and pain in my back also. Wondering if I have a failed laminectomy surgery; sure feels like it. I am still on pain medicines also.

Comment from: Namnori86, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I am a 33 year old male. I had L5 S1 discectomy in April 2019. Recovery from the lumbar laminectomy was rough, put me off work for a few months. Until now I have felt great, no more pain shooting down the back of my leg. I still have numbness on the left side of my left leg. Now the pain is starting to come back and has me stressed at the thought of going back through the entire process.

Comment from: Mr.Walker, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 25

I had lumbar laminectomy surgery 11 months ago. I am still on a walker with no left side activity. I am looking for another doctor, this one tells me everything is ok.

Comment from: Jotiyana, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I had spinal fusion back in July 2019. I was fine for a month on pain pills after my lumbar laminectomy but after that I went downhill, where I get severe weakness and falling all the time where my body become paralyzed from 1 to 5 minutes. It is scary. One of my screws is loose in my back. The surgeon told me that was normal. He ran for me a bunch of tests and MRIs, then referred me to a neurologist and still nothing came out of it. My last MRI showed a bunch of cysts and a gap in my L3 and L4, now I don’t know what I should do.

Comment from: Blessed TN Woman, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had a spinal fusion surgery on 10-23-2018. I had a lumbar laminectomy and foraminotomy on the L3 through L5. My surgeon demonstrated the condition of my spine: it was like a door on a bad hinge. I was told that I would become paralyzed if I did not have the surgery. Before the surgery, I was unable to put my shoes on, bend over fully or dress without using a wall to lean on while dressing. The leg spasms were horrible due to a bad sciatica nerve, spinal stenosis and spondylosis. Surgery helped!

Comment from: Julie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I had previously had Harrington rod technique in 84. No issues at that time. Now in 2016 I had lumbar laminectomy in L 4, 5 and 6, and had a cage put in. Now 3 years later, my legs are still numb and just recently are hard to pick up when dressing. My doctor doesn’t work there anymore and I have to go to a different one now. Wonder if anyone else has the issues like these. I no longer work but I do walk every day. My balance is still off also since surgery.

Comment from: michelle, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I am 25 and had lumbar laminectomy for a bulging disc causing extreme pain and numbness from lower back to left foot. Immediately following the surgery I had extreme pain in my left calf. After the pain went away I lost feeling in my left calf and lost partial feeling in my left foot. All other pain is virtually gone. I took 4 weeks off work but started physiotherapy a week after surgery. I now use a standing desk at work as sitting is a little awkward. But I can walk, run, and sleep again pain free!

Comment from: Crow7 , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

Today I just had my 4th discectomy surgery today in 10 months. I have a great neurologist. And I have no pain down my right leg. Lumbar laminectomy has been done on L2, L3, L4 and L5. If my back herniates again, not sure what to do. The doctor doesn’t want to do fusion and rods. But I can’t keep living with 8, 9 and 10 on the pain scale.

Comment from: shadowmoon, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 07

I had a lot of damage done to my nerves by the time a doctor (that cared to listen) found out what was wrong with me. I had my L4 and L5 treated, the compression was so bad, I was actually so close to being paralyzed that I was lucky to have the lumbar laminectomy surgery when I did. My legs are still numb. I'm still going through therapy. I was in the hospital for 15 days after my surgery and that included inpatient treatment. It's almost been a month since my surgery.

Comment from: Bob A , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

On November 19th, 2019, at age 56, I had tethered cord surgery for Chiari malformation, and went home November 23. I had a lot of pain in my legs. On December 5th, doctors said everything looked great. The weekend of December 7th, I complained multiple times on my chart. December 10th, they ordered MRI which I had on December 13th, and the surgeon called me on December 14th saying we see a problem. They did a 2nd surgery on December 17, L4 lumbar laminectomy, and found arachnoid cyst on the lumbar vertebra and set up cyst fenestration and lumbar drain for 5 days. It’s now January 5th, and I have a terrible leg pain and a terrible headache.

Comment from: Fred, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 07

It's been six weeks since my lumbar laminectomy fusion. At this point I'm not impressed. As my sciatic pain has almost been eliminated the surgical site is a much greater pain. I am told it will be 3 to 6 months before I will realize the benefits if the fusion works. This surgery is only about 80 percent effective. Your husband should be more empathetic unless he can handle the same surgery. I am male, 60, in excellent health, and a bodybuilder.

Comment from: Mich, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I too had L3 L4 interbody fusion with lumbar laminectomy. My left leg was very weak afterwards. I could not lift it to cross my legs or to put on socks or shoes. I had to pull my leg with my hands. It did get a little stronger with physical therapy, 60 percent better. Now my L3 is messed up and I may need another surgery. My Doctor and physical therapist looked at me like it was a strange result of surgery. I am so glad you posted this. I will go back with more questions to my doctor. Thanks.

Comment from: Shirley R, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 03

I had emergency lumbar laminectomy surgery in August 2003 because L4 and L5 were lying on my spine. I had therapy before and after going home. My right leg would give out on me and it has started to do that again, plus my back hurts when I walk or stand for a period of time. I don’t know how I can stop my leg from giving out when I walk and my lower back pain.

Comment from: Ali, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I am 57 years old and had a lumbar laminectomy/discectomy of L2 to L5. Not only were the discs removed and fused, they plated the vertebrae with screws and then wrapped everything in a cage. In March 2017, I got out of bed and both hips gave out due to horrible pain! I can barely walk anymore, I need an answer. Three doctors say it’s a nerve impingement in my back, now a new doctor says my hardware in my back fell apart!

Comment from: Redstone01, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 31

I had lumbar laminectomy S-1 through L-3, eleven weeks ago. I was a physically fit (distance swimmer) 67 years old, still swimming 2 miles per day before the surgery. Surgeon told me I'd be bent over permanently (was bent over in the mornings pre-surgery) if I didn't have the surgery. I have considerably more pain in my lower back (around S-1) than I had before the surgery and can only walk two blocks at the most before the pain totally overtakes me and I have to stop. Being in shape is no guarantee of success.

Comment from: Bart, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 03

I had my 17th spine surgery, a lumbar laminectomy on my low back on October 29. I didn’t have that much pain in the hospital, I come home with a wound VAC (vacuum-assisted closure). Health nurse come out about seven days later and took the wound VAC off and all of a sudden I had this massive drainage every day, for quite a few days; over a week, I guess. Ever since that drainage started, my back started hurting worse and worse. Now it’s to the point where I can hardly walk. I’m on a walker. I can’t even lie down flat on my back in the bed.

Comment from: Caitlin, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I had an L5 lumbar laminectomy 8 weeks ago. About 2 weeks after surgery I developed extreme pain in my right foot, couldn’t sleep and felt hopeless after having been in pain for over a year with a herniated disc. My surgeon put me on a course of steroids which eliminated the foot pain, and now I’m 100 percent happy I had the surgery. While I had the foot pain I of course checked the internet for answers and felt discouraged and depressed. If you’ve just had surgery, don’t give up hope of relief.

Comment from: Julie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I've suffered with back pain for 27 years since I was 19 years old. I've had L5 and L4 fused with a lumbar laminectomy, a discectomy, and now my L4 is damaged again, as well as my L3. I may need to operate on both my legs feel like lead. I’ve had to give work up and I've always worked. I feel a total failure. I am fighting for PIP (personal independence payment) and in pain each day. It just doesn't seem fair when it's not your fault. Each day I suffer and it's getting worse. I don’t know what to do.

Comment from: Tim, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

It was supposed to be 4 months recovery time for my lumbar laminectomy, here it is 2 years later this past October and I’m still dealing with severe muscle cramping and very severe pain in the morning after sleeping. I can no longer straighten up when I walk and I’m only 60 years old. Surgery got rid of my original problem but created more pain than I had before. If I had known then what I was going to be going through now, I wouldn’t have had the surgery.

Comment from: Greg, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

It has been one year since my L3-L4 lumbar laminectomy operation. Unfortunately the operation didn’t stop the disabling chronic torturous pain in my left lower back through my hip and down the front of my leg to my knee! I suffered with this same pain for ten months prior to the diagnosis and taking different medicines to try and ease the pain to no avail! I am now under the care of our local hospital pain clinic and have been given Palexia IR and SR opioids plus gabapentin. I can hardly walk now!

Comment from: MJ, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 14

I had lumbar laminectomy on T11-T12, L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5. I was told it was the worst case of stenosis my doctor had worked on. I had immediate relief when standing so I am grateful for that. It's going on 5 months from surgery and still have numbness in my feet and left leg, but improving. Still some discomfort in my lower back to the left side of my spine but I am managing. Glad I had the surgery done.

Comment from: ForeverBroken, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I had lumbar laminectomy, L4/L5 and L5/S1 fusion in May 2005. By February 2006 with increased nerve pain on the opposite side, at 35 years old, I began pain management from early 2006 to mid-2014. I took MS Contin, hydrocodone and gabapentin. I took nothing and lived in misery for nearly 3 years when the pain was so intense I sought medical attention. Miraculously, on a routine lumbar MRI a very large mass was seen. It turned out to be early stage ovarian cancer. The only positive that came this entire process was beating cancer!

Comment from: Donnie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 06

I am 54, male, and I had lumbar laminectomy in L5, L4, L1 and L2 on 12/08/17. I walked after my surgery, however shortly after, I started experiencing sharp knifelike pains down both of my glutes. When I went for my follow-up I had tears in my eyes and asked the doctor why I was feeling this pain. He looked at the x-ray like he didn't know the color of an apple and said give it time. However the pain in my glutes to my hamstring is back more intense than ever.

Comment from: Guy886, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 05

I am a 27 year old male, and I had reoccurring back pain for a year or so. One day I really messed it up at the gym and slipped my disc. I got a lumbar laminectomy surgery about 1 month to 1 1/2 months ago. Initially I felt completely relieved. One day I noticed a minor pain in my hip, it resembled sciatica nerve pain again, but went away after a couple of days. Then on Sunday I was fooling around and then it was hurting like before surgery. Now it's at about 75 percent. I don’t know if it's nerve regeneration or it has slipped again.

Comment from: Tommy1954, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I had lumbar laminectomy on L3 L4 and foraminotomy on L4-L5 and L5-S1; I had leg pain. I am 21 days post-surgery. I walked in 5 or 10 minute intervals up to one hour, then by day 30 day I went to three 20 minute interval for total one hour per day, until I could walk one hour 2 times per day. I am 65 with no more leg pain thank goodness, but very weak, but I am told this is normal and to give it time. Maybe 3rd month I will start to turn the corner, maybe 6 months to feel stronger, up to maybe a year. My surgery was 6 hours long because foraminotomy takes 6.

Comment from: Darla I, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I'm 4 months post lumbar laminectomy, L4 and L5 fusion. I have pain on my left side of my body and it is the worst from my waistline all the way down the back of my leg to my ankle. It hurts to sit down. I don't know what's causing it. At times the back of my thigh goes numb and it burns! I've been to the emergency room and nothing is out of sorts. It's just all bad.

Comment from: Ladibella, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I am 5 weeks post laminectomy non- instrumented posterior fusion. Last 5 days I have developed severe pain in my lower outer lumbar region. Also since surgery, when I stand up, my head is dizzy and my whole lower body feels weak and heavy. Crazy, right! I have severe hip issues. I don’t know if it is the back or hips. I'm too miserable to be living. Thanks.

Comment from: JW UK, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

Thank goodness I had my laminectomy on L3-L4 and L4-L5 in the UK where it is free on the NHS. I am 2 weeks down the line with only operation pain remaining which is controlled by paracetamol. I am already walking up to 45 minutes a day. I had my dressing removed today and see the surgeon again on 4 weeks. My only concern is heavy bruising but assume this normal. I know if there are any problems I will be looked after but so far I am very pleased. Best thing I ever did!

Comment from: Movement69, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 21

My first lumbar laminectomy was at age l5 on S1,,by removing 1/2 the disc I noticed less nerve pain immediately. The worst pain for me is muscle pain and muscle growth, and endurance is a battle. The disc blew out again at L5 S1 in 2009 so he removed it completely and my low back pain was the same constant muscle throbbing at l5 s1. My physiotherapy stopped coverage due to no progress but never did they introduce weights and I just felt hopeless. I lost everything, even my kids, due to money and court battles as a father.

Comment from: OCDME , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am 13 days out after L5 S1 lumbar laminectomy. I was told it was a huge success, you will no doubt feel better now. I have gone through all treatments. I have a 5 year old and hubby at home, and I'm 50. Healing is not felt. Hubby thinks it is a weeny surgery, no support, family too demanding. I've been going nonstop since surgery and my pain level is through the roof. I have tried to do the right things. This pain is down my leg, in my knee. I cry, it is bad, and my legs are asleep. I feel like I have no quality of life. I regret it so far.

Comment from: Ladibella, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I'm 2 and a half weeks post lumbar laminectomy non instrumented posterior fusion. For the last 3 mornings I’ve woken up to both my legs from knees down feel like I have restless leg really bad. The 1st day it went away after I was up awhile. But now it is staying constantly. I take restless leg medicine at night and it has helped my regular restless leg. This is driving me mad. Also a burning pain I have had since surgery to the left of the incision has got to the point it hurts all the time.

Comment from: Ouch, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I am 3 months out from lumbar laminectomy and foraminotomy at L-3, L-4, L-5, and S-1. I was ok until 6 weeks, and then sciatica returned with a vengeance. I had all the tests done again at 8 weeks, and the doctor said the decompression looked fine. I am in worse pain than before the surgery, and am unable to work or walk or sit. I am on gabapentin, and doing therapy but nothing helps. Is this permanent! The doctor doesn’t tell me what is causing my pain. Wonder if anyone has tried prolotherapy.

Comment from: Canadian Nurse, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I am afraid. I acquired foot drop from a fall May 1, 2019 and had decompression surgery to the L5 involving removal of tissue and the disc on September 25, 2019. I still have numbness and tingling in the affected foot after the lumbar laminectomy, the foot is cold and I can't stand the notion of further cost and further isolation. I was a running and physically fit nurse, I turn 58 years old tomorrow, and I can barely drive my car. I don't know what to expect and I am afraid to ask.

Comment from: Michel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

I had a hemi lumbar laminectomy on L5 and S1, 8 months ago. I still have discomfort in my lower back. I have difficulty running with my five-year-old daughter and lack the motivation to go out to do outdoor activities. I'm not feeling like my young energetic self, doing two jobs, driving a long distance to work, and enjoying dancing.

Comment from: AKAJazze, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 20

I'm a little more than a month out from a TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion). I had 2 discs removed, artificial materials inserted and rods placed for stabilization. My back feels finally like new after 15 years of pain. Before the surgery my right foot had gone numb so I couldn't drive. After the surgery my right foot is lovely however the left thigh to foot feels like it is asleep, with tingling and numbness. Hoping it goes away soon. The pain and swelling when walking, is awful.

Comment from: Lman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 20

I had a lumbar laminectomy surgery on my L1 and L3. It has been 6 weeks since my surgery. I have some fatigue in both legs, but I'm back in the gym and walking at least 2 to 3 miles a day. My doctor is being cautious but I feel, that I'm ready to venture to golfing and surfing! However there is some slight hip pain that is manageable!

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I had L4 L5 lumbar laminectomy on May 30. I came home next day, and used a walker for one day. Then I developed an awful pain down the back of both my legs. The surgeon put me on steroids and gabapentin, which started working within 8 hours. In two days I was pain free. I am still on gabapentin, tried weaning off, but it started hurting too bad. Wonder if anybody else is on these drugs, or asking questions about them. Sometimes doctors are not forthcoming.

Comment from: Janellet85 , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I had my lumbar laminectomy done on 7/15/19. I had sciatica on the right side 10 years ago and got a shot and extensive physiotherapy, which cleared it up. Then, in November 2018, it flared up on my left side. I really had to fight for my care but I got a great doctor that did an L5 S1 laminectomy, facetectomy and foraminotomy, cleaning up all the arthritis that had formed. Granted it’s very soon but I have no pain and was able to get up and walk after surgery, only soreness.

Comment from: Thersa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I had back surgery on May 31st on L4 L5, decompression, lumbar laminectomy and foraminotomy. I still have issues bending over. I try to walk about 2 miles every other day and then my right leg gets heavy while walking.

Comment from: Agony, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I am 9 weeks after my lumbar laminectomy surgery. I am in chronic pain on the left side of my back going to the abdomen and making it hard to breathe. Doctor has given me stronger pain relief but I seem to get awful side effects. When operation was first done I couldn't move because of the horrendous pain, felt as though I was tasered. I always thought I had a high pain tolerance, and have been very active, but this has me feeling depressed and tearful. Have I any hope of getting better! I wish I hadn't had it done but was told it was the best thing.

Comment from: Ralph, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 27

Back pain radiated down both legs. I couldn’t walk at all due to pain. May 10, 2019 I had lumbar laminectomy of L1 L3. Within 3 weeks post-surgery my pain was back and actually worse. July 15, 2019, 2nd laminectomy was done on L4 L5, plus cyst removal on L5 and revision of L1 L3. It is August 25, 2019, and my legs are free from pain, but I can only walk about 50 yards and then I have to rest my legs. I have trouble sleeping or lying down, muscle spasms and low back pain. OTC pain medicines don’t work. I don’t know if I am I expecting too much, maybe lack of patience.

Comment from: Carmen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

Firstly, I’d never recommend anyone to have a back operation, all it did was make my doctor richer. I had lumbar laminectomy about 3 years back, and have never had a pain free day. I had a lower back fusion and the L and S parts of my back were done with nuts and bolts. Anyway, what I’d like to know is besides the pain, and not been able to stand more than a minute, my legs buckle at the knees, and my back feels extremely tired; wonder what causes that, and how good a laser treatment might be.

Comment from: Lois, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I am 6 weeks after my lumbar laminectomy surgery. I have pain in my lower back, my right leg and my hip. I am discouraged because for three weeks I have had pain in those three places night and day! I cannot stand for long because of awful pain there. I have to see the specialist on September 3rd. I had doctor’s appointments and I was in a wheelchair for the visits because I had too much pain in my leg to stand up. I have to lie down most of the time. I hope to feel better sometime.

Comment from: DM , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I am 29, and 8 weeks post-operation. I still have pretty punchy pain. I had the lumbar laminectomy and a spinal fusion. My surgeon says it will take time but I feel I should start feeling better by now. And by better I mean not the same pain I had before the surgery. It’s frustrating!

Comment from: Need hope, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I had a foraminotomy and lumbar laminectomy on L 3, 4, and 5 seven weeks ago. I was pain free until 6 weeks, and now have buttocks pain and leg pain similar or worse than before the surgery. I wonder if there still is a chance this will heal, or if the pain returning means the surgery failed.

Comment from: Bob in Wichita, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 21

It's been a year since having lower back surgery, this is the 4th lumbar laminectomy in the past 8 years. I am experiencing severe numbness in both feet and legs. I am wondering if I could be experiencing an autoimmune disease. Instead of getting better, I am worse. It's almost like I have weights on my feet, and my balance is terrible.

Comment from: Di, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I am 7 months post lumbar fusion laminectomy and am having severe pain on the right side, they say due to sacroiliac (SI) joint. I am so frustrated, as I cannot do much at all without having so much pain. Wonder if anyone else has this same problem with the SI joint. They also told me my lower fusion is not healing.

Comment from: Atterod, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 02

I had lumbar disc laminectomy in L4-L5 in 2004, after 7 bulging discs and torn muscles on the right side and rotated pelvis! My pain to this day is debilitating on some days but I have to work because I can't survive on disability alone at all. I can only work part time and still can't make ends meet. I have seen so many specialists of lost count!

Comment from: Dan T., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 01

I am a chronic pain patient with an implanted intrathecal pump. I had a lumbar laminectomy at age 28 after experiencing sciatica. No second opinion was offered and no medical studies were done. I was told if I didn’t consent to the procedure, immediately, I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I have never recovered from the surgery. I have developed stenosis and osteoarthritis. I have herniated discs in all segments of my spine. Do not consent to any procedure without being informed.

Comment from: Michelle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I am 47 years old and had L5-S1 disc replacement surgery June 4, 2019. The lumbar laminectomy surgery was a complete failure. The doctor says everything is fine and my CT and x-rays are normal. I have more pain than I ever had prior to having surgery. All the doctor does is up my medication. I can’t walk, stand, sit, or lie down for more than 10 minutes without pain. I believe it is scar tissue causing the pain. I want the Racz procedure to dissolve the scar tissue. I had this done in 2008 and it was a miracle.

Comment from: Brian , 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 23

I am 39 years old. I had a lumbar laminectomy in August of 2018. I had 3 previous microdiscectomies. A few months after, I started to experience numbness and tingling in my left foot sometimes going into the right. No pain in my back, just constant numb feeling. It does feel better when I wear open toe shoes. I assume it is scar tissue, but new MRI apparently showed none. I am getting a second opinion. Wonder if anyone else has this.

Comment from: Caz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I am a week post-surgery. I had posterior spinal decomposition with a lumbar laminectomy on left and right L4 and L5. The scar is sore but I feel ok; still have left leg pain which worries me. I had previously had a microdiscectomy 4 years ago. Hoping this is my final surgery, I kind of feel low.

Comment from: Chip, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 16

I had spinal stenosis, and S-1 L-5 fusion lumbar laminectomy surgery. I am 6 days out, off narcotics after 3 days, and taking just Tylenol. I was in the hospital 2 days. I can walk, but still some pain problems. I haven't noticed any change, a little better sense of balance possibly; working on recovery. Good luck everybody, I will be off work at least 6 months.

Comment from: Rod, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 11

I had L2 L5 lumbar laminectomy for spinal stenosis. I am now 5 weeks post-surgery and I am basically experiencing the same symptoms now that I was experiencing pre-surgery. I don't see the surgeon for a few more weeks, this is when he advised physiotherapy options would be discussed if needed. I was really hoping to see more improvement by now.

Comment from: Red, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I have had L4, L5 fusion lumbar laminectomy four months ago. I still have pain in my leg, tingling in my foot, and numbness. Sleeping is an issue. The surgeon told me it is permanent since I damaged the nerve in an accident at work. I am 60 years old, still off work and getting more depressed every day. Yes, I can walk, I am not in a chair, but the pain at times is unbearable. I was an active person and this has destroyed my life. I am hoping in time it will heal.

Comment from: Monica, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

Both of my feet and legs were numb in areas along with sharp pains. I immediately felt relief after my lumbar laminectomy. Recovery takes a while... the nerves were inflamed for years. So gradually in the first months, I would have pain and numbness but off and on. I followed doctor and physiotherapy religiously. I am 9 months out and am 100 percent better, except for occasional numbness on one part of my right leg. Follow the orders. I would do it all over again… I have my life back!

Comment from: Scole56, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I am still recovering. My lumbar laminectomy surgery was on June 6, 2019. Two weeks ago my incision and surrounding area began swelling and is still swollen. My nerve pain in my buttock, left hip and leg was much better 2 days after surgery however has slowly returned.

Comment from: Dw, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I had 6 level lumbar laminectomy, T 12 down. The surgery was on 9/18; now 10 months out. I am far worse now than prior to surgery. I have new pain from surgery in low back, hips and legs down to my knees. I had every scan and test, injections etc. Everything 'looks fine'. I have worked from 70 mg oxycodone a day down to 30ish, and 2400 mg gabapentin a day. Symptoms change on a dime. From barely walking to being able to hike/ or do hard work out, then back to being hobbled up. Symptoms are not dependent on activity or inactivity.

Comment from: Howard, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I had a lumbar laminectomy 8 weeks ago, my right foot is slightly swollen the last few days, and still have tightness in my right thigh, leg and foot. For sure I hope this goes away. I had an ultrasound on June 26, 2019 to be sure there was no blood clot.

Comment from: mobilmomma, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

It is 2 weeks today since my TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) surgery in L4 L5. Twice today I have had problems getting back into bed, because of performing log roll wrong. I have not seen anything on this, but I wonder if anyone has had any problems with this log rolling in and out of bed. Slow recovery.

Comment from: April, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I'm 5 months into recovery after a mass on my spinal cord. It did damage to my spinal cord. The lumbar laminectomy surgery left me with paralysis in my left leg. I can walk a little but, very unstable. My back also feels very tight and my leg feels like I have a rubber band around it. Sleeping is not easy. I'm very depressed. I would appreciate any words of advice.

Comment from: missy0218, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I had major back surgery in October 2018. My spine was fused from bottom to mid spine. I had severe curvature of the spine. I am now almost 8 months out from my lumbar laminectomy and the relief has been wonderful. I still cannot walk too far but I no longer am on all the pills I had been prior to the surgery!

Comment from: KK, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

May 26 2015, I had L3 and L4 fusion laminectomy surgery. It is now June 15, 2019 and I am still experiencing a pain level 7, my flexibility is limited, and I am still going to a pain management doctor, who, believe it or not, isn’t pushing me to have more surgeries. I am able to work without special accommodations, but I am unable to golf and my quality of life is terrible. I have a 13 year old son and I am limited in the amount of sports related activities I can do with him. I am very frustrated.

Comment from: lauriedc, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

Tomorrow will be four weeks since my L4, L5, and S1 lumbar laminectomy with fusion. There are now 11 pieces of hardware stabilizing my lower spine. I'm off pain medicines, have regained flexibility I didn't even realize I'd lost and am happy I had the procedure. The shooting electrical pains running down my right leg are gone, as is my inability to stand for more than ten seconds. While I still have that cottony feeling on the ball of my right foot, I'm happy to return to my former active self.

Comment from: Sleepless in La., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 11

I had a L4 and L5 lumbar laminectomy on May 16 of this year. I am having some serious lower left pain, it feels numb. It is affecting my sleep. I did get an ultrasound to see if I had a clot and I did not have one. The pain is still going on.

Comment from: CAH, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

My lumbar laminectomy surgery was on 12/12/18. I am a 38 year old female with no medical history and a BMI of 21. This was my first surgery in my life and I begged for it. The surgery went great, and I had very little pain afterwards. At 3 or 4 moths post-operation, my lower back hurt most nights as my activity increased. I would lie on a heating pad and do stretches. Now at 5 1/2 months post operation, the sciatica has returned in the same leg, much milder, but definitely there making me nervous. I walk my dog about 2 miles most days.

Comment from: Gene, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

I am on day number 5 after having a microdiscectomy, L4 L5 lumbar laminectomy, and recovery is not going at all as I was told it was going to, by my surgeon. I have very severe hip pain (left hip). It is so bad that I am having to use a walker due to the pain and weakness. I can’t stand up straight or walk, sit or get out of seated position without help, because of pain. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this.

Comment from: Been there, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 29

I had two lumbar laminectomies four months apart. First one was a breeze, but the 2nd one not so much. I have severe pain in my buttocks with shocks running down my leg. My strength in my leg is waning as well. It has severely affected my stamina. I am out of work and losing my mind. Two year process and no end in sight.

Comment from: DM, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I had a discectomy and lumbar laminectomy about 5 weeks ago. I feel great except I am developing a bit of pain and soreness on my middle back. I am scared this is something new. I see my doctor this week, I am nervous!

Comment from: KellyAnne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I had L3-S1 lumbar laminectomy and discectomy of L5/S1 along with ligament surgery 5 days ago. I am very stiff and sore at the surgical site of course, and I still have extreme leg pain. I'm hoping the nerves will calm down soon so I can resume a more normal life. I'm worried I may have permanent nerve damage in my leg from living with the herniation for so long. Some things are better, some still feel very painful. I need to be patient!

Comment from: faithlj, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

Surgery date for was May 10, 2019. I am 13 days post-surgery, lumbar laminectomy of L4/L5. The pain in my back is gone completely, however it has been replaced with a popping but not painful feeling. The best way I can explain it is, the doubled-joint popping. I am not sure if this is normal or what, so I will follow up with my doctor. I believe the surgery was successful indeed, I just need to find out about this new thing. There are no issues with the incision site.

Comment from: hmarch, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I read so many comments from people who are worse off now than before the surgery. Seven weeks ago I had lumbar laminectomy on the L4-L5. Before the surgery I had severe numbness in both legs and could not walk any distance. I could not even walk around a store. Immediately after the surgery the leg numbness was gone and I am getting the strength back in my legs, but I do have pain in the lower back and left side when I stand up or bend and twist too much. Being able to walk normally is a miracle.

Comment from: Amanda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I am five weeks out of lumbar laminectomy and my pain is returning. I am limited in what I can do, so very frustrated. My partner thinks I am making it up and that returning to pain killers is a cop out. It is stopping me doing the things I want to do because I can’t stand or walk for too long. It is impairing my judgement too - I have been house bound since surgery (well actually for so long before that as the pain was too bad). I was awful last night - just screaming with frustration and pain.

Comment from: bettydavies, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I am three years out from lumbar laminectomy back surgery. I have a titanium cage, rods, and pins. I am so much worse than I was before. I have constant pain, it feels like my spine is being ripped out of my lower body. I cannot take more than 3 or 4 steps and I am in severe pain. I sweat so much it runs off me like I just took a shower. I can't sit, stand, or walk for more than 5 minutes, many times less than that. I have two incisions, one down my left side, and one down my spine. The left side incision and left side are numb.

Comment from: Katie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I had a lumbar laminectomy with non-instrumented fusion 5 weeks ago, originally scheduled for L4-L5, but included S1 after I was opened up. I have been amazed that there has been so little pain, and am back at work (4 1/2 weeks) with restrictions. Yes, there is some pain I deal with by taking arthritis strength Tylenol and the occasional opioid tablet, but I am managing and trying not to overdo things. I hope to be able to come back in 6 months and then a year to post what I will be feeling then.

Comment from: Pablo, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 30

I was dealing with lumbar issues for 5 years since I turned 30. I would tweak my back and be out of work for days, sometimes weeks. My last incident finally hit the nerves. I had severe spinal stenosis and had emergency lumbar laminectomy and discectomy of L4 and L5 on March 26, 2019. I was walking right after surgery and sent home the next day. My right heel and part of my leg still has numbness which I hope will go away, but overall it’s better than not being able to stand.

Comment from: Feenie58, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 18

I had my lumbar laminectomy on March 11, a failure, and 2nd surgery on March 23. Today April 17 my left calf down to my foot is still numb and I have constant pain behind left knee. Not happy.

Comment from: Fathagumod, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 17

I had a lumbar laminectomy on L5 S1. My buttocks have a nasty stabbing pain but yet similar to sciatica. My incision is still painful. If I don’t have a full bladder it can be difficult to get a full powered stream. I still urinate though. Every right step hurts, I know it is only a week in, but man, I was hoping for some relief. I do have some minor relief from sciatica. But this new pain makes up for it. I just want to be able to heal right first. But this pain needs to stop. It is overwhelming. I need a cane.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors