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You were brought to the hospital with symptoms like pain or numbness in your legs, weakness or heaviness in your buttocks or legs and problems emptying or controlling your bladder and bowel. You had more problems when you were standing or walking. Doctors after thorough evaluation found that your spinal nerves were being compressed by some damaged bones in your spinal cord. Doctors thus advised you to undergo a laminectomy surgery to relieve from those symptoms. Laminectomy is a surgical procedure where in a part of the backbone called lamina is removed to relieve the compression on spinal cord or nerve roots. The procedure removes bones and damaged disks, and makes more room for your spinal nerve and column.
You have undergone laminectomy surgery when you were in the hospital.
-The surgeon made a straight incision over the affected section of the spine and down to the lamina, the bony arch of your vertebra.
-The ligament joining the lamina was removed to view the affected nerve root.
-The damaged bones in your spinal cord were then removed to relieve the pressure on your spinal nerves.
Self-care instructions:Do's and Don'ts after Laminectomy surgery:
Be guided by your doctor, but general suggestions include:
-Continue to take your medications as ordered, especially the full course of antibiotics.
activities that strain the spine such as sitting or standing for too
long, flexing your spine, bending at the waist, climbing too many stairs
or going for long trips in the car.
-Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes.
-Sleep on a firm mattress.
with any exercises you were shown in hospital. Gradually increase them,
although if you develop pain, stop the activity.
-Beware of lifting, bending or twisting.
-Be guided by your physiotherapist and doctor as to what specific activities you can and can't do, including walking and driving.
-Report any signs of infection to your doctor, such as wound redness or seeping, elevated temperature or persistent headaches.
Common things to expect at home:
back pain may persist for few weeks. As the tissues heal the pain will
subside; do not panic. However be guided by your doctor and your
physiotherapist and try to be ambulant under guidance based on your
neurological status (strength in limbs).
Immediately after surgery you may feel the tightness in the legs is relieved but you may experience some back pain due to surgical dissection. Make sure you are able to move your toes and legs well. This indicates your nerves are normal. Your doctor will encourage you to turn towards your left or right side immediately after surgery. You may experience little more pain while you are turning. Don't worry, once you turn you will feel much better. You will be able to pass urine and stools easily if you are able to stand or walk and become ambulatory. Some of the possible risks of this procedure includes:
-Infection in wound or vertebral bones
-Damage to a spinal nerve, causing weakness, pain, or loss of feeling
You will need to change how you do some things. Try not to sit for longer than 20 or 30 minutes at one time. Sleep in any position that does not cause back pain.
You may be fitted for a back brace or corset to help support your back:
-You should wear the brace when you are sitting or walking.
-You may void wearing the brace when you sit on the side of the bed for a short period of time or use the bathroom at night.
Do not to bend at the waist. Instead, bend your knees and squat down to pick up something.
Do not lift or carry anything heavy. This means you should not lift a laundry basket, grocery bags, or small children.
You should also avoid lifting something above your head until your fusion heals.
Take only short walks for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
-After that, you may slowly increase how far you walk.
-You may go up or down stairs once a day for the first 1 or 2 weeks, if it does not cause much pain or discomfort.
-Do not start swimming, golfing, running, or other more strenuous activities until you see your doctor. You should also avoid vacuuming and more strenuous household cleaning.
Your doctor may or may not send you for some physiotherapy after you leave hospital. You will need to learn how to move and do activities in a way that prevents pain and keeps your back in a safe position. These are:
-How to get out of bed or up from a chair safely
-How to get dressed and undressed
-How to keep your back safe when doing work for other activities, eventually including lifting and carrying items
You will also learn certain exercises that help make muscles in your back stronger, and keep your back safe and stable.
Your doctor and physical therapist can help you decide whether or when you can return to your previous job.
Riding or driving in a car:
-Do not drive for the first 2 weeks after surgery. After 2 weeks, you may take short trips when necessary.
-Travel only for short distances as a passenger in a car. Avoid trips where you are sitting for a long period of time. If you have a long ride home from the hospital, stop every 30 to 45 minutes to briefly stretch.