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  • L5,S1 Hemilaminoectomy and Microdiscetomy Surgery

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    Old 10-01-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
    Ladytee017's Avatar
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    Location: Orlando, Florida
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    Ladytee017 HB User
    L5,S1 Hemilaminoectomy and Microdiscetomy Surgery

    Hello Everyone,
    I had my surgery Thursday 9/28/17 for L5,S1 hemilaminoectomy and microdiscetomy. I woke up with pain in both hips and sciatica down my left leg and toes on both feet numb, esp. my right! My first thought was I didnít get relief from my symptoms like a lot of people who had this surgery! I was a little upset about the pain but then I said to myself I gotta give it some time. I woke up in recovery around 10:30am, got a Percocet, walked around 11:10am, voided, back to bed and received ice chips then later juice, jello and crackers. Walked to bathroom again around 1:30pm, got another Percocet and was discharged about 2:30pm! I laid on the back seat with pillows for the 45 minute ride home!
    A little background, I herniated my disc in 12/2008. I was told I needed a TLIF in 2011 but I choose pain management instead and in 2015 was referred to my neurosurgeon for my back she said I had to have and ACDF 2 level microdiscetomy and Fusion at C4-5, and C5-6. She said my back had to wait! So I had that surgery 8/27/15! Iím doing great from it! Since that surgery till now the MRI showed my L5,S1 had gotten worse! But this time she didnít want to do the Fusion first she opted for the less invasive Hemilaminoectomy and microdiscetomy!
    The doctor told my husband that my disc herniation was not as large as she thought but the nerve was being pinched from collapsed disc from degenerative joint disease and the only way to fix that is with a cage/Fusion! She said that the nerve was decompressed and I should feel better from this procedure! Iím concerned that Iím gonna need the Fusion down the road! Anyone experienced this? I feel bad now for not having surgery for my back sooner, I kept putting it off thinking it was the best. This started in my 30ís and now Iím almost 52 and the last 9 years have been rough! Today Iím 3 days post-op my pain is down, I have been on a round the clock schedule of Percocet q4hrs and robaxin 750mg q6hr. Today 10/1/17 I skipped a dose of each Meds and Iím managing! Iím still having pain but much less. I have not been sitting, only walking around house and standing then going to bed. I use a bedside commode over the toilet with arms and I like that it is raised and does not put pressure on my bum! My toes are less numb and sciatica is less painful! I have glue and steri strips over my incision. Overall Iím feeling better🙂

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    Old 10-03-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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    Re: L5,S1 Hemilaminoectomy and Microdiscetomy Surgery

    WElcome to the board. I had surgery at L2-3 on Sept. 22nd and had my first full night's sleep last night. This was my fourth lumbar surgery, and I began with a fusion at L4-5 that used a now fused from L3 to S1.
    This last surgery was to clean out stenosis and open up the central canal and foramina at L2-3. I say this to establish my "bona fides."

    If it is any consolation, I waited too long to have my first surgery. I'd never had back problems and had never had any surgery except for a childhood tonsillectomy, so when I was told I need a fusion, it sounded so drastic and primitive. I went from one spine surgeon to another, trying to find a new technology that would let me avoid fusion. But when it got to the point that I couldn't stand long enough to chop an onion and was driving to the end of my driveway to get the mail, I knew I had to address my problems.

    You may find that you have waited too long and will have some permanent nerve damage as a result. I have numbness in both feet that actually runs up into my lower calves, most likely due to me waiting so long, leaving those nerves compressed for a long time.

    Give yourself some time to recover. Surgeons don't like to tell patients this but many times they have to tug on the nerves to free them...and this results in nerve inflammation. I awakened after my recent surgery with terrible pain in the front of my thighs. The left leg subsided within 48 hours, and the right leg got more intense.
    It took ten days for the pain to lessen. I went in yesterday to get my stitches removed and was given a medrol pack (prednisone) which my surgeon thinks will knock out the rest of the pain by reducing the swelling of the nerve. I didn't have any of this before surgery so it is always disappointing to come out with something worse!!

    You may find that you will need the fusion down the road, but I wouldn't make that decision for at least six months. It can take that long to figure out if the nerve is still regenerating. When I had my L3-S1...which was actually also a reconstruction of facet joints at L3-4, it took 14 months for some of the nerve pain to go away!

    So be patient! My other advice is to not compare what you are feeling, or what you experienced with timelines, to your cervical surgery or to what you read or hear from friends. Each surgical experience is unique and it is a waste of time to think about anything anyone else experienced! You will find your body will take the time it needs to heal and it will take time for the nerve to settle down and begin to regenerate and heal. Being badly compressed, it could take up to a year as nerves heal extremely slowly!

    I'm happy to try to answer any questions you might have. Drink lots of fluids and remember to take small frequent walks during the day, and night too if you awaken to take medication or use the bathroom.

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    Old 11-05-2017, 06:17 AM   #3
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    Re: L5,S1 Hemilaminoectomy and Microdiscetomy Surgery

    Hereís an update on my original post for surgery 9/28/17. Iím 5 weeks post op now and all lot has changed. I got a copy of my Operative Report from my doctor on my 11day post op visit. I was surprised to know I did not have a microdiscetomy done on me. I had L5,S1 Left hemilaminoectomy, proximal foraminotomy and medial facetomy done. I had a large portion of hypertrophy ligamentum that was removed and nerve depression completed. I do have degenerative joint disc disease at the L5, S1 level and what they thought was a herniated disc turn out to be the ligamentum overgrown over the nerve. The MRI was unable to distinguish between the two! So the neurosurgeon said she did not touch the disc. I told her that I had started walking 2 miles a day and she said it was too early to take it easy for a while (2 months) and then build up. So I stopped walking now almost two weeks. I feel I need to start again. It helped me get through the rest of my day! I did my walk all at once early in the morning before hubby went to work 2 Miles. I first started out my left hip burned and I limped and it got better after a few days. I walked briskl steady pace slowed if I felt pain. I think the walking helped my middle back pain and soreness. I have issues their, herniated discs. As for my post op symptoms by 10 days the numbness, back and leg pain went down to 25% I no longer sleep elevated like before surgery. I started taking pills as needed some times twice a day. I still get numb toes but not all the time! Iím sore inside around the surgery area and to my left side but not to touch it. I feel tenderness on my bottom and spasms between my legs on and off daily. I try not to sit long and listen to my body. Some days I feel bad and spend the day in the bed. I have middle back issues from herniated disc. That area spasm when I try to do activity. I understand the doc reason for not doing the Fusion and seeing how the report shows I didnít need it Iím glad she went less invasive. Iím praying this gets me better. I do not want to fuse my back! My neck is fused from an ACDF 4-5 and 5-6 8/28/15. Itís doing great but I will never be lifting any thing heavy or putting my neck in akward positions like sleeping on the arm rest of a couch etc. If I do my muscles get sore and stiff. Otherwise Iím happier than before the ACDF!
    My doctor has me out till 1/18/17. Almost 4 months which is fine bc I donít want to rush back into lifting patients etc.(Iím a pediatric nurse).
    So for now at 5 weeks I have spasms between my legs, numb toes on both feet at times, back soreness while standing and feel pressure/soreness when sitting longer than 10 minutes
    My sciatica pain is gone but do get tingly feeling down my legs sometimes. Overall Iím much better and still not lifting more than 5 lbs for two months post op is what my doc wants. Thanks for the advice I have received and I know itís gonna take time!
    Also I wanted to mention about short term disability insurance. I got AFLAC Hospital and short term disability when I was first told I needed back surgery I have used them twice since I got the insurance back in 2013. For my neck surgery which I stayed out 4 months and now. There is a one week period which is delayed then the benefits pay. It is a blessing to not have to worry about income during this time and I donít have to rush back to work and put myself at risk too soon. The Hospital stay will make up for the one week you donít get benefits! I know itís
    expensive but I knew I needed back surgery and come to find out my neck was worse and had that done first.


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