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  • Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

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    Old 08-07-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
    tlc6
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    Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    I just called my surgeon's office with a question (he said I could drive within 3-7 days of having a discectomy). Anyway, my surgeon told me (prior to surgery) I was havinga discectomy at the L5-S1 level. I had surgery one week ago today. When I called his office today with a question I found out that I had a laminectomy at the L4-L5 level. My surgeon is out of town and the RN didn't have the post operative report so she couldn't give me anymore information. I'm worried that I've done more than I should have (I drove earlier today-just a few miles to the store) and I think maybe I should be less active. What is a laminectomy vs discectomy? I'm also worried and confused at why is was done at the L4-L5 level rather than the one we'd talked about. I'm also wondering/worried about when I will return to work-if I can't return to work by 9/5 or so I'll lose my job. Sorry for the rambling but I'm just a bit thrown off course by the new information. I'd appreciate any information, advice, etc... Thanks so much..

     
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    Old 08-07-2006, 01:23 PM   #2
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    If the nurse did not have a post-operative report, then how does she know that you had a laminectomy? also, if she doesnt have the report, who does? Insist on it, and tell them the problem, and that this is serious and that you need clarification immediately, since they told you one thing and found out another. The last thing they want is a lawsuit, so if you explain your concern, they will take you more seriously (without having to mention a lawsuit... they will get the idea)

    How do you feel? If you feel better and the pain is gone, then most likely the right procedure was done.. Perhaps the nurse just got the notes screwed up, but the doctor most likely did the correct procedure.

    Mo

     
    Old 08-07-2006, 06:32 PM   #3
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    Hello-
    I just got my surgery report at 6 weeks post -op. I'm sure it might be a mistake on the RN's part but it might be something in your file just not the surgery report (mine was 4 pages long and written by the surgeon and hand signed and witnessed).
    I can easily imagine that a surgeon may find compression on the nerve root due to stenosis of the formamina or laminar spaces (canals). If that was found during a surgical procedure it would be appropriate to correct it by removing some of the laminar bone - a laminectomy. I, at least, was asked to sign a detailed consent form just prior to anesthesia that gave the surgeon expressed permission to do exactly this type of thing since none of the diagnostics are 100 % reliable. I'd only be troubled by not having had this explained to me during my hospital stay.
    There are many vocab words and it is sometimes hard to know that you've been 'informed' of certain things. My first doc often just referred to doing 'a decompression' and didn't tell me what that really was until I asked. A decompression is surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the nerve root (s). So, in my case it included a laminectomy and a foraminectomy. Big words and not very much help unless you have the decoder pins.
    All that said, I should certainly hope your doc's office can guide you as to your recovery. Well, I do hope this is helpful. Best of luck - Suzy-Q

     
    Old 08-08-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    Isn't some degree of laminectomy still a part of a microdiscectomy (very small)?

     
    Old 08-08-2006, 08:08 PM   #5
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    Hi Woodworker -
    Hmmmm - you've got me, I don't know. Suzy-Q

     
    Old 08-09-2006, 05:03 AM   #6
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    woodworker, I think youre right, they usually remove part of the lamina to get to the disc duing a microdiscectomy. I think one difference between the two procedures is a laminectomy removes all of one side of the lamina, not part of it. so it seems it could be easy to go to a full laminectomy when doing a microdiscectomy if needed.
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    Old 08-10-2006, 09:51 PM   #7
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    I went back through the bookmarks that I had made, when I was researching what kind of torture I would be subjected to

    Yes, a microdiscectomy does require some dgree (varying, apparently) of laminectomy. As Zeroman points out, it is not nearly as traumatic as laminectomy for its own sake--the only purpose seems to be to provide access, and the material removed is much less.

     
    Old 08-11-2006, 10:33 AM   #8
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    Thanks for all your replies. They were helpul. When my doctor comes back from vacation I'll ask him why L4-L5 rather than L5-S1 which is where I thought the problem was. I have a lot to learn about back stuff.

     
    Old 08-11-2006, 11:43 AM   #9
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    I'm a bit confused...didn't your doctor tell your family members or you what he did the day of the surgery. My surgery was supposed to be a micro-diskectomy. Well I had a hugh bone spur so it ended up being a whole lot more surgery. The doctor found my husband after surgery and explained it to him, then explained it to me the next morning. I am going in for my 3rd surgery with him (this will be my 4th back surgery) on Thursday. This time they are fusing L3-4. You might want to talk to him about the misinformation on your next visit. It makes his office look bad.

     
    Old 08-11-2006, 08:17 PM   #10
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    Re: Need Advice. Went in for discectomy but had laminectomy?

    Thanks Technomom. I agree it does make his office look bad. All he told my family was that the surgery went well. A couple of the nurses mentioned while I was in the hospital that I had a laminectomy-when I said I thought I had a discetomy, they said that it was a laminectomy. That prompted a call to his office when I got home from the hospital. I was just as suprised to learn it was not where he said he would be doing the surgery so I'm not sure what happened. I just hope it doesn't reflect on his surgical skills.

     
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