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  • When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

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    Old 06-04-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
    koc66
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    Question When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    I would like to get an opinion from those here who have had to deal with this, I cannot get a straight answer from either my neurosurgeon or my PCP. At what stage post surgery are you healed enough to stretch, scoot over in bed, walk without worry, etc etc.... I am 5 months post hemi-laminectomy on L5/S1. As you have seen by my posts I was compressed for 5 months before surgery so I have permanent nerve damage. I also have scar tissue surrounding the nerve root post surgery. I do not have the severe pain I had pre surgery, but I do have some pain thats controllable with Lortab, but without the Lortab I cannot live or function as it returns with a vengence. I have numbess and pins and needles in the right leg that comes and goes along with weakness. My gait is off and I walk very slow.. I am almost afraid to move, afraid of messing up the disc again and feeling that awful pain.. I am wondering if the lack of movement is what contributed to the scar tissue formation. I cannot do steps, run. drive. sit for more than 10 min or stand for the same. When did any of you begin normal activity and can scar tissue get worse or am I stable enough to begin activity..I went to PT and the theapist I had said she had never seen so many restrictions on a Back surgery patient 12 weeks post op and there was not much she could do for me under those restrictions and that she had several patients who were compressed for more than a year not just 5 months like me and that exercise would help with the damage...Who do I listen to!! I am beginning to question my Docs, When are you considered healed after a Hemi Laminectomy and when can you begin to live again and increase your activity level. Sitting and laying around in combo with Steroids have caused me to gain 20 pounds and I know that cannot be good..I do not eat much, but I have no metabolisim because I lay around like a slug.Afraid to move...Help...Any input appreciated K

    Last edited by koc66; 06-04-2007 at 08:41 AM. Reason: spelling

     
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    Old 06-04-2007, 08:52 AM   #2
    shawley
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    kocc--sorry about your luck ! I had a laminectomy /fusion L4-L5 but I was able to do them thing's a couple week's later , I still have nerve damage and weakness in my left leg , I also had major scar tissue due to 2 spine surgeries and 1 to remove scar tissue , the removal made things a little better . People recover differently , 5 month's post you shouldn't be that bad off . Maybe because of your nerve damage your like this ? I'm planning a permanent spinalcord stimulator to help me with my pain ,the trial stim worked wonder's .. I still have back pain with the stim so my surgeon is planning another surgery to fix whatever is broke ??? I think scar tissue continues to grow a few months after surgery. I feel really bad your dealing with so much pain ,maybe you need to get another opinion . Your Dr. isn't giving you any answer's and you need to find them out ASAP .

    Good Luck and GOD BLESS .

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
    jinks67
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    I'm wondering the same thing...I'm 2 months out of the same surgery - for nerve decompression-, and, bar the first couple of days after surgery, nothings changed. Before I couldn't walk for much more than 2-3mins, standing the same, sit upright for 10-15mins. Now add to that that I can't lie flat for more than 10 mins...Sit me crossed legs on the floor/sofa or lying on my side with legs bent, and I'm happy as larry, virtually pain free. Anything with my back straight and its agony. Surgeon's put me on Neurontin (400mg. Nothing after 5days, so I increase the dosage on wednesday (to 600mg). I see the surgeon again in a month...he said if I don't recover there's not much more he can do...he thinks its nerve damage, but then I don't have the numbness, pins and needles etc.. that you have and that I'd expect from damage. Its the same horrendous claudication cramps as before. My guess is that either the nerve is so swollen that it just won't settle down (8mths chronic pain, 2yrs compression and on/off pain overall) in which case, whats the option except lying down for 6 months, or that he didn't get the thing that was trapping the nerve (but then he said there's nothing there to trap it now).

    I'm at a total loss. I won't accept that I have to live like this for years to come. My plan is to request another scan when I go back in a month. Maybe now that it hurts lying down something more obvious will show up. If not, then I'll look into getting an upright scan...anything more I can do? Oh, and of course another opinion or two.

    Oh heck, sorry for stealing your post... one thing my surgeon said was that if its damage from so much compression, that if there's nothing there to trap it that activity wouldn't damage it further...that the pain was the nerve mis-firing as opposed to actual compression. However, until I know for certain that its no longer trapped I'm not taking any risks. I walk til it hurts then stop. I try and do stetches, upper body work when I'm lying down or sitting just to keep the bod in some sort of shape. I start swimming next week now the open-air pool is open for the summer. I'm thinking of trying cycling, as I've heard since the spine is flexed (leaning forward) its good...At least these things will get me out the house...

    Anyhow, I've been following your posts closely for some sort of light at the end of the tunnel tale, so for both our sakes I hope there's some improvement for you soon.

    All the best,Jinks

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 04:43 PM   #4
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    One thing i can tell both of you: this is so not easy. And unfortunatelly no easy and quick answers for all what we all are going thru. Every case is so different, limitations and requirements are different too.
    You follow your Doctor's advices regarding bending, twisting, etc. and also listen to your body. The main thing you have to know where to stop pushing your luck :-) Like stretches are great, swimming, walking in a pool(especially in a warm water), walking if you can. Take small steps at the time towards your full recovery but don't overdo it.
    I was told that after surgery like mine i will never-ever can jog or run, or do aerobics, no impact on a joints at all. I used to do it all before my injury, but now everything changed and i have to learn to move based on what i can and i can't .
    It is very hard to hear that nothing can be done more for you to help. I think we all heard this from one Doctor or another. That is why such a good idea to go and find the Doctor who will listen and will try to help. Hope for us is the key to recovery. Don't let anybody to take this hope from you and you will be OK. Just don't give up!!
    Good luck and best wishes on your recovery.

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 06:06 PM   #5
    koc66
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    Its sad to think we are stuck this way forever. They can fix so many even more serious disease's, but they cannot fix this. Heck they can stop cancer in some patients and fix the worst of hearts but they can't fix a backache.. Oh and ask John Q Public and a backache is nothing more than a mere annoyance...Hah try getting a backacke like this...My life changed so suddenly that August Morning..I went to the hospital thinking Ahhh a few pills and I will be fine...little did I know I would never be the same...This is ridiculous....I stay depressed....I went to my daughters graduation and had to sit and stand for an hour and a half and I am about to cry with the pain, but I could not miss her 5th grade graduation she only has one for goodness sakes...They need to find medical knowledge and support for this...Its so darn painful and diableing....Best to all....K

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 06:45 PM   #6
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    Hey All ,
    Well I had my lami/discectomy l4-l5 on tuesday 5/22 . Its been 2 weeks and I do feel GREAT (no more leg pain and no more pills) but im sure something will screw up and I'll probably need some type of midevil fusion with rods/pins/screws and whatever in a few years.
    I can say that I do kinda feel like I can go back to work but im not until september. So for your answer I would say 2 weeks was the time for me to get back to most things like driving , working sitting to eat...

     
    Old 06-05-2007, 07:26 AM   #7
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    My surgery was different but I have to agree that everyone heals differently and each person is different as many of us back sufferers have more than one thing going on.

    I would listen to your body and your Dr and be as active as you can. I had my surgery the end of Feb and would love to be off the meds however I am on as much as pre surgery but I am more active than before.

    Good luck

     
    Old 06-05-2007, 07:56 AM   #8
    koc66
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    [QUOTE=clover60;3025915]My surgery was different but I have to agree that everyone heals differently and each person is different as many of us back sufferers have more than one thing going on.

    I would listen to your body and your Dr and be as active as you can. I had my surgery the end of Feb and would love to be off the meds however I am on as much as pre surgery but I am more active than before.

    Good luck[/QUOTE]
    Id love to be off the meds too...I am on a bit less than pre-surg but I still have to have them or I HURT! My daughters graduation caused me to pay last night and today. I want to walk faster but its like they put a regulator in my engine I cant walk any faster than a slow speed...Take Care K

     
    Old 06-05-2007, 07:58 AM   #9
    koc66
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    Re: When are you healed enough to live again?(post hemi laminectomy)

    [QUOTE=saversano;3025046]Hey All ,
    Well I had my lami/discectomy l4-l5 on tuesday 5/22 . Its been 2 weeks and I do feel GREAT (no more leg pain and no more pills) but im sure something will screw up and I'll probably need some type of midevil fusion with rods/pins/screws and whatever in a few years.
    I can say that I do kinda feel like I can go back to work but im not until september. So for your answer I would say 2 weeks was the time for me to get back to most things like driving , working sitting to eat...[/QUOTE]

    Hi Ya Saversano...I am so happy for you that you are doing well after surgery..I pray you are one of the lucky ones in this...Maybe if they had not made me wait 5 months with a horrible decompression like they did Who knows Hugs K

     
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