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    Old 01-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
    edward2590's Avatar
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    edward2590 HB User
    Laminectomy and Foraminotomy

    Hi Everybody!

    My father had Back surgery (Laminectomy and Formaninectomy) three weeks ago in L3, 4 and 5 and he's having pain in his back, legs and waist. The doctors say that he's going ok, but he is a little bit depressed. Six Weeks ago he had his first surgery (the Laminectomy) but he ended worse, thats why the doctor made the foraminotomy and also he put some screws (to make the vertebral column stable)

    He can barely walk and after he does it he feels exhausted, everebody says that he needs to walk a little more despite his pain. I think that because he had two surgeons it will take a little bit more to heal than normal. The question is: In how many time is he going to walk again (and starting to have a life as normal as possible)? Can you tell me some of your experiences with this problem(the surgery, the healing process, etc...)?

    Thank You so Much! ...and sorry about my English (I'm from México)

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    Old 01-12-2008, 09:52 PM   #2
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    Michael8466 HB User
    Re: Laminectomy and Foraminotomy

    Sorry to hear about your father. I had a laminectomy 15 months ago and feel worse. I now have nerve damage in my legs. I believe the doctors call it a failed laminectomy. I'm seeing a pain mamangement doctor which I'm sure your father will be seeing soon. They go down a list of things they do to try to find relief. My doctor started with drugs then steroid shots and now says he wants to burn the nerves which are causing the problem. They call this radio frequency ablation. I've read on the procedure and it seems to help many people. Some people get relief for up to 6 months and some people don't get any relief at all. I wish your father the best, no one should go through this pain.

    Old 01-12-2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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    Re: Laminectomy and Foraminotomy

    Your father is fresh out of surgery and when they did the surgery they moved around alot of his nerves and removed bone from his back bones. He is going to be extremely sore that is normal. Then they went back in a second time and did it again. He is probably miserable. One surgery is painful enough but he went thru two!!

    My biggest advice is that he take his medicine around the clock as directed by his doctor. If it means setting an alarm clock at night, do it. He needs to keep ahead of the pain or the pain will not be controlled.

    If this does not keep the pain under control, make sure his doctor knows so that he can prescribe something stronger or different.

    Also, use ice to reduce the inflammation.

    If he is having alot of pain down his legs, see if his doctor will perscribe neurotin, topomax, cymbalta, or lyrica for nerve pain relief.

    Lastly, start walking slowly. Better to take several small walks each day then one long walk. Have him walk maybe 75 ft 2 times a day. If he can handle that, then the next day have him walk 100 ft for 3 to 4 days then increase to 150 ft for 3 to 4 days then increase again.

    Make sure that he is laying around alot. He has been thru major surgery and needs to rest and sleep as much as possible to let his body heal properly.

    He should not be sitting up for more than 10 minutes at a time. Sitting puts alot of pressure on the spinal column.

    Make sure that he is not bending. If he drops something on the floor tell him to leave it there and let your family or you pick it up for him. Also, he will need help with putting on socks and shoes. He can not do this without bending. If he tries, he will only prolong his recovery time.

    Also make sure that he is getting out of bed, use the "log roll" technique to reduce straining and twisting his back.

    Log Roll Steps:

    1. First, log roll to one side of the bed and bend your knees. He should be on his side.
    2. Second, use your lower arm to push yourself off the bed from a side-lying position to a raised position.
    3. Third, lower feet to the floor.

    If you go out to the Back Problems Message Board Main Thread Page, look at the top of the page and you will see the 5th thread entitled "Post Surgical Tips". You might want to read thru that for some tips to help your Dad out.

    If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask and we will try to help you out -- just remember that we are regular patients just like you and your father; however, many of us have had alot of experience living with chronic back pain so we can more than likely help you out. Good luck.

    Last edited by ms_west; 01-12-2008 at 11:04 PM.

    Old 01-13-2008, 06:46 AM   #4
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    Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
    Re: Laminectomy and Foraminotomy

    Hi, I'm sorry for what your father is dealing with. I tend to think maybe it's a little early to worry being it's only 3 weeks out of surgery & he's had alot done in a short time. Alot of the pain could be from the incisions and swelling, things like that. And the surgery itself plus swelling can cause the nerves to be inflamed for a while. I pray that is all it is and that over time everything heals well & he feels better. I just want to say that I had laminectomies in Sept of 06 from L3 through L5, but I didnt have any screws put in or fusion done. The next day when they got me out of bed, I felt that my previous pain was gone. Luckily I had small short spurts of nerve pain (which only lasted 2 days in my toes). I also had some numbness in my left toes which gradually went away over a week or so. But I was informed that it could happen & would most likely go away. I still have problems due to DDD, reherniations of discs and scar tissue, but thankfully so far it's not been constant. Plus I've had a nerve block done plus lumbar epidurals since and still have good success with these (until they wear off). But all in all I think my surgery was a success in that I am now able to walk upright again with some of the previous pain I had. So do whatever you can to help your dad, just as Pepper so excellently explained. Definitely make sure he's not sitting too long or bending or twising for any reason. If he doesnt have these things, get him a grabber, a sock aid, maybe raised toilet seat, things like that. ALso I agree if his meds arent controlling his pain, he should speak to his doctor about trying something stronger.

    Old 01-14-2008, 03:36 PM   #5
    edward2590's Avatar
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    Re: Laminectomy and Foraminotomy


    Thank you so much for all the tips!

    It's been a week since my father started walking and he's feeling a little bit better, in the first surgery he started taking neurontin and since the second, is taking Lyrica. He will enter to rehab next week.

    He's mainly suffering from back and waist problems with some ocasional pain in his legs (they are not constant) the doctors say that he should be walking or resting nothing more, but the problem is that when he's lying in his bed he cant' find one position that makes him comfortable (so we have to move him constantly) is it good to move him??

    Also you've told me that despite all the surgery you guys still have some pain??

    Thanks for helping me out and Good luck to all of you too!!

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