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One day post op L3-L4,L4-L5 Laminotomy

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
let me walk
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Question One day post op L3-L4,L4-L5 Laminotomy

I had my decompression (laminotomy...not laminectomy) along with facet clean-up surgery on 12/4 for severe stenosis. I was walking the day of surgery and I was able to move myself in the hospital bed throughout the night. I was released from the hospital on 12/5.

The pain in my back is pretty intense (worse than my bilateral knee replacements). I can't feel a lot of difference in my legs (hospital staff and people were asking me if i I could feel a difference in my legs). Maybe it's too soon, or the pain from my surgical site is taking over? Any thoughts or experiences with that?

Also, my back is super swollen, my upper hips, and abdomen. My calves and feet are swollen too. (I just read another post that says calf, ankle swelling is common with spine surgery). My face is puffy too. Has anyone experienced this?

I know it's only the 2nd day after surgery...but I have a deep pain on the left side of my back, by the L4/L5 area. It's like the pain I had before I had the surgery but worse. I probably shouldn't even be concerned since it's so soon but it's bugging me.

So, my plan for the next several weeks is to sit for 45 mins, walk around the house, sit in a different chair for 45 mins, walk around the house....and keep that up. Fun fun!

Thanks for reading. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Last edited by let me walk; 12-06-2012 at 05:33 AM.

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: One day post op L3-L4,L4-L5 Laminotomy

You are going to have the same pain or worse for a while. Take your meds and don't overdo it. Remember, and surgery brings on more pain for a while because of the actual surgical incision, manipulation, etc. I think it's too soon to tell about the pain in your legs. Maybe you should be in bed rather than walking around so much! I gained 20 pounds in the hospital from swelling but that went away over the first week I was home--lots of trips to the bathroom! With your legs being swollen, you should keep them up-lay down and elevate them, drink lots of fluids. What did your dr. tell you postop about sitting, walking, etc.? Are you wearing a brace?

Old 12-06-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: One day post op L3-L4,L4-L5 Laminotomy

I'm probably the one who made the comment about some swelling is to be expected. However, to be on the safe side, I would bring it to your nurse or doctor's attention. The amount you have seems a bit over the top of "norm."

I remember one of my surgeons after one of my lumbar surgeries telling me that when they had to cut away bone, it was particularly painful. Don't know if that's true or not...but maybe that has something to do with your pain. I had extensive bone trimming done with my first surgery, which was a one level fusion, as I had a tremendous amount of stenosis...and that surgery was much more difficult than my later three-level fusion that involved almost no bone cutting.

It's too early for the pain from the surgical site to be taking over.

Also, remember that sitting puts 30% more stress on the discs and associated soft tissue than other positions...and I would assume your doctor has told you to limit the amount of time you spend sitting post please revise your thinking to be that you will walk around the house and then recline or lie down or stand....then walk some more. My surgeon wasn't particularly strict about time spent sitting, but some only allow their patients to sit no longer than 15 minutes at a time...and then only when eating meals (ie 3xday).

Glad to see you feel well enough to post. Hopefully the weather will remain snow-free and you can walk outside without worrying about slipping.

Old 12-06-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
let me walk
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Re: One day post op L3-L4,L4-L5 Laminotomy

Thanks for the comments. I was advised to sit in a straight back chair, walk, recline when needed, lay on side, etc. I've been doing that. The hospital called me today (follow-up) and told me that swelling in legs, feet and back is normal with spine surgery. It still seems like a lot of back swelling to me though. I have a lumbar Cyro Cuff and I'll probably start using that.

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