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Severe numbness 3 wks post laminectomy

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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merlino165 HB User
Severe numbness 3 wks post laminectomy

I had a laminectomy for spinal stenosis (lumbar) without any hardware, 3 weeks ago. Prior to this procedure, I had pain and numbness in legs and hips. The numbness was in my abdomen, back, and legs (mostly right leg), knees, quads, and mostly right toes. Three weeks later I am having just as much numbness and now severe weakness. I have trouble keeping balance because my right leg is so weak and gives out on me every so often. I have to use a cane. I was a very athletic person prior to all this and now it is very discouraging that the numbness is still so extreme. I have been given exercises to do by the PT and when I do them I seem to feel even worse, yet I want to stay in shape and build the muscles up again. I called the doctor (always speak to the PA or nurse) and they assure me that the nerve root must heal before the numbness will subside and that this is a VERY slow process. I am scared, and depressed about this and need some reassurances that this is "normal" as they keep insisting. The PT says this is normal too. I need some hope at this point because each day when I wake up and there is no improvement I slip deeper and deeper into despair. Please someone help.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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Re: Severe numbness 3 wks post laminectomy

Three weeks is too early to be making evaluations. Any decompression surgery allows the entire cord to move and expand, and that can pull on the peripheral nerves.

Try to just blow off all your concerns for another month, if you can...

Old 12-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
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Re: Severe numbness 3 wks post laminectomy

I had a L5/S1 laminectomy this past July 2012. I had no numbness before surgery and now I have bad numbness in my foot and ankle, and some numbness on my calk and upper thigh. The doctor who did the surgery said the numbers people give regarding recovery time are just numbers but they can't tell for sure. He said numbness us the last thing to go away after the healing and pain. I went for another opinion and this doctor said that if it isn't better by a year, it won't get better. I had an EMG and that doctor said three years is the max it will recover by and keep in mine a nerve heals Very Slow (1 inch a month). My neighbor is a ortho surgery doctor and he said its not unusual to take 2 years. If you are over a year recovery from a lumbar laminectomy, your input would be great.

Last edited by totallynumb; 12-01-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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