← Return to Struggling after Hemilaminectomy

Karen (@ktrammell1)

Struggling after Hemilaminectomy

Spine Health | Last Active: May 24 7:45am | Replies (19)

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Just my guess – former back surgery patient and also retired RN: First it has been 17 days. The first WEEK you say you hurt. That would be normal as no matter the size of your incision, there is still the fact that you have an incision through skin and fat and muscle. There were retractors being used to pull back around the incision to give better surgical exposure. Excuse the graphics but some digging and puling went on. You likely have been in a position your body was unaccustomed to. So you’re body is feeling stressed and sore with good reason. Your muscles may be having spasms in response. Very common. You have normal postop soft tissue swelling which creates more pressure. That’s week 1. Now you are into Week 2. The swelling is likely decreasing a bit. You are sleeping in the most comfortable position you can find and maybe that is helpful plus being home helps. You can nap and sleep and eat as you want instead of a hospital routine and hopefully don’t feel quite as groggy from anesthesia after effects. That was Week 2. Which is a total of 14 days. So now you are writing this 3 days later than 2 weeks. You are hurting more again. My question is, what are you doing differently? Are you awake more? Walking about more? Stairs more? Are you following ALL instructions regarding bending, lifting, stretching? I hope so! Many of the patients who came back for second surgeries did NOT follow postop instructions to the letter! Think about your pain. Is it exactly like it was preop regarding pattern of pain? Where? What type of pain? Numbness or tingling? If things truly get WORSE, or you lose bladder or bowel control, significant weaknesses in a leg (i.e. can’t bear weight), call your surgeon office at once and/or go to Urgent Care or ER. Otherwise, maybe scribble a few notes daily to keep track of your activities and see how you feel at your office visit. I assume you have already had staples or stitches removed?

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Replies to "Just my guess - former back surgery patient and also retired RN: First it has been..."

Thank you for the reply. I have followed what little protocol they gave me. I am walking more and being more active. I only had internal disolveable stitches with glue on the outside. The incision itself has t bothered me too much since week 1. I’m still have very similar pain when I stand and walk as I did pre surgery. I can stand and walk a little longer but not the way o had hoped. I think you’re right in that I need to give it more time. Do you know the answer to this – should I stop walking when the pain starts or should I stop? I can usually walk anywhere from 800-1200 steps without much pain. I do not have pain medication. I took what they gave me post surgery and took it on the exact schedule they said. I can only take very limited NSAIDs due to bleeding ulcers in my past. I think my biggest issue is that I have a couple of friends who had this surgery and were immediately better so maybe my expectations were too high. I have not lifted anything more than 10 pounds as instructed and have tried to limit my bending and twisting as much as possible. I’m going to tough it out until my appointment on November 11 unless something serious develops. Thanks again.

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