Laminectomy – The Recovery Process


Laminectomy is a medical procedure or surgery through which a bone’s portion is removed from spine’s vertebrae. Such procedures are usually done to people who have low back pain problems. The procedure is similar to cervical fusion that is done on the neck. Once the surgery is done, the person would need some time for recovery. This recovery period would ensure that the pain is relieved and the person is also able to get back to full physical form. Physical therapy is usually prescribed by the doctors for speedy and safe recovery. During this recovery period, the person would not be comfortable sitting erect for longer duration. After some six weeks, such problems would go away and the person would be fit enough to even drive his car.

In most of the cases, patients are not discharged from the hospital immediately after the laminectomy procedure. The patients are required to stay in the hospital for a couple of days post operation. During this period, the doctor would check on the patient and see how the immediate recovery process has been. Once he is convinced about the patient’s response to the surgery, the patient would be discharged from the hospital. There are some patients who indulge in walking after a day or two post the surgery. If the patient feels some pain, then he could seek relief with some physical therapy. There would also be some weight exercises and light stretch exercises prescribed by the physical therapist.


In the first week post surgery, there would be lot of physical discomfort for the patient. There would be certain medications prescribed by the doctor to get rid of the pain. These pain relievers would usually be prescribed when the patient has either moderate or severe pain in the body.

Patients who go for laminectomy procedures are expected to take off from work for at least six weeks, sometimes it takes a couple of months for recovery. There would be lots of pain during this period and it is recommended that people do not strain themselves physically during this period. With strain, not only the recovery process would fall into jeopardy, but it would also result in the low back pain getting aggravated. Along with pain, the person would feel very weak and there would be numbness in several parts of the body. Most patients get back to normal physical movements after a couple of weeks. However, there would still be some pain in the back area during this period. Every daily activity or routine like getting off the bed, bending down to tie the shoe laces, etc. would take lot of effort from the patient. Some patients would give up these activities and get it done by others. Walking exercises must be initiated after a few weeks as soon as the doctor gives the approval.


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