What should you expect after a lumbar laminectomy?


Quick Answer

Most patients stay in the hospital for one to five days after a lumbar laminectomy, explains WebMD. Pain in the lower back is to be expected during the recovery period, but medications are available to reduce the severity of the pain.

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What should you expect after a lumbar laminectomy?
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Full Answer

After a laminectomy, the patient is taken to a post-operative care area for observation and continued monitoring, notes WebMD. Once the patient is back in her hospital room, she might need help getting in and out of bed, walking to the bathroom and performing other tasks.

Upon discharge from the hospital, it is not unusual for patients to experience significant pain in the back, reports WebMD. Most patients must limit their activities and refrain from driving for up to two weeks. Patients should not bend, stoop or lift heavy objects during the immediate post-surgery recovery period, but many people are able to return to sedentary jobs within a few days or a few weeks. If the surgeon performed a complex procedure during the laminectomy, it might take patients as long as four months to completely recover from the surgery.

A laminectomy incision is closed with staples or sutures, reports WebMD. The patient must keep this incision dry to prevent complications. Avoiding air travel and long car rides helps reduce the risk of blood clots during the laminectomy recovery period. Walking and performing light exercise can also help speed recovery.

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