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L4-5 Open Laminectomy and Discectomy 1 week post op

Started by 101535969871058... on 05/30/2016 12:35pm

Hi Everyone! I am new to the forums but have been reading on the site for a few weeks now. I am 1 week postop open laminectomy and partial discectomy at the L4-5. My pain is pretty much gone except for around the surgical site, but I am still experiencing numbness to my right foot and lower right outside of leg. I know that this may still be around for awhile as it was there pre-op and may or may not totally go away with time. What I am having problems with still is sitting. I know it's only been a week but I can't seem to get comfortable when I sit. I seem to be only able to sit for 20 min or so before my lower back starts to ache. I am not on any painkillers or muscle relaxants. Due to the weakness and foot drop of my right leg I have been unable to walk much outside. Can anyone comment as to how much longer sitting will be difficult and I would also love to hear from anyone with foot drop. It's nice to have a place to hear advice from people who have actually experienced the same things with back problems! This is a great resource!

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3 Responses


I'm new to this forum as well; however, unfortunately not new to back surgery. I have had two hemi-laminectomy discectomies at L4-L5, L5-S1. The last was nine years ago. Good sign that other than surgical site pain, pain has resolved. I know for me, I had numbness in my foot and grt. toe for 2-3 months post-op before it finally started to resolve. Hang in there, it is still early for you! Unfortunately for me, after nine years of doing quite well, the pain, numbness, tingling, & weakness has returned; along with right foot drop. I have severe degenerative disc disease at the same levels and severe foraminal stenosis at L5-S1. Two surgeons have recommended a third back surgery. I am undecided, although my quality of life has diminished greatly, there is such risk involved with any spine surgery. There also seems to be a reoccurring theme of repeat surgeries in many of the posts I read and people I have met. Take care!


Thanks William2 ! You answered a couple more of my questions as well in your post. I was wondering how long the foot drop would last. Today marks 2 weeks since my surgery. I had originally thought I was going to have to go back to work on July 1st, so I have been pushing a bit.... And I ended up getting a bit of jabbing pains to the front of my thigh. I saw a physician the other day and he said there is no way I should be back to work that soon and for me to stop pushing and be patient and allow the healing to take place properly ! (I am a medical clerk so I sit alot). Being patient is hard when a person is used to being busy!! He recommended being off work until Sept 1st. I feel a sense of relief now that I don't have to rush the healing process though. I wasn't sure what the appropriate amount of time to be off work was, and I guess it really depends on the person, but I'm glad he postponed it for me. Having a weakened back already makes it a bit slower to recover perhaps. Thankfully the doc was speaking from experience as he had also had previous back surgery. I am still in the early stages and not really doing much of anything but alternating my day between sitting, laying and walking. Our pool is now ready for summer and I may try to go in this week sometime. I'm hoping that will be a help during my recovery.

I'm sorry to hear that you may have to do a 3rd surgery.... That is a difficult decision. I thank you for your words if wisdom and I wish you the best of luck!


Hello Again Tianna,
Accolades to the doctor that encouraged you to take the necessary time you need to heal properly!! Great advice & so important! I made the mistake of going back to work too early after my first surgery. After my 2nd laminectomy/disc-
ectomy, I think it took me 6-7 months before I was ready to return to work.

I will see the neurosurgeon that did my first two surgeries on 6/16... If I have many more pain -filled days like I had yesterday, I most probably will proceed with a 3rd surgery.

Take care!