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Laminectomy Recovery Time

Laminectomy Recovery Time

Recovery from laminectomy depends on what kind of surgery it is. This article provides information regarding the time taken to recover from this spine surgery.
Medha Godbole
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Laminectomy is a surgery of the spine for removal of a portion of the vertebral bone called lamina to make more space for the nerves. This procedure helps relieve pressure on the nerves and reduce the symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. In the least invasive of the methods, there are small skin incisions made, back muscles are moved aside, and parts close to the lamina are left intact. Laminectomy is most often performed when the back pain fails to improve with more conservative medical treatment. One of the most common form of this surgery which focuses on the lumbar spine is called lumbar laminectomy, whereas the other type which focuses on the cervical spine is called cervical laminectomy.
Recovery Time
Lumbar Laminectomy
After the surgery, the patient would need to stay in the hospital for around 3 to 5 days. Now this can vary according to a person's response to the treatment, and the comfort and help anticipated at home. A patient has to be ready to deal with the discomfort and physical limitations for a time of several months, ranging from around 3 months to a year or so. A person will recover faster if there are no complications after the procedure. Normally, the patient has to see the doctor in a week's time after the surgery. In around eight weeks or so, the next follow-up is done.
Cervical Laminectomy
This operation is referred to the operation of the vertebrae in the posterior part of the neck, rather than the back. After this surgery, within an hour or 2 the patient can get out of the bed. The patient can even get discharged from the hospital on the same day as the surgery depending upon his progress of recovery. Further, the patient can even drive a car within a week or two. However, all this depends on the patient's overall health and absence or presence of complications.
With physical therapy, a patient can resume light work in around 4 weeks, and within a few months sports can also be pursued by the patient. In the recovery period, gradually exercises are incorporated. These are walking, stationary cycling, and arm cycling for strengthening the functions of the heart and lungs. Exercises to tone and control the muscles and stabilize the neck and upper back too are included in the physiotherapy.
In addition to all these, the therapist suggests further plan of back exercises and preventive methods to deal with the operation. Fundamentally, what one needs is an understanding of the entire process and how our spine works. Feeling of exhaustion and being a bit low on the morale is natural. Having a positive and determined attitude will help a patient sail through safely and recover well.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.