Laminectomy is a major surgical procedure so you need all the care and precautions you can get following the operation. Recovering from a laminectomy entails various considerations in order to achieve full recovery from the spinal surgery. If you have undergone laminectomy or scheduled to have one, the following recovery guidelines will help you through the post-operative phase of the procedure, and perhaps you could talk to your Land O Lakes chiropractor prior to surgery to discuss alternative treatment options:
Recovery Immediately After Laminectomy
Immediately after surgery, clients are usually moved to the recovery room for the stabilization of vital signs as well as monitoring of complications from anesthesia and the surgery itself. While in the recovery room, you will expect to lie on your side with pillows in between your knees, behind your back and under your head to allow maximum comfort. Medications for pain relief may also be prescribed and administered as needed. In here, you must watch out for pain so health care providers may provide you pain relievers just before your pain peaks. During this time, you should also try to move your arms and legs to ensure that the nerves were not affected during the operation.
Recovery after the Acute Phase of Laminectomy
After you have been monitored and managed in the hospital following laminectomy, you may be discharged one to two days after. It is during this time that managements should be employed properly and adequately since you are on your own. Physical therapy is one of the most important tips that your physician may request and you should be able to attend your sessions religiously. Physical therapy aims at maximizing your ability to move since conditions requiring laminectomy (nerve compression, etc.) may have resulted in difficulty moving your arms and legs.
During your recovery at home, you should also limit activities that may strain your spine such as bending at the waist, lifting, and even stooping. All these activities should be avoided weeks after the procedure. Also, the following concerns should be dealt with accordingly:
• Postoperative pain
Pain is the initial complication that you will be experiencing and it is just normal to experience some sense of pain even at home. Pain management is very important during the recovery phase since efficient pain relief will significantly improve your well-being following the operation. Following your discharge, oral narcotics may be prescribed such as Percocet or Vicodin. These will then be shifted to milder forms of analgesics after several days.
• Surgical incision
Another concern that you should be looking after is your surgical incision. Any presence of tear in the first line of defense of the body may put anyone to becoming infection-prone. In this line, it is very important to take care of your wound when you get home. Make sure to keep the wound dry when bathing and you may achieve this by using plastic dressings. Also, make sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to clean the operative site. Finally, never wear constrictive clothing at the back to allow better circulation and avoid irritation on the incision.
The recovery time for a laminectomy is usually 2 to 6 weeks, but if you had other procedures such as a spinal fusion, the recovery time may take longer. Laminectomy alone may allow you to go back to your regular work at least two weeks after the procedure, but for laminectomy and spinal fusion, you may have to wait several months before you can resume your regular activities. Nevertheless, employing the correct techniques and managements for laminectomy will help you recover in no time without complications and untoward events.