Surgery to correct nerve compression may include a laminectomy to remove the back part of one or more vertebrae. Though it’s important to be as prepared as possible for any type of spine surgery, you’ll also want to have a good understanding of what you can specifically expect after you have a laminectomy.
During the initial recovery period, you may be asked to perform simple movements while being carefully monitored. Pain medication is often administered through an IV or given orally to minimize post-surgery discomfort. Depending on the extent of your procedure and how well it went, you may be able to go home the same day or need to stay for a day or two.
You’ll be given specific instructions before leaving the hospital, which usually includes directions on when and how to clean the surgery site and general guidelines for what types of activities you can safely do. Arrange for some assistance in advance to avoid unnecessary bending and stretching.
Physical therapy following a laminectomy usually involves muscle-strengthening exercises. A licensed therapist conducts the sessions and will work with your surgeon to determine an appropriate routine. You may be told to perform some exercises on your own between sessions to increase your range of motion and flexibility.
For the first few months following a laminectomy back surgery, you’ll need to limit your activities and pay attention to your movements. Though light-to-moderate exercise is typically fine with doctor approval, avoid strenuous activities. How soon you can return to work will depend on the physical demands of your job.
As with any major Santa Monica spine surgery patients receive, the procedure itself is usually performed under general anesthesia. Because a laminectomy is often done to correct nerve pain caused by problematic curvature of the spine or a herniated disc, fusion surgery may also be performed at the same time to restore stability to your backbone.
To learn more about laminectomy surgery, get in touch with the leading board-certified spine physicians in Santa Monica. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, Dr. Hyun Bae and his team can determine your need for minimally invasive spinal surgery or another type of treatment. Give us a call at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.