L5-S1 Laminectomy, Day 1

Today I had laminectomy surgery on the herniated disk in my L5-S1.  10 days ago I was in the most pain of my life, that is when it fully herniated.  The results, on top of the pain, included numbness and loss of muscle control.

The Disk Herniation

From the time of the full herniation to the surgery, I was limited to about 5 minutes of standing at a time.  I could not sit upright.  My best position was to lie on my stomach.  I could like on my left side as well, but that brought a little pain.  I could only lie on my back for a few minutes.  While the disks will start to heal on their own, this created a non-functional situation for me.

The MRI showed a 10mm herniation.  When we visited the Dr., based on the loss of muscle control his recommendation was to do the surgery.  Two other opinions carried the same recommendation.  So, surgery was scheduled for and performed today.  The loss of muscle, basically a form of paralysis, indicates significant nerve damage that could become permanent if not attended to.

Day of the Laminectomy

We got up at oh-dark-thirty and were in the surgical center by 5am.  After the normal prep, I don’t really remember anything which is good.  I awoke around 10 am.  The Surgery took just under 2 hours.  The disk herniated a lot, so Dr. Bawa took his time and did a good job.  The nerve root is bruised and swollen.

I was home and asleep on the couch by 11am or so.  The general anesthesia to enable the laminectomy takes its toll.

Once we woke up and gained some consciousness, I was walking around.  I needed assistance from my wife so I didn’t fall over, but I was walking better than I had been since the herniation.  New pains in the spot of the “procedure” for sure.

L5-S1 Laminectomy Surgery Preliminary Results

So, how did it go?

I don’t think I know yet, but I will say I am happy.

  • Pain is gone in my leg (could be the meds)
  • Numbness is 90% gone in my leg
  • I have a lot more control of my leg muscles.  Not 100%, bur more.

If there was some nerve damage, it will take some time to recover.  The fact that I have feeling and motor control back means we realized the goals.

Because it was surgery, there is a new set of pains.  A nice cut was made into my back and the bone was drilled into.  My body will react to that and it hurts.

So, I’m looking at about 6 weeks for the surgery to heal.  From there, I may or may not be recovered from the other nerve stuff.  I’ll keep a log of it.


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