L5-S1 Laminectomy, Week 2

Today fits into the roller coaster of my L5-S1 laminectomy surgery recovery as a good day.  Complex, but good.

Visit to Dr. Bawa

This really starts yesterday in my two week post-op office visit with Dr. Bawa.  It is standard to meet 2 weeks after the L5-S1 surgery.  I made it to the office on time and was able to sit in the lobby with minimal pain.  So far, sitting has been very hard unless I am on a lot of cushions.  I didn’t have to wait long, but I was happy sitting went ok.  Dr. Bawa said that he is happy with my progress.  I’ve gained a full muscle class of strength in my right foot.  And I am going to start simple physical therapy on my foot (no core or back exercises).

On interesting thing I learned is what “1mm of nerve regrowth per day” actually means.  I’ve heard that a few times, and wasn’t sure what that meant.  I was picturing where the nerve was pinched and bruised recovers a millimeter per day.  Well, it is actually the length down the leg in millimeters.  He said that it may take 6 months to get full recovery.  Every situation is different.  I still may never get all sensation back, but I still have a long run to improve.

On the note of nerves, my wife said that my leg was twitching away when she got into bed.  I was asleep.  Yes, a nice nights sleep.  It may be that as my nerve regenerates there is some twitching, so I’ll take that as a good sign.  Still, it is hard to keep thinking that I may not have full use of my leg and I may be numb for a long time.

Recovery and Walking

I’m continuing to walk regularly.  Still about 4-5 walks per day, and they are getting a bit longer.  I started using Strava for them, and I can see that I am doing well with some pace and distance improvements.  I’ve noticed some new pain in both legs; well, it seems that I’ve just plain got sore muscles.  Without twisting or bending, I did some light stretching can can feel an instant improvement.

Today while I was walking, it really felt like I was walking.  Not struggling to get around the block.  That was really refreshing.  I’m also lucky that the neighborhood is varied with lots of nice houses and flowers to look at.

Life and Work

It also helps the mental side that today has been a busy day at work.  The only down side to being engaged is that I need to remember to take breaks; both for position changes and to walk.

 

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