L5-S1 Laminectomy – 6 week Doctor Visit

Today I met with Dr. Bawa for my six weeks post-op visit for my L5-S1 laminectomy surgery.  He said that I am doing well and can begin the process of rebuilding my muscles.

Rebuilding Phase of Laminectomy Recovery

For the past 7 weeks I’ve essentially done nothing with my core or back.  Since the surgery 6 weeks ago, I’ve also had a back brace on further limiting my back and core.  The goal of the 6 weeks post surgery was to not bend or twist while giving my disc time to scar over.  During the 6 weeks, my surgery site has improved a lot and hopefully the disc has indeed scared over.

In this same time frame, I’ve also lost 10 pounds.  I’m sure that wasn’t from my daily walks alone.  Muscle atrophy is likely the number one source of weight loss.  I can tell my core and back are very weak.

So, now I’m given the clearance to start the rebuilding process with water therapy.

Laminectomy Recovery Progress at Six Weeks

Pain

Pain has not been an issue for some weeks now.  At most, I get uncomfortable when I sit for too long, but it is not pain like I had before.  The uncomfortable days are likely from the loss of muscle and support.

Numbness

I’m getting more used to the numbness for sure.  I may also be getting better.  This is a slow part of the recovery with a fair estimate to be 1mm down my leg per day.  Some of my upper thigh seems to be better, but most of my leg is still numb.

Strength

Walking has gotten better, but I really haven’t had any way to get stronger.  So, I think there has been some minor improvement, but that is what the next phase of my recovery is really intended for.

The “Rest” of my Laminectomy Recovery

This is the hard part.  For the past week to ten days I’d say that I’ve plateaued.  I can’t say that I feel much different.  I haven’t had any big milestones to be proud of as this is a slow recovery. I feel now that the worst form of death is pain-free boredom.  I haven’t been able to do anything, and I have no pain.

Well, with the clearance to start full physical therapy, I hope that changes and I can start doing more.

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