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3 Recovery Tips For After A Lumbar Laminectomy

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If you have suffered from stenosis or another spine disorder that causes pain and immobility, doctors may recommend a laminectomy. This surgical procedure involves removing a section of lamina, which takes pressure off the spinal cord. With proper recovery, you can expect the lumbar laminectomy surgery to effectively reduce your pain, increase mobility, and improve your overall quality of life. This guide will help you understand the key components to a successful recovery.

Pain Management

A laminectomy is an invasive procedure, so some pain and discomfort after the surgery is normal. Your surgeon will prescribe medications to not only ease your pain, but to also reduce swelling and inflammation around the incision.

It is important to follow your doctor's recommendations when taking these prescription pain relievers. Taking more than the prescribed dose may be dangerous because many people become addicted to these medications, which can lead to life-threatening consequences.


Part of your recovery at home will require getting plenty of rest. You should lay on your back or side; whichever position is most comfortable to you.

Walking around your home is fine and actually beneficial for improving blood flow, which aids in helping you heal in a more efficient manner.

You will be required to visit your doctor for a post-operative checkup, as well. This checkup is usually a week or so after the surgery, but it depends on your specific health and if you are having any complications. Make sure to have a family member or friend drive you to your post-op visit.

Physical Therapy

Short term physical rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of a successful recovery after a lumbar laminectomy. This therapy usually begins while you are still in the hospital.

Therapists will ask you to walk after the surgery, with and without the help of aids. Each walk should be longer and easier.

Once you are home, you should continue walking, increasing both your distance and speed over time. Physical therapists will also work with you to complete other exercises to strengthen your muscles and joints.

Light stretches, weight lifting, swimming, and yoga are also helpful exercises your physical therapist may recommend after the surgery. Because they are low-impact, these exercises will not place too much pressure or stress on your spine/back.

A lumbar laminectomy can be a great surgery if you are dealing with pain, pressure, and inflammation caused by an injury, underlying disease, or osteoarthritis. This guide, your surgeon, and your physical therapist will ensure your recovery is a successful one.