Dr. Philip Henkin is a board-certified neurosurgeon who works primarily in the Brandon and Tampa, Florida, areas. One of the surgeries that he typically performs is a laminectomy, a surgery that helps to remove bone spurs and tissue that commonly cause arthritis of the spine. This procedure helps to enlarge the spinal canal, helping to relieve pressure, and thus, relieves pain for patients. If you are considering undergoing this procedure or are scheduled to complete it, you may have many questions about recovery. Read along as Dr. Henkin answers some of the frequently asked questions people may have about recovering from a laminectomy.
What to Expect Immediately After Laminectomy Surgery
A laminectomy is an in-hospital procedure, not an outpatient procedure. Most patients can expect to spend one to two nights in the hospital after completing the procedure if they are in good health. Someone with health issues, such as diabetes or older, may need to stay in the hospital longer. During your stay in the hospital, you may notice that you experience pain if you stay in one position too long. This is very common. The hospital staff will offer you pain medication to help control your pain when you are in the hospital.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Laminectomy
Philip Henkin states that many factors affect just how long it takes to recover from a laminectomy, including your age, your overall health, and how severe your spinal issues are. However, as a general rule of thumb, most patients start to feel much better from their recovery about four to six weeks after the procedure is completed. Most patients heal fully from this surgical procedure within a few months. Your neurosurgeon will work with you to help ensure your recovery is a smooth one and ensure you heal as you should.
What Steps Can You Take to Slowly Heal After a Laminectomy
After you undergo a laminectomy, it is important to take things slowly. It is advised that you do not lift, twist or bend during the first weeks of recovery. In many cases, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist to slowly ease your way into these activities. It is advised that you try to walk a little bit each day, slowly walking a bit more than you did the day prior. It is also advised that you try to change position every 30 to 60 minutes to help ease pressure on your back. Your doctor will give you a list of activities you can and cannot do. For example, most patients should not drive for at least two to four weeks after the surgery. Dr. Philip Henkin states you should always follow this list to allow your body to heal properly.
A laminectomy helps to relieve pressure on the spine, which can help those who suffer from spinal arthritis. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation, and Dr. Philip Henkin reports that many patients have great results thanks to this procedure. If you experience severe spinal arthritis that impacts your life and prevents you from doing all of the activities you enjoy, a laminectomy may be a procedure you should discuss with your neurosurgeon.