Spinal stenosis causes the spaces in between the spine to narrow from osteoarthritis and the general aging of the body. This change in the spine not only causes pain, but it also reduces your mobility. Due to this pain and loss of mobility, you may choose surgery to correct your spinal stenosis. While an invasive form of treatment, the lumbar laminectomy has an 80 percent rate of success for decreasing discomfort and improving your ability to walk. Considering this rate of success, opting for the lumbar laminectomy is smart to correct your spinal stenosis. Using this guide, you will understand this surgical procedure and learn how to effectively recover after the lumbar laminectomy.
During the lumbar laminectomy, your surgeon will enlarge the spaces between the spinal cord by removing the lamina. This is the part of the vertebrae that covers the spinal canal. To remove the lamina, your surgeon will make a small incision in the lower area of your back. Additional incisions in the middle of the back may be necessary to remove bone spurs from the spine. These spurs develop as the stenosis causes the spine to compress.
This extra space between your spine created during the surgery will decrease the pressure on your spine, reducing nerve pain and improving your ability to walk and move without discomfort after your recovery.
The lumbar laminectomy surgery will require you to be under general anesthesia, so you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days. This will allow your doctors to monitor your ability to recover after anesthesia. In addition, your surgeon and physical therapist will be able to see your mobility progress after this spinal stenosis surgery.
In most cases, you will be able to get up and out of bed within a few hours after your surgery. However, you will need to move slowly and carefully while being supervised by a physical therapist.
Light walking around the hospital, under supervision, will help your surgeon monitor your progress after surgery. Of course, physical therapy will be necessary after your release from the hospital.
Physical therapy may involve a series of exercises to increase your mobility, reduce post-surgical pain, and strengthen your muscles, bones, and ligaments. While many of these exercises will be painful and difficult at first, therapists will help you through the rehabilitation process. Here are a few forms of therapy that will be beneficial after your spinal stenosis surgery:
- Hydrotherapy – ice packs, warm compresses, soaking in a jetted tub
Walking is a great exercise that you can complete at home during your recovery. Immediately after your surgery, consider using a walker for added safety. Each day, increase your walking speed and distance. Be sure to document your progress, as well.
Ask a friend or family member to drive you to appointments and to run errands. Be sure to allow them the ability to help, since lifting items or carrying groceries can cause pain after your lumbar laminectomy.
Due to financial reasons, you may feel the need to return to work immediately after your surgery, but this may not always be possible depending on how well your mobility has improved. If you have a sedentary job, you may return to work in 1 to 2 weeks. However, if you have a more strenuous position, consider taking 2 to 4 weeks off from work to ensure you have adequate time for recovery.
Spinal stenosis can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well-being, so surgery may be the best option for you and your health. Using this guide and the help of your surgeons and therapists, you will understand the benefits of surgery and learn the best tips to recover from a lumbar laminectomy.
For more information about surgery recovery or physical rehabilitation, talk with your doctor or visit websites like http://www.nrothandrehab.com.