Spinal stenosis is a serious condition that causes narrowing in the spaces between the spine. This narrowing is due to osteoarthritis, which makes it a painful condition that decreases your mobility and quality of life. While prescription medications can ease the pain, they do not offer permanent relief. Thankfully, undergoing a lumbar laminectomy can treat the condition while easing pain and increasing mobility. If you are currently dealing with the stress of spinal stenosis, opting for surgery is smart, since 70 to 80 percent of patients see significant improvement. Of course, proper recovery is essential to the surgery's success. Using this guide, you will understand the lumbar laminectomy and the recovery process for effective treatment of your spinal stenosis.
The 411 on a Lumbar Laminectomy
Your surgeon will remove part of the lamina, or section of vertebrae that covers the spinal canal. Removing the lamina enlarges the spinal cord cavity, which creates extra space and relives pressure on the spine and nerves.
Also known as decompression surgery, the lumbar laminectomy is the most traditional surgical treatment for spinal stenosis.
Recovering from Surgery
A lumbar laminectomy is an invasive surgery that will require staying in the hospital for a few days. After the surgery, you will feel light discomfort, but your surgeon will administer pain medication intravenously.
To begin your recovery, your surgeon will ask you to do some light walking the evening after your surgery. While this may seem overwhelming immediately after spine surgery, light walking will improve your circulation of blood, reducing the risk of dangerous blood cloths. In addition, walking under supervision will allow your surgeon to track your mobility progress.
Equipping your home with mobility aids is also important for your recovery. Getting in and out of chairs will be challenging after the lumbar laminectomy, so consider investing in a lift chair, which eases the strain on your spine when sitting and standing up again. Sleeping in a lift chair after your surgery is also smart. The chair will allow you to elevate your feet and legs while sleeping, which improves the circulation of blood and reduces clots. Talk with local medical supply companies or visit websites like http://cornermedical.com/ to order or rent a lift chair.
Physical therapy will be imperative after your spine surgery. Professional therapists will design a series of exercises that will offer the following benefits:
- Easier Mobility – Exercises will strengthen your muscles, which will reduce the pressure on your bones. This will allow you to move easier after your spinal stenosis surgery.
- Increase Flexibility – If muscles become too tense, they will pull on your spine. This can cause extra tension in the spine, which can decrease the effectiveness of your lumbar laminectomy. Exercises can improve your flexibility, preventing the tightening of muscles.
- Weight Management – An excessive amount of weight can put extra pressure on your spine. Daily exercise will prevent weight gain.
- Improved Blood Flow – Exercise increases the circulation of blood through your body. This improved blood flow helps you heal in a more efficient manner.
Physical therapists may suggest walking, swimming, yoga, and weight training to increase strength, endurance, and mobility after your surgery. Not only will physical therapy improve your physical health, but it can increase the production of endorphins. These natural chemicals will be released through your body, improving your mood dramatically.
With the help of your surgeon, physical therapists, and mobility aids, successful recovery from the lumbar laminectomy is possible. Many patients have a complete recovery from spinal stenosis surgery in 3 months.
Spinal stenosis is a painful condition that can wreak havoc on your life. While it is common, treatment is possible. Using this guide and the help of your doctors, you will understand the lumbar laminectomy process and know how to have a successful recovery after your surgery.