Overview and Indications
A lumbar laminectomy is performed for patients with symptomatic, painful lumbar spinal stenosis occurring at multiple (three vertebrae) levels of the spine. It is performed to remove the large, arthritic bone spurs that are compressing the spinal nerves.
Most patients are usually able to go home two to five days after surgery. Before patients go home, physical therapists and occupational therapists work with patients and instruct them on proper techniques of getting in and out of bed and walking independently. Patients are instructed to avoid bending at the waist, lifting more than five pounds and twisting in the early postoperative period (first two to four weeks) to avoid a strain injury. Patients can gradually begin to bend, twist and lift after two weeks as the pain subsides and the back muscles get stronger.
Patients are generally not required or recommended to wear a back brace after surgery. Patients may be issued a small, soft lumbar corset that can provide additional lumbar support in the early postoperative period, if necessary.