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How long does it take to recover from a laminectomy?

ANSWER

It depends on the extent of your surgery and your situation.

After a minor (decompressive) laminectomy, you can usually able do desk work and light housekeeping within a few days to a few weeks. If you also had spinal fusion, your recovery time will likely be longer, 2-4 months. You may not be able to lift and bend for 2-3 months.

Start light walking for exercise and physical therapy exercises as soon as your doctor says you're ready. This will help speed your recovery.

You may not know if your back pain is better until 6 weeks or more after the surgery.

SOURCES:

Weinstein, J. , 2008. New England Journal of Medicine

Chou, R. 2009. Spine,

Thome, C. 2005. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine,

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Lumbar spinal stenosis."

Tuite, G. , 1994. Journal of Neurosurgery

Tuite, G. , 1994 Journal of Neurosurgery 

Canale, S. Mosby, 2008. Campbell's Operative Orthopedics,

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on April 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Weinstein, J. , 2008. New England Journal of Medicine

Chou, R. 2009. Spine,

Thome, C. 2005. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine,

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Lumbar spinal stenosis."

Tuite, G. , 1994. Journal of Neurosurgery

Tuite, G. , 1994 Journal of Neurosurgery 

Canale, S. Mosby, 2008. Campbell's Operative Orthopedics,

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on April 11, 2018

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When should you call your doctor immediately about back pain?

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