Discharge Instructions for Laminectomy

A surgeon removed a piece of bone from your spine called the lamina. This procedure is called laminectomy. Its purpose is to relieve the pressure caused by a bulging disk that painfully pushes on a nerve. Below are some care tips you can follow at home to help you feel better.

Activity

  • Avoid pushing, pulling, bending, or twisting for 2 week(s) after your surgery.

  • Don’t sit for more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. And when you aren’t sitting, lie down or walk.

  • Walk as much as you can. You can walk outside or inside. If you use a treadmill, walk at a slow speed, with no incline.

  • Going up and down stairs is also good for you, so do it as much as possible. Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds until your doctor says otherwise.

  • Don’t drive for 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery. And never drive if you are taking opioid pain medication. Let others drive you instead. And limit car trips to 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

  • Have someone remove electrical cords, throw rugs, and anything else in your home that may cause you to fall.

  • Arrange your household to keep the items you need handy.

Home care

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed by your doctor.

  • Check your incision daily for redness, tenderness, or drainage.

  • Don’t soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or pool until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Wait 3 day(s) after your surgery to start showering. Then shower as needed. Carefully wash your incision with soap and water. Gently pat the incision dry. Don’t rub it, or apply creams or lotions.

Follow-up

  • Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your doctor.

  • Make an appointment to have sutures or staples removed about 2 weeks after surgery.

 

When to seek medical attention

Call 911 right away if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • A severe headache

  • Trouble controlling your bowels or bladder

Otherwise, call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased pain, redness, or drainage from the incision

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38.0°C) or shaking chills

  • New pain, weakness, warmth, or numbness in your legs

  • Foot, ankle, or calf swelling that is not relieved by elevating your feet



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