We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I Expect During Recovery from a Laminectomy?

By Jami Yontz
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Recovery from a laminectomy may take up to 12 weeks, and the patient should follow a physician's healing plan to prevent the incision from opening or further straining the back. A laminectomy procedure usually requires a three day hospital stay, where the person will be given pain medications to reduce the swelling and inflammation, and will usually be required to begin walking 24 hours after the surgery. At the hospital, a medical professional will change the bandages over the incision and drain fluid from the site if necessary. Once the person is able to hold down solid foods, dress, and change the bandages, he or she will be allowed to return home.

A laminectomy is performed to relieve spinal chord pressure caused by spinal stenosis. This condition causes degeneration of the spinal chord, which begins to narrow and causes pinched nerves, pain, and numbness in various parts of the body. A lumbar laminectomy, also known as open decompression, is performed on the lower back. In a cervical laminectomy, the spine is accessed from the side of the neck, and the recovery time is usually shorter for this procedure.

During a laminectomy, an incision will be made over the vertebrae where the compression of the nerves is occurring. The muscles covering the vertebrae are moved to the side, and then the lamina bone and ligaments are removed in order to expose the nerve roots of the vertebrae. The physician then removes tissue, bone spurs or fragments to relieve the compression of the nerves. The surgeon can also widen the openings that allow the nerves to travel through the vertebrae.

Once the patient has been discharged, a physician may recommend physical therapy sessions for a person to build his or her muscle strength, improve range of motion in the neck, and reduce muscle spasms during the recovery from a laminectomy. Lifting and bending should be avoided for three weeks after the procedure, and driving is prohibited for the first few weeks and until the person is able to discontinue using strong pain medications. During the recovery from a laminectomy, the patient should try to walk every day to gain strength and flexibility, but standing or sitting for long periods of time can increase pain and cause muscle spasms. The proper amount of rest aids the body in its natural healing process, and maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is essential during this stressful time. Recovery from a laminectomy can be a slower process for those who are in poor health, older, or if there were complications during the procedure.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.