Similar to a discectomy in that it is performed to alleviate pain caused by nerve impingement. If the surgeon performs an open decompression/ laminectomy the incision will be longer and more muscle is stripped. A small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed; this gives the nerve more space to heal. Post operation you should benefit from some immediate relief. Some residual leg pain, numbness or weakness may persist for several weeks until the nerve has rejuvenated.
Your Hospital Stay
On average patients will spend 2-3 nights in hospital. Post surgery after recovery you will return to the ward. You may need to lie flat for 3-4 hours post procedure, and when turning log roll, keeping your spine aligned. After this time you will be able to sit up in bed to 45 degrees unless stated otherwise.
You may lie on your side if more comfortable. You will not be able to lie on your stomach yet. You will be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids if awake and alert.
The following day you will be mobilised in the morning with the assistance of a physiotherapist or a nurse. You will be mobilised gently initially and this should be increased daily. Each day post surgery you will be encouraged to undertake more activities for yourself i.e. washing and dressing.