Overview of Procedure
Typically, an incision is made in the center of the lower back to perform a laminectomy. This involves removing the lamina, which is the rear portion of the vertebrae covering the back of the spinal canal. In some cases where there’s also a disc herniation, a discectomy may be performed alongside. The duration of the procedure usually ranges from 1 to 2 hours, though it can vary.

Dressings can be changed daily starting the second day post-surgery, with showers permitted between dressing changes. If an Aquacel dressing is used, showers are allowed from the first day post-surgery, and the dressing can remain in place for up to a week. Until the incision is fully healed, avoid submerging it in water (bathtub, swimming pool, etc.) to prevent infection.

Walking is encouraged, while bending, lifting, and twisting should be avoided for the first 4 weeks. Sedentary job holders can often return to work within 1 to 2 weeks, while more physically demanding occupations may require 4 to 6 weeks off.

Physical therapy may be recommended to help regain leg strength and range of motion during recovery. Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled for 2- or 3- weeks post-surgery and again around 6 weeks, after which full activity can resume with no additional office visits needed. Driving can be resumed once narcotic pain medication is no longer needed, typically within a week.

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