Lumbar laminectomy surgery is one of the most common decompressive spine surgeries performed daily in operating rooms across the world. However, not every laminectomy surgery is performed the same way by each surgeon. There are various developing techniques that we spine surgeons use to treat patients who suffer from back and leg pain. In my practice, I have listened countless times to how life-altering this pain can be on their work and active lifestyle. In the lower back, (lumbar spine) the spinal cord or dura within the spinal canal can become compressed causing significant pain. This is often referred to as spinal stenosis.
When caring for a patient with neck or back pain, the caretaker faces emotional and at times physical challenges. It is difficult to watch a loved one experience pain symptoms. Many times being unsure of how to provide help can generate further anxiety about the situation. Know that as a caregiver you are not alone. In fact, statistically a broad majority of long term care for patients in the United States is provided by their family members. Know that you are appreciated and here are some tips to perhaps make the journey a bit lighter.
I have the privilege to see, evaluate, and treat patients from all walks of life. Despite the difference in sex, age, and every category imaginable, they all present with similar questions and concerns. Why do I hurt? What is the cause of the pain? How can I alleviate it? How can I prevent it?
I try to spend as much time with my patients to answer these questions. The reasons for the pain can be related to a multitude of sources. The treatments can vary just as much and we make every effort to customize our treatment plan to the individual patient.
Some answers remain universal, however. Those answers relate to steps patients can take on their own to either prevent neck and back pain or help improve their symptoms.
Having surgery is a major step for any patient. Even with the shortest and simplest of surgeries, patients should follow instructions as discussed with their surgeon. This is a time to focus on healing and completing the plan set out with your care provider.
Every patient receives a packet with information about their planned surgery. I highly encourage you to look through the packet as it may answer many questions or raise others. Here is a list of DOs and DON’Ts to consider as you go through your recovery process.
As surgeons we are always looking for ways to improve the care we provide. An often overlooked yet equally important factor are the steps taken prior to even setting foot in the operative suite. Pre-operative planning is a factor that was stressed heavily during residency and fellowship, but as technological improvements are made in the implants and instruments, seldom has anyone sought to improve the way in which pre-op planning is performed. As trends have shown, patients today want individualized care, customized implants, and concierge medicine.