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Laminectomy and Discectomy

Very informative forum here.  Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.

First off I'm 35 years old. 5'11 250 lbs. Never had surgery before. Never had any major back problems. Although my back has always had it's periods of hurting but never lasted more than 7-10 days and then went away.  Really never had any health problems except hypertension. 

I never thought twice about lifting something heavy.  I played football in middle and high school and have always been pretty strong.  

Well, about a 7 weeks ago it started hurting, didn't really think anything of it. Until the 3rd week of it hurting and it took my breath away while walking. Then a sharp pain shot through my right leg and it went partially numb. This happened while I was driving my route at night, luckily only 30 miles from home. I went straight to the ER. Did a MRI and found out I had a herniated disk on T 11. 

They immediately transferred me to medical center of Plano. They did more MRI and also did a Myelogram. After the Myelogram I noticed my right leg was almost 80% numb and left was about 50%. And it went all the way up to my belly button. So I couldn't feel when I had to pee, actually made a mess. Luckily I made it to the bathroom in time so it was just on the floor. The next day they performed the surgery on August 9th 2016. T10 and T11 Laminectomy, partial T12 Laminectomy, Discectomy between T11 and T12. 

Surgery took less than 2 hours. Woke up in excruciating pain. They gave me 3 4mg iv pushes of morphine just to get my pain and blood pressure down. After about 2 hours pain was managed and BP was down to 130/80. Also noticed my right leg was almost 90% numb and left was 70%. I could move the all around but I couldn't feel myself touching them. Moved to ICU. The next day they took catheter out and I was at least aware when I needed to pee.  I went 5 days without having a bowel movement. Severe abdominal pain. They did a sonogram and everything was normal. Took laxitives and 2 suppositories and finally did go... In the ICU bed at night. Since I was numb, I couldn't feel it. I was so embarrassed. This happened once a day for 3 days. Since I couldn't walk I had to wear a diaper. Again, totally embarrassed. Here I was 35 years old shitting on myself. The range of emotion I was feeling was above and beyond anything I had ever experienced. 

They moved me to a regular room.  Physical therapist worked with me for 30 minutes and I was able to walk about 15 feet on a walker with one persons help the next day. 

Fast forward 3 days. A case worker came and informed me that I was accepted to be transferred to the inpatient rehab where I would receive 3 hours of physical therapy each day. I was transferred on August 16th.  It is now August 23rd and I can walk about 130 feet on the walker. Can walk up stairs with a railing. And can hold my balance in standing position for 2 minutes. I was scheduled to be released on the 25th But. I noticed my right leg was kind of swolen. They did a sonogram and found I have 2 blood clots in my right leg at the calf. So now I'm waiting until 9pm I will get a shot in the abdomen area,  not sure exactly where. Not sure if this will affect my release date now. Bowel movements are more regular now as well,  still taking laxitves but no suppositories. Thank God. I am also down to taking 6 hydrocodones a day from 10. They tell me I can take 2 every 4 hours but I only take them when I absolutely need them. I also take muscle relaxer robaxin in between the pain meds for nerve pain my legs.  I'm also on gabapentin for nerve pain. 

So that's where I'm at in my recovery. The blood clots explain the pins and needles feeling I have in my right leg.  If these shots work and that feeling goes away I believe I will be able to walk a hell of alot better.

I'm open to any advice/suggestions. Thanks for reading and God bless. 



  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496


    welcome to the spine-health forums.

    that is quite a story, i am sorry that you are going through this. i might have missed something, are your legs less numb now?

    i am a cervical patient, but you will find other thoracic patients here.

    please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started welcome to spine-health


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 446
    Oh my!  You've been through an extreme!  Praying your recovery keeps going in the right direction from here on out.  Perhaps sharing your experience here will give insight to someone else in a crazy situation.  Take care!
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  • Bruce, 

    Yes the numbness has lessened a little.  Enough for me to stand up on my own and walk with a walker.  The only place it hasn't really changed is on my right leg from the waist to about 3 inches above my knee. Which makes it hard to control my balance without holding on to anything. But I believe with time it will get better. And thanks for the link, I'll definitely read up more info. 

    This new problem with the blood clots has me more worried than walking now because I don't have insurance and the blood thinners are going to be very expensive. 


    Thank you so much for the prayers. And yea that's why I went into detail about all my problems, maybe someone else has experienced similar problems as I have. 
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