4 days after surgery for severe lumbar stenosis

Hi everyone, you may remember me from earlier this year. I had severe stenosis from bone spurs and narrowing of L4-L5. I could hardly walk 10 yards anymore; my legs felt like they had 500lb weights attached to them. I sought opinions from 2 surgeons, who both said I need decompression and fusion. I hear a lot these days about unnecessary fusions, and I just couldn't bring myself to go that route. I did a lot of research, and finally got an appt with a very respected surgeon. He looked at my MRI and said that while L4-L5 is a mess, the rest of my back looks very healthy and most likely just a laminotomy to remove the bone that is pinching the nerve will fix me up just fine.

I had the surgery on Dec 28 under a local anesthetic, since I hae some contraindications for general anesthesia.  I was wide awake and more bored than anything else! The doc said that my nerve roots were pinched almost flat but that they plumped right up when the pieces of offending bone were removed. Couple hours later, I was walking down the hallway. Although I was slow and wobbly, I can't tell you how amazing it was to feel my legs move without effort. And I feel about 5 inches taller because I can stand up straight again! 

I went home that day and am resting a lot but am no longer on pain meds as of today. I am able to walk a little more each day without the horrible leg pain and heaviness I had before surgery. I feel confident that the surgery will turn out to be a huge success!


  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 844
    That's great news!!!! 
    i had spinal stenosis at L2-3 and ended up with 4 laminectomies (i also have a pile else wrong) but yep, up the next day and nice to not have that dreaded awful pain down into my legs!  i'm so glad you have relief!!! honestly, i couldn't imagine doing that under a local!  yikes!  you have great fortitude!!!!!  i was very happy they knocked me out for mine LOL.

  • Wonderful news.  So good to hear a success story.  Hope you continue to make rapid progress.  Bestwishes, John
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  • That's awesome.. I just got diagnosed  a while back. hit me 3 mos ago..  I may have to go this route one day and it's good to  hear some success and RELIEF!  
  • Not really sure what I have getting Lumbar MRI 1/20 I have MS but I have no pain just Pressure my Nuro said that it is not MS  I also  use a walker 24/7 I cannot stand longer then 45 seconds.  If this is what I have it mimics MS a lot.  Glad your feeling well.
  • Adelthea17AAdelthea17 Seattle, WAPosts: 14
    Hi, just wanted to check in now that I am 3 weeks post surgery.  I'm doing fantastic! Still supposed to limit my walkihg and sitting, but I'm walking pretty normally now with NO pain or heaviness at all! 
    Redlips, I did not have a lot of pain initially, just a terrible heaviness and "electric shock" feeling in my legs. A very common symotom of lumbar stenosis is that the leg pain and numbness is relieved if you bend forward, like if you're using a walker or pushing a shopping cart. Sitting usually gives relief as well. I hope your MRI gives you a lot of answers.
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  • Awesome news! Great to hear stories of people finding relief!
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