Serious work injuries can have a big impact on your life. If you’re living with pain or disability due to an injury at your Georgia workplace, you may be considering medical procedures such as a laminectomy to help with your recovery. Is a laminectomy the right procedure for you? Keep reading to learn more about what this procedure entails, how it can help treat pain and disability, and how laminectomy may fit into your care plan.
Even if your injury didn’t happen during an on-the-job accident, there may still be a connection between your injury and work history. We understand that dealing with your employer and their insurance companies can be difficult, and that’s why our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group specialize in helping you overcome these challenges so you can get the care and benefits you deserve.
What is Laminectomy?
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure on the nerves in your lumbar spine (low back) caused by herniated discs, bone spurs, or other conditions. During this procedure, a surgeon will remove part of the vertebrae that surrounds the nerve root (the lamina) to create more space for the nerves and alleviate symptoms such as pain, numbness, and muscle weakness.
The duration of a laminectomy procedure varies depending on the complexity and severity of your injury. Generally speaking, most laminectomies are performed in 1–2 hours. However, if you have multiple levels of nerve compression or need additional procedures such as a microdiscectomy (partial disc removal), then the procedure will take longer or may require overnight stay for observation.
The recovery process after a laminectomy can take several months, but most people start to notice improvements in their pain level within the first few days of surgery. In many cases, the benefits of a laminectomy can last anywhere from several years to life. It’s important to know that this time frame can vary significantly depending on the severity and location of your injury, your age and preexisting conditions, and lifestyle habits.
What is Laminectomy Used For?
A laminectomy is most commonly used to treat back pain caused by herniated discs, bone spurs, or other conditions that are pressing on the nerves in your spine. It can also be used to treat spinal stenosis, which involves narrowing of the spine and compression of the nerve roots. Many of these conditions can happen at your Georgia workplace and have the potential to cause high levels of disability, preventing you from working safely.
The best way to determine if a laminectomy is the right option for you is to discuss your medical history and symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor may order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans in order to get a better idea of how severe the compression on your nerves is and where it’s located. Other tests for sensation, strength, and joint flexibility may be used to help determine the overall impact of your injury and the potential role of a laminectomy in recovery.
In some cases, a laminectomy can help you to return to work after an injury. Depending on the severity of your back pain and the type of job you need to get back to, returning to work may be possible with minor restrictions or additional accommodations during your recovery process. However, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone heals at their own rate and recovery times will vary depending on your unique health history and situation.
Is Laminectomy Safe?
In many cases, laminectomy is a safe and effective procedure when performed by a properly trained orthopedic surgeon. The risks associated with this type of surgery will vary depending on the individual, but the most common risks include nerve damage or infection after surgery. To reduce your risk of complications after a laminectomy, make sure to follow all post-operative instructions given by your surgeon.
The common side effects after a laminectomy include pain and discomfort at the surgical site, swelling, and numbness around the surgical site or in the leg. During your initial recovery period, it’s important to use medications as prescribed by your surgeon in order to reduce any potential side effects or complications. You may also experience fatigue or weakness due to long periods of rest that are expected following a spinal surgery.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
In addition to a laminectomy, you may need other treatments in order to fully recover from your injury and return to work. This is especially true if you have been inactive for long periods due to your injury, or have a medical history that complicates your condition.
Physical therapy is often needed to help build strength and flexibility in your back muscles after surgery. Your physical therapist will develop a personalized program to help build strength and flexibility in your back to restore your overall physical activity. Your treatment sessions may involve exercises such as stretching, strengthening, and balance training. An assistive device such as a brace or cane may also be recommended in order to reduce stress on your spine and improve your overall function during your recovery.
Your doctor may also recommend medications to manage pain or muscle spasm associated with your surgery recovery. Common medications prescribed following a laminectomy procedure include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosage and frequency in order to get the most benefit from these medications with the fewest side effects.
Getting important procedures such as a laminectomy covered by your Georgia employer can be a complicated and difficult process, especially while living with a serious injury. To get the benefits and compensation you deserve for important procedures, you need a legal team that specializes in injury law.
Contact a Georgia Injury Attorney
If you’re dealing with a work injury and need legal advice, contact the best workers’ compensation attorney in Georgia. Beth Gearhart listens to her clients and cares about their needs. Beth is available every day to discuss your case and review all of your options. She is dedicated to positive outcomes and only gets paid if you receive a settlement. You do not need to pay anything up front to discuss your case and explore your options.