Shasti decompression DC

Posterior Lumbar Decompression Discharge Instructions

Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery Institute
Lumbar Decompression / Laminectomy
Office #: 703-723-OSSI (6774)

Posterior Lumbar Decompression/Microlaminectomy/Microdiscectomy:

Removes bone spurs and/or bulging discs that are putting pressure on the spinal nerve roots.

Post-op pain: Usually mild/moderate (not severe).

Goals of Surgery:

1.Decrease back and leg pain, improve standing/walking tolerance
2.Stop symptoms of nerve compression from getting worse

Top 4 things your surgeon wants you to know:

1.A moderate amount of increased back pain is expected after your surgery, this will get better over the next 4-6 weeks.
2.Leg pain is usually better, but not always completely gone after surgery. Numbness, tingling, and weakness take longer to get better after surgery. This is normal.
3.You should avoid Nicotine/Smoking before and after your surgery to help with healing.
4.You are able to take anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) after your surgery, these will help with your pain and assist you in getting off of your opiate pain medications.

(Examples of NSAIDs: Ibuprofen (MotrinTM, AdvilTM), Naproxen, Naprosyn (AleveTM), Meloxicam (MobicTM), Celebrex, Diclofenac, etc…)

Thank you for choosing OSSI.
If you have any concerns or questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Question Card (QCARD)

Answers to frequently asked questions ABOUT YOUR DECOMPRESSION SURGERY:


  • You can take your dressing off 1-2 days after surgery. You can take a shower 2-3 days after surgery, once the incision is sealed and not open or leaking fluid.
  • Ok for gentle soap and water to run over incision, do not scrub, pat dry with towel. Please avoid tub baths, swimming pools and hot tubs until the incision is completely healed (4-6 weeks).
  • Occasionally your incision may bleed and your dressing may get saturated with blood, this is okay. The dressing can be changed to a new, clean dressing.

If the bleeding does not slow down or stop with a clean/dry dressing, you may need to be seen for a wound check.

Follow up with Primary Care Provider

  • If you have any of the below problems, we suggest you see your Primary Care Provider within 1 week after your surgery to make sure your other medical issues are doing ok.
  • See your primary care provider if you have a history of: Heart problems, lung problems, stroke, diabetes, are over the age of 65, are taking a blood thinner, or have several medical problems, or take greater than 10 prescription medications.


  • No driving until you are off of all narcotic/sedative medications AND can move well enough to be safe behind the wheel, this is usually after your first post-operative appointment.
  • Check with your doctor at your first follow up appointment (4-6 weeks post op) about when you should start driving.

Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS)

  • It is ok to take NSAIDs after your surgery, this will likely help with your pain and help you get off of your pain medications. (examples: Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Naproxen, Mobic, Meloxicam, Diclofenac)
  • If you have kidney problems, stomach ulcers, heart problems, or are on blood thinners you should check with your primary care doctor before taking NSAIDs.


  • If you need refills on your prescriptions, please contact OSSI 2-3 days before you are out of medications so we have sufficient time to process your request.
  • Refill requests on Friday afternoons and holidays will likely be addressed on the next business day.
  • Opioids are an addictive medication, therefore, you should start weaning off opioid pain medications on your own as soon as you are able to. (Ex: Hydrocodone/Oxycodone)

Emergency Room Use

  • You have trouble breathing, chest pain, or significant NEW weakness after your surgery, please go to an Emergency Room immediately.
  • If you have any other problems related to your surgery, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE BEFORE GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, as we can likely address your problem or get you an appointment scheduled and save you a trip to the ER.

Incision care

  • If there is no drainage, your incision can be left open to air without a dressing after 3 days.
  • If there is drainage, cover with a clean and dry dressing. If it does not slow down or stop after a few days, you may need to call the office to have your wound checked.
  • If you have skin glue or tape, try to leave intact for the first 2 weeks.
  • Notify our office if you have a fever of 101.5F or if you notice redness at your incision site and the area around incision is warm or hot to your touch.
  • The incision area should always be kept clean and dry.


  • Surgical back pain and muscle spasms are normal after a spine surgery. This usually gets better over the next few weeks.
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness that you had before surgery may take time to improve.
  • If you develop significant new weakness after you get home, you should call the office: 703-723-OSSI (6774) or go to the Emergency Room.


  • Stick with soft foods that are easy to swallow. Take small bites and chew your food well. Advance your diet to normal as tolerated.
  • Ice and popsicles help with sore throat


  • When you go home you may get up and walk… we want you to be active!!
  • You may go up and down stairs, but make sure to hold on to the rail and have someone with you
  • You should avoid excessive bending and twisting of your back and may not lift anything over 10 pounds until cleared by your surgeon – typically 6 weeks post-op.


  • A common side effect of narcotic pain medication is constipation.
  • Taking over the counter stool softeners/laxatives may help. Please follow package instructions.
  • Stool softeners/Laxatives include:

Milk of Magnesia, Miralax, Dulcolax suppository, fleets enema, Magnesium Citrate

  • Drinking fluid, activity, and diets high in fiber are also helpful in relieving constipation.

Other Medications

  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen): Your pain medication likely has acetaminophen in it. Taking additional Tylenol/acetaminophen can put you over the daily recommended 4,000mg, which can harm your liver.
  • Muscle Relaxers: One of the side effects of your muscle relaxer is drowsiness. If you begin to feel too drowsy and you are not able to get up safely to ambulate, decrease the frequency of your muscle relaxer.