Goldwing riding after laminectomy

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  • Goldwing riding after laminectomy

    I'm scheduled for a laminectomy this coming Thursday. For those who may not know, a laminectomy removes some of the bone of the vertebra in the lower portion of back. This is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord by a bulging disk(s) made worse by stenosis which is a too small spinal canal. They tell me that the surgery is not too debilitating and after 6 to 8 weeks of recovery and physical therapy, that I should be ready to go for any activity such as golf, but of course I'm especially interested in how it relates to riding my Goldwing. I'm interested in and welcome comments about your experience or knowledge about recovery form this surgery and return to riding the Goldwing.
    Thanks in advance.
    Laminectomy back surgery in the lumbar spine helps relieve spinal stenosis related pain. Animated video explains the surgical procedure and how it works.
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_1845_1417834593656_819[/ATTACH]

  • #2
    CJ,
    I had a laminectomy of the cervical spine (neck) between 6 & 7 disks, 1 year ago on Oct. 30, and had to stay off the bike for 6 months. Mines involved a plate being put on the joint to hold it still for healing and is still in there. I had to wear a hard neck brace for 6 weeks and sleep in a soft one for 4 months. I rode down to the TLR and throughout the summer without any pain from the riding.

    Although it relieved some of the pain, it did not get rid of it all and I think the doctor was not aggressive enough and should have included more disks while doing the operation. I was diagnosed with the same problem you have and it is now been confirmed as resulting from injuries in Vietnam. So now I have to get treated at the VA hospital and we have all seen what that can be like and how long it can take.

    Any surgery is dangerous, but, they have come along way with methods and aftercare. Mine involved very little additional pain and recovery was a chore making myself follow doctors orders to not do too much too soon.

    Good luck, CJ, and keep us updated,
    Frank
    __________________________________________________ ___________
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living", Theodore Roosevelt

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    • #3
      I had an L5/S1 lumbar laminectomy 20 years ago (at age 33). Before the surgery, the pressure on the sciatic nerve was so bad I couldn't stand (or sit) upright for more than 30 seconds, let alone ride my bike. Immediately after surgery (well, after I came out of the anesthesia), my pain was gone. Due to muscle atrophy, etc., waiting for surgery, it was five weeks before I was able to go back to work. It was another couple months before I was back on my GL1200I (yeah, I rode an "old man's bike" at age 33). With the right amount of exercise, I've been able to stay relatively trouble-free since then. Actually, I am more comfortable on the Wing than I am in the car - something about the upright riding position on the bike compared to having my feet out in front of me in the car.
      White '08 Navi
      SW OH

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      • #4
        CJS, really? You are having your laminectomy this coming Thursday? That is exactly the day that "I" am having my laminectomy...seriously ! I will be operated on in Seattle, WA. on this Thursday, October 23rd. What an odd coincidence. They are doing L4 on me, which will include the foraminal openings for L3 to L5.

        From what I have been able to find out from others that have been through this same kind of surgery....those that did NOT have any plates, screws, or anything else put in their backs, recovered with little to no pain in the long run. Those that "did" have plates, screws, etc, put in their backs, still have some residual pain, although it is lessened from what it was before the surgery. I have no definitive evidence on those claims, other than the riders that have talked to me about their surgeries.

        I wish you the very best on your surgery, and hope you have a speedy, and successful recovery. Where is your surgery being done?

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        • CJS
          CJS commented
          Editing a comment
          Sent you a PM

      • #5
        CJ - Like Frank said, the best of luck to you and keep us informed. Take care of yourself after, so that all works out well.

        Crabby Bob

        Retired and riding a Goldwing - Life is good!
        2001 Gl1800A - Illusion Red
        DS # 1258 - Double Darkside

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        • #6
          CJ, I too want to wish you all the very best. It was great to see you at the NC gathering. Heal quickly my friend.
          __________________________________________________ __________

          Why sweat the leg thing when I can still ride a Goldwing
          Member of the Hann-Amigo Trio

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          • #7
            Good luck to all of you as back pain and surgery is serious stuff. You will be glad to get back on your bikes again when you are all healed up.
            Dave - Arizona - 2012/GL1800

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            • #8
              I can't answer your question, but I can wish you a speedy recovery. If nothing else you should be ready to go this spring. Good luck. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

              IBA #57814
              SaddleSore 1075 Miles in 24 hours (certified)
              BunBurner 1632 Miles in 36 hours (certified)
              Prowler #81
              Double Darksider # 792
              Alaska 2012 / 2014

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              • #9
                CJ,
                Talked with my older brother and he had the lower back done in 1982 and said his pain went away within 3 days and has never had a problem since.

                Just don't cheat in recovery and take it easy for a while,
                Frank
                __________________________________________________ ___________
                "The worst of all fears is the fear of living", Theodore Roosevelt

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                • #10
                  Good luck CJ may GOD guide the hands of your surgeon.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by hiyocheeto View Post
                    CJ,
                    Talked with my older brother and he had the lower back done in 1982 and said his pain went away within 3 days and has never had a problem since.

                    Just don't cheat in recovery and take it easy for a while,
                    Frank
                    Wish all the best for the surgery.

                    I agree with DO NOT CHEAT ON THE RECOVERY.
                    GL1800 8A - TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 900

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by tommyone View Post
                      Good luck CJ may GOD guide the hands of your surgeon.
                      Praying the same Prayer, CJ. Hope everything goes well and you have a quick recovery.

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                      • #13
                        As an update, I can tell you that CJ and I have both received our back surgeries as of yesterday. Both done at the same time of day...1:30 pm, but done more than 2000 miles apart.
                        They kept me overnight for one night, and released me today. They were supposed to do CJs surgery as an outpatient (which surprised me), but they ended up keeping him overnight last night, and the e-mail I received from him today says that they are keeping him one more night...to be released tomorrow.

                        He says he is doing okay...other than the back surgery itself. The surgery location is expected to hurt for awhile.

                        I was pleasantly surprised to find that they gave me a single bed room...no roomie to share the agony with...so that was cool. It was also nice to find that the room service/food service was as close to that of a 5 star restaurant as I have ever seen for a hospital. The menu was 4 pages long, and the food was excellent....all you could eat....and really good.

                        If you ever have the unfortunate incidence to have to use a hospital in the Seattle area, I highly recommend going to Virginia Mason Hospital on First Hill area. All the employees are excellent, and they treat the patients like gold. Very good experience...considering they cut me open.

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                        • #14
                          Thanks to everybody for the kind words and positive thoughts and prayers

                          The surgery took place on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and conclude about 2 1/2 hours later. The doc told me he viewed the surgery as a complete success. So I'm looking forward to a complete solution and recovery. I'm pretty sure I can already tell a difference in the pain down my leg and into my foot cause by the pinched nerve. He removed the lamina from 2 and 1/2 vertebrae and cleaned up bone spurs caused by arthritis. But I could be wrong because I'm still on quite a bit of opioids and nsaids. The first 3 days after the surgery were filled with lots of pain and lots of pain meds. Just today I'm beginning to feel better, which I hope continues. Before going into surgery the doc told me he thought the incision would be about 2 1/2 inches. You see in the picture below that the incision was closer to 12 inches. OUCH! All in all I think I'm on the way to recovery elimination of the daily pain caused by the stenosis and bulging disk(s) causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. My wife is taking great care of me for which I am very grateful.

                          The picture is a little graphic, so view with care or go onto another thread. It is a big incision, but it was needed to correct a big problem. If it continue to eliminate the pain in my foot and leg, I'll be a happy Goldwing rider once again.













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                          • #15
                            CJ,
                            So glad to hear things went well in surgery. What were they digging for gold in there and just kept going till they found it? Well it's all for the best.

                            Heal fast and don't skimp on the recovery instructions,
                            Frank
                            __________________________________________________ ___________
                            "The worst of all fears is the fear of living", Theodore Roosevelt

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                            • crabbywinger
                              crabbywinger commented
                              Editing a comment
                              CJ - Agree with Frank, glad it went well and hope it turns out well. Suspect the physical therapy will not a whole lot of fun, but stick with it. Am looking forward to getting out in the breeze with you and the rest of MI guys in the Spring. Take care my friend.
                              Crabby Bob

                          • #16
                            CJ glad it all went well. Wow that looks painful. I think I will be using a walker before I go that route LOL. Heal well my friend.

                            Fred
                            Recently moved to TN my native state, Feels good to be back home.

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