Laminectomy-Nursing-Care-Plans

Definition

Laminectomy is the excision of a vertebral posterior arch and is commonly performed for injury to the spinal column or to relieve pressure/pain in the presence of a herniated disc. The procedure may be done with or without fusion of vertebrae.

Nursing Priorities

  1. Maintain tissue perfusion/neurological function.
  2. Promote comfort and healing.
  3. Prevent/minimize complications.
  4. Assist with return to normal mobility.
  5. Provide information about condition/prognosis, treatment needs, and limitations.

Discharge Goals

  1. Neurological function maintained/improved.
  2. Complications prevented.
  3. Limited mobility achieved with potential for increasing mobility.
  4. Condition/prognosis, therapeutic regimen, and behavior/lifestyle changes are understood.
  5. Plan in place to meet needs after discharge.

Nursing Care Plans

Impaired Physical Mobility

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Mobility, impaired physical

May be related to

  • Neuromusclar impairment
  • Limitations imposed by condition; pain

Possibly evidenced by

  • Impaired coordination, limited ROM
  • Reluctance to attempt movement
  • Decreased muscle strength/control

DESIRED OUTCOMES/EVALUATION CRITERIA—PATIENT WILL:

  • Demonstrate techniques/behaviors that enable resumption of activities.
  • Maintain or increase strength and function of affected body part.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Schedule activity/procedures with rest periods. Encourage participation in ADLs within individual limitations. Enhances healing and builds muscle strength and endurance. Patient participation promotes independence and sense of control.
 Provide/assist with passive and active ROM exercises depending on surgical procedure. Strengthens abdominal muscles and flexors of spine; promotes good body mechanics.
 Assist with activity/progressive ambulation. Until healing occurs, activity is limited and advanced slowly according to individual tolerance.
 Review proper body mechanics/techniques for participation in activities. Reduces risk of muscle strain/injury/pain and increases likelihood of patient involvement in progressive activity.

Ineffective Tissue Perfusion

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Tissue Perfusion, ineffective (specify)

May be related to

  • Diminished/interrupted blood flow (e.g., edema of operative site, hematoma formation)
  • Hypovolemia

Possibly evidenced by

  • Paresthesia; numbness
  • Decreased ROM, muscle strength

Desired Outcomes

  • Report/demonstrate normal sensations and movement as appropriate.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Check neurological signs periodically and compare with baseline. Assess movement/sensation of lower extremities and feet (lumbar) and hands/arms (cervical). Although some degree of sensory impairment is usually present, deterioration/changes may reflect development/resolution of spinal cord edema and/or inflammation of the tissues secondary to damage to motor nerve roots from surgical manipulation; or tissue hemorrhage compressing the spinal cord, requiring prompt medical evaluation intervention.
 Keep patient flat on back for several hours. Pressure to operative site reduces risk of hematoma.
 Monitor vital signs. Note color, warmth, capillary refill. Hypotension (especially postural) with corresponding changes in pulse rate may reflect hypovolemia from blood loss, restriction of oral intake, nausea/vomiting.
 Monitor I&O and Hemovac drainage (if used). Provides information about circulatory status and replacement needs. Excessive/prolonged blood loss requires further evaluation to determine appropriate intervention.
 Palpate operative site for swelling. Inspect dressing for excess drainage and test for glucose if indicated. Change in contour of operative site suggests hematoma/edema formation. Inspection may reveal frank bleeding or dura leak of CSF (will test glucose-positive), requiring prompt intervention.
 Administer IV fluids/blood as indicated. Fluid replacement depends on the degree of hypovolemia and duration of oozing/bleeding/CSF leaking.
 Monitor blood counts, e.g., hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), and red blood cells (RBCs). Aids in establishing replacement needs, and monitors effectiveness of therapy.

Risk for Trauma

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Trauma, risk for (spinal)

Risk factors may include

  • Temporary weakness of vertebral column
  • Balancing difficulties, changes in muscle coordination

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain proper alignment of spine.
  • Recognize need for/seek assistance with activity as appropriate.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Post sign at bedside regarding prescribed position. Reduces risk of inadvertent strain/flexion of operative area.
 Provide bedboard/firm mattress. Aids in stabilizing back.
 Maintain cervical collar postoperatively with cervical laminectomy procedure. Decreases muscle spasm and supports the surrounding structures, allowing normal sensory stimulation to occur.
 Limit activities when patient has had a spinal fusion. Following surgery, spinal movement is restricted to promote healing of fusion, requiring a longer recuperation time.
 Logroll patient from side to side. Have patient fold arms across chest, tighten long back muscles, keeping shoulders and pelvis straight. Use pillows between knees during position change and when on side. Use turning sheet and sufficient personnel when turning, especially on the first postoperative day. Maintains body alignment while turning, preventing twisting motion, which may interfere with healing process.
 Assist out of bed: logroll to side of bed, splint back, and raise to sitting position. Avoid prolonged sitting. Move to standing position in single smooth motion. Avoids twisting and flexing of back while arising from bed/chair, protecting surgical area.
 Avoid sudden stretching, twisting, flexing, or jarring or spine. May cause vertebral collapse, shifting of bone graft, delayed hematoma formation, or subcutaneous wound dehiscence.
 Check BP; note reports of dizziness or weakness. Recommend patient change position slowly. Presence of postural hypotension may result in fainting/falling and possible injury to surgical site.
 Have patient wear firm/flat walking shoes when ambulating. Reduces risk of falls.
 Apply lumbar brace/cervical collar as appropriate. Brace/corset may be used in and/or out of bed during immediate postoperative phase to support spine and surrounding structures until muscle strength improves. Brace is applied while patient is supine in bed. Spinal fusion generally requires a lengthy recuperation period in a corset/collar.
 Refer to physical therapy. Implement program as outlined. Strengthening exercises may be indicated during the rehabilitative phase to decrease muscle spasm and strain on the vertebral disc area.

Ineffective Breathing Pattern

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Breathing Pattern/Airway Clearance, risk for ineffective

Risk factors may include

  • Tracheal/bronchial obstruction/edema
  • Decreased lung expansion, pain

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain a normal/effective respiratory pattern free of cyanosis and other signs of hypoxia, with ABGs within acceptable range.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Inspect for edema of face/neck (cervical laminectomy), especially first 24–48 hr after surgery. Tracheal edema/compression or nerve injury can compromise respiratory function.
 Listen for hoarseness. Encourage voice rest. May indicate laryngeal nerve injury, which can negatively affect cough (ability to clear airway).
 Auscultate breath sounds, note presence of wheezes/rhonchi. Suggests accumulation of secretions/need to engage in more aggressive therapeutic actions to clear airway.
 Assist with coughing, turning, and deep breathing.Facilitates movement of secretions and clearing of lungs; reduces risk of respiratory complications (pneumonia).
 Administer supplemental oxygen, if indicated. May be necessary for periods of respiratory distress or evidence of hypoxia.
 Monitor/graph ABGs or pulse oximetry. Monitors effectiveness of breathing pattern/therapy.

Acute Pain

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Pain, acute

May be related to

  • Physical agent: surgical manipulation, edema, inflammation, harvesting of bone graft

Possibly evidenced by

  • Reports of pain
  • Autonomic responses: diaphoresis, changes in vital signs, pallor
  • Alteration in muscle tone
  • Guarding, distraction behaviors/restlessness

Desired Outcomes

  • Report pain is relieved/controlled.
  • Verbalize methods that provide relief.
  • Demonstrate use of relaxation skills and diversional activities.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Assess intensity, description, and location/radiation of pain, changes in sensation. Instruct in use of rating scale(e.g., 0–10). May be mild to severe with radiation to shoulders/occipital area (cervical) or hips/buttocks (lumbar). If bone graft has been taken from the iliac crest, pain may be more severe at the donor site. Numbness/tingling discomfort may reflect return of sensation after nerve root decompression or result from developing edema causing nerve compression.
 Review expected manifestations/changes in intensity of pain. Development/resolution of edema and inflammation in the immediate postoperative phase can affect pressure on various nerves and cause changes in degree of pain (especially 3 days after procedure, when muscle spasms/improved nerve root sensation intensify pain).
 Encourage patient to assume position of comfort if indicated. Use logroll for position change. Positioning is dictated by physical preference, type of operation (e.g., head of bed may be slightly elevated after cervical laminectomy). Readjustment of position aids in relieving muscle fatigue and discomfort. Logrolling avoids tension in the operative areas, maintains straight spinal alignment, and reduces risk of displacing epidural patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) when used.
 Provide back rub/massage, avoiding operative site. Relieves/reduces pain by alteration of sensory neurons, muscle relaxation.
 Demonstrate/ encourage use of relaxation skills, e.g., deep breathing, visualization. Refocuses attention, reduces muscle tension, promotes sense of well-being, and controls/decreases discomfort.
 Provide soft diet, room humidifier; encourage voice rest following anterior cervical laminectomy. Reduces discomfort associated with sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
 Investigate patient reports of return of radicular pain. Suggests complications (e.g., collapsing of disc space, shifting of bone graft) requiring further medical evaluation and intervention. Note: Sciatica and muscle spasms often recur after laminectomy but should resolve within several days or weeks.
Administer analgesics, as indicated: Narcotics, e.g., morphine, codeine, meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (Tylox), hydrocodone (Vicodin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) with codeine; Narcotics are used during the first few postoperative days, then nonnarcotic agents are incorporated as intensity of pain diminishes. Note: Narcotics may be administered via epidural catheter.
 Muscle relaxants, e.g., cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), diazepam (Valium). May be used to relieve muscle spasms resulting from intraoperative nerve irritation.
 Instruct patient/assist with PCA. Gives patient control of medication administration (usually narcotics) to achieve a more constant level of comfort, which may enhance healing and sense of well-being.
 Provide throat sprays/ lozenges, viscous Xylocaine. Sore throat may be a major complaint following cervical laminectomy.
Apply TENS unit as needed.May be used for incisional pain or when nerve involvement continues after discharge. Decreases level of pain by blocking nerve transmission of pain.

Constipation

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Constipation

May be related to

  • Pain and swelling in surgical area
  • Immobilization, decreased physical activity
  • Altered nerve stimulation, ileus
  • Emotional stress, lack of privacy
  • Changes/restriction of dietary intake

Possibly evidenced by

  • Decreased bowel sounds
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Abdominal pain/rectal fullness, nausea
  • Change in frequency, consistency, and amount of stool

Desired Outcomes

  • Reestablish normal patterns of bowel functioning.
  • Pass stool of soft/semiformed consistency without straining.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Note abdominal distension and auscultate bowel sounds. Distension and absence of bowel sounds indicate that bowel is not functioning, possibly because of sudden loss of parasympathetic enervation of the bowel.
 Use fraction or child-size bedpan until allowed out of bed. Promotes comfort, reduces muscle tension.
 Provide privacy. Promotes psychological comfort.
 Encourage early ambulation. Stimulates peristalsis, facilitating passage of flatus.
 Begin progressive diet as tolerated. Solid foods are not started until bowel sounds have returned/flatus has been passed and danger of ileus formation has abated.
 Provide rectal tube, suppositories, and enemas as needed. May be necessary to relieve abdominal distension, promote resumption of normal bowel habits.
 Administer laxatives, stool softeners as indicated. Softens stools, promotes normal bowel habits, decreases straining.

Urinary Retention

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Urinary Retention, risk for

Risk factors may include

  • Pain and swelling in operative area
  • Need for remaining flat in bed

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable; presence of signs and symptoms establishes an actual diagnosis.]

Desired Outcomes

  • Empty bladder in sufficient amounts.
  • Be free of bladder distension, with postvoid residuals within normal limits (WNL).
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Observe and record amount/time of voiding. Determines whether bladder is being emptied and when interventions may be necessary.
 Palpate for bladder distension. May indicate urine retention.
 Force fluids. Maintains kidney function.
 Stimulate bladder emptying by running water, pouring warm water over peritoneal area, or having patient put hand in warm water as needed. Promotes urination by relaxing urinary sphincter.
 Catheterize for bladder residual after voiding, when indicated. Insert/maintain indwelling catheter as needed. Intermittent or continuous catheterization may be necessary for several days postoperatively until swelling is decreased.

Knowledge Deficit

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Knowledge, deficient [Learning Need] regarding condition, prognosis, treatment, self-care, and discharge needs

May be related to

  • Lack of exposure
  • Information misinterpretation; lack of recall
  • Unfamiliarity with information resources

Possibly evidenced by

  • Request for information; statement of misconception
  • Inaccurate follow-through of instruction

DESIRED OUTCOMES/EVALUATION CRITERIA—PATIENT WILL:

  • Verbalize understanding of condition, prognosis, and potential complications.
  • List signs/symptoms requiring medical follow-up.
  • Verbalize understanding of therapeutic regimen.
  • Initiate necessary lifestyle changes.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
 Review particular condition/prognosis Individual needs dictate tolerance levels/limitations of activity.
 Discuss possibility of unrelieved/renewed pain. Some pain may continue for several months as activity level increases and scar tissue stretches. Pain relief from surgical procedure could be temporary if other discs have similar amount of degeneration.
 Discuss use of heat, e.g., warm packs, heating pad, or showers. Increased circulation to the back/surgical area transports nutrients for healing to the area and aids in resolution of pathogens/exudates out of the area. Decreases muscle spasms that may result from nerve root irritation during healing process.
 Discuss judicious use of cold packs before/after stretching activity, if indicated. May decrease muscle spasm in some instances more effectively than heat.
 Avoid tub baths for 3–4 wk, depending on physician recommendation. Tub baths increase risk of falls and flexing/twisting of spine.
 Review dietary/fluid needs. Should be tailored to reduce risk of constipation and avoid excess weight gain while meeting nutrient needs to facilitate healing.
 Review/reinforce incisional care. Correct care promotes healing, reduces risk of wound infection. Note: This information is especially critical for the patient’s SO/caregiver in this era of early discharge (sometimes 24 hr after surgery).
 Identify signs/symptoms requiring notification of healthcare provider, e.g., fever, increased incisional pain, inflammation, wound drainage, decreased sensation/motor activity in extremities. Prompt evaluation and intervention may prevent complications/permanent injury.
 Discuss necessity of follow-up care. Long-term medical supervision may be needed to manage problems/complications and to reincorporate individual into desired/altered lifestyle and activities.
 Review need for/use of immobilization device, as indicated. Correct application and wearing time is important to gaining the most benefit from the brace.
Assess current lifestyle/job, finances, activities at home and leisure.Knowledge of current situation allows nurse to highlight areas for possible intervention, such as referral for occupational/vocational testing and counseling.
Listen/communicate with patient regarding alternatives and lifestyle changes. Be sensitive to patient’s needs.Low back pain is a frequent cause of chronic disability. Many patients may have to stop/modify work and have long-term/chronic pain creating relationship and financial crises. Often patient is viewed as being a malingerer, which creates further problems in social/work relationships.
Note overt/ covert expressions of concern about sexuality.Although patient may not ask directly, there may be concerns about the effect of this surgery on both the ability to cope with usual role in the family/community and ability to perform sexually.
Provide written copy of all instructions.Useful as a reference after discharge.
 Identify community resources as indicated, e.g., social services, rehabilitation/ vocational counseling services. A team effort can be helpful in providing support during recuperative period.
Recommend counseling, sex therapy, psychotherapy, as appropriate.Depression is common in conditions for which a lengthy recuperative time (2–9 mo) is expected. Therapy may alleviate anxiety, assist patient to cope effectively, and enhance healing process. Presence of physical limitations, pain, and depression may negatively impact sexual desire/performance and add additional stress to relationship.
Discuss return to activities, stressing importance of increasing as tolerated.Although the recuperative period may be lengthy, following prescribed activity program promotes muscle and tissue circulation, healing, and strengthening.
Encourage development of regular exercise program, e.g., walking, stretching.Promotes healing, strengthens abdominal and erector muscles to provide support to the spinal column, and enhances general physical and emotional well-being.
Discuss importance of good posture and avoidance of prolonged standing/sitting. Recommend sitting in straight-backed chair with feet on a footstool or flat on the floor.Prevents further injuries/stress by maintaining proper alignment of spine.
Stress importance of avoiding activities that increase the flexion of the spine, e.g., climbing stairs, automobile driving/riding, bending at the waist with knees straight, lifting more than 5 lb, engaging in strenuous exercise/sports. Discuss limitations on sexual relations/positions.Flexing/twisting of the spine aggravates the healing process and increases risk of injury to spinal cord.
Encourage lying-down rest periods, balanced with activityReduces general and spinal fatigue and assists in the healing/recuperative process.
Explore limitations/abilities.Placing limitations into perspective with abilities allows patient to understand own situation and exercise choice.

Other Nursing Diagnoses

  1. Mobility, impaired physical—decreased strength/endurance, pain, immobilizing device.
  2. Self-Care deficit—decreased strength/endurance, pain, immobilizing device.
  3. Trauma, risk for—weakness, balancing difficulties, decreased muscle coordination, reduced temperature/tactile sensation.
  4. Family Coping, ineffective: compromised—temporary family disorganization and role changes.

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