Lumbar Laminectomy

Lumbar Laminectomy

What is it?
Lumbar laminectomy is an operation that involves approaching the spine through an incision in the lower back to remove a portion of the bone over and/or around the nerve roots to provide them additional space.

Why is it done?
Patients who have pain caused by pinched nerves are potential candidates for this procedure.

The Operation
The operation is performed with you lying on your stomach.

  • Incision - Your surgeon makes an incision in your lower back to access your spine. To have a clear view of your spine, the surgeon then retracts the muscles and ligaments.
  • Bone/Disc Removal - Your surgeon removes a portion of the lamina, the bony rim around the spinal canal, if it is contributing to pressure on the dural sac or nerve roots. This part of the procedure is called a laminectomy. The term laminectomy is derived from the Latin words lamina (thin plate, sheet, or layer), and -ectomy (removal).An opening is then cut in the ligamentum flavum - a ligament that connects vertebrae to the sacrum. A portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material around the nerve root is removed to give your nerve root additional space.
  • Closure - The operation is completed when your surgeon closes and dresses the incision. Your surgeon may choose to place a drain into the wound after the surgery to protect the incision.

Your surgeon will have a specific post-operative recovery/exercise plan to help you return to normal life as soon as possible. The amount of time that you have to stay in the hospital will depend on this treatment plan. By the end of your first day after surgery, you will normally be up and walking in the hospital.

As you read this, please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.


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