What is a
Laminectomy?

Learn how a laminectomy can reduce back pain.

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Let's start by talking about what might be happening with the spine and causing the symptoms you're experiencing such as pain, tingling, and numbness. First, we have the spinal cord, which comes from the brainstem and descends down the cervical spine into the middle back and then low back. Along with the spinal cord is a connected length of 33 vertebrae. The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae, the lumbar spine is made up of five vertebrae. Within this chain of vertebrae is a small canal, the spinal canal. It is through this canal that the spinal cord and two pairs of nerves and are directly from the brain stem and continue down the back finally exiting the vertebrae before continuing into the legs. Each vertebrae is made up of several parts. There's the vertebral body, which is made of solid bone and provides the main support for the spinal column. Each side with lots of attached to muscles and ligaments is called the transverse process. On the back is the spinal process which protects the spinal canal. Between each vertebral body is a disk that acts as a shock absorber. Each vertebrae is connected to the next at a facet joint which is what allows the spine to move. However, those shock absorbing disks can get damaged. Often, damage can be caused by a trauma such as a sports injury or a car accident. But even without trauma over time, the disks can start wearing away due to the effects of gravity and normal wear and tear from everyday activities. Poor posture, repetitive motions can increase the speed of wearing and cause a disk to rupture or herniate. This rupturing is often referred to as a slipped disk. Parts of the disk can travel down into the spinal canals putting pressure on the nerves which then cause pain and weakness in the legs. Arthritic conditions can wear joint surfaces as well as causing destruction at the joints and shifting of the vertebral body alignment further damaging nerves. These changes can lead our surgeons to recommend a laminectomy to create space around an effective nerve. [MUSIC PLAYING]

3D images simulate the procedure and elements may differ in color, texture and placement than an actual surgical procedure.

Procedure Length

PROCEDURE LENGTH

25 - 40 minutes

incision
Incision Size

INCISION SIZE

Less than an inch

Patient Home Same Day

NO HOSPITAL STAY

Outpatient procedure

The vast majority of procedures at the BioSpine Institute are performed through a ¾” incision; however, there are a limited number of procedures that may require a slightly larger incision.

What Is a Laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that creates space by removing a portion of the lamina, which is the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. This procedure is also known as decompression surgery. A laminectomy is typically performed to alleviate pain caused by spinal stenosis.

 

With minimally invasive techniques, the spinous process is left to maintain the ligaments, which are vital structures creating stability of the spine.

Before Laminectomy Procedure Graphic: Disc, Vertebrae, Cauda Equina, Ligamentum Flavum, Nerve Pinched
After Laminectomy Procedure Graphic: Disc, Vertebrae, Cauda Equina, Ligamentum Flavum, Nerve No Longer Pinched
3/4" - incision size - same size as a penny

ACTUAL SIZE OF INCISION FOR MOST PROCEDURES!

The majority of patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their  symptoms while other symptoms may improve more gradually

Why Do I Need a Laminectomy?

This procedure is typically performed to alleviate pain being caused by the impingement of the spinal nerves. In older patients, spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal canal – is typically caused by degenerative changes that lead to the enlargement of the facet joints and other structures, which place pressure on the nerves.

 

In the case of car accidents or sudden slip and falls, the trauma to the spine can actually cause this narrowing, which also leads to placing painful pressure on the nerve roots. The sudden force of a car accident can result in serious and severe symptoms in a patient.

 

Removing part of the bone (lamina) through a laminectomy can give the affected nerve root more space to alleviate pain.

Used To Treat These Conditions

When a disc is damaged, and bulges to one side of the spinal canal.

Spinal Tumors

Spine tumors

Spine tumors can push on the nerve tissue causing a range of symptoms from minor aches and discomfort to debilitating pain.

A spinal disc that is damaged, causing back pain and other problems.

A herniated disc is like a bulging disc, just more prominent.

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

When a bone in the spine slips forward and out of place, it’s known as spondylolisthesis.

How Will I Feel After Surgery?

The majority of patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms while other symptoms may improve more gradually. A positive attitude and following your doctor’s post-surgery instructions will contribute to a satisfactory outcome.

*The Laminectomy procedure is recognized by the American Medical Association.

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We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
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