A lumbar laminectomy is a type of back surgery performed to relieve spinal nerve compression that results from spinal stenosis or a herniated disc.
With a lumbar laminectomy. your spinal canal in the lumbar area (lower back) is enlarged through the removal of the lamina – the back part of a vertebra covering your spinal canal. Dr. Scheid performs a lumbar laminectomy to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves caused by bone spurs within the spinal canal.
These bone spurs can narrow the space around your spinal cord and nerves, causing pain, weakness, or numbness that radiates down your arms or legs.
While many cases of spinal stenosis or disc herniation can be successfully treated through one or more conservative methods, such as rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, or the support of a back brace, in some instances these treatments are insufficient. If the symptoms of spinal stenosis or disc herniation become progressively worse, Dr. Scheid may recommend a lumbar laminectomy.
During a lumbar laminectomy, you will be under anesthesia and won’t feel anything. Dr. Scheid will make a small incision in your back directly over the affected area then insert an imaging device (called a fluoroscope) through the incision so he can precisely visualize the structures of the vertebrae and pinpoint the problem area.
Depending on the extent of the damage, the lamina may be removed in portions or in its entirety on both sides of the spine. Typically, the surgeons in our practice minimize the amount of excision in order to provide a minimally invasive intervention. However, sometimes the entire lamina is removed, depending on the extent of the damage. By removing the lamina, bone spurs, and other debris, the compression of the spinal cord and spinal nerves is alleviated and symptoms improve.
The laminectomy procedure typically lasts one or two hours, depending on the extent of the operations and the number of involved levels of the spine.
Depending on your condition, Dr. Scheid may also need to perform a spinal fusion of two or more vertebrae to better stabilize the spine, or a foraminotomy to widen the area where the nerve roots go through the spine.
A lumbar laminectomy is often performed to remove structures caused by spinal stenosis (above) or disc herniation that can narrow the space around your spinal cord and nerves, causing nerve compression and pain.
A lumbar laminectomy usually relieves much or all of the pain and numbness that patients have suffered as a result of stenosis or disc herniation so they can get back to living their lives.