WHAT IS A LAMINECTOMY?
A laminectomy is a type of surgery performed to decompress your spine. The goal of spinal decompression is to relieve a pinched nerve by giving it more space in the spinal canal.
Though there are several ways to decompress spinal nerves, this procedure targets the lamina, which is the bone that forms the back wall of the spinal canal. A bony projection in the middle of the lamina forms the bumps you can feel when you run your fingers up and down your spine.
During a laminectomy, the entire lamina is removed. Your doctor at Spinetech may also trim part of the ligaments and facet joints on the sides of the vertebrae if they’re enlarged.
WHEN IS A LAMINECTOMY PERFORMED?
A laminectomy is often needed when spinal nerves are compressed due to spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis develops from a variety of spine conditions that protrude into the spinal canal, narrow the space, and pinch the nerves, including:
Degenerative disc disease
Slipped disc (spondylolisthesis)
These conditions arise from various causes such as spinal injuries, stress fractures, and wear-and-tear that occurs over time.
WHAT SYMPTOMS INDICATE THE NEED FOR A LAMINECTOMY?
A compressed nerve becomes irritated and inflamed, causing pain that ranges from sharp to aching and is often described as a burning pain. Your pain may radiate out from the spine, traveling down into your legs when the affected nerve is in the lumbar spine, or through your arms, if a nerve in your neck is pinched.
Pinched nerves are also notorious for causing sensations described as tingling, crawling, and pins and needles. You can also develop muscle weakness and numbness in the body area served by the nerve.
CAN I UNDERGO A MINIMALLY INVASIVE LAMINECTOMY?
You may be a good candidate for a minimally invasive laminectomy rather than the traditional open surgery. In fact, the team at Spinetech prefers to perform minimally invasive procedures whenever possible because a small incision causes fewer complications and less postoperative pain.
You also recover more quickly because minimally invasive surgery can spare your muscles. Instead of cutting the muscles, your doctor uses a special tool to gradually separate the muscles just enough to create an opening for the narrow surgical instrument. After your laminectomy is finished, the muscles return to their normal position.
If you suffer from ongoing back pain due to a pinched nerve, call Spinetech or book an appointment on