Lumbar Laminectomy

What is a Lumbar Laminectomy?

A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to relieve pain and discomfort caused by a degenerative condition called spinal stenosis. With spinal stenosis, the spinal canal becomes narrow due to wear and tear.

This causes the nerves inside the spinal canal to become compressed, which causes painful symptoms. The procedure is done to alleviate the pressure by removing the bone covering the spinal canal, called the lamina. Bone spurs that may have developed due to degeneration are also removed during this procedure.

By removing the part of the lamina covering the narrow spinal canal, the spinal canal is enlarged, and the pressure on the spinal nerves is relieved.

How a Lumbar Laminectomy is Performed

Patients who undergo a lumbar laminectomy are put under general anesthesia, and are positioned face down on the operating table.

To begin the operation, the surgeon first makes an incision down the middle lower part of the back. Then, the muscle and connective tissues are separated to expose the bones of the lumbar vertebrae. The muscles are held in place by an instrument called a retractor, which helps keep the area clear while the surgeon performs the rest of the surgery.

The surgeon then uses x-ray imaging to identify the affected levels. They proceed to surgically remove the lamina, along with any bone spurs that may be causing compression of the spinal nerves.

Typically, a laminectomy does not require spinal fusion or use of instrumentation (screws and rods). However, in some cases, complete spinal nerve decompression may require removing structures that are important for spinal stability and may, therefore, require instrumentation and fusion. All cases are unique, and your surgeon will discuss all the options, alternatives, risks, and benefits with you and your family in detail.

Lumbar Laminectomy in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:

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