Laminectomy

About

Lumbar laminectomy, also known as decompression laminectomy, is a spinal decompression surgery done to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the lumbar (low back) region.

 

Indications

Spinal stenosis is one of the primary signs of lumbar laminectomy. It is a condition of narrowing of the spinal canal due to arthritic changes of facet joints and intervertebral discs. This causes an enlargement of the bone that exerts pressure on the spinal nerves.

 

Procedure

Lumbar laminectomy is performed under general anesthesia. In this technique, the patient lies face down on the operating table. A small incision is made along the midline of the back. To have a clear view of the spine, the surgeon slowly retracts the soft tissues and muscles. A part of or the entire lamina is removed to eliminate the pressure on the nerve roots. Also, other sources of compression such as bone spur or damaged disc are removed to relieve the symptoms. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon realigns the soft tissues, and the incision is closed.

 

Recovery

Following a laminectomy, you may observe an immediate improvement of some or all symptoms, or sometimes a gradual improvement of the symptoms also may be seen. The duration of hospitalization depends on the treatment rendered. At the end of the first day of the surgery, you are allowed to move and walk around the hospital. Returning to your daily life or work depends on how well you are healing and the type of work or activity level. Strictly follow the post-operative instructions suggested by your spine surgeon to promote healing and reduce the risk of post-operative complications.

 

Complications

The complications of the lumbar laminectomy include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, blood loss, bowel and bladder problems and any problem associated with anesthesia.

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