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Lumbar Hemilaminectomy 
A Hemilaminectomy, also called Laminotomy, is a spine surgery that involves removing a part of one or both laminae on a vertebra by enlarging the spinal canal to relieve pressure from compressed nerves of the spinal cord. Spinal nerves may become compressed by bone spurs caused by spinal arthritis, a herniated disc, degenerative disc diseases, spinal stenosis, spinal injury, or spinal cord and brain tumors.

Who Needs Lumbar Hamilaminectomy? 
A Hemilaminectomy is recommended when a patient has the following symptoms:

  • The patient has suffered a spinal injury or has been diagnosed with a disease or disorder, which is compressing spinal nerves. Tumors of the brain and spine may also compress spinal nerves.
  • Patient is experiencing acute neck pain, numbness in the legs, radicular pain, and shooting leg pain because of a pinched nerve or nerves in the spinal cord.
  • Conservative treatment options such as pain medication, physical therapy, and pain management therapies, etc. have failed to alleviate the pain.


How Is It Performed?
A lumbar Hemilaminectomy procedure can be unilateral (removing part of one lamina), or it can be bilateral (removing part of both laminae of a vertebra). This can be performed on one vertebra at a time, or it can be multi-level Hemilaminectomy in which parts of laminae are removed from multiple vertebrae in the same spine surgery.

Commonly, you can expect the following steps in a lumbar Hemilaminectomy procedure:

  • The patient is given general anesthesia.
  • Small incisions are made to insert surgical instruments and remove parts of the lamina. Debris of herniated discs is also removed if required.
  • Spinal fusion surgery is performed if spine stabilization is required.
  • The incisions are closed with sutures.

The Patient’s recovery time depends on the severity of their condition and the nature of the spine surgery, but commonly a patient fully recovers within 4-6 weeks of surgery.

Need help finding a doctor who gives you the best neuro spine care in New Jersey? Call us now and schedule your appointment today. 


What Is the Difference Between a Hemilaminectomy and a Laminectomy?

  • Lamia is the bony protective covering at the back of your spinal canal.
  • A Laminectomy removes the lamia totally.
  • In a Hemilaminectomy, only a part of the lamia and some other debris (if any) is removed.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hemilaminectomy?

  • After your Hemilaminectomy, when you return home, you should be able to do most things.
  • You will not be able to drive for a period of three to six weeks post-op.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting, heavy lifting, or twisting.
  • You may be able to return to work in some cases between a period of four to six weeks.
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