Lumbar Laminectomy, also known as decompression surgery, is a procedure of the Lumbar spine in which the bony part of a vertebra, the lamina, is removed to create space in the spinal canal and relieve pressure from compressed nerve roots. Spinal nerves may become compressed by bone spurs caused by spinal arthritis, herniated discs, degenerative disc diseases, spinal stenosis, spinal injury, or spinal cord and brain tumors.
A Laminectomy is recommended only after conservative treatment options have failed to relieve symptoms. It is also prescribed when the symptoms are worsening quickly. A spine surgeon may perform a Lumbar Laminectomy in combination with a spinal fusion surgery if required.
Who Needs the Surgery?
Laminectomy is commonly recommended to ease pressure on a pinched nerve or nerves, treat a disk problem, or remove a tumor from the spine.
Patients who have been diagnosed with a spinal injury or disease, which is compressing nerve roots to cause severe pain, are eligible for this spine surgery. Patients may experience severe neck pain and radicular pain, which limits their motor functions.
Patents who have not benefited from conservative treatment options after 6-12 weeks of treatment are also eligible for a lumbar laminectomy.
How Is It Performed?
You can expect the following in a Lumbar Laminectomy procedure:
- Spine specialists give general anesthesia to the patient.
- They monitor vitals before commencing the spine surgery.
- The surgeon makes small incisions in the patient’s back to insert instruments and remove the lamina. The surgeon may also remove part of the herniated disc or any disc material which has broken loose if required.
- If required, the spine specialists will perform spinal fusion surgery alongside the Laminectomy.
- The instruments are retracted, and incisions are closed with sutures.
The procedure may be called laser spine surgery if the spine specialists use a laser to remove soft tissue or tumors from the spinal cord. A patient’s post-op recovery depends on the severity of their condition, but commonly, a patient fully recovers after 4-6 weeks of surgery.
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Is Lumbar Laminectomy Major Surgery?
- In a lumbar laminectomy, your surgeon will remove more bone from your vertebrae, which in some cases may require a fusion, which can limit your spinal movement.
- Lumbar Laminectomy is a common but major surgery and holds some level of risk and complications.
How Successful Is Lumbar Laminectomy?
- The success rate of lumbar Laminectomy to gain relief from pain is around 85 percent to 90 percent.
- Seventy-five percent of patients who undergo a lumbar laminectomy have satisfactory results for up to ten years.
What Is the Success Rate of a Laminectomy?
- A lumbar laminectomy aims to enlarge your spinal canal to alleviate pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.
- The procedure has a success rate of 80 percent.
How Soon Can You Walk After a Laminectomy?
- Usually, patients can start walking two to three weeks after their lumbar Laminectomy.
- In the case of fusion, it may take four to six weeks before you can start walking.