Skip directly to content

Lumbar Laminectomy

A lumbar laminectomy is a spinal surgical procedure designed to help relieve compression within a vertebra. The procedure involves the removal of the vertebra’s lamina, the excision of any herniated disc material, removal of bone spurs within the spinal canal, and the reclosing of the spine. It is a minimally invasive procedure that generally offers immediate relief from pain due to spinal compression (stenosis). For more information about laminectomy procedures or other options for treating spinal stenosis, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute by calling 855.576.4427 or 407.303.3410.

What Is Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a term used to describe compression within the spinal canal. When something presses on the spinal cord and spinal nerves within the canal (generally a herniated disc or bone spurs), it creates pressure. That pressure leads to pain and discomfort, and if left untreated it can lead to other symptoms. These include pain to the legs and hips, difficulty walking and even problems controlling your bowels. A laminectomy reduces this pressure.

What Is a Lumbar Laminectomy?

In order to reduce spinal compression, the source of the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves must first be determined and then removed. In most cases, this pressure is caused either by a herniated disc or by bony overgrowth (bone spurs) within the spinal canal. The only way to remove this material is to enter the vertebra. Vertebras are closed systems – the back is protected by a hard, bony dome that covers the central spinal canal. The outer portion of that dome is called the lamina. By cutting away the lamina, the surgeon is able to enter the vertebra and get at the source of the problem.

How Does This Procedure Work?

Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute will perform a minimally invasive lumbar laminectomy. Minimally invasive surgeries offer patients reduced pain and shorter recovery times, but also do not compromise the muscle tissue (muscles are moved out of the way rather than cut through. The surgeon will remove a portion of the lamina to create a window into the spinal canal. Once removed, the surgeon can then remove any disc debris that might be impinging on the nerves and spinal cord, and can also cut away herniated material attached to the disc. If necessary, the entire disc can be removed, but this will then require spinal fusion to stabilize the spine.

In addition to removing herniated disc material, the surgeon can also remove bone spurs that have developed within the spinal canal that are causing compression. Once all sources of compression have been removed, the spine is closed back up, and the incision is closed as well. Most patients report immediate relief from their compression-related pain, and recovery is usually a short process with no hospital stay required.

For more information about a lumbar laminectomy or other spinal surgery options to treat back pain, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute. To schedule a consultation for your case, call 855.576.4427 or 407.303.3410.

Return to the Spine Surgery page