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Laminectomy

A laminectomy is a type of spinal surgery used to provide relief from back pain and pressure by enlarging the spinal canal. It requires the removal of material (the back section of the vertebra) and can be required in several different situations, including the development of bone spurs. For more information about laminectomy and other spinal treatments and pain solutions, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute by calling 855.576.4427 or 407.303.3410 to request an appointment.

How Is a Laminectomy Performed?

Each vertebra in the spine is a rigid ring designed to protect the spinal cord, which runs down the center of the back. The rear of the vertebra is called the lamina (the central rear portion containing the large middle bony ridge). In some instances, the clearance between the spinal cord and the lamina can be too small – these include when bony overgrowths develop (bone spurs), but can also develop due to other conditions, including compression fracturing.

Technically, laminectomy is a minimally invasive form of surgery (MIS), but it can also be performed as an open surgery depending on the patient and the extent of the condition requiring surgery. However, this procedure is not only used to relieve pressure on spinal nerves. It can also be used to gain access to spinal tumors so that treatment or removal can occur. It is also used during a lumbar discectomy, allowing the removal and reshaping of a damaged disc.

In most instances, Dr. Chetan Patel will perform this surgery under general anesthesia. A small incision will be made over the vertebra where treatment is required, muscles are moved and access to the lamina is provided. The removal of the lamina may be accompanied by other steps, depending on the combination of goals to the surgery. For instance, if a disc must be repaired, then it will be removed at this time as well.

Recovery Time for Laminectomy Patients

While most patients undergoing this procedure will have relatively short recovery times (many patients go home the same day), this will depend on whether there were any other procedures performed at the same time.

The more invasive the surgery, the longer the recovery time will be. Patients undergoing extensive surgery in conjunction with a laminectomy can expect to spend at least a few days recovering in the hospital. Patients undergoing spinal fusion in conjunction with this procedure can expect to spend several months recovering before they can resume their normal lifestyle.

The Benefits after Recovery

Most patients report experiencing benefits like pain reduction immediately following surgery. However, after a full recovery period, you should expect to see benefits including greater mobility, greater pain relief and a generally higher quality of life. Leg pain due to compressed spinal nerves should also fade away. However, if your symptoms were brought on by bone growth, it is possible that your symptoms will reappear.

To find out more about laminectomy and whether this is the right course of action for your condition, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute for an appointment by calling 855.576.4427 or 407.303.3410.

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