Laminectomy: A Surgical Procedure to Relieve Spinal Stenosis
Laminectomy is a spinal surgical procedure that is performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots due to spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. A laminectomy involves removing a portion of the lamina, which is the bony arch that covers the spinal cord, to create more space and relieve pressure.
Indications for Laminectomy
Preparation for Surgery
Before undergoing laminectomy surgery, patients will need to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation, including a physical exam, imaging tests, and blood work. Patients may also need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, before the surgery. In addition, patients will need to follow specific instructions regarding food and drink intake before the surgery.
Laminectomy surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the back and removes the portion of the lamina that is compressing the spinal cord or nerve roots. In some cases, the surgeon may also remove a portion of the herniated disc or other spinal tissue. The incision is then closed using sutures or staples.
Recovery from Surgery
After laminectomy surgery, patients will need to rest and limit physical activity for a period of time, typically several weeks. Patients will also need to attend physical therapy sessions to help regain strength and mobility in the affected area. Most patients experience a significant improvement in their symptoms following laminectomy surgery, although full recovery may take several months.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with laminectomy surgery. However, serious complications are rare, and the vast majority of patients experience a successful outcome following the surgery. These may include:
- Nerve or Spinal Cord Injury
- Blood Clots
- Adjacent Level Degeneration
- Failed Back Syndrome
- Recurrence of Herniated Disc