A laminectomy (decompression surgery) is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pain in the back, neck or even legs caused by pressure on the spinal nerves. That pressure can be the result of several conditions, most commonly spinal stenosis (spinal compression).
The spinal canal runs through our vertebrae, and between the vertebrae are the intervertebral discs. As we age, our discs become less spongy and less fluid-filled, resulting in less disc height and bulging discs. The bones and ligaments of the spinal facet joints can thicken and enlarge due to arthritis, pushing into the spinal canal. All of these changes cause a narrowing of the spinal canal, or spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis may occur rapidly or very slowly over time, resulting in compression of spinal nerves and nerve roots, with the most common symptoms being pain and/or numbness in the back and/or legs, or leg cramping. A laminectomy can be performed along the cervical spine (the neck) or the lumbar spine (the back) depending on the location of the spinal stenosis.
At Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital, our neurosurgeons are devoted to exploring all non-surgical treatment options before considering a surgical procedure. Conservative treatments might include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and injection therapy.
Common conditions treated with laminectomy surgery at Kansas Spine
- Bone Spurs
- Herniated/Bulging Discs
- Spinal Injury
- Spinal Stenosis (Compression)
- Thickened Ligaments
Who is a candidate for laminectomy surgery?
If you experience any of the following symptoms and pain is affecting your everyday activities, it may be time to consider laminectomy surgery:
- Sudden onset of neck or back pain, with little or no trauma
- Numbness and tingling in arms and legs
- Tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back into buttocks and legs
- Deterioration of fine motor skills
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Loss of height
- Symptoms not relieved with conservative treatments
- Diagnostic tests showing spinal stenosis
What to expect with laminectomy surgery at Kansas Spine
If conservative methods don’t offer relief of your back, neck or leg pain, your neurosurgeon may recommend a laminectomy.
A laminectomy involves surgery from either the back of the neck (cervical) or the lower back (lumbar) to remove the bone and ligaments pressing on the spinal cord.
Laminectomy patients typically remain in the hospital for a few days then return home with gradually increasing mobility, returning to normal activities within 3-6 months.
Post-operative rehabilitation is recommended such as physical therapy to help speed recovery. Your activity level, diet/nutrition, recovery time, as well as when you can return to work will all be dependent on your individual condition.
We want to ensure your stay with us is as comfortable as possible for you and your loved ones. Click here for information on what you can expect during your stay at Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital.