A laminectomy involves removing part or all of the lamina, which is the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. It is performed to relieve spinal cord or nerve compression that may be caused by a variety of conditions.

In most cases, a laminectomy is conducted when conservative treatments such as medications, injections, and physical therapy have not been effective. Here at Pacific Spine, we may eventually recommend a laminectomy for patients with the following conditions:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tumors
  • Injuries

If conservative treatments do not treat these conditions, patients are often left with uncomfortable symptoms such as mild to severe back pain, numbness or weakness in the legs, walking challenges, and difficulty controlling bladder or bowel movements.

How is a Laminectomy Performed?

Laminectomies are performed under general anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, patients will be asked to change into a gown and the area of their skin near the surgery site will be cleansed. The surgeon will begin by spreading the back muscles and removing the lamina. A part of the disc or bone spurs may be removed during this process. In order to close the incision, the surgeon will use surgical staples or stitches and then apply a sterile bandage.

What to Expect From the Recovery Process

Once a laminectomy has been completed, a patient will be taken to a recovery room so that their blood pressure, breathing, and pulse can be observed. If everything looks good, you may be able to go home the same day.

Patients will receive detailed instructions on how to keep the incision area clean and dry and when they will need to follow up after they get discharged. They can expect for surgical staples and or stitches to be removed in a follow-up doctor’s visit.

To find relief from pain, patients will be encouraged to take pain medication. In the event they face loss of bladder control, numbness in the back, leg, or buttocks, or intense pain near the incision site, they should contact the doctor immediately.

Why Choose Pacific Spine?

Dr. Timothy Keenen, a board-certified spine surgeon at Pacific Spine specializes in minimally invasive procedures. He takes great pride in performing laminectomies in a way that allows patients to enjoy a reduced risk of infection and faster healing times.

Contact Pacific Spine

If you have been living with a spinal condition and have not found relief through conservative treatments, a laminectomy may be right for you. Contact Pacific Spine today to schedule an appointment and learn more.