Lumbar laminectomy, also known as decompression laminectomy, is a spinal surgery done to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the lumbar (lower back) region. The purpose of laminectomy is removal of the lamina or roof of the vertebra so as to provide enough space for the nerves to exit the spinal canal (decompression). Dr. Nicholas Spina is a fellowship-trained Orthopaedic spine specialist at the University of Utah who specializes in lumbar laminectomy and provides diagnosis and individualized operative treatment plans in Salt Lake City and Farmington, Utah. He also provides highly specialized care during and after surgery. Contact Dr. Spina’s team for an appointment today!
What is Lumbar Laminectomy?
Lumbar laminectomy, also known as decompression laminectomy, is a spinal surgery performed to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the lumbar (lower back) region. The purpose of laminectomy is to remove the lamina or roof of the vertebra and provide enough space for the nerves to exit the spinal canal (decompression).
Indications of Lumbar Laminectomy
Spinal stenosis is one of the major indications for lumbar laminectomy.
Arthritic changes in the facet joints and intervertebral discs causes enlargement of the joint. This narrows the spinal canal and exerts pressure on the spinal nerves. The symptoms of nerve impingement include back pain or radiating pain into the hips, buttocks or legs, numbness or tingling sensation and muscle weakness in the back and lower extremities.
Lumbar Laminectomy Procedure
- Lumbar laminectomy is usually performed under general anaesthesia.
- In this technique, you will lie face down on the operating table.
- A small incision is made along the midline of your back. To have a clear view of the spine, your surgeon slowly retracts the soft tissues and muscles.
- A part of or the entire lamina is removed to eliminate pressure on the nerve roots.
- In addition, other sources of compression such as bone spur or damaged disc are removed to relieve the symptoms.
- At the end of the procedure, your surgeon realigns the soft tissues and closes the incision.
Postoperative Care following Lumbar Laminectomy
- Following a laminectomy, you may observe an immediate improvement of some or all of the symptoms, or sometimes a gradual improvement of the symptoms.
- At the end of the first day of the surgery, you can move and walk around the hospital. Returning to your daily life or to work depends on how well you are healing, and the type of work or activity level.
- Strictly follow the postoperative instructions suggested by your spine surgeon to promote healing and reduce the risk of postoperative complications.
Risks and Complications of Lumbar Laminectomy
The complications of lumbar laminectomy may include problems associated with anaesthesia, infection, nerve damage, blood clots, blood loss, and bowel and bladder problems.
If you would like to have additional information on various conditions affecting the spine or would like to learn more about lumbar laminectomy, please contact the office of Dr. Nicholas Spina, spine surgeon serving the communities of Salt Lake City and Farmington, Utah.