Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery

What is Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery?

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Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery is also called as open decompression. Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery is carried out to cure the patient’s pain caused by the neural impingement as a result of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a problem mostly occurring at old age due to degenerative changes in the facet joints which get enlarged. This enlargement causes pressure on the nerves and the patient will suffer from severe back pain.

Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery includes removal of small area of the bone known as lamina which is above the nerve root. Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery is also used to remove the material from underneath the nerve root to provide the nerve root with more space and a good healing environment.

In Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery either one or both of the lamina and other posterior structures of vertebral column are removed in cases of additional bone and ligaments. In this surgery the lamina is removed mainly due to the following facts:

• To break the continuity of spinal canal for allowing the soft tissues inside the canal to get expanded. It is nothing but decompression.

• To change the contour of vertebral column.

• For the surgeon to easily get access to the tissues inside spinal canal deeper.

When is Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery Needed?

• When the back pain is more progressive and hence disabling the movements.

• When the patient has severe back pain with herniated disk, known as sciatica.

• When the pain due to sciatica interferes with day to day activities.

• When the patient has loss of nerve functions and loss of certain reflex.

• When the patient is unable to move a foot or bend knee.

Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery Procedure

Initially a small incision of about 3-4 inches is made by the surgeon in the lower backside of the patient. Then the surgeon spreads the fatty tissue of the spine and muscles to expose the lamina. After that, the right and left back muscles are dissected off from the lamina on both sides and a portion of lamina is removed.

This is to uncover a ligamentum flavum which helps connection of two vertebrae. When the dissection is done, the lamina is removed. With this, laminectomy is done and the nerve roots are made to visualize. Finally the facet joints are undercut or trimmed to provide the nerve roots with more room.

Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery Success Rate and Complications
Approximately 80% of the patients who underwent this surgery feel the improvement with a greater reduction in pain and discomfort. However few patients can have a complication of nerve root damage after this surgery. There is a probability for the infections to occur. At rare cases, the patient may not get back the full nerve function
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