Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes a portion of the bony arch, or lamina, on the dorsal surface of a vertebra, which is one of the bones that make up the human spinal column. It is done to relieve back pain that has...
not been helped by more conservative treatments. In most cases a laminectomy is an elective procedure rather than emergency surgery. A laminectomy for relief of pain in the lower back is called a lumbar laminectomy or an open decompression.
Laminectomy is a spine operation to remove the portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina. There are many variations of laminectomy, in the most minimal form small skin incisions are made, back muscles are pushed aside rather than cut, and the parts of the vertebra adjacent to the lamina are left intact. The traditional form of laminectomy (conventional laminectomy) excises much more than just the lamina, the entire posterior backbone is removed, along with overlying ligaments and muscles. The usual recovery period is very different depending on which type of laminectomy has been performed: days in the minimal procedure, and weeks to months with conventional open surgery.
For a neurosurgery, as for any other surgery, it's important to always bring x-rays and any other medical records the patients has.
-Dr Catherine McAuley
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