What Is A Lumbar Laminectomy?
Why Do I Need This Procedure?
These processes narrow the spinal canal and may begin to impinge upon and place pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord, resulting in such symptoms as:
- Back pain
- Pain that radiates into the hips, buttocks and legs
- Numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the back and/or lower extremities
The goal of a lumbar laminectomy is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves by removing the part of the lamina that is the source of the pressure.
To determine whether your condition requires treatment with a lumbar laminectomy, your doctor will examine your back and your medical history, and may order an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your spine. A surgical procedure such as a lumbar laminectomy is typically recommended after non-surgical treatment options, such as medication, rest and physical therapy, fail to relieve symptoms after a reasonable length of time.
How Is A Lumbar Laminectomy Performed?
Through an incision made along the midline of the back over the vertebral level(s) to be treated, your surgeon will:
- Gently pull aside soft tissue – skin, fat and muscle – to expose the vertebral bone at the back (posterior) of the spine
- Cut away all or part of the lamina to relieve the source of compression
- Remove any other sources of compression; i.e., bone spurs and/or disc material (discectomy).
- Ease the soft tissues back into place and close the incision.
A lumbar laminectomy also may be performed in conjunction with spinal fusion. This involves placing bone graft or bone graft substitute between two or more affected vertebrae to promote bone growth between the vertebral bodies. The graft material acts as a binding medium – as the body heals, the vertebral bone and bone graft eventually grow together to join the vertebrae and stabilize the spine.
How Long Will It Take Me To Recover?
The amount of time that you have to stay in the hospital will depend on your treatment plan. In some instances, this procedure may be done on an outpatient basis. You typically will be up and walking in the hospital by the end of the first day after the surgery. Your return to work will depend on how well your body is healing and the type of work/activity level you plan to return to.
Work closely with your spinal surgeon to determine the appropriate recovery protocol for you, and follow his or her instructions as closely as possible to optimize the healing process.
To determine whether you are a candidate for a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, please talk to your doctor.
Are There Any Potential Risks Or Complications?
Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse effects, clinical results and other important medical information that pertains to the minimally invasive lumbar discectomy procedure.
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