Back pain interfering with the day to day activities require treatment, and when all the other methods have not worked, then surgery is the best choice. Laminectomy or decompression surgery is a common type of back surgery which removes the back portion of one or more spinal bone(vertebrae). It is performed when there is bone growth within the spinal canal that can narrow the spaces available in the spinal cord and nerves. This pressure leads to pain, weakness or numbness that radiates in the arms or legs.
It is recommended when:
All the conservative measures like medication, physical therapy or injections have failed
Patients have muscle weakness or numbness that makes standing and walking difficult for them
Patients experiences loss of bowel or bladder control
Laminectomies are performed under general anesthesia and mechanical anesthesia. The method takes approximate 1-3 years. The surgery involves creating space by removing the lamina, the back of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
Laminectomy is mostly a general procedure, but surgery can have potential complications like bleeding, blood clots, nerve injury spinal fluid leak or infection.
Laminectomy is also known as decompression surgery. In this surgical procedure, a part of the vertebral bone called lamina is removed to create additional space. The lamina is the back part of the vertebrae that covers the spinal canal. Removing the lamina enlarges the spinal canal and thus, helps relieve pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord. Bony growths, especially in people with spinal arthritis, may put an additional pressure on the spinal cord. It may cause severe back pain and in some severe cases, can even cause paralysis. Narrowing of the space between the vertebrae is also known as spinal stenosis.
Laminectomy surgery, which is a form of spinal stenosis treatment, helps relieve pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves by creating a room between the vertebrae and the cord. When the pressure on the spinal cord in the case of lumbar spinal stenosis is relieved by creating a space between the lumbar vertebrae, the procedure is known as lumbar laminectomy. During a lumbar laminectomy, the surgeon may even remove the ligaments or bone spurs pressing the spinal cord.
During the surgery, the following steps are performed:
Laminectomy surgery takes anywhere between two to three hours to complete. The loss of blood during the surgery is minimal. Shortly after the surgery, the patient is moved to the recovery room. After a few hours, the patient is transferred to the normal hospital room. The patient can expect the following things after the surgery:
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