Laminectomy

By | April 14, 2015

In a laminectomy part of all of the lamina is removed to decompress the spinal cord or nerve roots.

In a laminectomy part or all of the lamina is removed to decompress the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Laminectomy is a procedure in which one or both laminae are removed with or without the spinous process. The purpose is to provide posterior decompression for the spinal cord or nerve roots. It is not performed as often now as in years past. The current indications for laminectomy include spinal stenosis without significant disc disease or foraminal stenosis. Like foraminotomy or facetectomy it is often combined with other procedures, including fusion. A standard laminectomy has the reputation of being a fairly morbid procedure due to the large amount of muscle that must be taken down. New modifications of the procedure such as hemilaminotomy where only a portion of one lamina is removed, can be done as a minimally invasive procedure with much less morbidity and faster recovery. At Schlesinger Pain Centers laminectomy is actually a fairly rare procedure because many of our patients with pure spinal stenosis are elderly and thus poor surgical candidates and those with mixed problems such as combined spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and foraminal stenosis are better treated by other procedures such as lumbar fusion after partial reduction of the spondylolisthesis.


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