Laminectomy surgery

If you are someone who is considering having a laminectomy surgery, then you should fully know and understand the risks that are involved in this decision. When you have this surgery done you will have a portion of the vertebral bone removed, this section of bone is known as the lamina. Even though procedures have been revolutionized in the recent years to use a more minimal approach, the truth is that you could still face weeks to months of recovery time after the surgery has been preformed. Many times recovery is dependent on which kind of surgery is done and the age and health of the patient involved.

There are quite a few different reasons in which you might find the need for laminectomy surgery. The first reason that people get the procedure done is to allow for decompression of the spine. Sometimes when the back is injured or if you are someone who is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis then you might find that the muscle tissue is compressed around the spine, and this can cause severe pain. By removing the lamina the doctor is working to make sure that some of this pressure is relieved in a manner that will allow for a more permanent solution to the pain that the patient is feeling.

Another reason that laminectomy surgery might be performed is because of spinal stenosis. This prognosis is one that causes massive degeneration of the facet joints in the back. When this degeneration occurs the joints become enlarged and this can then place a lot of pressure on the nerves. This pressure can cause a lot of pain, and since it usually occurs in older patients, this pain can cause them to be unable to move about freely and can impact their life. When the lamina is removed for this reason it is designed to give the root nerve more room so that it can more easily heal and can provide relief to the patient. There are also other reasons for this surgery to be performed, including to correct the spinal canal alignment or as a way to allow the surgeon to have access to tissues that are beyond the lamina.

During the laminectomy surgery a three to five inch incision is made into the middle of the back. Once this is done the surgeon then has to cut through the muscle tissue surrounding the spine so that they can be appropriately pulled back from the lamina in order to facilitate the removal of this portion of the spine. Lately there have been some instances in which a laminectomy can be performed without having to cut through muscle tissue. In these minor procedures the muscle is pushed aside, and it generally allows for a significantly lowered recovery period and is far less intrusive. However, this minor surgery is not always available for patients, so it should be something you discuss with your surgeon before the procedure.

Once the surgeon is able to get directly to the spine the lamina is then exposed and removed, and when the lamina is gone the nerve roots are then exposed. After this the facet joints that are located directly over the nerves are then trimmed back to an appropriate length in order to allow for the damaged area to have more room to heal and decompress appropriately. After the surgery the patient is in the hospital for up to three days, and after that additional physical therapy will be required in order to help them get up and functioning in a normal manner. However, some patients may not respond well to the laminectomy surgery, and it could take several months of physical therapy before they are able to engage in normal activities again.

Last updated on Dec 20th, 2009 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed