Lumbar Laminectomy For Spinal Stenosis

Surgical resolution for back pain

Last modified: December 21, 2011

Beatrice Woods
Licensed Practical Nurse

Lumbar Laminectomy For Spinal Stenosis

The core structure of the human body is the backbone.  The spine, also called the backbone, allows for one of our most valuable assets, movement.  As part of the skeletal system, the spine works interdependently with other parts of the body to provide for our basic needs.

Walking, twisting and bending movements would be unattainable without the elasticity of the backbone. The spine allows our bodies to the ability snap back into position after flexible movements. The spinal column has numerous roles including shielding the spinal cord from damage and injury.  Increases in age, injury and inflammation of the spinal column are factors that may cause constriction to the spine.

This unnatural compression of the spinal column is known as spinal stenosis.  Numbness, prickling and pinching sensation are a few symptoms associated with spinal stenosis. The symptoms are often only felt with walking. The severity of the condition will determine the treatment plan. Typically a readjustment in position along with the use of medication lessens the pain. Chronic pain causing disability and incapacitation may require a laminectomy procedure.

What Is A Lumbar Laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure done by an orthopedic surgeon to resolve constriction on spinal nerves in the vertebral column.

Lumbar Stenosis Surgery

The patient is taken to the operating room and made comfortable and painless  with the administration of a general anesthesia. Inside a sterile surrounding, the patient is placed in a lying face down position, the surgical area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.  Once the anesthetic has taken affect the orthopedic surgeon makes an incision into the skin at the designed location on top of the vertebra to the skinny arches of the vertebra called the lamina.

Once the desired location has been reached, the surgeon takes away any bones and connective tissue aiding in constriction of the nerve root. The surgeon removes portions or the entire top of the vertebra called the lamina, relieving pressure on nerve root. The surgeon then shifts the nerve root centering the spinal column making sure that the nerve root is free from compression.  

Depending on the findings, the surgeon may proceed to perform other procedures at this time if needed. Once the surgery is completed the incision is sutured close and a dressing is applied to the area. The surgery usually takes several hours to complete.

Associated Risks For Laminectomy

Spinal surgery is a major undertaking with many risks involved. A detailed talk with the surgeon prior to surgery regarding all possible complications is recommended.  Hemorrhage or excessive bleeding during the surgery, after surgery infections and increased pain are a few risks associated with this surgical procedure.

Laminectomy Recovery

The length of time in hospital will vary among patients. The overall spinal surgery recovery and rehabilitation will depend mostly on the patient and their physical condition prior to having surgery.

Cost Of Laminectomy Surgery

Spinal stenosis surgery is massive surgical procedure with a vast array of factors affecting the price. The location of the surgery, the surgical procedure and the development of any after surgery complications will all adjust the price of this surgery.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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