Laminectomy is the surgery that is performed to remove the lamina (back part of the vertebra covering the spinal cord). This surgery is also known as a decompression surgery and is performed to enlarge the spinal canal, thereby relieving any pressure on the nerves or the spinal cord.
This pressure that is treated by Laminectomy is most commonly caused due to bony overgrowths in the spinal canal. This is a common occurrence in people who suffer from arthritis in the spine.
This treatment is used generally when the more conservative treatments like injections, medications, and physical therapy fail to generate improvements. Laminectomy is also chosen as a course of treatment if the symptoms seem to be severe or worsen with time.
Why is it done?
Any bony overgrowths in the spinal canal can lessen the space that is available to the spinal cord and the nerves, creating a pressure. This pressure can cause a lot of pain, numbness or weakness that may carry on down to the arms and legs too. Laminectomy is performed to treat these radiating symptoms. This surgery may be recommended if:
- Conservative treatments fail to show results
- Muscle weakness or numbness makes it hard to walk or stand
- There is loss of bladder or bowel control
Laminectomy is at times also performed as a part of a herniated spinal disk surgery, to allow the surgeon access to the damaged disk.
Generally,Laminectomy is a safe procedurewith a few associated risks, as is the case with any surgery. These risks include:
- Blood clots
- Spinal fluid leak
- Nerve injury
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